The Last Children of Tokyo

Yoko Tawada

Published: 7 June 2018
Paperback, B Format
129x198mm, 144 pages
ISBN: 9781846276705


Yoshiro thinks he might never die. A hundred years old and counting, he is one of Japan's many 'old-elderly'; men and women who remember a time before the air and the sea were poisoned, before terrible catastrophe promted Japan to shut itself off from the rest of the world. He may live for decades yet, but he knows his beloved great-grandson - born frail and prone to sickness - might not survive to adulthood. Day after day, it takes all of Yoshiro's sagacity to keep Mumei alive.

As hopes for Japan's youngest generation fade, a secretive organisation embarks on an audacious plan to find a cure - might Yoshiro's great-grandson be the key to saving the last children of Tokyo?

About the author


The Last Children of Tokyo carries us beyond the limits of what is it is to be human, in order to remind us of what we must hold dearest in our conflicted world, our humanity’ Sjón, author of



The Last Children of Tokyo has a recessive, lunar beauty... Arresting, with a flickering brilliance’ Parul Sehgal

A mini-epic of eco-terror, family drama and speculative fiction... a book unlike any other

An open-hearted fable... Tawada's uber-isolationist neo-Japan is much less cute than Wes Anderson's. It's also much, much funnier

One of the most thorough and convincingly conceived worlds I have read. The Last Children of Tokyo shows a land tottering on the brink of disaster but it is also a joyful exploration of language, a constantly surprising and exciting rompDaisy Johnson, author of

Poetic, strange and melancholy, Tawada's nuanced language demonstrates a tenderness and refinement that subtly counterbalances the novella's bleak subject matter... impressive’ Bryan Karetynk

‘A convincing world-narrative that weaves together the beliefs of ancient Shintoism and contemporary politics, where transmutation between animals has become the norm’ Fi Churchman

‘Unsettling and enchanting, gentle and sharp-edged. Tawada writes beautifully about unbearable thingsSara Baume, author of

Mind Unit - websites, content management and email marketing for the arts