Reading: Kokuhaku – Kanae Minato

by zee

Kokuhaku means “confessions” in English. The Japanese has a kokuhaku culture in which the men/women confess their love/feelings to each other. If the confession cum proposal is accepted, they will officially start dating each other/be in a serious relationship!

It has been a week since I finished reading Confessions by Kanae Minato (Mandarin translation version, 告白); and until today whenever I thought of the book, I still feel really disturbed.

Confessions started off with a goodbye speech given by a teacher of a middle school, Yuko Moriguchi, who was retiring after her daughter was found dead in the pool not long ago. She later revealed that her daughter’s death was not accidental, but a murder conducted by two students in her class, making them recognisable to the rest of the students without giving out their names. Before she left, she unveiled her revenge plan – taint the milk of the 2 students, Shuuya Watanabe and Naoki Shimomura, with HIV-tainted blood.

The rest of the story proceeded with different points of view given by different characters, peeling the layers one by one of a seemingly simple crime story. I thoroughly enjoyed how the story gets deeper as it goes, stories behind stories; and when there is nothing left to be uncovered, be prepared to be surprised with the conclusion.

Moriguchi-sensei decided against reporting the case to the police as the Japanese law do not punish juveniles harshly, and felt it was best to take it to her own hands. She succeeded, and very well indeed. No-one was left unaffected. Strings of bully cases, social disruption, more murders – did Moriguchi-sensei want to take revenge against the two students only, or bring everyone else down with them?

And what about justice? How much justice is enough?

The narration of the story flows really well even with different perspectives of the story told. Each page is packed with shocks and twists, making it impossible to leave the book until you reach the last page.

Minato was a housewife before she became famous with this book. I really wonder what goes on in the minds of the average Japanese.

p/s I love this review of the book!

Read this on Two Weeks A Book