We had the privilege of interviewing Keisuke Uyama the author of Love Like the Falling Petals after its English debut. Uyama-san is a renowned Japanese screenwriter and novelist with works such as Tonight at the Movies, A Little Miracle For You, and This Love is the Most Beautiful Rain in the World.
His novel Love Like the Falling Petals, originally released in Japan in 2017, received a Netflix adaptation in 2022 and is now available as a hardcover book in English from Cover Press. This story is a sweet, yet heartwrenching one that shows how beautiful and tender love can be.
If you love emotional romance novels and dream of Japan’s cherry blossom season, you will adore Love Like the Falling Petals. Uyama-san poured his love into this story and we hope you enjoy this interview as much as we did.
Interview with Keisuke Uyama
Brianna: Congratulations on Love Like The Falling Petals (LLFP) English release. Love Like The Falling Petals was adapted into a movie on Netflix and now the book has been published in English. Can you talk about your experience of having your novel translated and published into English?
Uyama-san: Thank you very much. Publishing an English version was one of my major goals. I am now very happy that this wish has come true. Since Japanese is a language only used in Japan, the number of readers is limited. On the other hand, English is the most used language in the world, so it [Love Like the Falling Petals] can now reach people all over the world. It is a great joy to meet so many people because of the English edition of the book.
Brianna: LLFP is a unique love story, what inspired you to write this story?
Uyama-san: The idea for this story goes back 20 years. When I was a young man, 20 years old, a scene that would become the climax of the story suddenly popped into my head. But I was just a student at the time and did not yet have the ability to fully realize the story. So I decided not to rush and to develop the story slowly. Eventually, I made my professional debut as a screenwriter, and when the opportunity arose to become a novelist, I was finally able to write this story. Being able to release the book into the world and deliver it to an audience was a moment when my youthful wish to become a published author came true.
Brianna: The beauty of sakura is fleeting, but they always bloom again. Does this impermanence inspire your stories?
Uyama-san: Cherry blossoms bloom in the same way every year but the feeling and circumstances when viewing them vary depending on the moment. The way you see the cherry blossoms changes depending on your mindset. For example, the cherry blossoms I saw in the past when I was with my girlfriend were beautiful but the cherry blossoms that I saw alone this past year looked sad. With Love Like the Falling Petals, I wanted to depict the passage of time, the changes in life, and the changes in the heart through cherry blossoms.
Brianna: Can we as humans, take inspiration about our own lives from nature’s impermanence?
Uyama-san: Cherry blossoms bloom with beautiful flowers in the spring, and then the petals quickly fall away. The beauty lasts for such a short time. Japanese people feel the transience and beauty of cherry blossoms. At the same time, we also feel the impermanence and preciousness of the passage of time by comparing our own lives to the short blooming period of the cherry blossom. I think cherry blossoms are wonderful flowers that make you love life.
Brianna: What do you hope readers will take away from reading this novel?
Uyama-san: I always want the reader to decide for themselves what they feel and gain from this book, rather than the author deciding for them. It doesn’t matter how trivial it is. It can be anything from the joy of being healthy to a renewed desire to cherish your loved ones and family. The feeling you have when you close this book is the right one.
Brianna: What are some similarities and differences in how national and international audiences responded to LLFP?
Uyama-san: I was a little worried about how people in other countries would react when they read Love Like the Falling Petals because this story is a Japanese story with cherry blossoms as its motif. How could the story reach the hearts of foreigners who are not familiar with cherry blossoms? I was both curious and anxious. However, at book signings and an author discussion in Los Angeles recently, I received many comments from readers such as “I was moved by reading the book” and “It made me cry.” These were the same impressions as Japanese readers. It was a wonderful experience for me to hear that even across countries and cultures, our hearts are connected.
Brianna: What would you like to say to English readers of LLFP?
Uyama-san: Love Like the Falling Petals is a romance novel with a cherry blossom motif, and it is also a story about the preciousness of time, a theme shared by all humankind. It is a story about loving others and living life to the fullest. I believe that regardless of your nationality or culture, there is something in this story that will reach your heart. I hope to connect with readers through this story. I hope people really enjoy it.
Brianna: Is there anything else you would like to share about LLFP or any other projects we can share with our readers?
Uyama-san: I am eager to have my other books translated into English. I hope this will happen as soon as possible. I hope fans of Love Like the Falling Petals will support me. Thank you.
Thank you so much to Keisuke Uyama-san for taking the time to interview with us. Plus, a huge thank you to his team for kindly translating our questions into Japanese and Uyama-san’s answers to English.
Love Like the Falling Petals is available now in English both digitally and as a hardcover.
We are looking forward to his future novels and more English translations of his works.