In the Miso Soup
Front cover of the current English translation of the novel, published by Bloomsbury
|Original title||イン ザ・ミソスープ
In za Misosūpu'
|Cover artist||Kirk Richard Smith, design, Chas Krider, photographer (US paperback edition)|
|Publisher||Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (UK)/Penguin (US)|
|Media type||Print (Paperback)|
|Pages||192 pp (UK paperback edition), 216 pp (US paperback edition)|
|LC Class||PL856.U696 I513 2006|
|Followed by||Strange Days|
Twenty-year-old Kenji is a Japanese "nightlife" guide for foreigners — he navigates gaijin men around the sex clubs and hostess bars of Tokyo. On December 29 he receives a phone call from an American named Frank, who seeks three nights of his services. While Kenji has promised to spend more time with his girlfriend, sixteen-year-old Jun, the money is too good to pass up. He finds himself closing out the end of the year accompanying Frank around Shinjuku, wondering if his strange, plastic-skinned patron could be responsible for the gruesome events recently reported in the news.
- Kenji: A nightlife guide based in Tokyo. He is an average English speaker who specializes in touring foreigners through Kabuki-cho. As mentioned, Kenji is the narrator of the story.
- Frank: An American tourist who contracts Kenji's services. Frank disturbs Kenji from the outset, and is the antagonist.
- Asami/Madoka: A "special services" hostess at a peep show.
- Jun: Kenji's sixteen year-old girlfriend.
- Maki: Female patron/prostitute at the omiai pub. She claims to not be a prostitute, but also claims to be a high price call girl.
- Noriko: A tout for the omiai pub and former juvenile delinquent.
- Reika & Rie: Two lingerie pub hostesses.
- Satoshi: A lingerie club barker and acquaintance of Kenji's.
- Yokoyama: Publisher of Tokyo Pink Guide. The only publication Kenji advertises in, and Frank's sex industry bible.
- Yuko: Female patron/prostitute at the omiai pub. She is seated with Frank, Kenji, and Maki.