The Last Children of Tokyo | Granta

  • Published: 07/06/2018
  • ISBN: 9781846276705
  • 129x20mm
  • 144 pages

The Last Children of Tokyo

Yoko Tawada

Translated by Margaret Mitsutani

Yoshiro thinks he might never die. A hundred years old and counting, he is one of Japan’s many ‘old-elderly’; men and women who remember a time before the air and the sea were poisoned, before terrible catastrophe promted Japan to shut itself off from the rest of the world. He may live for decades yet, but he knows his beloved great-grandson – born frail and prone to sickness – might not survive to adulthood. Day after day, it takes all of Yoshiro’s sagacity to keep Mumei alive.

As hopes for Japan’s youngest generation fade, a secretive organisation embarks on an audacious plan to find a cure – might Yoshiro’s great-grandson be the key to saving the last children of Tokyo?

A mini-epic of eco-terror, family drama and speculative fiction... a book unlike any other


An open-hearted fable... Tawada's uber-isolationist neo-Japan is much less cute than Wes Anderson's. It's also much, much funnier

Financial Times

The Last Children of Tokyo has a recessive, lunar beauty... Arresting, with a flickering brilliance

Parul Sehgal, International New York Times

The Author

Yoko Tawada lives in Berlin and is the author of several novels, poems, plays and essays in both Japanese and German. She is the author of the story collections Where Europe Begins and Facing the Bridge, as well as the novels The Naked Eye, The Bridegroom Was a Dog, Memoirs of a Polar Bear and The Emissary. Her next novel is forthcoming in the UK as Spontaneous Acts and in the US as Paul Celan and the Trans-Tibetan Angel, in 2024.

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The Last Children of Tokyo

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‘Encountering a real animal – not just its name – would have set Mumei’s heart on fire.’ Translated from the Japanese by Margaret Mitsutani.