• LinkedIn Social Icon
  • Facebook Social Icon
  • Instagram Social Icon

© Siyue Tan | siyuetan@gmail.com | 912.306.4068

No Longer Human

BACKGROUND

No Longer Human (人間失格) is a Japanese novel by Osamu Dazai which is told in the form of notebooks left by one Ōba Yōzō, a troubled man incapable of revealing his true self to others, and who is instead forced to uphold a facade of hollow jocularity.This book is considered Dazai's masterpiece and ranks as the second-best selling novel in Japan. Although worldwide,  Japanese literature plays a significant role, according to Dr Chris Harding of Edinburgh University, people in the West seem particularly determined to cling on to a set of long-established myths. The biggest misunderstanding of Japanese culture is the concept of the term "Mono no aware," which means"the pathos of things," "an empathy toward things," or "a sensitivity to ephemera." It became central to Japanese philosophy of literature and eventually to Japanese cultural tradition.

BRIEF

Redesign the book cover and illustrations that both inspire a passion for literature and "Mono no aware" philosophy.

CONCEPT

As the typical model of Japanese culture, No longer human follows the philosophy of "Mono no aware," that awareness of the transience of all things heightened appreciation of their beauty, and evokes a gentle sadness at their passing. Instead of showing a figure on the cover, the combination of a withering sakura and a human represent the beauty of life and the disguise of the true self. With the sympathy of Ōba Yōzō's destiny, the red background, which is used as a joyful element in Asian culture, creates the atmosphere of unrest.

This novel is filled with double depression, desperate love and social contradictions. To express the mood of the story, a limited color palette (black, white and sakura pink) has been created.