The Lantern of Lost Memories

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By Sanaka Hiiragi

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$29.00 CAD

From acclaimed Japanese author Sanaka Hiigari comes a heartwarming, life-affirming novel about a magical photo studio, where people go after they die to view key moments from their life—and relive one precious memory before they pass into the afterlife.

The hands and pendulum of the old wooden clock on the wall were motionless. Hirasaka cocked his head to listen, but the silence inside the photo studio was almost deafening. His leather shoes sank softly into the aging red carpet as he strode over to the arrangement of flowers on the counter and carefully adjusted the angle of the petals…

This is the story of the peculiar and magical photo studio owned by Mr. Hirasaka, a collector of antique cameras. In the dimly lit interior, a paper background is pulled down in front of a wall, and in front of it stands a single, luxurious chair with an armrest on one side. On a stand is a large bellows camera. On the left is the main studio; photos can also be taken in the courtyard.

Beyond its straightforward interior, however, is a secret. The studio is, in fact, the door to the afterlife, the place between life and death where those who have departed have a chance—one last time—to see their entire life flash before their eyes via Mr. Hirasaka's "spinning lantern of memories."

We meet Hatsue, a ninety-two year old woman who worked as a nursery teacher, the rowdy Waniguchi, a yakuza overseer in his life who is also capable of great compassion, and finally Mitsuru, a young girl who has died tragically young at the hands of abusive parents. 

Sorting through the many photos of their lives, Mr. Hirasaka also offers guests a second gift: a chance to travel back in time to take a photo of one particular moment in their lives that they wish to cherish in a special way.

Full of charm and whimsy, The Lantern of Lost Memories will sweep you away to a world of nostalgia, laughter, and love.

  • “A complex tale of humanity and how small interactions can change the course of a life.”

On Sale
Sep 17, 2024
Page Count
208 pages

Sanaka Hiiragi

About the Author

Sanaka Hiiragi was born in 1974 in the Kagawa Prefecture. She graduated from Kobe Women's University, majored in literature, and completed her studies at Himeji Dokkyo University. After living and working overseas as a Japanese Language teacher for 7 years, her debut novel The Battle of Marriage Island was nominated for the Konomys Award in 2012 and was chosen as The Hidden Jade by the editors in 2013. She is a big fan of cameras, photography, and kimono art.

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