Strange Weather in Toyko is a very poised novel of the friendship between Tsukiko and her former high school teacher, whom she refers to as Sensei, after a chance meeting in a local bar. In fact nearly all their meetings are chance happenings even after their relationship has deepened which makes the reader never entirely certain of the outcome; in my experience the Japanese prefer a sad ending so I hoped for the best but feared the worst. The slow development of their friendship is beautifully told; despite the age difference Tsukiko and Sensei have many things in common including their enjoyment of good saki and good food. The strange weather only get’s a mention once, in Japanese the book is called “Sensei no kaban” which translates as The Teacher’s Briefcase. This is a more apt title as Sensei always carries his briefcase with him whatever the circumstances and, at the end, it is what remains with Tsukiko. So far the author Hiromi Kawakami has not had any of her other works translated into English but I do hope that changes soon.