What Did You Eat Yesterday? By Fumi Yoshinaga



I recently read my first graphic novel, What Did You Eat Yesterday?, which is also a manga. That term was new to me. I discovered manga refers to comics or graphic novels originating from Japan. This particular story is the first in a series about a gay couple living in Tokyo. Shiro Kakei and Kenji Yabuki are both middle-aged. Shiro is a lawyer and Kenji is a hair stylist. Cooking is Shiro’s avocation, and Kenji is a very willing recipient of his gourmet meals. Each chapter highlights food in some way. There are even detailed cooking scenes that include instructions and recipes that the reader can actually follow (if he/she is adventurous and can find the Japanese ingredients). A manga is read from back to front and right to left which was a bit hard to get used to. The stories tackle everyday issues of a contemporary gay Japanese couple in urban Japan. The art work is fun, and I enjoyed how the author effectively illustrated the novel. If you get hooked, there are many books in the series; the characters age as the story moves forward. The novel was a bookclub choice so I was glad for our group discussion. The style was so new to me that I missed out on some of the subtleties of the content. What Did You Eat Yesterday is a quick read, so I reread it. The second time around the content was much more thought provoking. In some ways, this was a reminder of how much I loved comic books as a kid! 

3 comments on “What Did You Eat Yesterday? By Fumi Yoshinaga”

  1. How interesting. I have heard of manga but didn’t know what is what about them, other than that lots of young folks love them. I haven’t read many graphic novels but Art Spiegelman’s Maus is great.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Way to branch out! I think summer reading is a perfect time to give a new genre a try– and especially when it brings you back to your comic books– that’s pretty great.

    I read my first graphic novel (though not a manga) as part of summer reading a while ago– it’s called Climate Changed – https://re-nourish.org/book-review-climate-changed-a-personal-journey-through-the-science/

    I enjoyed it as well- I found the visuals gave the story another depth. And in my estimation, art is always welcome.

    During one of the swaps Daniela gave me a graphic novel called Dumb: Living without a Voice – https://www.fantagraphics.com/products/dumb
    I enjoyed the telling of this story with visuals — it helped slow me down as a reader and really immerse myself in the environment described.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I love hearing about this manga, Barbara. My son is really into manga, so I am marginally familiar, but I love hearing about a manga about grownups, instead of wild fantasy characters. I hadn’t realized the genre extended to all types of stories. Very cool. And yes, way to go for exploring and branching out. It really sounds like a great cultural snapshot.


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