The Easy Life in Kamusari is an easy read. It is compulsively readable, and I loved it.
It is one of the most pleasant novels I have read in my life. It is not as humorous as Bill Bryson’s A Walk in the Woods, but it is frequently chuckle-inducing.
Read it, learn about Japanese tradition, history, and the great beauty of the wilderness, which above all, is a reflection of inner beauty, the same inner beauty hidden within human beings, concealed by the smog of city life, like a particulate cloud ensconces our modern minds and bodies – distraction, a sort of blindness. To immerse yourself in this green-hued story, to work with your hands alongside the protagonist, through all of the agonizingly detailed forestry implementation and day-to-day administration, is to rediscover a primordial love, harmony, and lust for life. It is a balanced tale, flowing as effortlessly as a leisurely river, the product of a wise and gentle writer who does not resort to literary writing in all of its egotistical indulgence.
It depicts the clash between a modern urban city youth within an unpandering forest community, where he learns to trust himself, others, and appreciate the fruitful and rewarding life he was prepared to ignore along with the bulk of contemporary homo sapiens. A brilliant and moving and unforgettable reading experience.
It is not slick or daring, except in the incredible level of fidelity to actual rural life in Japan. A breath of fresh air, an escape and antidote from the self-absorbed fiction produced in reams daily over the last hundred years.