125 pages / August 2016 / 1,200 yen (w/o tax)
Poignant online posts that are causing quite a stir!
A self-enlightenment book written by a 10-year-old!
At the age of nine, Bao Nakashima came up with the idea of writing a book of his thoughts. Bao logged on to his mother’s Facebook account without her knowledge and proceeded to email an editor at a publishing house, saying, “I want to write a book about my experiences.” His mother was very confused when she noticed the sent message.
The editor was surprised by the sudden message from the boy, but decided to go ahead and meet with him. He found out that he wasn’t attending elementary school, but was instead attending seminars of authors he liked. Bao had apparently made the decision himself to stop attending school after experiencing bullying.
As expected, the boy wasn’t exactly sure what kind of book he wanted to write, so the editor gave Bao an initial homework assignment. He told the boy to write whatever came to mind, and to send him those sentences. Bao agreed excitedly and began sending the editor sentences that very day.
This book is a collection of the messages sent between Bao and the editor. All of the sentences in this book are just as Bao wrote them. Aside from correcting spelling mistakes, adding proper punctuation and forming the material into paragraphs, nothing was actually added by the editor. Usually, editors do a vast amount of editing even for adult writers. For this book, the editor wanted the readers to experience the words of the 10-year-old as they were written, uninfluenced and unchanged.
Here are some of Bao’s words:
“Humans live on the lives of plants and animals.
Eating something even when you don’t like it is wrong.
If you don’t like it, don’t eat it.
It’s bad to be picky.
We are receiving life. Be thankful for that.”
“If you experience having nothing,
you become thankful for everyday things.
If you can’t eat, or if you can’t have food made for you,
you become thankful for being able to eat and having food made for you.”
“Even in the same place, if you look in a different direction, you will see a different view.”
These are things only a 10-year-old boy would write, but you also wouldn’t believe he’s only ten. His straightforward, poignant thoughts touch your heart with every turn of the page and can somehow make even a mature adult reach a new sense of awareness.
Bao is an author who is 41 years younger than I. I have worked with an author 20 years younger named Marie Kondo, who wrote The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, but this is a new record for me! I never thought I would create a book with an author younger than my own child, but Bao is a wonderful author. And I’m not just saying that. His writing is really something. While he isn’t by any means an experienced author, nor are his sentences of any high level, there is a lot of strength in the words themselves. It was Bao who taught me, “It’s okay to live your life more freely.” I hope everyone feels the same excitement while reading this book that I felt on the day I received the first draft.