Response to Kitchen- Unfortunately, loved ones will not live forever. This concept is what I believe Mikage Sakurai, the main character of Kitchen struggles with during the entire story.
Again and again Mikage?s life is blighted by the deaths of people whom she loves.
Banana Yoshimoto has created a character whose grief is silenced by her Japanese culture; yet still must cope with the human feeling of loss.
I, too will eventually have to cope with the feeling of great loss. Both of my grandfathers are gravely ill. One has had three heart attacks and has prostrate cancer. The other is over ninety years old and has a weakened heart. Oxygen tanks, nebulizers and nitroglycerine pills will not keep them alive forever. In the back of my mind, just as Mikage said after her grandmother?s passing, I, too must acknowledge that they will not live forever.
Yuichi Tanabe, was Mikage?s grandmother?s assistant in her flower shop.
Now, a grown man, Yuichi encourages Mikage to grieve in her own way and takes her into his home. His ?mother?, Eriko, too befriends Mikage in her time of need. Likewise, upon hearing of Eriko?s death, Mikage proceeds to comfort her friend during his time of distress.
I believe Mikage?s grandmother and Eriko were the very beings who brought exuberance to both Mikage?s and Yuichi?s lives. Without them, they felt as if they were not permitted to feel the wonderful daily joys of life. They seemed very hesitant to connect with other people. This issue is depicted after both Mikage?s grandmother?s death, as well as Eriko?s death. They are seemingly hesitant to speak to others about their loss and grief. On the other hand, in this country, we are encouraged to articulate our pain and suffering, so as to diminish it. I, personally,