I was very excited about this as Shotaro Yasuoka is from Kochi But these stories are all set in Tokyo Shotaro gives us lots of aimless young men scratching a living and generally failing at life Poor old Japan One vague memory of my boyhood has to do with a sword dance, in which a man with a cushion strapped to his back, representing a baby, fights an enemy while at the same time wiping away his tears The baby on his back probably keeps the man from wielding his sword freely against his powerful foe, although he wouldn t dream of abandoning it, either I suppose that s why he s crying The dance was as boring as it could possibly be, as far as I was concerned, so why in the world did it linger on that way in a corner of my mind For one reason it sometimes comes back to me and plunges me into gloom Ah, the old Edo days I said to mysel Yasuoka Shotaro 1920 2013 was born in Kochi Prefecture as the son of an army veterinary surgeon He experienced an early life of frequent moves from one military post to the next, and developed a dislike for schooling Still, he did manage to get accepted into Keio University s preliminary course, but was immediately drafted and sent to Manchuria He was discharged when he fell ill with what appeared to be Pott disease, an illness which would haunt him for ten years As his father had lost his livelihood, Yasuoka was obliged to do odd jobs to earn money for his own treatment one of those jobs is described in The House Guard It was while he was bedridden with this disease that he began his writing career Besides for humorous stories and essays, Yasuoka is also known for the novella Umibe no kokei A View by the Sea, 1959 about his mother The Wandering Minstrel is the opening story to a collection of nine, featuring a young man who, after graduation, is lucky enough to land himself a job by making up a song for the company s owner He talks about his own lack of abilities in a deprecating fashion, and it is obvious that his colleagues despise him, but still he decides to stay on Just when he fears he will be sacked, his boss asks him whether he is interested in marrying his niece After all, the protagonist is young, lacking in wealth, and unmarried, and she comes with a dowry that is not to be sneezed at Because of her round face, he starts associating her with cows in a pasture like the ones in his nightmare and he just cannot go through with the engagement But he also can t blow her off, for fear of losing his job That s about the gist of it Isn t it a strange, little tale There is no real storyline to the twelve pa
I really like this collection of short stories They are the embodiment of escape that I always long for People in these stories have the most unusual occupations A translator of fashion magazine could you really translate the trend of fur and suede , a nightwatchman of a jewellery store which don t really know how to fight bad guys or fire, a houseguard of a half burned house, a student that don t know what in the world is homework and prefer being in the cemetery than in class, a liberal artist whatever that is , a sweeper in an army barrack acquired by the allied force just because he needs a quick fix of cigarette stubs he himself is not sure why, so how should I know , and my favorite of all a student trying to live as an artist then turned to be a would be gangster that was too poetic.
Aaaaah, they need their escape, and most certainly, so do I T å The Glass Slipper and Other Stories (Dalkey Japanese Literature) (Dalkey Japanese Literature) è .
S Venal, Youthful First Person Narrators Grasp At Beauty And Romance Amid A Changing Japan In These Nine Stories, All Published In Japan In The Early S Tyler S Translation Captures Yasuoka S Effortless Style, Registering Dark But Delightful Impressions Of Youth Publishers [ read Online The Glass Slipper and Other Stories (Dalkey Japanese Literature) (Dalkey Japanese Literature) ✓ lusaka PDF ] by Shōtarō Yasuoka ✓ Weekly Admittedly, I picked this up because the jacket copy indicated that Haruki Murakami adores Yasuoka This slim volume primarily focuses on young men wandering in Japan following the Second World War The destruction of Tokyo floats in and out of view as Yasuoka follows his characters through the simple struggle of life The prose is spare without being choppy or boring, with a wry sense of humor to most of the ends Well crafted and deeply enjoyable work.
Sweet sometimes rather sad short stories, mainly about the author s childhood or teenage years as student , about his fears, sorrowas, joys, loves, relationships with mother and father, friends and girls which he loved before, during and short after war Clear, soft and beautiful stories I love the author s style of writing