Toshikazu Kawaguchi Talks About Time Travel at Emirates Lit Fest 2024

  • Publish date: Saturday، 03 February 2024
Toshikazu Kawaguchi Talks About Time Travel at Emirates Lit Fest 2024

International bestselling Japanese author and Bookstagram famous Toshikazu Kawaguchi did not stop saying ‘Arigato’ (thank you) nor did he stop smiling during his talk at the Emirates Lit Fest 2024.


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The audience was eagerly waiting for him and his entrance was no less than of a pop star!

It was Toshikazu Kawaguchi’s second visit to Dubai and the Emirates Literature Festival and he found Dubai to have become very cold since his last visit.

Kawaguchi is world renowned for the famous fiction series ‘Before the Coffee Gets Cold’, which is about a quaint café in Tokyo, which allows customers to travel back in time to meet their loved ones. However, they have to return to the present before the coffee gets cold.

Toshikazu Kawaguchi Talks About Time Travel at Emirates Lit Fest 2024

Despite the serious subject matter of his books, Kawaguchi surprised the audience at the festival with his infectious humor that had the crowd constantly laughing and applauding.

His fiction also includes breaks of humor and light moments, which the author explained was the case because he found it exhausting to make people always cry.

Time Travel in the ‘Before the Coffee Gets Cold’ series

Since time travel is the main theme of his novels, Kawaguchi was asked about why the process was so complicated in his fiction, especially because of all the rules that the characters have to follow.

The author explained that the rules are like obstacles that the characters have to overcome to meet their loved ones.

Another theme that is key in the ‘Before the Coffee Gets Cold’ series is forgiveness and upon being asked about it, Kawaguchi opened up about how he has made many mistakes in his own life, which made him realize the significance of forgiveness.

Kawaguchi and ‘Before We Say Goodbye’

Toshikazu Kawaguchi Talks About Time Travel at Emirates Lit Fest 2024

As the session was about the fourth novel in the series ‘Before We Say Goodbye’, a member of the audience asked the author about imagining a life without saying goodbye to those loved ones who have passed away.

In response to this question, Kawaguchi shared a heart-wrenching anecdote about his own father’s sudden passing at the age of thirty-eight and how he did not get to say goodbye because he was only 12 years old at the time.

Therefore, he likes to think that if he is happy then his father will also be happy, a thought which gives him comfort. 

Toshikazu Kawaguchi’s Writing Process

Toshikazu Kawaguchi Talks About Time Travel at Emirates Lit Fest 2024

Image source: @kawaguchi.coffee.

Other than these heavy questions, many people from the audience asked questions about Toshikazu Kawaguchi’s process of writing.

An interesting fact came to light during the session. When asked about why his novels are based in the cafe, Kawaguchi explained that he wrote his novels in many old Japanese cafes, which is why the venue has become the permanent setting in his series.

Since starting his career as a playwright, Kawaguchi clarified that he found writing a novel quite difficult. He rewrote his first novel ten times, which is a lot, but it is what made his first novel a global sensation!

Kawaguchi did not even want to be a novelist in the first place. As a child, he had always aspired to become a manga artist. He might not have become a manga artist, but his love for stories has led him to become a wonderful writer.

Did Doraemon Inspire Kawaguchi’s Novels?

Toshikazu Kawaguchi Talks About Time Travel at Emirates Lit Fest 2024

Despite all these interesting questions about writing, the audience could not stay away from the topic of time travel. Since it was a central theme of the session and the novels, one person inquired about Kawaguchi’s inspirations behind the time travel plotline.

The Japanese author gave a very surprising answer when he said that he was inspired by the internationally famous Japanese cartoon ‘Doraemon’, which is a childhood favorite of many people!

Time travel in Kawaguchi’s books is only limited to travelling to the past, so another question came up, 'What if the coffee could help the author travel to the future? What would he do?'

Kawaguchi gave the most expected response that any writer would give, which was that he would like to find out if he was still writing and if he had started living in Dubai.

Dubai has been home to the Emirates Literature Festival for 16 years because it allows bookworms to share their love for everything related to literature.

With Kawaguchi’s session, the festival revealed people’s love for Japan in the UAE.

Various audience members shared their experiences of travelling to Japan and how Kawaguchi’s books had inspired them to travel to the country. 

Toshikazu Kawaguchi's Upcoming Novels

Kawaguchi was filled with gratitude for the audience’s love for his work and he will continue to inspire many with his writing and touch countless hearts because he will be writing a sixth novel for the series.

He has already written the fifth novel in the series, the release date for which is unknown.

The news had the audience very excited and animated! We cannot wait for these upcoming novels and hope they are also global bestsellers!

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