Tag Archives: Kenji Miyazawa

Night on the Galactic Railroad


Have you ever wanted to read a romance between two train signals? Well, here is your chance. This tragic romance is one of three of Kenji Miyazawa’s stories presented in Night on the Galactic Railroad and Other Stories from Ihatov. Even though the stories did have a beautiful feel to them as they connected life to space and the unknown, I cannot get over the fact that we were supposed to ship two train signals. This time, I will review the stories in order, with The Nighthawk Star, Signal and Signal-less and finally, Night on the Galactic Railroad. Even if you don’t get the book, maybe you can keep your eyes open for any of the individual stories you may find interesting.

The Nighthawk Star is honestly my favourite one. It’s the story of an underrated bird that is constantly tortured by the other birds until it escapes and transforms itself into a constellation in the sky. The bird was a nice character and I felt so bad for it. I can really feel the struggle that the bird is going through and the majestic writing adds to connections that Miyazawa aimed for. I will give this short story 8/10.

The second confusing one is Signal and Signal-less, the romance between two inanimate objects that are unable to elope simply because the main signal… Signal.. because he insulted a utility pole. The annoying part about this book is that it would have worked if there was an actual connection between Signal and Signal-less. Signal-less was a very passive character that didn’t do anything except for having a few awkward conversations with Signal. The ending was nice, but it did not do enough to save the almost awkward story. This one is worth 3/10.

The final and main story, Night on the Galactic Railroad had the beauty and depressing nature of The Nighthawk Star, but because it was the longest in the book, I was expecting more. A young boy Giovanni somehow winds up on a galactic railroad with friend Campanella as they explore the beauties of the universe. This one has the prettiest imagery, but the actual characters are only decent. I wanted a little more to them instead of them just traveling. Though, if there was more depth and honest conversation between them, it would have made the end more depressing. Instead, it was just sad but beautiful. I’m giving this one 7.8/10.

Using my amazing mathematical skills (and the help of a calculator), I have discovered that this means the stories 18.8/30. I will increase it to 20 because of a beautiful song that is at the beginning that brings new light to way to look at the stars. It’s a shame that one story ruined a gorgeous collection and dropping it to 6.6/10. However, I’m sure some of you will think opposite to me and might think a romance between two bloody train signals is the most fascinating story in the world.

Question: What romance has pissed you off the most?