Welcome to the LitCharts study guide on Banana Yoshimoto's Kitchen. Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides.
Kitchen: Plot Summary
Kitchen: Detailed Summary & Analysis
Kitchen: Theme Wheel
Brief Biography of Banana Yoshimoto
Historical Context of Kitchen
Other Books Related to Kitchen
- Full Title: Kitchen
- When Written: 1987
- Where Written: Tokyo, Japan
- When Published: 1988 (Japanese), 1993 (English)
- Literary Period: Modern
- Genre: Novella
- Setting: Urban Tokyo in the 1980s, primarily at an apartment near Chuo Park.
- Climax: Yuichi calls Mikage at the inn she is staying at to say he’s returned to Tokyo instead of running away and will pick Mikage up when she gets back to Tokyo tomorrow.
- Antagonist: Okuno; Eriko’s Murderer
- Point of View: First Person
Extra Credit for Kitchen
Bananas. Kitchen caused such a sensation in Japan that the press dubbed the public’s obsession with Yoshimoto’s writing “bananamania.” Yoshimoto chose the quirky pen name “Banana” because she likes banana flowers and thought it was cute and androgynous. In a subtle allusion to Yoshimoto’s pen name, Kitchen’s protagonist Mikage is gifted a cute glass with a banana motif part way through the story.
Pop Culture. Yoshimoto often references Japanese and American pop culture in her writing, giving her stories a young, cosmopolitan feel. Kitchen’s pop culture references include the Charlie Brown comics, the American television show Bewitched, and a 1980s Japanese pop song.