KESHIKI is a series of exquisitely designed chapbooks, showcasing the work of eight of the most exciting writers working in Japan today.
Kyojiro is a cultural anthropologist, days away from making the trip of his career when he meets Mariko, a free-spirited Japanese woman living on Guam, a remote island in the Pacific Ocean. Mariko is everything Kyojiro isn’t adaptable, whimsical, and ready to make life-changing decisions with the changing tides. It is during their brief time together that Kyojiro is able to watch the woman he loves metamorphosize from Mariko into Mariquita, shedding her Japanese identity and becoming a woman who belongs to Guam.
In Mariko / Mariquita, Ikezawa explores the shifting notions of Japanese cultural identity against a politically charged backdrop. Ikezawa’s light, teasing dialogue, and the tone conveyed in Birnbaum’s translation, delicately explore the seemingly inconsequential choices we make as part of our day-to-day existence, and friction this creates with our cultural identities.