George Tanabe Releases New Novel MIKI'S MAD

George Tanabe's new novel explores love, family, pride, and delusions in the early 1900s colonial world.

By: Mar. 01, 2024
George Tanabe Releases New Novel MIKI'S MAD
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Set in the tumultuous world of colonialism, technological revolution and intercultural entanglements in early 1900s, Deuxmers Publishing releases "Miki's Mad" by George Tanabe. A telling of love, family, pride, and delusions arising from the collisions between perception and misperception, sanity and madness, and virtue and vice.

Tanabe, who is a recipient of the Japanese Foreign Minister's Commendation and the Imperial Order of the Rising Sun awards, tells the tragicomic story of a Japanese immigrant: On a steamship from Japan to Hawaii, Shuzo Taga discovers Miki, a young woman who is slowly going mad-angry, insane and wildly funny - and yet she, sustained by the spirit of a devious cat, enables him to turn his fantasies into cash.

This picaresque tale plays on stereotypes that our protagonist hijacks as he out-whites the haoles, out-yellows the Japanese, out-browns the Hawaiians, and in the end, outsmarts himself.

While "Miki's Mad" portrays a charming but conniving protagonist, it should be remembered that the honest and hardworking issei pioneers also had shadier sides to their lives involving adultery, moonshining, theft and prostitution. In 1901, for example, 93 percent of the known prostitutes in Honolulu were Japanese women under the control of a certain Masudo-san. "Miki's Mad" taps into this underside and portrays the adventures of lovable characters freely deploying guts and ingenuity as they search for better lives.

Further information:

About George Tanabe:

George Tanabe, Professor Emeritus of Religion at the University of Hawaii, earned a Ph.D. in Japanese religions (esp. Buddhism) from Columbia University. His academic books have been published by university presses at Harvard, Princeton, Columbia and Hawaii. For promoting cultural understanding between Japan and the United States, he was awarded the Japanese Foreign Minister's Commendation in 2007 and the Imperial Order of the Rising Sun in 2012.