Two hunters come across a restaurant in the forest. A sign on the door announces: This restaurant has many orders. With every door they pass through and every room they enter, the two slowly get an inkling of what this might mean… “The Restaurant of Many Orders” is a short story by Miyazawa Kenji from the 1920s and was also published as a graded reader by the NPO Tagengo Tadoku.
I didn’t know anything about this story when I started reading it and was simply drawn into this story by the slightly disturbing drawing style. It did not disappoint! The story was sinister but clever and I loved how it built up and let me anticipate the ending!
There were some words I had not been familiar with, when I read this short story.
Especially the beginning with its description of the two hunters and their hunting trip was a bit tough to get into, but after a few pages as soon as I got used to the vocabulary, it was enjoyable to read.
Because I read 「注文の多い料理店」quite early in my Japanese reading journey, it was the story that really opened my eyes to the fact that through reading in Japanese I could experience literature that is almost unknown, strange or niche outside of Japan. For that experience alone, I would recommend reading it, too.
The easy Japanese version of this short story is part of a Japanese Graded Readers Set (Level 3, Vol. 1) and that set is purchasable here on Amazon Japan (affiliate link). The set also includes two scary stories by Lafcadio Hearn, the fairy tale of Princess Kaguya, a non-fiction text on banknotes and two short stories by Akutagawa.
Length: 28 pages