Mukoda Kuniko :: The Woman Next Door


The Woman Next Door
by MUKŌDA Kuniko

Translated by A. Reid MONROE-SHERIDAN

Lonely people trapped in webs of their own design, seeking hope, love, forgiveness, validation... Five stories reveal the innermost hopes and fears of ordinary women, and men, facing the demands of others and of themselves in cool marriage and cold betrayal, exploring new avenues through new encounters.

Mukōda, renowned for her piercing depictions of loneliness, family, and inner turmoil, examines the roles of women and the 'man of the house,' whether husband, father, or even daughter. Her work explores the pain lurking in unmet expectations of family and love, and the resilience of women and men in finding purpose where none is forthcoming.


  • Life’s usually tough, albeit it with the occasional bright spot – the only problem is that it’s sometimes hard to tell whether the light is coming from the end of the tunnel or from a speeding train... an entertaining and thought-provoking collection from a writer with an eye for the duller side of life, and ... it all reads enjoyably, too.
    Tony's Reading List

  • Details

    • Pages: vi + 163
    • Trade paperback 5" x 8" (127mm x 203mm)
    • ISBN
      Softcover: 978-4-909473-18-9
      Ebook: 978-4-909473-19-6
    • Cover: Ramona Russu

    Available at

    About the author

    Mukōda Kuniko (向田 邦子, November 28, 1929–August 22, 1981) was born in Tokyo. After graduating Jissen Women's Educational Institute, she began work at film publicity company Ondori Company in 1952. She quit in 1960 to write for the screen and radio, winning the 1980 Naoki Prize for her short stories "Hanano Namae", "Kawauso" and "Inugoya." She died unexpectedly in an aircraft disaster.

    About the translator

    A. Reid Monroe-Sheridan is a corporate lawyer and Associate Professor at Keio University Law School in Tokyo. He has previously taught courses at the University of Tokyo Graduate Schools for Law and Politics and Hitotsubashi University Graduate School of International Corporate Strategy. He holds a B.A. in Japanese literature from Carleton College and a J.D. from Harvard Law School and is a graduate of the Inter-University Center for Japanese Language Studies based in Yokohama.