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Salad Anniversary
The Best-seller, 1987
Date:30, Jun, 2021
Investigated and Written by Misaka Youhei
About our introductory articles


Today most of Japanese people have heard "Salad Anniversary," I suppose. It doesn't mean most have read the tanka collection, but does many have heard somehow. I guess you are kind of hard to get what I tell here. I know. Now I am telling in order.

Salad Anniversary is the first tanka collection of Tawara Machi, the Japanese female tanka poet. It was released by Kawade Shoboshin-sha in 1987. And it surprisingly sold over 2.5 million copies. Needless to say, it was a great big hit. That was unbelievable. Tanka and poems are pretty hard to be a hit in Japan. In fact, most of poets cannot live off just their poems. So I can say the hit of Salad Anniversary was nothing but a miracle. Why did it happen?

Tawara Machi is a Japanese female poet who was born in 1962 Osaka. She is not a historical poet, is still active in the present 2021. She graduated from the Waseda University in 1985, stood out as a poet while working as a Japanese language teacher in a high school. From 1985 to 1987, she had composed and released a lot of tanka constantly. Salad Anniversary collected them.

As mentioned above, we hardly see the collections of poems (including tanka) become a hit in Japan. They say Kawade published about 3,000 copies for the first edition of Salad Anniversary. That was very reasonable. And then it sold over 2.5 million, became the bestseller of 1987 somehow. Needless to say, it is also the bestseller among all her works. Why did it sell so much? Well, I know no need to doubt about Tawara Machi's talent. However, it is hard to be a hit no matter how gifted the poet is. Then, I have to think the background (the times) had something. What was 1987?

In fact, Murakami Haruki (the Japanese author) also released his best-selling novel in 1987. Norwegian Wood is it. It appeared as the 2 volumes, each sold over 2 million copies inside Japan. Tawara Machi and Murakami Haruki, the popular two released each best-selling work in 1987. Of course that happened by chance. But I think there must be a linkage somehow though we are hard to see.

What was it? One hypothesis is on my mind, but I guess saying it here directly is not good. I dislike to get rid of the joy of reading the tanka collection and the novel. Somebody, wouldn't you try reading them actually and elucidate?

about Salad Anniversary

・Written by Tawara Machi
・Published by Kawade Shoboshin-sha





 

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