真技 (shizuku_san) wrote in tadoku,
真技
shizuku_san
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五体不満足

Title: 五体不満足(ごたいふまんぞく)
Author: 乙武洋匡(おとたけひろただ)
Reading level: ?middle school+
My rating: 2 out of 5

The title of this book comes from the phrase 五体満足, said of babies who have all four limbs and their head intact. 五体不満足 is the autobiography of Japanese celebrity Ototake Hirotada, who was born without arms or legs. I found this book on a list of recommended reads for Japanese middle schoolers, and it was also recommended by one of my Japanese teachers.

Some parts of the book were really interesting. It was fun to read about his experience in elementary school, and all the creative adaptations that allowed him to attend a mainstream school. I also enjoyed reading the vignette-like recounting of a few incidents of problems he ran into because of his disability.

However, most of the book was repetitive, excessively hyperbolic, and boring. Ninety percent of what he wrote was praise and thanksgiving for all these opportunities he had and people that he met, without much context and without any interesting description -- exactly the kind of stuff that would have gotten me a remonstration to "show, don't tell" if I turned it in to an English teacher. It read more like a thank-you speech or an essay for a scholarship application than an autobiography.

There were also quite a few parts where I wasn't sure exactly what he was trying to say, so maybe it reads better if your Japanese is more advanced than mine... this was harder than the previous two books I read, so I'm not sure I quite agree with whoever wrote that middle school books list.

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I'm wondering if everyone else has forgotten about this community, or if you are just all too busy to read/post...
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