Banana Yoshimoto

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on Kitchen can help.


In Kitchen, light symbolizes joy or happiness. Every time Mikage Sakurai, the protagonist, experiences a person, place, or time when she feels warm and happy, Yoshimoto uses the symbol of light to represent…

read analysis of Light


While light symbolizes joy in the novella, dark represents pain or suffering. Throughout the story, the protagonist, Mikage Sakurai, battles to connect with joy while grieving, and worries that life is really just about…

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In Yoshimoto’s Kitchen, kitchens symbolize the natural, repetitious rhythms of life, which is often what pulls the protagonist, Mikage Sakurai, out of a moment where she feels overwhelmed by the presence of death…

read analysis of Kitchens