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thin, BREAKING INTO PAP ANE SE LILERATURE Seven Modern Classics in Parallel Text GILES MURRAY $19.95 BREAKING INTO JAPANESE LITERATURE provides the intellectual infrastructure you need to break through to a new and undiscovered world—the world of Japa- nese fiction. Ge NATSUME SOSEKI (from Ten Nights of Dreams) sToRY #1 The First Night A beyond-the-grave romance in which love is proven to be stronger than death. story #2 The Third Night Asinister child confronts a guilt-ridden father with evidence of a crime long past. story #3 The Fifth Night There was love even in the age of the samu- rai—but there were devils too. sTORY #4 The Seventh Night Despair and loneliness make a man do some- thing he will regret—forever. AKUTAGAWA RYUNOSUKE (short stories) sTORY #5 In a Grove A murder has been committed, but which of the seven witnesses is telling the truth? sTORY #6 The Nose Primitive plastic surgery has unexpected consequences for an old monk. Be] AKUTAGAWA RYUNOSUKE (short story) stoRY #7 Rashémon Two destitute people confront stark moral choices in a desolate city. BREAKING INTO JAPANESE Seven Modern Classics in Parallel Text GILES MURRAY KODANSHA INTERNATIONAL Tokyo - New York «London Go to www.speaking-japanese.com to get an overview of Breaking into Japanese Literature and to download free MP3 sound files of all seven stories in the book. The site also profiles the author's other works, from the best- selling 13 Secrets for Speaking Fluent Japanese (with a mini-movie theater feature) to his book and manga translations, as well as William Blake Interactive, a lavish audio-visual introduction to the famous English poet. [NOTE FROM THE PUBLISHER All Japanese names appearing in this book are given in the Western order, sur- name last. The exceptions are those of the authors of the original stories, Natsu- ime Sdseki and Akutagawa Rytinosuke; Mori Ogai and ‘Tanizaki Jun‘ichird; and those of the characters appearing in the English translations of the stories. Distributed in the United States by Kodansha America, Inc, and in the United Kingdom and continental Europe by Kodansha Europe Ltd. Published by Kodansha International Ltd,,17—14 Otowa 1-chome, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 112-8652, and Kodansha America Inc. Text copyright © 2003 by Giles Murray. Mlustration copyright © 2003 by Tetsuji Kiwaki. All rights reserved. Printed in Japan. ISBN- 13: 978-4-7700-2899-0 ISBN-10: 4-7700-2899-7 First edition, 2003, 10090807 060504 10987654 www.kodansha-intl.com CONTENTS PREFACE 6 NATSUME SOSEKI_ The First Night The Third Night The Fifth Night AKUTAGAWA RYUNOSUKE _ KOPP InaGrove # The Nose HOE PY Rashomon SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY The Seventh Night 60 76 78 146 240 AIMS This book is designed to propel you beyond the humdrum world of maga- zine and newspaper articles into the rewarding but relatively impenetra- ble world of Japanese literature. Breaking into Japanese Literature presents only complete and unedited short stories: extracts from longer works have been deliberately avoided. This guarantees that you can enjoy a full aesthetic experience and a sense of uncompromised achievement. The seven stories in this book are all recognized masterpieces: the two authors, Natsume Sdseki and Akutagawa Ryiinosuke, are both literary giants who form part of the Japanese national curriculum. The seven stories cover a variety of genres: “The Nose” is a comedy; “In a Grove” and “Rashémon” are fast-paced thrillers set in ancient Japan; and the four tales from Ten Nights of Dreams are thrilling, hallucinatory accounts of love, death, sui- cide and murder. THREE-LEVEL STRUCTURE The book is divided into three increasingly challenging levels. LEVEL ONE consists of four stories from Sdseki’s Ten Nights of Dreams (1908). The Dreams are very short—only two or three pages each in the original Japanese—and are composed in short, simple sentences. The rep- etition which Sdseki uses to create a dreamlike atmosphere has the con- venient side effect of providing automatic kanji review opportunities. For all their gothic subject matter, the Dreams offer very practical study benefits: they contain a very high proportion of the 1,945 common-use kanji characters that all students of Japanese have to master. LEVEL TWO consists of two Akutagawa stories, “In a Grove” (1922) and “The Nose” (1916). These two stories are about five times longer than their predecessors in Level One, while the sentences of which they are composed are also lengthier and more involved. “In a Grove” was selected not only for its exciting subject matter (robbery, rape and mur- der), but because its unusual structure—with seven different narrators retelling the same story with slight variations—again provides uncon- scious review opportunities. “The Nose,” despite some difficult religious and historical vocabulary, is a humorous fable with a simple story line. Apart from its significance as Akutagawa’s breakthrough work, “The Nose” also provides some comic relief in this slightly noir collection. LEVEL THREE features a single Akutagawa story, “Rash6mon” (1916). “Rashomon” is about the same length as “The Nose,” but is more densely descriptive—and thus more difficult—than any of the other stories. This atmospheric story is historically significant both as the title story of Aku- tagawa’s first collection and as one of the inspirations for Akira Kuro- sawa’s celebrated 1951 film. The illustrations and prefaces on the title pages should help you locate the story that is most to your taste. Most important though, is to choose a story of the appropriate ability level. Starting with one of the shorter Dreams is definitely a good idea. CORE COMPONENTS Reading Japanese literature unassisted can be frustrating. ‘This book is designed to help you bypass all those feelings of bewilderment and irri- tation. With the story in Japanese on the left-hand page, the English translation on the right-hand page and the dictionary running along the bottom of both, each double-page spread is totally self-contained. There is no need for any dictionaries. Since everything you need is right there in front of you, you can read the stories fast enough to enjoy them as works. of literature, On the one hand, the custom dictionary means you will not waste time deciphering words of little practical use, like proper names or official titles. On the other hand, it means that any useful kanji charac- ters or expressions that occur are there ready to be memorized. It’s no pain, all gain. ELEMENT 1: JAPANESE ORIGINAL The Japanese text is based on the Iwanami bunko editions of Sdseki’s Ten Nights of Dreams and Akutagawa’s “In a Grove,” and the Shincho bunko editions of the two other Akutagawa stories. These editions were selected because they reflect modern kana usage. Further modifications have been made: some words that are rarely seen in kanji anymore have been written in hiragana, and hiragana superscript has been added to difficult words that even some Japanese would find puzzling, as well as to a number of simple words that the reader might recognize if not for the kanji. The Japanese text has been printed across the page (rather than from top to bottom) to allow for easy cross-referencing between the two lan- guages. Large point-size makes the kanji physically bigger and thus easier to read. Generous line spacing also enhances readability while providing space for notes. ELEMENT 2: LITERAL ENGLISH TRANSLATIONS The translations follow the Japanese scrupulously. I have striven for direct semantic parity, omitting nothing and taking nothing away. Thus, if there is a noun in the Japanese, it is rendered—as much as possible—by a noun in the English. The old woman in “Rash6mon,” for example, is referred to as “the old woman” if that is how she is described in the Japanese. I have tried not to substitute the pronoun “she,” and I have tried not to make things more complicated by turning a simple “old woman” into a “crone,” “hag,” or “droopy-dugged trollop.” With a few exceptions, sentence order and paragraphing in the English also follow the Japanese. The overriding aim is to help you figure out what in one language corresponds to what in the other. The style of the seven translations is not completely uniform. Sdseki’s four Dreams—which are short and relatively simple—have been trans- lated literally (making them easy to follow), but with a hint of the liter- ary (encouraging you to think about word choices and style). The English deliberately echoes the lushness of nineteenth-century authors like Oscar Wilde and Edgar Allan Poe who influenced Séseki in the first place. ‘The three Akutagawa stories, which make up the two more-advanced levels of the book, are considerably longer and harder than the Ten Nights of Dreams. | have therefore translated them in a plain, austere manner, since too much polish would just be a distraction. ELEMENT 3: THE ZERO-OMISSION DICTIONARY The running dictionary at the bottom of the page provides a translation of words in the order that they appear in the text. The dictionary covers every kanji-based word in the book, as well as the more difficult hira- gana words. Note that when a kanji word appears twice or more on the same page, it is listed only on its first appearance, but with a & icon to warn you that it will recur. If a kanji character belongs to the 2,230 characters (including all the 1,945 common-use characters) featured in The Kodansha Kanji Learner’s Dictionary, its entry number is provided in square brackets after the English definition. This means that you can track down the individual characters with ease and master their on and kun readings, meanings, compounds and so on in a time-efficient way. The dictionary does not include basic particles, ko-so-a-do demonstra- tives, the auxiliary -s6 (as in nemu-so “looks sleepy”), or the copula da (in- cluding desu and de aru). It assumes knowledge of simple hiragana words (such as anata, ikutsu, suru or naru) that every student learns at beginner level. It also omits some phrasal conjunctions, such as soko de (at which point), sore kara (after that) and suru to (whereupon), which can be un- derstood by their constituent parts. The definitions provided fit the usage in the Japanese story. Due to space constraints, no effort has been made to provide a comprehensive definition for the word in all possible contexts. Direct English equivalents, rather than academic explanations, are provided. On occasion multiple meanings are given. This is to highlight the fact that a single Japanese word can have a multiplicity of English equivalents. Frequently the definitions provided in the dictionary differ from the word used in my English translation. This is a deliberate ploy to encourge the reader to think about issues of style. These stories are nearly a century old, so the language and orthogra- phy is archaic in places. Always use the Kanji Learner’s Dictionary as your guide to correct contemporary kanji usage. EXTRA FEATURES To take reading Japanese out of the realm of mere code-breaking and into the realm of fun, Breaking into Japanese Literature includes various extras. The MINI-BIOGRAPHIES of the two authors provide insights into their private lives and their place in the Japanese literary pantheon. The seven MINI-PREFACES draw attention to links between the featured stories and other works of literature or film. The ILLUSTRATIONS make it easier for the reader to enter the world of the author’s imagination. Finally, all the stories are available free of charge on the Internet as MP3 SOUND FILES read by professional Japanese actors. The four stories from Soseki’s Ten Nights of Dreams are available as single files, but the Akutagawa stories are broken up into sections to keep download times to a practical length. Details on the URL and number of files are provided in the mini-prefaces. I recommend that you download the relevant audio only after having worked your way through the story. Try to read along with the Japanese text as you listen. If you can follow the text at native reading speed, you can consider yourself to have mastered the kanji. THANK YOU Paul Hulbert, my former editor, first floated the idea of producing a reader book and suggested both Ten Nights of Dreams and “In a Grove.” Lucy North kindly lent me several invaluable works of reference. Machiko Moriyasu painstakingly checked the draft translations and the blank- riddled dictionary in its earlier incarnations. Makiko Kamiya and Ikue Samuta nobly endured the grim task of checking all the kanji entry num- bers, Thanks to Kazuhiko Miki for his excellent cover design and Tetsuji Kiwaki for his dark and dramatic illustrations. The stories were read for the Net by Ken Yoshizawa, Naoko Abe, Seishi Yamane, Mitsuyo Mat- sumoto and Zenji Hashimoto. Yukio Shimazu orchestrated the record- ings with his usual mastery. The www.speaking-japanese.com website was expertly redesigned by Naoko Ito. Finally, a big thank you to Michael Staley, my editor at Kodansha International, who supervised the whole project. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS In making Breaking into Japanese Literature, | have synthesized informa- tion from various scholarly sources. For the mini-biographies, I am greatly indebted to Jay Rubin, Van C. Gessel, Edwin McClellan, Howard Hibbett and G.H. Healey. Takashi Kojima’s translations set me on course for my attempts to render Akutagawa into English. I made extensive use of var- ious dictionaries including Kenkyusha’s New Japanese-English Dictionary, The Compact Nelson Japanese-English Character Dictionary, and the elec- tronic version of the K@jien Japanese-Japanese dictionary. Full details of all the books I referred to are provided in the bibliography on page 240. Giles Murray NATSUME SOSEKI (1867-1916) __ Natsume Sdseki was bom in Tokyo in 1867, just one year before the Meiji Restoration, The eighth and final child in the family, his father, ‘Natsume Kohe Naokatsu, was nearly fifty, and his mother forty, at the time of his birth. The baby Sdseki was brought up by foster parents for eight years, but was returned to his origi- nal home at the age of eight, when his foster parents divorced. The name Soseki is a nom de plume be created fot himself. Despite an intense love and affinity for the Chinese classics, the young Saseki, in tune with the modemizing spirit of the times, chose to specialize in English and became the second- “ ever student to graduate from the English Lit- erature Department of Tokyo Imperial Uni- versity ter graduation, Séseki worked as an Eng- lish teacher, first in Tokyo, and then in the provinces, moving from Matsuyama (Shikoku) to Kumamoto (Kytishii) in 1896. In that same year he also got married, supposedly telling his wife on their wedding day that he was a scholar with no time to fuss over her. Perhaps unsurprisingly, she was emotionally unstable, even trying to kill herself on one occasion. Commentators invariably point out that the marriages depicted in Soseki's novels are never very happy affairs At this time the Japanese government was grooming homegrown scholars to replace the foreign teachers at universities. Sdseki, who had been selected to follow Lafcadio Heam at Tokyo Imperial University, was thus sent to England for two years in September of 1900. With an allowance too mean for Oxford or Cambridge, and finding the lecturers at University College London too boring, Sdseki took weekly tutori- als from an authority on Shakespeare, The rest of the time he festered in his London lodg- ings, reading voraciously, and developing his own theory of literature (later published as Bungakuron). The isolation may have been painful, but somehow London was the cru- cible that turned Sdseki, now in his mid-thir- ties, from a provincial scholar into a prolific best-selling author. Returning to Tokyo in late 1903, Sdseki worked as a lecturer at the First High School and Tokyo Imperial University. He also started to write, His first novel, / Arm a Cat, came about by accident, when a satirical short story (nar- rated by an English teacher's pet cat) had to be spun out due to popular demand. Bolchan (1905), the tale of a headstrong Tokyoite going forth to teach in the provinces, was another humorous tale loosely based on Soseki’s own experiences in Shikoku. Soseki was so success- ful that he gave up his university post in 1907. He then joined the Asabi Shimbun on condi tion of producing one novel per year —~a con- dition he fulfilled, justifying Jay Rubin's des- cription of him as a “word machine [who] could write anything and keep it going for as long as he liked." In 1910 Sdseki vomited blood and was laid Jow fora year. His productivity hardly declined, though his later novels, such as Kokoro (1914) and Grass by the Wayside (1915), are more direct, personal and gloomy than their prede- cessors. He was in the middle of a further novel, Light and Darkness, when he died from internal hemorrhaging in December 1916. Sdseki is revered as the father of modem. Japanese literature. He was active just when Japan was opening up to the world, and was the first to chronicle the “loneliness [that] is the price we have to pay for being bom in this modem age, so full of freedom, independence, and our own egotistical selves.”** * Jay Rubin, p. 38 ‘Natsume Seki, Kooro, tr. win McClellan p. 30. Love conquers death — T Is tempting to link the female protagonist of this story to Soseki’s sister-in-law, Tose, with whom he was in love until her prémature// death in 1891. Another more sinister possibility is that Soseki is ef. wishing death upon his mentally unstable wife—titerally.“writing her out of the picture.” On the other hand, the Story, ould be he just an exercise inspired by the beyond-the-grave loyé stories” of Edgar Alian Poe, such as “Ligeia and "E\éonord* ep 4) nes The First Night CACHE Wie LHI CHL, THF FEI eeu WORDS re MEAE TOWMBIER TS. | DVO AHL < ELT. LALEILH DF EFEMDANVoK. AD THEIZ JG IPEILS FS HALBV. IETS Dens, Hs ULE BEIT G JO te ld Mea ARV 3 OI Chisemrze Bo Ro FLTC. SIMA, BIRO, LLP oMAIA wks RidiLobY) CMe (ake, *& OWI, ARORA KL CBU CH HICEF ES, EVWBAB, MNF Ao KE HD b BIC, ville EChok. FOMRARIE »> CA this kind of ( 3 (we) dream iisio) JS [4&4] see 11615] WMLE SS [4-C¢A*44) cross one’s arms [0687] + (0904) ALTE [3454] bedside |.) + (1226) MB [FS] sit |.) 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Her long black hair spread out fanlike over the pillow, framing the soft outlines of her oval face. A sanguine hue tinted the depths of her pure white cheeks, and her lips were a vibrant red. She certainly did not look to be at death’s door. But, in that gentle voice, she had told me quite clearly that she was going to die. I too felt sure she would die. So I leaned forward and, gazing down at her, asked her if it could really be so and if truly she was going to die. Whereupon she opened her eyes wide and replied, “Yes, I will die—of that I am certain.” Her eyes were large and moist and beneath their long shading lashes were twin expanses of the jettest black. My clearly-mirrored image was floating in the depths of those jet black eyes. 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