THE STATIC AND THE DYNAMIC: A STUDY OF THE HIDDEN WORLD OF IBUSE MASUJI by JANICE BROWN .A., The University of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1977 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department of Asian Studies) We accept t h i s thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA August 1979 (c) Janice Brown, 1979 I n p r e s e n t i n g t h i s t h e s i s i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t o f t h e r e q u i r e m e n t s f o r an a d v a n c e d d e g r e e a t t h e U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a , I a g r e e t h a t t h e L i b r a r y s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r r e f e r e n c e a n d s t u d y . I f u r t h e r a g r e e t h a t p e r m i s s i o n f o r e x t e n s i v e c o p y i n g o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r s c h o l a r l y p u r p o s e s may be g r a n t e d by t h e Head o f my D e p a r t m e n t o r by h i s r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s . I t i s u n d e r s t o o d t h a t c o p y i n g o r p u b l i c a t i o n o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l g a i n s h a l l n o t be a l l o w e d w i t h o u t my w r i t t e n p e r m i s s i o n . D e p a r t m e n t n f A s i a n S t u d i e s The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a 2075 W e s b r o o k P l a c e V a n c o u v e r , C a n a d a V6T 1W5 Date 1 August 1979 i i ABSTRACT This thesis examines certain selected works of Ibuse Masuji i n an attempt to gain an insight into the nature of: t h i s author's l i t e r a r y genius. Exhibiting several unique c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , such as the combination of symbolism and humour, realism and fantasy, Ibuse's works are seen to comprise a world that i s v i t a l and complex yet at times enigmatic and mysterious. An analysis of four p r i n c i p a l works w i l l attempt to show how Ibuse gradually reveals t h i s hidden world and comes to integrate i t s various aspects into a harmonious whole through certain modifications and s h i f t s of emphasis throughout his career. Although Ibuse's l i t e r a r y v i s i o n a l t e r s , i t s central focus remains v i r t u a l l y unchanged and throughout his l i t e r a r y l i f e , Ibuse continues to concern himself with the contrast between the s t a t i c and the dynamic, two p r i n c i p a l elements i n his work which both conceal and reveal meaning and emotion. Chapter 1 deals with "Sanshouo", Ibuse's f i r s t work, which represents the early years of his career 1923-1930. Ex-ploring l i f e ' s hidden depths in terms of allegory and fantasy, "Sanshouo" shows these depths to be an ambivalent area i n which s t a t i c and dynamic elements meet and mingle. In contrast to "Sanshcoio" and the early years i s Sazanami gunki which i s examined in Chapter 2. A work which character^ izes the pre-war period of Ibuse 1s career (1930-1939), Sazanami gunki represents a major change i n d i r e c t i o n f o r the author as Ibuse leaves behind the s t a t i c world of "Sanshouo" and finds i n s p i r a t i o n in the flow and movement of l i f e . Chapter 3 deals with "Y<3hai taicho" , a work which i s representative of the post-war years (1946-1953) arid shows Ibuse's return to s t a t i c concerns and themes. At the same time, however, "Yohai taicho" represents a re-integration of e a r l i e r techniques and perspectives and thus a greater so p h i s t i c a t i o n . • In Chapter 4 both s t a t i c and dynamic elements are brought into f u l l play i n Ibuse's masterpiece, Kuroi ame, a work which characterizes the l a t e r years of his career (1954-present). Here Ibuse i s at his zenith as he creates a work of remarkable depth and scope, stressing the whole-ness..,of l i f e and nature more surely and more expertly than in the past. It i s hoped that an examination of these four works w i l l ' h e l p to provide some insight into the nature of t h i s author's genius as well as into the essence of ' his a r t . ,Supervisor i v TABLE OF CONTENTS Abstract • i i i Acknowledgements v Introduction 1 Chapter 1 14 Chapter 2 31 Chapter 3 50 Chapter 4 68 Conclusion 103 Notes 106 Bibliography 115 V ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I would l i k e to thank my s u p e r v i s o r , P r o f e s s o r Kinya T s u r u t a , f o r h i s v a l u a b l e h e l p and guidance i n the p r e p a r a t i o n o f t h i s t h e s i s . I am a l s o indebted to Mr. Yim Tse of the A s i a n S t u d i e s L i b r a r y , U.B.C. f o r the w r i t i n g o f the Chinese c h a r a c t e r s h e r e i n . THE STATIC AND THE DYNAMIC: A STUDY OF THE HIDDEN WORLD OF IBUSE MASUJI 1 Introduction Although the works of Ibuse Masuji ^X.^f (1898- ) have been f a i r l y well-known i n the West f o r nearly two 1 decades, there i s as yet almost no interpretative c r i t i c i s m or analyses of t h i s writer i n English or other European languages. While Western c r i t i c s may acclaim Ibuse ,'s talents, they seem somewhat hesitant to come to terms with 2 his creations. This general hesitancy on the part of most Western scholars to deal c r i t i c a l l y with Ibuse•s work i s a b i t puzzling, but may i n fa c t be partly related to the deceptively simple, matter-of-fact tone with which Ibuse masks the complexities of mood and emotion which characterize his works. A writer of great subtlety, Ibuse may entertain and intrigue the reader, yet he may also mystify the c r i t i c . At the same time, Ibuse i s a writer who i s not e a s i l y categorized even in Japan. Thus, although most scholars and c r i t i c s i n Japan agree that Ibuse Masuji i s 'unique' among modern authors, they are often hard-pressed to explain t h i s uniqueness in terms which w i l l account f o r the many d i s t i n c t i v e elements which appear i n Ibuse*s work and as yet no single volume study of th i s author has appeared. Nevertheless, the work that has been done by the Japanese c r i t i c s provides the Western researcher with a valuable source of biographical, h i s t o r i c a l and l i t e r a r y information while the best of these pieces o f f e r perceptive and o r i g i n a l insights into certain aspects of the author's work. One of the best c r i t i c a l works of th i s type to appear on Ibuse i n Japanese i s an essay by Kobayashi Hideo (1902- ) written in 1931-32 i n which Kobayashi deals exclusively with the essence of Ibuse's a r t . 3 The f i r s t c r i t i c to do so, others soon followed s u i t . Today scholars and c r i t i c s who are primarily interested i n Ibuse as creative 2 a r t i s t include such writers as Kawakami Tetsutaro ; *j"X i$LK $f> (1902- ), Kamei Katsuichiro H (1907-1966), Isogai Hideo j£ (1924- ) and Kawamori Yoshiz5 l^^-k)rfiQ\ (1902- ). Other c r i t i c s , however, such as Terada Toru <$] ^ (1915- ), interpret Ibuse's work primarily i n terms of 'humanism' and other related concepts while others who also appreciate the earthy and r u s t i c q u a l i t i e s of Ibuse's writings see Ibuse*s work as e s s e n t i a l l y a kind of l i t e r a t u r e of the common people or shomin bungaku J^^^'^f Other c r i t i c s are pre-occupied with more Western-style p h i l o -sophical interpretations and, l i k e Nakamura Mitsuo ^LK^ 4 (1911- ), view Ibuse as a major l i t e r a r y "thinker" whose contributions to Japanese l i t e r a t u r e have yet to be f u l l y recognized. It canSbe seen from the above that Ibuse Masuji i s a writer of many facets whose art i s subject, at least i n Japan, to a great var i e t y of interpretations?and c r i t i c a l appraisals. This thesis w i l l deal with Ibuse's writings as works of art rather than as humanistic or philosophical statements. By examining c e r t a i n aspects ( i . e . , theme, imagery, form and technique), i t w i l l attempt to shed some l i g h t upon the works of an author too long neglected in the West and at the same time w i l l attempt to provide some insight into the nature of Ibuse's uniqueness as an a r t i s t . Four works have been selected as representative of four s i g n i f i c a n t stages of development i n Ibuse's career, i . e . , "Sanshouo" *U ^^.fL ("Salamander", 1923): the early years 1923-1930; Sazanami gunki i \ " Vi- -y- f fC.(1930): the pre-war period 1930-1939; "Yohai taichO" it \\ f^ -H ("Lieutenant Lookeast", 1950): the post-war period 1946-1953 and Kuroi ame ,^f, »» (Black Rain, 1965): the l a t e r years 1954-present. Although such stages as these have not beenaproposed by other c r i t i c s so far as i s known, these d i v i s i o n s suggest themselves upon a close reading of a selection of Ibuse's works and a study of some 3 of the available c r i t i c a l material. That i s not to say that other categorizations are not possible nor that other types of studies, such as those which deal only with the h i s t o r i c a l works or with some other aspect of Ibuse's work, would not be equally rewarding. Simply, these four pieces when considered against the others which have been read stand out as works which i n one way or another mark new and o r i g i n a l directions fo r t h i s author. Thus, a ca r e f u l study of these works may of f e r a glimpse into the formation and evolution of Ibuse Masuji's singular and highly innovative l i t e r a r y consciousness. Although t h i s thesis w i l l deal primarily with the f i c t i o n a l works of Ibuse Masuji rather than with the events of his l i f e or his place i n Japanese l i t e r a r y history, there are many points at which these various l i n e s of approach to the man and his work in t e r s e c t . Consequently, Ibuse's l i f e and l i t e r a r y career w i l l be examined b r i e f l y with regard to c e r t a i n of these points of in t e r s e c t i o n i n the hopes that such a drawing together w i l l provide a suitable background against which the works themselves mays&bee considered. Ibuse Masuji was born in Kamo v i l l a g e i n the Fukayasu d i s t r i c t of Hiroshima prefecture on 15 February 1898, the second-son of a l o c a l landowner. Both his father and younger brother died before Ibuse was s i x years old and as a c h i l d Ibuse hdimself was not p a r t i c u l a r l y strong. In order to strengthen his constitution, the young Ibuse was sent to spend summers with his grandfather on an islandman the Inland Sea. It seems that t h i s Inland Sea region early came to be i d e n t i f i e d with the restorative and envigorating q u a l i t i e s of nature that Ibuse was l a t e r to associate with t h i s area i n his work. Both the Inland Sea and the countryside around Hiroshima figure prominently i n Ibuse 'fs writings and perhaps the peculiar vividness with which Ibuse evokes the natural beauty of these regions may be p a r t i a l l y related to a childhood spent amidst t h e i r surroundings. That Ibuse continued to view the Inland 4 Sea as a place of renewal and regeneration can be seen i n his comment in l a t e r years upon the suicide of his good friends and colleague, Dazai Osamu (1909-1948): " I f Dazai had seen the Inland Sea, perhaps he would not have d i e d . " 5 Just as the world of nature and the countryside played a s i g n i f i c a n c e role i n the early l i f e of Ibuse, so, too, did the environs of town and c i t y . In 1912 Ibuse went to board as a student at Fukuyama Middle School near Hiroshima f o r the next f i v e years. Here, i t seems Ibuse f i r s t began to acquire a taste f o r hi s t o r y as well as f o r assuming a f i c t i o n a l i d e n t i t y . As a f i f t h year student, Ibuse wrote a now famous l e t t e r to Mori Ogai A ^ (1862-1922) i n which he pretended to be one Kuchige Sansuke 5^ ^ and pointed out a cert a i n h i s t o r i c a l d e t a i l concerning the piece that Ogai was then s e r i a l i z i n g i n the Osaka Mainichi newspaper. Although Ibuse l a t e r revealed his i d e n t i t y , Ogai noted that the brush strokes of t h i s l e t t e r were very "like(those, £>f) an old man." That Ibuse 1s chosen f i c t i o n a l i d e n t i t y in these early years already r e f l e c t e d the image of a knowledgeable old man seems to presage his l a t e r l i t e r a r y works in which such old men play s i g n i f i c a n t roles and sometimes, as in Kuroi ame, assume the narrative voice. The association with Ogai, too, proved to be a l a s t i n g one, at least i n the minds of most c r i t i c s who even today consider Ibuse's h i s t o r i c a l works to have something of the flavour of the great scholar-historian. From about the age of sixteen Ibuse determined to become an a r t i s t , being p a r t i c u l a r l y attracted to the Japanese style of painting. During his years at middle school and l a t e r at the u n i v e r s i t y in Tokyo, Ibuse made numerous journeys around Japan, drawing and sketching, no doubt sharpening his s e n s i t i v i t y to the f i n e r d e t a i l s of both c i t y and country settings. Upon leaving middle school i n 1917, 5 Ibuse submitted a series of sketches to the Kyoto a r t i s t Hashimoto Kansetsu I^f^ .f^ l'f* (1883-1945) in the hopes that he would be admitted as a pupil, but fortunately or unfortunately he was refused. Due primarily to the urging of OX his elder brother, Ibuse turned his attention elsewhere and entered the l i t e r a t u r e department of Waseda University i n Tokyo. Here Ibuse pursued his studies for nearly six years, eventually s p e c i a l i z i n g i n French l i t e r a t u r e . Ibuse was also fond of the works of Russian writers such as Chekhov, Dostoev-sky and Tolstoy which he read during t h i s time. In 1921 i n his second year i n the French l i t e r a t u r e course Ibuse enrolled i n a s p e c i a l course at the fftapan Fine Arts Academy. By March of 1923, however, he had dropped the u n i v e r s i t y course as well as the art school and i n August of that year Ibuse began his l i t e r a r y career with the publication of a short Q story e n t i t l e d "Sanshouo". "SanshSuo", an a l l e g o r i c a l fantasy, was to cause quite a s t i r i n the l i t e r a r y world of the day. The story of a salamander trapped in a cave at the bottom of a pool, "Sanshouo" was acclaimed by some c r i t i c s and a s s a i l e d by others. Today i t i s s t i l l one of the most often mentioned and discussed of Ibuse's works; It i s also the most translated. Included as a reading piece i n a reader used i n Japanese middle schools,^ i t s place i n l i t e r a r y h i s t o r y seems f a i r l y well assured. Although "Sanshouo" i s a rather well-crafted l i t t l e t a l e , the work barely hints at the author's potential which gradually began to reveal i t s e l f i n the works which followed, e.g., "Koi" ft ("Carp", 1927), "Yo fuke to ume no nana" (j* ("Plum Blossom by Night", 1926), "Kuchisuke no i r u tanima" •^jM? <9 "'S-^M ("Kuchisuke's Valley", 1929) and "Yane no ue no Sawan" 3> 1 <* *f *> -> ("Sawan on the Roof", 1929). 1 0 Due in part to the seeming 'si m p l i c i t y ' or 'artlessness' of these early works as well as to t h e i r so-called 6 e c c e n t r i c i t y and lack of concern with s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l causes, Ibuse, together with other writers such as Nakamura Masatsune & ^ (1901- ) f o r example, was l a b e l l e d by his detractors as a writer of "nonsense l i t e r a t u r e " ( f / t ; * K't ) . Com ing to Ibuse's defense, Kobayashi 12 Hideo scorns such "so-called theories" i n his famous essay and points out that Ibuse's works are f a r from simple or nonsensical; rather they are "complex and consciously 1 3 constructed i n every d e t a i l . " Kobayashi*s praise i s primarily f o r such works as "Koi" and "Tange shi tei"~^f ft, O'Ll-fe at Mr. Tange's", 1931) and although i t seems f a i r l y obvious that such pieces are much more a r t i s t i c a l l y successful than the debut story "Sanshouo" , i t i s i n "SansftSuo" that we can most e a s i l y observe the early workings of the Ibuse techniques. At the same time "Sanshouo" represents a kind of l i t e r a r y manifesto i n which the young author sets out certain themes and images which continue to occupy him through-out his career. An analysis of these fundamental components and concepts w i l l provide not only an insight into the l a t e r works,it w i l l also serve as a touchstone whereby these l a t e r works may be judged and the author's growth and development ascertained. It seems somehow ironic^, (perhaps i n the best Ibuse fashion) that "Sanshouo" should mark the Scorning out 1 of an author when the story i s concerned primarily with a salamander trapped i n a cave at the bottom of a pool. The use of irony and allegory as well as of such a hidden and recondite s e t t i n g suggests at once that the author would rather conceal than reveal his emotions and intentions and indeed t h i s i s a tendency that can be observed to a greater or lesser degree throughout a l l the works of Ibuse's long career. In "Sanshouo", however, th i s attempt at concealment i s at i t s most rudimentary and, as a r e s u l t , we are able to examine 7 i n some d e t a i l the various elements and images which comprise th i s hidden world with a view to understanding i t s essence and thus in turn the nature of the author's a r t i s t i c v i s i o n . As close analysis w i l l show t h i s v i s i o n i s based primarily upon a series ot contrasts and juxtapositions which stress the v i t a l i t y of the natural world, i n p a r t i c u l a r that v i t a l i t y which re s u l t s from the continual contrast and interplay between the forces of s t a s i s and movement. Ibuse's fas c i n a t i o n with both the s t a t i c and the dynamic areas of l i f e i s a funda-mental aspect of his work which seems to provide a key to i t s inte r p r e t a t i o n . This aspect of Ibuse's work has already been b r i e f l y explored by A.V. Liman i n connection with the use of mythopoeic imagery in Kuroi ame. If we are to look at the works of Ibuse Masu*j;i i n terms of hidden contrasts and concealed meanings, then we should begin by taking'a close look at the author's name, i t s e l f a p a r t i a l nom de plume which, taken i n i t s entirety, c a l l s up a p a r t i c u l a r kind of image. Although Ibuse's given name was Masuji >Jf) z~ , he l a t e r changed the characters to Masuji ~ which has the meaning of two salmon trout (salmon trout, masu, $1^ ; two, j i . , - ? s ). The f u l l name Ibuse Masuji fylK^^-^ thus evokes the image of two trout swimming about at the bottom of a covered well: well, i , ^ ; to cover, fu(seru), . Thus s t a t i c elements (the well) as well as dynamic elements (the two trout) are combined along with the suggestion of concealment (the covered w e l l ) . The author's l i t e r a r y name, then, presents a complex image which suggests that Ibuse's p a r t i c u l a r way ofJlooking at the world does indeed derive i t s i n s p i r a t i o n from contrasting images of s t a s i s and movement, the hidden forces of l i f e . This penchant f o r concealment and camouflage seems cl o s e l y related to the author's d i s l i k e of excessive emotional display. In order to control excessive emotion, the author 8 only partly reveals matters to the reader or, i n other cases, makes him laugh. Being "a very sentimental person... I make (matters) humourous i n order to extinguish sentimental-l y i t y " Ibuse has remarked. Emotion and f e e l i n g are concealed from d i r e c t expression , yet at the same time they are revealed through the use of such techniques as symbolism, humour, fantasy etc. Thus i t i s the symbolic, humourous andclfantastic elements i n Ibuse 1s works which convey the deepest emotion and, as a r e s u l t , these elements must be closely examined i n order to properly understand t h i s writer's work. By disguising emotion, the author i s able to remain detached, r e l a t i v e l y uninvolved, the objective yetesympathetic observer par excellence. This desire to maintain o b j e c t i v i t y seems to have extended into other areas of Ibuse*s l i t e r a r y l i f e , hence his avoidance of l i t e r a r y movements and cliques. Although Ibuse was associated with several l i t e r a r y coterie magazines (do j i n zasshi (?) A.-ffi'l"^ ) early i n his 15 career .v and with the New Aesthetic School or Shinko geijutsuha fyffi % , a group of authors who were "homogeneous 16 only in (their) opposition to Marxism," Ibuse remained outside the aesthetic and l i t e r a r y disputes and r i v a l r i e s of the day to a very great extent. Somewhat l i k e the salamander in the cave, Ibuse seems to have secluded himself from dir e c t involvement in any such controversial matters. This continued stance of non-involvement i n the a f f a i r s of the times can be seen further in Sazanami gunki, a work which Ibuse began to s e r i a l i z e in 1930. A m i l i t a r y chronicle based upon the Heike monogatari Jf- ^ jffy f-£ (The Tale of the Heike) , Sazanami gunki purports to be the diary of a young Heike nobleman and his wanderings throughout the b e a u t i f u l Inland Sea area. The f i r s t of Ibuse's h i s t o r i c a l novels, Sazanami gunki marks a major change in d i r e c t i o n for Ibuse and yet at the same time re-affirms Ibuse's basic stance of detachment, o b j e c t i v i t y and the concealment of deep emotion. Thus, Togo Katsumi / 9 i n perhaps the most thorough study of Sazanami gunki to date, points out that the h i s t o r i c a l novel, s i m i l a r to the 11 a l l e g o r i c a l salamander i n "Sanshouo", i s a kind of "mask" for the author, Ibuse wishing to avoid involvement i n the l i t e r a r y , p o l i t i c a l and s o c i a l issues of the times. Neverthe-less, even though Ibuse avoids p o l i t i c s and issues i n Sazanami gunki, he addresses himself to a f a r more d i f f i c u l t task, i . e . , the creation of a work of art which conveys the impression of l i g h t and l i f e despite the fact that i t i s based upon one of the most tragic and intensely moving works of Japanese l i t e r a t u r e , the Heike monogatari. The manner i n which Ibuse accomplishes t h i s i s both fasci n a t i n g and revealing as we see the author experimenting with various techniques which seem to best capture the flow and movement of l i f e . Ibuse's great interest i n and a t t r a c t i o n to the dynamic aspects of l i f e and nature seem to come to the fore for the f i r s t time in Sazanami gunki and remain from then on a constant and distinguishing feature of his work. So pervasive i s t h i s dynamic s p i r i t that one c r i t i c has c a l l e d i t "the key image of Ibuse's poetic v i s i o n . " And in fact those works which tend to emphasize l i f e ' s dynamic q u a l i t i e s are also those which have received the greatest c r i t i c a l acclaim as f o r example, Jon Manjiro hyoryuki y 3. } $)'K If i% 7>%L> (John Manjiro: the cast-away, his l i f e and adventures, 1938) for which Ibuse was. awarded the Naoki Prize for Literature i n 1938} Hyomin Usaburo j^ j? & i . f£ (The Cast-away Usaburo, 1954) which received the Japan Art Academy Prize i n 1954 and Kuroi ame which received both the Noma L i t e r a r y Prize and the Cultural Medal In 1956. Sazanami gunki thus marks the beginning of a new phase i n Ibuse's career both as an h i s t o r i c a l novel and as a work concerned primarily with the sweep and movement of l i f e . This p a r t i c u l a r phase, marked not only by the appearance of Sazanami gunki but also by such works as "Kawa" )'| ("The River", 1931); Shukin ryoko 10 •$4h?Ml (The Money-collecting Trip, 1935) and "Aogashima T a i g a i k i " -\ * %) K $LtL> ("Records of Aoga-1 9 shima", 1934) which also stress l i f e ' s movement, appears to culminate i n 1938 with the publication of Jon Manjiro as well as with the f i n a l installment of Sazanami gunki and, by and large, works which emphasize the scope and variety of l i f e do not re-appear u n t i l several years a f t e r the end of the war. The war years seem to mark a kind of hiatus i n Ibuse's career much i n the same way as they do for most Japanese authors" and yet during t h i s time Ibuse has a kind of adventure of his own which l a t e r provides the background for one of his best post-war works, "Yohai taicho*" . Drafted i n 1941 as a war correspondent Ibuse t r a v e l l e d along with the Japanese army through Thailand and Malaya to Singapore where he spent one year before being released from the draft and allowed to return to Japan. In "Yohai taich<3" Ibuse s k i l l f u l l y juxtaposes events i n war-time Malaya with those i n a Japanese v i l l a g e , creating a complex work of several levels which emphasizes the s t a t i c and r e s t r i c t i n g q u a l i t i e s of l i f e . Although "Yohai taichS" i s generally acclaimed as one of Ibuse's best-'-pieces, there i s as yet no detailed c r i t i c a l evaluation of t h i s work and f o r t h i s reason as well as for i t s significance i n terms of Ibuse's development, t h i s work w i l l be given p a r t i c u l a r attention i n t h i s t h e s i s . -' The return to l i f e ' s s t a t i c areas which were only tenta-t i v e l y explored In the early works i s not peculiar to "Yohai taicho", but i s a tendency which can be observed to some extent as early as the publication of Tajinko mura f ^ T ^ ^ t (Tajinko V i l l a g e ) 19 39). Although Tajinko mura deals with the a c t i v i t i e s and-events of everyday l i f e , t h i s work exhibits a s h i f t i n emphasis away from the dynamic and expansive elements which characterize much of Ibuse's work i n the 1930's and focuses instead upon matters which are much more s t a t i c and confining. 11 This emphasis upon confining circumstances or even imprisons, ment can be seen in many of the works which appear during and immediately a f t e r the war, e.g., "Henro yado" >i "5 b \% ("Pilgrim's Inn", 1940), "Fukikoshi no shiro" * ("Fukikoshi Castle", 1943), "Wabisuke" A^L$H (1946) and "In no sjhima" I?) J 1} ("In Island", 1948) .and through-out the early part of the 1950's in such works as Honjitsu Kyushin fa \^%^~ (No Consultations Today, 1949) for which Ibuse was awarded the Yomiuri L i t e r a r y Prize in 1950; i n "Noriai jidosha" ^4"tiil^ ("The Charcoal Bus", 1952) and 2'1 of course i n "Y^hai taicho". : For Ibuse as for many other writers the years immediately following World War II served aa a period of re-adjustment and search f o r new di r e c t i o n s . Not only did Ibuse face the 2 2 task of responding to the "new era i n Japanese l e t t e r s " brought about by the defeat and occupation, he also experienced a great personal loss when in June 1948 his close f r i e n d and fellow writer Dazai Osamu drowned himself with his mistress. Dazai, ten years Ibuse's junior, was a great admirer of Ibuse's work and during the 1930's came under Ibuse's influence and 2 "3 guidance. Ibuse's reminiscences of Dazai can be seen in such works as "Onnagokoro" ^ >A. fi- C"C 3 ("A Woman's Heart, 1949), "Koto no k i " 9 %lu ("Record of a Koto". 1960) and "Dazai Osamu no koto" X, I & ° ^ ^ ("About Dazai 2 4 Osamu", 1953). ~ It i s during t h i s period a f t e r the war and aft e r Dazai's death that Ibuse wrote some of his most scathing s a t i r i c a l pieces (in p a r t i c u l a r "Noriai jidosha" and "Yohai taichct") which stand out as perhaps the most f o r c e f u l and i n c i s i v e of a l l his works. By his middle f i f t i e s , then, Ibuse could look back over a long and f r u i t f u l l i t e r a r y career. No longer accused of writing 'nonsense l i t e r a t u r e ' , Ibuse was beginning to win much c r i t i c a l praise and acclaim. Nevertheless Ibuse's most productive years s t i l l lay ahead. During the next eleven 12 years from 1954 and the publication of Hyomin Usaburo to the appearance of Kuroi ame i n 1965, Ibuse wrote profusely, both long novels and shorter novellas; a few h i s t o r i c a l pieces such as "Kaikon mura no Yosaku" fn\ % M ?> ("Yosaku the S e t t l e r " , 1955) and Hyomin Usaburo; c i t y s t o r i e s such as Ekimae ryokan .fy\.lH ^K^t-I (The Inn i n front of the Station, 1956) and Ghimpindo shujin ^ / a 'f i A„ (The Curio Shop Proprietor,1959); country tales about f i s h i n g (Ibuse's favourite pastime) such as Ts u r i s h i Tsuriba • \% (Fisherman, Fishing Place, 1959) and "Kotatsubana" 3 j *y it. ("Kotatsu Flower", 1963) as well as numerous 2-5 essays. ' Although this output has slowed somewhat i n recent years, Ibuse at the age of 81 i s s t i l l w riting. Thus the r e l a t i v e l y non-productive war years were followed by a period of intense creative a c t i v i t y which produced powerful and well-crafted works that i n many ways emphasized the r e s t r i c t i o n s of fate and circumstances. As time passed, however,^this tenseness began to mellow and i n the late 1950's and early 1960's we see the development of the mature Ibuse. S t i l l a keen observer of human f o i b l e s , the author's observations and emotions are now tempered with a deep awareness of l i f e ' s constantly changing patterns. Although the hidden depths of l i f e and i t s s t a t i c mysteries s t i l l intrigue the author, he now enters a period of growth and expansiveness which i n many ways can be compared to the expansive pre-war period of the 1930*s and the writing of such works as Sazanami gunki. Onceeagainnlbuse i s obviously fascinated by the p o s s i b i l i t i e s and permutations of l i f e ' s flow and movement while revelation of emotion although s t i l l restrained finds an easier and more natural expression. Compared to the youthful and engaging q u a l i t i e s of the early pre-war works, however, there i s now a new tone of under-standing and mature acceptance as Ibuse s t r i v e s to integrate 13 the demands of his a r t i s t i c v i s i o n with the r e a l i t i e s of experience. That he succeeds i n t h i s can be seen in many of the works of th i s l a t e r period but perhaps to the greatest degree in Kuroi ame the work which has brought Ibuse international renown and recognition. * n K u r o i ame, a novel about the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, we see Ibuse at the height of his powers. Just as "Sanshouo" and the early works did not prepare us f o r the sparkling v i s t a s of Sazanami gunki, so did "Yohai taicho" and the other post-war works f a i l to apprise us of the p o s s i b i l i t y of such a b r i l l i a n t tour de force as Kuroi ame. In t h i s l a t e r period Ibuse's art has again undergone a major transformation as the author brings together elements from the past and from the present, revealing a new breadth of v i s i o n which also encompasses depth of experience and emotion and he now creates a work of art which must surely stand as one of the major contributions to l i t e r a t u r e i n t h i s century. This thesis w i l l now examine i n d e t a i l the four works which seem to best represent the p r i n c i p a l stages i n Ibuse's career and w i l l attempt to show through such an analysis how the author's l i t e r a r y v i s i o n undergoes certain s h i f t s of emphasis and cert a i n modifications as he s t r i v e s to evoke not only the vigour and movement of l i f e but also the more tenuous and hidden q u a l i t i e s which give l i f e i t s depth and perhaps also, i n the f i n a l * analysis, i t s significance and meaning. 14 Chapter 1 Ibuse Masuji's f i r s t published work, "SanshTJuo", i s a short story which portrays the f o l l y of a salamander who finds i t s e l f wedged i n an underwater cave due to i t s own carelessness. The portrayal of a creature trapped by and at odds with i t s natural environment i s something of an anomaly i n a l i t e r a r y and c u l t u r a l t r a d i t i o n which, with very l i t t l e exception, stresses the harmony and beauty of nature. Moreover, i n the work of a writer l i k e Ibuse who i s p a r t i c u l a r l y well-known f o r his deep a f f i n i t y with the natural world, the existence of such a piece of writing may seem even more unusual. As an allegory, the work i s also something of an oddity, and yet, i n spite of i t s p e c u l i a r i t i e s "Sahshouo" stands out as a revealing and s i g n i f i c a n t statement of certain imagery and themes central to the author's l a t e r work; i t also comprises the essential elements of various techniques which l a t e r come to characterize t h i s author's p a r t i c u l a r s t y l e . A f t e r presenting a short synopsis of "Sanshouo", th i s chapter w i l l examine the above matters i n some d e t a i l , special consideration being given to allegory and symbolism, theme and technique. In "Sanshouo" a salamander l i v i n g inside a cave at the bottom of a pool suddenly f i n d s i t s e l f grown too large to squeeze out the narrow entrance and thus i t i s forced to remain inside the cave forever. This rather grim s i t u a t i o n i s not without i t s humourous side which the author e f f e c t i v e l y e x p loits. Although the salamander makes several concerted e f f o r t s to free i t s e l f , the only result i s that i t s head 2 becomes stuck in the entrance " l i k e a cork". Tremendously unhappy, the unfortunate creature's only diversion i s to peer out the narrow entrance at the scene i n the pool outside. Here, k i l l i f i s h swim among clumps of duckweed while water spiders and a powerfully swimming frog cavort i n the water. 15 While watching t h e i r antics, the salamander i s overcome with emotion as i t r e a l i z e s even more acutely the hopelessness of i t s s i t u a t i o n . The salamander's only company i n the cave besides the moss and mold growing over the c e i l i n g and i n the hollows i s a tiny stirimp who ventures into the cave one day to lay i t s eggs. Eventually, the frog, too, makes i t s way into the cave, and in a moment of d i a b o l i c a l i n s p i r a t i o n , the salamander decides to prevent the frog from leaving. To have placed another animal in the same position as i t s e l f affords the 3 salamander "exquisite pleasure". Two years pass and the frog and the salamander remain imprisoned in the cave, the frog refusing to come down from the hollow where i t i s hiding and the salamander demanding that i t come down. The two 4 creatures, a l t e r n a t e l y transformed into "lumps of mineral" in the winter and back into creatures of f l e s h and blood i n the summer, seemi^doomed to spend the rest of t h e i r l i v e s i n the cave... As the story ends, the frog, nearly dead from starvation, suddenly assures the salamander that he i s not r e a l l y angry with him. "Sanshouo", then, at least outwardly, i s an animal story, and since the animals function not only as animals but also exhibit the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of human beings, "Sanshouo" i s also an allegory. The animal allegory, 5 associated primarily with didactic fables and s o c i a l s a t i r e , has a f a i r l y long history i n Western l i t e r a t u r e beginning i n c l a s s i c a l times and extending into the present day. In Japan, however, t h i s kind of l i t e r a r y t r a d i t i o n remains r e l a t i v e l y undeveloped, i n d i c a t i n g that "Sanshouo", at least as an allegory, owes a great deal to the influence of Western l i t e r a t u r e . This indica t i o n i s further strengthened by the fact that Ibuse himself was a student of French l i t e r a t u r e and f a m i l i a r with other Western l i t e r a t u r e s as well. Ig we are to examine "Sanshouo" as an animal allegory, i t seems 16 appropriate to do so f i r s t i n terms of the Western t r a d i t i o n , thereby ascertaining to what extent t h i s work, i s in keeping with that t r a d i t i o n or, on the other hand, to what extent i t i s d i f f e r e n t . According to one study, the successful animal allegory in Western l i t e r a t u r e s usually exhibits three basic features. It tends to expose humanity by revealing human t r a i t s in non-human characters, to represent no more than one human t r a i t at a time i n the animal figure and to keep the reader conscious simultaneously of the human t r a i t s (being exposed; and of the animals as animals. In the case of "Sanshouo", the author c l e a r l y exposes humanity by "revealing human t r a i t s in non-human characters*. The salamander confined i n his cave assumes a variety ©ffposes, a l l of which c l e v e r l y s a t i r i z e the behaviour of human beings who f i n d themselves in d i f f i c u l t predicaments. The salamander:;'' f o r example, al t e r n a t e l y sneers at those i t considers less fortunate than i t s e l f and envies those who have escaped i t s misfortune, i t c a l l s on God, i t indulges i n s e l f -p ity, i t threatens insanity and f i n a l l y i t takes pleasure i n subjecting another to the same fate as i t s e l f . The portrayal of the salamander at the human l e v e l i s thus ingenious and amusing; It i s also complex. Far from representing 'only one human t r a i t at a time', the salamander presents the reader with a great number of emotions and attitudes which are not necessarily consistent. "The salamander f e l t sad", the author t e l l s us i n his opening l i n e , but the salamander i s not only sad, i t i s by turns s e l f - c r i t i c a l , f o o l i s h , despairing, elated, envious, benevolent, malicious, f r i e n d l y etc. The salamander i s not merely an animal that represents one p a r t i c u l a r human quality, i t i s very nearly human i t s e l f . The salamander i s d i f f i c u l t to see as an animal, and indeed, i t s animal c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s are not p a r t i c u l a r l y well-developed. For example, we do not know what i t eats nor how i t manages to survive as long as i t does in the cave; we know 'almost nothing 17 about i t s l i f e as an animal, either i n the cave or outside. It neither speaks nor thinks nor acts i n any way that might serve to remind us of i t s 'salamander-ness'. The salamander, then, seems much more convincing on a human l e v e l than on an animal l e v e l . Unlike the salamander, however, other animal figures i n the story are quite convincing as animals. At the same time these animal figures exhibit p a r t i c u l a r human t r a i t s which are not overly complex. The shoal <Sf k i l l i f i s h , f or example, which swims in and out of the duckweed, demonstrates an amusingly unimaginative mentality. The shrimp, as a model of a determined parent, i s shown to be a rather unsympathetic creature while the frog with i t s powerful swimming a b i l i t y and stubborn yet f o r g i v i n g nature seems to t y p i f y the strength and s i n c e r i t y of a virtuous human being. In terms of the Western t r a d i t i o n of animal allegory, then, "Sanshouo" -is only p a r t i a l l y successful. The figure of the salamander i n r e l a t i o n to the other animal figures appears as something of an enigma. Believable on the human l e v e l , i t lacks c r e d i b i l i t y as an animal. In t h i s respect i t seems that the use of the salamander figure i n the story i s e n t i r e l y a r b i t r a r y ; any animal trapped inua.%cave would have done just as well. Nevertheless, such an assumption ignores completely the fa n t a s t i c aspect of the salamander, ignores i n fact the significance of the salamander as symbolic figure. That the salamander i s a figure of some p a r t i c u l a r significatice i s suggested at several points i n the story where the author enters the narrative, encouraging the reader to think kindly of the prisoner: The reader should not sneer at our salamander. He should appreciate by now that he had been immersed in his murky tub long enough to make him sick of i t , and had reached a point where he could bear things no longer. 7 18 And again: I would implore the reader once more: do not, I beg, scorn the salamander f o r being so banal. Even a warder i n a j a i l , unless he i s i n a particularly-d i f f i c u l t mood, would scarcely reprimand a lif§<Sg prisoner f o r giving vent to a pointless sigh. These entreaties on the part of the author are so persistent and beseeching' that the reader soon begins to suspect that the salamander does not represent just any human being, but refers more s p e c i f i c a l l y to the author himself. If we consider the salamander as a persona of the author, then the allegory takes on a new l e v e l of meaning. 9 For example, the cave, referred to both as "prison" and as 1 0 "eternal home" in the story, may be seen as representing the r e s t r i c t i o n s s o f fate and t r a d i t i o n ; i t i s a place which does not seem to o f f e r enough scope f o r a young writer who finds himself peering e n t h u s i a s t i c a l l y out at a larger world wliere great writers l i k e Tolstoy, Chekhov and Ogai excite the emotions and where poets l i k e the French symbolistes defy t r a d i t i o n and s t i r the imagination. Compared to these l i t e r a r y giants and innovators, the author's own imagination seems a paltry thing. The salamander, closing i t s eyes, sees only a "vast blackness":'' The blackness was a gulf that stretched away into i n f i n i t y . Who could f i n d words to describe the depth or breadth of that gulf? 11 The fact that the inner world of the salamander i s c l o s e l y connected with the image of a dark and i n f i n i t e gulf gives us an indication of how the author views his own inner depths. Although emotion and imagination exist i n these dark and fathomless reaches, t h e i r expression tends to be limited and absurd (with his eyes closed the salamander merely f e e l s 12 "sad" and likens himself to "a scrap of t i n " )'unless stimulated and inspired by the l i v e l y a c t i v i t y and bright c l a r i t y of the pool outside: 19 To peer out at a bright place from inside somewhere dim — i s t h i s not a fascinating occupation? Never does one see so many d i f f e r e n t things as when peering from a small window. 13 Thus, the world outside appears as a source of pleasure and i n s p i r a t i o n , p a r t i c u l a r l y when i t s varied scenery can be circumscribed by a small window and i t s v i t a l i t y compressed into a few selected images. The use of allegory as well as the c a r e f u l l y disguised yet suggestive figure of the salamander seems to represent an early attempt by Ibuse to work i n some kind of symbolic framework, to capture some of the essence of what he f e l t to be the techniques of great l i t e r a t u r e . And so, just as the salamander trapped i n a cave struggles to come to terms with, itssexistence, the young author trapped by feelings of confinement and loneliness struggles to come to terms with l i f e and a r t . Looked at in t h i s 'M.ght, "Sanshouo" i s more than-an experimental f i r s t story; i t represents a kind of a r t i s t i c manifesto in which the young writer somewhat shyly announces himself to the world. And yet, to have chosen the guise of a salamander seems not only r i d i c u l o u s , but just a l i t t l e mysterious. It i s therefore necessary to inquire further into the nature of t h i s curious animal f i g u r e . The d e f i n i t i v e technique of symbolism, according to one c r i t i c , l i e s in the suggestion or evocation of things 14 while "avoiding the e x p l i c i t naming of them" and as a result symbolist works (whether i n art or l i t e r a t u r e ) are often deliberately ambiguous, suggesting more than they reveal. '.'Sanshouo", too, i n spite of i t s more obvious animal-human-iauthor levels of meaning, seems to hint at something else, to suggest other p o s s i b i l i t i e s . In order to discover what these other p o s s i b i l i t i e s may be, the figures of salamander, cave, frog and pool w i l l be examined as symbols per se. 20 In Japan, the salamander i s an animal associated with 15 the areas around slopes and ravines. Placing the salamander in the pool of a mountain stream i s e n t i r e l y i n keeping with i t s natural habitat. The name sanshSuo, composed of three Chinese characters, mountain, san, ; mountain ash (a tree), sho, ; f i s h , uo, , points to t h i s natural habitat as well as to the creature's amphibious nature. In the story the salamander i s often described i n terms which seem to emphasize the mountain or earth element i n i t s name. For example, besides being trapped i n a cave of rock, i t i s also seen-as-a "club-shaped rock"t a 'scrap of t i n ' , a 'lump of mineral 1. The salamander also f e e l s that, l i k e the stone of the cave, i t s body i s slowly becoming covered with moss. Thus, the salamander I t s e l f i s turning into a rock, becoming part of the ^mountain. The sho or mountain ash does not appear in the story, but being a tree of the mountains, i t too seems to emphasize the earthy aspect of the salamander. The f i s h or water element i s also seen i n the figure of the salamander as i t attempts to swim about i t s cave and to enter the waters of the pool outside. Thus, the figure of the salamander encompasses images not only of animal, human being and author, but alsd : of mountain and f i s h , i . e . , of earth and water. This emphasis upon earth and water elements i s seen not only i n the characters used i n the word sanshouo but also i n the ' a c t i v i t i e s and:images linked with t h i s f i g u r e . Although the constant, f i x e d q u a l i t i e s of earth are in ascendance, the more mutable or changeable q u a l i t i e s of water are also to be seen, making the salamander a figure which contains both s t a t i c and dynamic elements. As a symbol, the figure of the salamander i s many-layered, suggesting not only the u l t i -mate interconnectedness of the human, the natural and the a r t i s t ' s creative imagination, but also hinting at the nature of the v i t a l forces which fascinate the author and which in turn seem to underlie the various aspects of his work. 21 The emphasis upon s t a s i s and movement seen i n the figure of the salamander i s developed further i n the image of the cave. The cave, a dreary place of moss and stone, i s so cramped i n the beginning of the story that the salamander can hardly move: He t r i e d swimming about the inside of the cave as f r e e l y as i t would allow him...All he could manage, in f a c t , was to move his body somewhat to and fro and from side to side. 17 As time passes, however, the cave's boundaries appear to expand somewhat. F i r s t a shrimp and then a frog manage to enter the cave, the frog f i n d i n g a hiding place i n the hollows of the wall. The boundaries of the cave are rather vague and f l e x i b l e . The actual levels of a i r and water i n the.cave are also vague and the only cl e a r picture presented of the cave's i n t e r i o r i s a description given of the cave's c e i l i n g . The c e i l i n g i s covered with hair moss and liverwort; the dainty flowers of the hair moss scattering pollen on the surface of the water while i n the hollows clumps of mold grow and disappear i n an apparently endless cycle. The salamander, however, takes no pleasure i n the moss and mold and i t fears that the pollen w i l l pollute the waters of i t s cave. The cave, then, with i t s single narrow entrance, amorphous i n t e r i o r and pollen^scattering moss appears as a kind of womb-area. This image i s strengthened by the entrance of the shrimp into the cave, i t s transparent b e l l y f u l l of eggs as well as by the yearly 'rebirth' of the frog and salamander. This womb-like cave, however, i s described i n somewhat ambiguous terms. On one hand, i t i s compared to a 'prison', 18 a "chamber of a lunatic" , a 'murky tub', a l l of which emphasize i t s s t i f l i n g , c o n s t r i c t i n g q u a l i t i e s . The fact that the enmity of the frog and salamander gradually dissolves as time passes in the cave serves further to emphasize the 22 tendency towards di s s o l u t i o n and s t a s i s which exists inside t h i s dark grotto. Yet the cave also appears as the 'eternal home', a place of eternal shelter and protection. The womb-li k e cave, then, appears to possess both harsh and gentle q u a l i t i e s . It i s an area innwhich the mysterious processes of b i r t h , d i s s o l u t i o n and regeneration take place. These processes seem to occur according to cer t a i n observable • 319 natural laws (e.g., the "law of propagation",'-- the periodic hibernation of the frog and salamander), yet the fact that these processes remain e s s e n t i a l l y mysterious i s .....contained in the repeated description of the cave as murky, dim, gloomy etc. The cave with i t s admixture of earth and water, a i r and plant l i f e seems to represen,t:i;the womb-like depths of existence; a symbol of confinement, i t i s also a symbol of r e b i r t h and regeneration. The depths of the cave contrast markedly with the waters of the pool outside. Just as the cave i s dark and gloomy, so the pool i s bright and cheerful, teeming with l i f e and a c t i v i t y . Waterplants thrust t h e i r straight stalks to the surface while shoals of f i s h swim past and water spiders f l e e from the leaps of the frog. F u l l of charming and 'delightful scenes, the pool also contains a strong current and a constantly moving whirlpool which sucks f l o a t i n g flowers down into the depths. Although the salamander derives pleasure from gazing at the waters of the pool, he i s also overcome with emotion and at one point he almost f e e l s giddy. Thus, besides i t s bright, pleasing and refreshing q u a l i t i e s , the pool also seems to have a potential f o r violent and excessive movement which i s not only destructive but also well nigh i r r e s i s t i b l e . Like the cave, the pool possesses both harsh and gentle q u a l i t i e s , yet i n contrast to the s t a t i c v i t a l i t y of the cave, the pool i s active, a symbol and a source of energy and movement. 23 :. The frog, one of the denizens of the bright pool, seems to personify the ^vigorous and vibrant q u a l i t i e s of the world outside the cave. This animal figure appears towards the end of the story and, although we are presented • with very l i t t l e d e t a i l concerning t h i s figure, i t s character i s soon delineated i n a few deft strokes, showing i t to be a l i v e l y and quick-tempered creature who delights i n action and movement: The frog thrust up powerfully and rhythmically from the bottom towards the surface, showed his triangular snout b r i e f l y innthe a i r , then thrust down again towards the bottom. 20 ' Not only i s the frog a greature of action^ i t i s also a creature of heart. The frog's f i n a l words to the salamander 21 ("Even now I'm not r e a l l y annoyed with you" ) show t h i s creature's basic s i n c e r i t y and compassion as well as i t s a b i l i t y to come to terms with l i f e (and death) in a modest and humble way. Energy and warmth as well as an unassuming acceptance of things as they are seem to characterize the figure of the frog. The salamander's envy of and eventual capture of the frog points to the frog figure as a kind of v i t a l essence without which l i f e i s not worth l i v i n g , perhaps l i t e r a t u r e not- even Wprth writing. Just as the salamander i s connected with the darker, hidden forces which l i e within, so the frog seems to represent the v i t a l spark from outside which inspires and stimulates and thus helps to illuminate the hidden depths. An analysis of the four p r i n c i p a l images i n the story reveals a number of possible associations and interconnections, thus suggesting that these images are part of an a r t i s t i c and symbolic design which represents a p a r t i c u l a r way of seeing the world. The depths of cave and pool, f o r example, suggest a primal area of growth, creation and regeneration i n which the s t a t i c and the concealed are contrasted with the 24 dynamic and the b r i g h t l y v i s i b l e . It seems somehow s i g n i f i c a n t that the author has chosen such a setting for his story, implying not only an a t t r a c t i o n towards the v i t a l even unlovely aspects of the natural world, but also a fascination with the hidden, elementary forces of l i f e i t s e l f . Thus, in spite of the active, p o t e n t i a l l y revelatory elements in "Sanshouo" there i s a rather intense concentration upon confinement and seclusion not only as we have seen i n terms of imagery and characterization but also i n terms of theme. "Sanshouo", according to the author, was written a f t e r 22 reading a short story by Anton Chekhov e n t i t l e d "The Bet" i n which a young man spends f i f t e e n years i n s o l i t a r y confine-ment innorder to win a bet. The story ends with a character-i s t i c Chekhovian irony as the young man, almost unrecognizable a f t e r f i f t e e n years, emerges to renounce bothhthe amount of the wager and the world. This story's theme of imprisonment or confinement was to provide the theme for "Sanshouo" and also the f i r s t t i t l e "Yuhei" (Confinement). In spite of the fact that "The Bet" offered a kind of i n s p i r a t i o n f o r Ibuse's "SanshrJuo", the two s t o r i e s handle t h i s theme of confinement rather d i f f e r e n t l y . Although both the Chekhov character and the salamander are confined as a result of th e i r own f o l l y , in Chekhov, t h i s f o l l y i s voluntary, an act of w i l l , whereas in Ibuse, the salamander seems very much a victim of circumstance, a victim of his.own bad luck. The confinement of the salamander seems attributable to the sheer a r b i t r a r i n e s s of f a te. The word used by the salamander to describe i t s condition i5 23 i s minoue ( -Jf 9 J=- ) which means one's fortune, one's lo t and also includes such related meanings as one's personal history, one's career, one's past or personal a f f a i r s , in short a l l the various matters which surround and define the in d i v i d u a l , govern his existence and to a greater or lesser 25 degree, determine his fate. The minoue of the salamander (and eventually that of the frog) i s determined primarily by the confines of the cave. The cave, as we have seen, i s both prison and eternal home, a place of r e s t r i c t i o n and also a place very close to the ess e n t i a l l i f e processes. By analogy, one's fate i s not only imposed on one by circumstances (cave as prison), but i t i s also something which i s dictated by the very nature of existence i t s e l f (cave as womb} eternal home). "Sanshouo" seems to stress the fact that a l l creatures are subject both to the demands of t h e i r environment and to certa i n natural laws. Faced with the inexorable workings of fate and the mysteries of of l i f e , the frog comes to accept his l o t whereas the salamander givesj,in to despair and longing. -•The maliciousness of the salamander i s cl o s e l y connected with i t s desire to escape the cave. There seems to be no.,"way the salamander can r e a l i z e i t s longing f o r the world outside. This passionate longing on the part of the salamander points to another thematic element in the story which seems to run counter to the" theme of fate and confinement, i . e . , the w i l l to l i v e . In the salamander t h i s w i l l to l i v e i s continually being f r u s t r a t e d . Unable to take any action, the salamander indulges i n emotion. It envies the pool creatures and yearns'for the pool outside. Its longing never ceases. As time passes, i t s feelings become perverted, f i n d i n g expression only i n the cruel and malicious treatment of the frog. The salamander, who has hardly any a b i l i t y to look at matters objectively, sees- the world primarily i n terms of i t s own l i k e s and d i s l i k e s . It i s excessively emotional., and extremely self-centred; i t s w i l l to l i v e seems rooted in the subjective realm of emotional attachment. The frog on the other hand remains r e l a t i v e l y free of excessive emotion. Its w i l l to l i v e seems centred i n i t s own strength and v i t a l i t y . Self-contained and stouthearted, 2 6 the frog gradually comes to regard i t s own fate as well as that of the salamander with equanimity and detachment. X In "Sanshouo" the p r i n c i p a l theme i s that of confine-ment, p a r t i c u l a r l y as seen i n the workings of one's fate. In contrast to confinement i s a minor theme, the w i l l to l i v e , which finds expression both through the action and acceptance of the frog and through the desire and emotion of the salamander. The acceptance of the frog implies a kind of sympathetic detachment while the excessive emotional a t t r a c t i o n of the salamander seems to result i n eternal unhappiness, a kind of mental confinement4." This c o n f l i c t and contrasttbetween salamander and frog seems to highlight some of the d i f f i c u l t i e s the author has faced i n his attempt to deal obje c t i v e l y with the expression of sentiment and emotion, a problem which he seems to resolve rather success-f u l l y through the c u l t i v a t i o n of certain techniques and the development of a p a r t i c u l a r l i t e r a r y s t y l e . Generally speaking, a story about eternal confinement in the depths of an underwater cave i s not l i k e l y to be [tight and amusing and yet, in "Sanshouo", th i s i s exactly the case. This lightness of tone? even when dealing with a p o t e n t i a l l y gloomy subject, i s perhaps one of the most outstanding s t y l i s t i c features of "Sanshouo"; i t s essence deriving primarily from the u t i l i z a t i o n of two techniques: :• objective observation and humour. . In "Sanshouo" the author's fas c i n a t i o n with l i f e ' s v i t a l i t y i s c l e a r l y evident, yet he does not eulogize nor extol the wonders of l i f e and nature. Instead, he attempts to see such matters o b j e c t i v e l y . This o b j e c t i v i t y may seem at times almost s c i e n t i f i c i n i t s detachment: The c e i l i n g of the with hair moss and liverwort wandered cave was t h i c k l y overgrown liverwort. The scales of the a l l over the rock, and the 27 hair moss had dainty flowers on the end of i t s very slender, s c a r l e t carpophores. The dainty flowers formed dainty f r u i t which, in accordance with the law of propagation among cryptogams, shortly began to scatter pollen. 24 This description catches our attention not only for i t s o b j e c t i v i t y but also for i t s c a r e f u l attention to d e t a i l . The author, moving his eye over the c e i l i n g of the cave, gradually brings the scene into sharper and sharper focus u n t i l not only do we see the dainty flowers and f r u i t but also the t i n i e s t of motes, the pollen. .•This focusing technique has the eff e c t of interrupting or momentarily suspending the narrative i n order that some s i g n i f i c a n t d e t a i l or image may be presented to the reader's view.. These narrative suspensions in "Sanshouo" tend to occur abruptly, yet they are not i l l - t i m e d . They create a kind of 'tableau' e f f e c t in which time comes to a s t a n d s t i l l and the' reader's av/areness i s heightened. Thus, the reader, somewhat l i k e the salamander peering through his window at the scene outside the cave, i s able to see fas c i n a t i n g and unusual things and perhaps even experience certain sensations or emotions. This e f f e c t can be seen p a r t i c u l a r l y well in the following passage: The surface of the pool moved ceaselessly i n a sluggish whirlpool. Oneecould t e l l t h i s from a single white - petal that had f a l l e n into the water. Onothe surface, the white petal described a wide c i r c l e that gradually shrank i n s i z e . It increased i t s speed. In the end, i t was describing an extremely small c i r c l e u n t i l , at the very center of the c i r c l e , the petal i t s e l f was swallowed up by the water. 25 This scene of the petal in the water captures not only the attention of the salamander, but also the attention of the reader, drawing the attention down into the depths, suggesting the force and movement of the water, the lethargic but i r r e s i s t i b l e energy of the whirlpool. 28 Besides the use of the tableau e f f e c t , Ibuse also interrupts sthe narrative i n another way, i . e . , he enters the story himself to make several comments to the reader. Inaa series of 'asides', the author asks the reader to treat the salamander kindly, to have sympathy with his fa u l t s etc. Rather than e s t a b l i s h o b j e c t i v i t y and distance on the part of the author, these asides serve to create a f e e l i n g of concern and involvement. In subsequent works, however, such dir e c t appeals to the reader cease and any £.uthQi&al remarks or comments are s k i l l f u l l y integrated into the body of the work. In "Sahshbuo" the author prefers to keep a certain distance from his subject, yet at the same time he seems concerned with communicating sensation and emotion to the reader. He attempts f o r the most part to communicate such emotion i n an oblique way, l e t t i n g selected images and scenes evoke mood and f e e l i n g . Although the author's asides are an exception, he i s generally c a r e f u l not to exceed certain l i m i t s and thus he avoids both the sublimity of tragedy and the sensationalism of melodrama. Besides the use of objective observation, excessive seriousness or emotionality i s also avoided by the author's s k i l l f u l u t i l i z a t i o n of humour. As most c r i t i c s and commentators allow (both in Japan and in the West), the Ibusean brand of humour i s u n i q u e d e s c r i b e d as "gently 2 6 2 7 mocking" or even as humour one "can't r e a l l y laughlat", i t i s the kind of humour that sympathizes with i t s object rather than r i d i c u l e s i t . Similar to the use of objective observation, Ibuse's sensee-of humour has the power to arouse the reader's sympathy and yet, at the same time, to keep excessive emotion at bay. Thus, salamander and frog emerge as pathetic figures; t h e i r f o l l y i n s p i r i n g laughter, yet i t i s a laughter tinged with p i t y . For example, the author 29 begins by t e l l i n g us that the salamander i s sad and cannot leave i t s cave, yet -in the same sentence we are also informed that the salamander's head gets stuck i n the entrance " l i k e a cork'. The author has simultaneously aroused our sense of p i t y and of comedy. This combination of pathos and humour i s also used i r o n i c a l l y . For example, the salamander, determined to leave the cave, mutters to himself: " A l l right — i f I 28 can't get out, then I have an idea of my own!" This i s followed by the author's comment: "But i t scarcely needs 29 saying that he had not a single idea of any use." Thus, the reader i s alt e r n a t e l y i n v i t e d to sympathize with the salamander and then to regard i t s affectations with i r o n i c a l detachment. Besides juxtaposing the amusing with the pathetic or i r o n i c , the author also uses dialogue as comic r e l i e f . The scene of the k i l l i f i s h , f o r example, i s a comparatively lengthy passage i n which the irony i s well-sustained and a pa r t i c u l a r point well made ( i . e . , a l l creatures are confined in some way), yet the actual humour of the s i t u a t i o n does not break through u n t i l the salamander remarks: "What a l o t 30 of excessively hidebound fellows!" Dialogue continues to play an increasingly important role i n the story u n t i l , by the f i n a l passage, the text consists of nothing but an amusing and revealing exchange between salamander and frog. Although Ibuse's masterful use of dialogue and d i a l e c t l a t e r became one of the hallmarks of his st y l e , i n "Sanshouo" we see i t s use only i n embryo. Nevertheless, so well-paced and well-integrated i s th i s dialogue sequence that we can ea s i l y catch a glimpse of that quality which has prompted. 31 one c r i t i c to ref e r to Ibuse as "rakugo meijin" (a master of the narrated.comic t a l e ) . Ibuse's sense of humour, s i m i l a r to ^ his technique of objective observation, helps maintain distance and avoid 30 excessive emotional display. At i t s d r i e s t , i t creates a sense of i r o n i c detachment; at i t s most sympathetic, a f e e l i n g of pathos. The author does not use humour as a means of attack, but instead as a means of revelation and release, thus imparting not only lightness of tone, but also creating a d i s t i n c t impression of tolerance and f o r -bearance . "Sanshouo", then, i s a work which operates on several l e v e l s , i . e . , as a humourous fantasy in which human beings are gently s a t i r i z e d i n the form of animals, as a symbolic allegory i n which the world of salamander and cave, frog and pool represent the genesis of a p a r t i c u l a r a r t i s t i c v i s i o n and as a short thematic sketch i n which the ideas of fate and confinement, desire and detachment are c u r s o r i l y examined. The world of "Sanshouo" presents a f a i r l y complex and i n t e r - r e l a t e d set of images and themes which at times may puzzle and mystify and yet these same themes and images c l e a r l y emphasize the v i t a l i t y of the natural world. The depiction of v i t a l i t y rather than of beauty seems to be the author's chief concern. In order to convey the impression of v i t a l i t y , the author builds his story on a series of contrasts and juxtapositions which in turn seem to derive from one fundamental contrast, that between s t a s i s and movement. Thus, elements that conceal, confine, hold or attach are placed against those that move, reveal, release or detach; "Sanshouo" thereby suggesting that l i f e ' s v i t a l i t y i s the res u l t of a continuing interplay between opposing yet complementary v i t a l forces. It i s due primarily to the author's s k i l l in e f f e c t i v e l y evoking something of l i f e ' s true v i t a l i t y through such a series of contrasts that "Sanshouo" succeeds, i n spite of i t s l i m i t a t i o n s , as a work of a r t . 31 Chapter 2 Sazanami gunki, an account of the gradual disi n t e g r a t i o n of the Heike clan as reported i n the diary of a young Heike nobleman, marks a s i g n i f i c a n t stage i n the development of Ibuse's career. In Sazanami gunki Ibuse turns away from the avante garde experimentalism that characterized his e a r l i e s t work "Sanshouo*' and, making use of a f a m i l i a r Japanese l i t e r a r y device, the diary, finds i n s p i r a t i o n in Japan's distant past. Ibuse's interest i n h i s t o r i c a l themes seems to have been encouraged, at least i n part, by the reading of the works of Mori Ogai. Ibuse, however, as a writer o£ the Showa era, seems r e l a t i v e l y i n d i f f e r e n t to the themes and concerns which occupied Ogai:who, as a spokesman for an entire nation undergoing rapid transformation, sought to bridge the gap between old values and new. In Ibuse such concerns are of r e l a t i v e l y l i t t l e importance. Ibuse's view of history i s that of a new l i t e r a r y generation who, with no p a r t i c u l a r need to resolve the dilemmas of Me-Iji, i s able to look back upon the past with a certain measure of detachment and perhaps also with a cert a i n nostalgia. i The gap between "Sanshouo" and Sazanami gunki i s only seven years and yet i n that short span of time we see great changes in Ibuse as a writer. From the symbolic and a l l e g o r i c a l "Sanshouo" i n which no human figure appears, we come to Sazanami gunki, a work that abounds i n s k i l l f u l and coi o u r f u l characterizations and which explores the attitudes and emotions of human beings caught up i n the events which came to be immortalized i n one of the most moving works of Japanese l i t e r a t u r e , the He ike monogatari. Ibuse handles the h i s t o r i c a l theme, the mSn^ :eharacters, the romance, the pathos with great insight and aplomb and, in true Ibuse fashion, i n s t i l l s through-out the work a sense of the v i t a l i t y of man and nature. Sazanami gunki, the f i r s t of Ibuse's numerous h i s t o r i c a l pieces, represents a step in a new d i r e c t i o n f o r the author. 32 In order to understand what Ibuse achieved i n th i s work and why i t i s s i g n i f i c a n t , theme, characterization, imagery and technique w i l l be examined i n an attempt to determine not only the a r t i s t i c merit of the work but also the nature of the author's new accomplishment as a writer. In Sazanami gunki, the Heike, ousted from the c a p i t a l by t h e i r old enemy, the Genji, wander throughout western Japan, accompanied by the c h i l d emperor, Antoku. Their only hope i s to somehow recoup t h e i r losses and retake the c a p i t a l . Although vic t o r i o u s in i s o l a t e d skirmishes and minor battles, the Heike are outmaneuvred and outfoxed by the brash Genji generals, Yoshinaka (Kiso) and Yoshitsune (Genkuro) and, unable to esta b l i s h themselves, the Heike are forced to f l e e from one island to another. These same matters are treated at greater length in the "Heike monogatari, the thirteenth century m i l i t a r y chronicle upon which Sazanami gunki i s based. Although Sazanami gunki derives i t s i n s p i r a t i o n from th i s early chronicle, the two works are e s s e n t i a l l y quite d i f f e r e n t . The Heike monogatari, an " o r a l work appreciated f o r i t s musical quality, dramatic 2 impact and Buddhist teachings", provides a marked contrast to Sazanami gunki's rather subdued tone, informal prose style and marked lack of Buddhistic i n s t r u c t i o n . The openings of the two works perhaps demonstrate most c l e a r l y these two very di f f e r e n t approaches, the Heike monogatari providing some of the most well-known l i n e s i n a l l of Japanese l i t e r a t u r e : The.bell of the Gion Temple t o l l s into every man's heart to warn him that a l l i s vanity and evanescence. The faded flowers of the sala trees by the Buddha's deathbed bear witness to the truth that a l l who f l o u r i s h are destined to decay. Yes, pride must have i t s f a l l , f o r i t i s as unsubstantial as a dream on a spring night. The brave and violent man - he too must die away i n the end, l i k e a whirl of dust i n the wind. 3 33 By contrast, Sazanami gunki begins: In July of the second year of Juei the people of the Heike clan, driven by war, f l e d the imperial c a p i t a l . The following record i s an account of t h e i r f l i g h t l e f t by a cert a i n young boy of the Heike. I have t r i e d here to translate a part of th i s record into modern language. July 25 (Juei 2). Last night Harada, Kikuchi and Matsuura returned to the c a p i t a l leading about three thousand horsemen. I understand that they came from suppressing the Chinzei Rebellion. In the plaza of the Rokuhara Ikedono a bonfire was set. 4 Ibuse i s determined to keep his distance. Avoiding the great emotional impact and i n t e n s i t y of the Heike monogatari, Sazanami gunki convinces the reader by i t s very ordinariness, i t s t o t a l absorption in the world of everyday l i f e . Perhaps due to i t s more earthly concerns, Sazanami gunki does not stress the Buddhistic theme of 'vanity and evanescence'; on the contrary, Sazanami gunki i s concerned with themes of growth and develop-ment, a c t i v i t y and movement. Thus, the wandering of the Heike, rather than t h e i r actual destruction, provides the central theme i n Sazanami gunki. This theme of wandering and dispersal i s in marked contrast to the theme of confinement treated in "Sanshouo". In Sazanami gunki the author, so to speak, releases the salamander from i t s cavern and thrusts i t w i l l y - n i l l y into the wide world of the pool where i t i s destined to roam, homeless forevermore. No longer a rock-bound salamander, the author views the wanderings of the Heike through the eyes of the young nobleman, Musashi no Kami, whose diary forms the text of Sazanami gunki. ; In the beginning, the young nobleman l i v e s quite comfor-tably and safely with his parents i n the Rokuhara, the Heike's 5 p a l a t i a l headquarters i n the c a p i t a l . When the Heike are f i n a l l y forced to f l e e t h e i r homes, i t i s decided that the Rokuhara, hitherto a symbol of refuge and r e l a t i v e safety, w i l l be burned. The young nobleman, envisioning the p i l l a r s 34 of his childhood home going up i n flames, agonizes over such an inconceivable loss: "Our Rokuhara! It i s our father and mother." Like theecave of the salamander, the Rokuhara represents both womb-area and home. Unlike the salamander's cave, however, the Rokuhara i s a very pleasant place. Its red lacquer p i l l a r s and shady banana trees show i t to be both beautiful and luxurious; i n short, a place one does not wish to leave. When word comes that the c l o i s t e r e d Emperor has deserted the Heike and disappeared and that the monks of Mt. Hiei have joined forces with Kiso, the Heike's position in the c a p i t a l i s no longer tenable and they f l e e h a s t i l y towards the abandoned c a p i t a l at Fukuhara and thence by boat through the Inland Sea. The Inland Sea area o f f e r s a v i v i d contrast to the elegant Kyoto home. Its waters abound with strange islands and unknown harbours; there are sudden encounters with beautiful young g i r l s , pirates, spies and bold warriors. The young nobleman finds danger, romance, war and hardship; he also finds comradeship, worthy advisers and, as the fortunes of the Heike wane, a new understanding and acceptance of both l i f e and death. Like the pool i n "Sanshouo", the Inland Sea i s a place of action and movement; i t brings pleasure, excitement and emotional stimulation. Yet, also l i k e the pool in "Sanshouo" whose current sucks down the beautiful petals that f l o a t heedlessly on i t s surface, the Inland Sea, too, engulfs and*idestroys the noble Heike. Driven at l a s t from t h e i r stronghold at Ichi-no-t a n i , the Heike forces are dispersed once again and, as the diary draws to a close, the young nobleman and his followers slowly wend t h e i r way through the islands to Kyushu to jo i n the remnants of the once-powerful Heike clan in what i s to be t h e i r f i n a l b a t t l e . In spite of the fact that the Heike are doomed to go down in defeat, Sazanami gunki stresses t h e i r wandering and homelessness rather than t h e i r eventual destruction. The 35 author, intrigued by the p o s s i b i l i t i e s of movement and f l u i d i t y , does not heavily underscore the tragedy of defeat and f a i l u r e . The young Musashi no Kami, f o r example, grows and matures during his enforced sojourn i n the Inland Sea area. A mere boy i n Rokuhara, he emerges both as a warrior and as a man nine months l a t e r . Wandering brings growth, struggle and change; i n the case of Musashi no Kami t h i s nine month period of struggle and change i s marked by a new b i r t h into adulthood. , Closely a l l i e d to the central theme of Sazanami gunki, i.e..-, the wandering of the Heike, then, i s the growth to manhood of the young nobleman, Musashi no Kami. This growth i s deter-mined in part by events and experiences which b e f a l l the young man on his journey through the Inland Sea. It i s also deter-mined, to a large extent by the people that he meets, a great variety of co l o u r f u l characters from a l l walks of l i f e : monks, fishermen, s a i l o r s , merchants, warriors, courtiers, commoners. While h i s t o r i c a l figures do make t h e i r appearance i n the story, the majority of these characters are kept at a distance, t h e i r actions and deeds being reported to the young nobleman by messenger or through another f i c t i o n a l f i g u r e . As a r e s u l t , therp i s no p a r t i c u l a r emphasis upon great or powerful person-a l i t i e s , that i s , p ersonalities that could arouse excessive sentiment and emotion. Most well-known figures, such as the beautiful Atsumori, are mentioned b r i e f l y i n ways which only subtly heighten the dramatic content; mention of such figures also, pre-suppose a f a m i l i a r i t y on the part of the reader with cert a i n episodes from the Heike monogatari i t s e l f . In Sazanami gunki, f o r example, as the Heike ships f l e e the debacle at Ichi-no-tani, news of the battle i s exchanged between ships, the retainers shouting back and f o r t h over the waves. One samurai c a l l s out his news and name, adding that he i s one who has seen the death of Atsumori and has been overwhelmed with sadness. No further information i s offered 36 and th i s ship.soon s a i l s past. Such d e t a i l s as t h i s assume the reader's f a m i l i a r i t y with the fate of Atsumori on the beach at Ichi-no-tani asc rwell as knowledge of his renowned youth and beauty. Atsumori's death reported in t h i s way, although h i n t i n g at the tragedy of early death, adds primarily to the sense of movement and change: the death of the beautiful youth i s represented by nothing more than.a b r i e f c a l l from a ship speeding past on the open sea. The figure of Atsumori i s r e c a l l e d l a t e r i n the story when Musashi no Kami and his followers receive tribute from a l o c a l leader, Kusune of Ohashi. Kusune's features cl o s e l y resemble those of the good-looking Atsumori who used to wear l i g h t make-up even when he l e f t f o r the battle f r o n t . Musashi no Kami r e f l e c t s that he,too, used to indulge i n such fashions, but now he contrives to look as tough as possible. Musashi no Kami's comparison of Atsumori and himself also serves to remind us of growth and change. Atsumori, his youthful beauty preserved forever by untimely death, seems to represent the s t a t i c , f i x e d q u a l i t i e s of the c a p i t a l whereas Musashi no Kami, transformed from a boy to a warrior, i s c l e a r l y a l l i e d with the forces of movement and change represented by the vibrant Inland Sea. Among the numerous f i c t i o n a l characters who f i l l the pages of Sazanami gunki, there are three figures i n p a r t i c u l a r who seem to have a more than ordinary e f f e c t upon the young nobleman. From each of these three figures, a young g i r l , an old s o l d i e r and a warrior-monk, Musashi no Kami gains some new insight not only into himself but also into the mysteries of l i f e , love and death. Almost a month af t e r leaving the c a p i t a l , the Heike ships disembark at the harbour of Muro no Tsu, an old f i s h i n g v i l l a g e . Here, while out r i d i n g , the young nobleman meets a beautiful young v i l l a g e g i r l under a pear tree. In an e f f o r t to imitate the style of the Heike women, the g i r l has styled her hair i n the fashion of the c a p i t a l , but, unwittingly, she has chosen 3 7 the style of married women. The young nobleman, charmed by her beauty as well as her r u s t i c i t y , offers her his horse's reins while he knocks the pears from the tree. That evening the two meet again on a sandy beach which i s only b r i e f l y exposed during the low t i d e . Here, i n a s k i l l f u l l y wrought scene the author juxtaposes the depths wfiieh@ri6rmally l i e hidden under the sea with the depths of emotion which are often concealed i n the human heart. Although the hidden depths of l i f e played such an important role i n "Sanshouo", thi s scene on the sandy beach i s one of the few times when such matters are dealt with i n Sazanami gunki and, i n keeping with the new emphasis upon the v i s i b l e and the f l u i d , these depths are revealed only momentarily. Thus, the beach i s exposed only b r i e f l y and the rendezvous i s cut short by the returning t i d e . Later, when„the Heike r e - v i s i t t h i s v i l l a g e , Musashi no Kami returns to the house by the pear tree. By now, however, the house i s deserted and the tree stripped of f r u i t . Months a f t e r t h i s second v i s i t and f a r away, he hears f i n a l l y that the v i l l a g e has been burned. Although Musashi no Kami never meets the g i r l again, he treasures her image in his heart. Because of her, he r e f l e c t s , he has been able to love someone outside the ranks of the Heike. The b e a u t i f u l young g i r l , then, i s associated with the positive and gentle aspects of l i f e and love. Not a person of court or c a p i t a l , she represents Musashi no Kami's f i r s t encounter with the people of the Inland Sea and he f a l l s i n love with her. Although she lacks the sophistication and poli s h of the c a p i t a l , her gentleness and beauty completely captivate the young nobleman who, i t seems, i s quite prepared to embrace the wonders of t h i s strange new world. When Ibuse f i r s t began to write Sazanami gunki, his o r i g i n a l intention was to end the story with the young nobleman and 7 the g i r l going o f f together to take up l i f e i n the country. Thus, the rapture and ardour of young love i s seen as a 38 powerful and v i t a l force, one which i s connected with the very depths of one's being, having the capacity to change one's whole heart, i f not one's whole l i f e . Soon a f t e r t h i s encounter, the young nobleman p a r t i c i -pates in his f i r s t m i l i t a r y action and meets Miyaji Kotaro, a rough old samurai from the Inland Sea area. Kotaro impresses the young nobleman with his great bow three times stouter than the young man's own, his dragon-headed helmet, his g r i z z l e d face and his quaint way of speaking. Soon Miyaji Kotaro i i s assigned to the unit commanded by Musashi no Kami. Also assigned to the unit i s the warrior-monk, Kakutan of Izumidera. Although Musashi no Kami i s o f f i c i a l l y i n charge of the unit (a Heike l o r d i n command helps prevent desertion among the ranks), the r e a l power of command l i e s with Kakutan. Kakutan i s a wise and Teamed man; his advice and judgment are i n -valuable. Both Kakutan and Kotaro become friends and Musashi no Kami's constant companions. With them, Musashi no Kami s a i l s from i s l a n d to island, scouting f o r the enemy, taking prisoners, questioning spies, s e t t i n g up encampments and winning minor v i c t o r i e s . F i n a l l y , gathering together with the main Heike force at Ichi-no-;fcani, Musashi no Kami and his f a i t h f u l retainers prepare f o r a major confrontation with the Genji forces. Ichi-no-tani, however, the v i r t u a l l y impregnable stronghold, w i l l bring not only a major defeat, but also the eventual separation of these three comrades. After the f o r t i f i c a t i o n of Ichi-no-tani i s completed, Kakutan, an expert s t r a t e g i s t , recommends the Heike attack the c a p i t a l and cut o f f Genkuro's forces as they ride out to attack the Heike at Ichi-no-tani and Ikuta f o r e s t . Musashi no Kami presents t h i s argument to his father, the commander Tomomori, who approves the idea. In spite of Tomomori's support, however, Kakutan's proposal i s over-ruled and, giving i n to despair, the old monk leaves the camp. Later, when a report comes that the old monk has been seen makin'g his way back, Musashi no 39 Kami, with a cry of joy, goes out to welcome his old f r i e n d . The priest explains that he has returned only i n order to warn Musashi no Kami of a weak place i n the defenses. Kakutan proposes that they take special measures to secure t h e i r position at the c l i f f base i n order to thwart an attack from above. There Is no time to do t h i s , however, as the enemy i s expected at any moment. Here again the author plays upon the reader's knowledge of the Heike monogatari in which Genkur"o1 s famous wild ride down the c l i f f s at Ichi-no-^ani eventaully helped turn the tide of battle i n the Genji's favour. Kakutan's proposal, far-sighted as i t i s , i s only a pretext f o r his return and Musashi no Kami, astute enough to r e a l i z e t h i s , keeps s i l e n t ; his dealings with men having reached a new l e v e l of sophistication and maturity. A few days l a t e r the attack begins and Kotaro i s k i l l e d i n the f i g h t i n g i n Ikuta f o r e s t . Musashi no Kami and Kakutan retreat as best they can, engaging the enemy in several skirmishes u n t i l they can f i n a l l y board the boats which carry them to safety. Both Kotaro, the man of action, and Kakutan, the learned monk-strategist, are advisers and companions to the young nobleman. Their courage and dauntlessness i n the face of adversity make them outstanding and admirable figures. Brave and l o y a l , wisie and kind, the major difference between the two seems to be that of temperament. Kotaro, a native of the Inland Sea area, i s somewhat coarse and unrefined, yet his a b i l i t i e s speak fo r themselves. His great strength and physical prowess remind us of the v i t a l forces associated with the area outside the c a p i t a l , the Inland Sea. Kotaro's v i t a l i t y seems to ari s e from his association with the f l u x and movement of t h i s watery realm; he has fought i n many battles, he has even been a p i r a t e . Thus, Kotaro, unlike Kakutan, seems to take l i f e pretty much as he finds i t . Unassuming, accepting the rough with the smooth, Kotaro's di s p o s i t i o n i s reminiscent of the q u a l i t i e s exhibited by 40 the frog figure i n "Sanshouo". •wKakutan, on the other hand, l i k e the salamander i t s e l f , i s much more complex. A man of i n t e l l e c t and learning, he finds the Heike's actions rash and i l l - c o n s i d e r e d . Unable to e f f e c t any change in t h e i r p o l i c i e s , he succumbs to despondency and despair. His "Account of Juei" which he composes at night by the f i r e while Musashi no Kami writes his diary and Kotaro stands watch comes to be the expression of thi s despair. It i s s i g n i f i c a n t that Kakutan does not begin writing t h i s record u n t i l a f t e r he returns to the camp at Ichi-no-tani. The account thus represents an attempt by Kakutan to channel his feelings of negativity into some positive and constructive d i r e c t i o n . Unlike the salamander, then, Kakutan manages to come to terms with his despair. This sanatory e f f e c t of written records appears throughout Ibuse's works and can be seen e s p e c i a l l y well i n Kuroi ame. 'Thus, as the Heike wander over the Inland Sea, the young Musashi no Kami grows to manhood. From his guides and mentors, Miyaji Kotaro and Kakutan of Izumidera, he learns not only the arts of war and the ways of the world but also the ways of men's hearts. Nevertheless, i t i s up to Musashi no Kami to come to terms, with these experiences himself, and th i s he does, i n ways which suggest understanding and a new-found maturity. The death of Miyaji Kotaro, for example, i s an event to which the young man must reconcile himself. As i t happens, the death comes at a moment when Musashi no Kami can have l i t t l e thought for anything but f l i g h t and b a t t l e , Only afterwards and as time passes do we see his attempt to come to terms with the death of t h i s staunch supporter. The f i r s t time Kotaro i s mentioned i n the diary (after the reported description of his death) occurs at the end of that day's diary entry when Musashi no Kami, unable to sleep, writes i n his diary: 41 Since Kakutan i s absorbed i n writing up his •Account of Juei' by the l i g h t df the f i r e , I, too, am writing my diary inside the ship. And yet, Miyaji Kotaro who always stood watch for us by the f i r e i s no longer of th i s world. 8 Musashi no Kami, f i l l e d with the sadness of defeat and loss, struggles to come to terms with the fact that Kotaro i s r e a l l y dead. Several weeks l a t e r , Musashi no Kami, setting up another camp, r e c a l l s the favourite styles of encampment - 9 of Miyaji Kotaro who was " k i l l e d in Ikuta forest." The young man's feelings towards the death are now rooted i n the r e a l i t y of the event i t s e l f . Kotaro, k i l l e d in the fo r e s t , i s now associated with those things of which he was most fond, as Musashi no Kami s t r i v e s to create positive and mean-ing f u l memories. The f i n a l mention of Miyaji Kotaro occurs when Musashi no Kami compares the moral courage of a new retainer to that of Miyaji Kotaro who, the diary now simply - 10 -states, i s "Miyaji Kotaro who i s dead." Kotaro*s death i s accepted and yet at the same time his former existence i s affirmed as Musashi no Kami recognizes his q u a l i t i e s in other human beings and, i n th i s sense, Kotaro l i v e s on, not only in memory but Inft r e a l i t y . The same can also be said of Atsumori whose pleasant features seem to l i v e again in the face of Kusune of Ohashi. In such ways as t h i s , then, the young nobleman seeks to come.to grips with war and loss, l i f e and death as well as with the powerful emotions such experiences can engender. Due primarily to the emphasis upon such affirmative processes as these. Sazanami gunki avoids the heaviness of gloom and tragedy. In spite of the p o t e n t i a l l y sombre subject matter, there i s a d i s t i n c t l y encouraging and hopeful quality i n the work and Sazanami gunki seems i n s t i l l e d with the glow of l i f e . This emphasis on l i g h t and l i f e seems to be the product of a special kind of v i s i o n . In order to examine the nature of t h i s special v i s i o n more c l o s e l y , i t i s necessary to look 42 St c e r t a i n techniques i n some d e t a i l . Perhaps one of the most outstanding of these techniques i s the use of time. The diary, a l i t e r a r y device often employed by Japanese writers from c l a s s i c a l times to the present, i s used by Ibuse f o r the f i r s t time i n Sazanami gunki. The .author, fascinated by the flow and movement of l i f e , no doubt finds the diary form well-suited to the portrayal of time..as a continuous process of flow and change while, with each;incident and episode, he i s able to bring time temporarily to a s t a n d s t i l l and, i n a kind of expanded tableau e f f e c t , c a l l the reader's attention to a p a r t i c u l a r and s i g n i f i c a n t moment. The diary form lends i t s e l f very well to the portrayal of time as both p a r t i c u l a r moment and unceasing flow, thus underscoring the contrast between the s t a t i c and the dynamic. • At the same time, however, IbuseJs fascination with the flow of time and l i f e has other dimensions. The young d i a r i s t , Musashi no Kami, f o r example, exhibits an almost t o t a l lack of inter e s t i n or concern about the future. Even when the Heike are forced to leave the c a p i t a l and wander they know? hciit';.where, the young Musashi no Kami does not engage i n any kind of speculation as to t h e i r destination or t h e i r future. He i s fascinated primarily by the glow of the f i r e s from the c a p i t a l and he also notes the d i f f i c u l t y he has sleeping i n the saddle: When'.night f e l l , the sky became red i n the d i r e c t i o n 1 of the c a p i t a l . The glow illumined the r e t r e a t i n g figures of those who rode with heads hanging. I f anyone of them would have looked back, the red glow of the sky would have shone on his sad face... since I tended to doze o f f while on horseback I was cautioned frequently by the samurai. 11 This kind of t o t a l involvement with the immediate present i s a feature which i s found throughout Sazanami gunki. It seems that Musashi na$>Kami i s rooted almost e n t i r e l y i n the here and now. This i s shown further i n the next diary entry 43 where Musashi no Kami r e a l i z e s he may have l o s t track of time: Today might be the 28th. I've l o s t track of the exact date. But I stopped myself from asking my companions. I t would only make them sad. Dates are probably necessary only f o r those who have hope.. 12 It seems that Musashi no Kami has l o s t track of the exact date primarily because of his absorption i n events rather than because of any p a r t i c u l a r despair. Unlike his companions, Musashi no Kami has hope and yet t h i s hope seems to have i t s roots not i n the future but i n the mundane passing of present time.. , Musashi no Kami i s not concerned exclusively with the present. He also has a cert a i n f e e l i n g f o r the past. His connection with the past, although nostalgic, i s s l i g h t and as time passes, t h i s connections becomes more and more tenuous. This can be seen i n the three p r i n c i p a l memories which Musashi no Kami seems to cherish. The memory of Miyaji Kotaro, as we have, seen, becomes integrated rather quickly into the f a b r i c of new l i f e and experience. The memory of Rokuhara, the old home, i s assimilated somewhat less quickly. Not u n t i l seven months l a t e r and a f t e r his attempt to convince his father to attack the c a p i t a l does Musashi no Kami cease to mention his old home. The memory that has perhaps the longest l i f e i s that of the be a u t i f u l young g i r l under the pear tree. When the news comes towards the end of the story that her house has probably been burned, Musashi no Kami b r i e f l y r e c a l l s her h a i r s t y l e and t h e i r meeting on the beach: I once stayed i n that harbour town and met that young g i r l from the house on the h i l l s ecretly on the beach. At that time she imitated the Rokuhara h a i r s t y l e . Suenari probably burned her house too. In the c a p i t a l there was an o f f i c i a l proclamation concerning the casting of the Great Buddha. 13 44 Although memories of the past seem to c a l l up c e r t a i n emotions, such memories do not seem to have an existence apart from the present time and the events of the everyday world; thus the memory of the young g i r l i s followed immedi-ately by a note concerning the casting of the Buddha. The death of KotarS, the burning of the Rokuhara and the destruc-tion of the young g i r l ' s house are events which inspire deep emotion and yet at the same time these occurrences are re a d i l y accepted as part of l i f e . There i s no undue agonizing over loss or over the changes wrought by the passage of time. Such a c t i v i t i e s as these are l e f t to Kakutan and his journal of despair. Musashi no Kami, l i k e old Kotaro, seems to have a great confidence and trust i n l i f e . Musashi no Kami does not c l i n g inordinately to the past nor does he worry about the future. Memories of joy or sadness fade g r a d u a l l y away while thoughts of the unknown, the future do not occupy, him at a l l . Another outstanding technique which gives us further insight into Ibuse's unique way of seeing the world l i e s in the use of natural imagery. As i n "Sanshouo" the v i t a l i t y of nature i s emphasized and, also as in "Sanshouo" we f i n d t h i s v i t a l i t y expressed i n images of s t a s i s and movement. In Sazanami gunki, however, such contrasting imagery also has close and intimate l i n k s with the world of human beings. Perhaps one of the most memorable of these natural and human associations i s the meeting of Musashi no Kami and the young g i r l under the tree f u l l of ripe pears. The be a u t i f u l young woman under a tree i s a motif which has a long history in 14 Japanese art and l i t e r a t u r e . This image, notable p a r t i c u l a r -l y f o r i t s evocation of f r u i t f u l n e s s and f e r t i l i t y , also suggests peacefulness and calm strength. The g i r l , l i k e the pear tree, seems to embody these two d i f f e r e n t yet mutually complementary aspects of the l i f e force, one dynamic, associated with f e r t i l i t y , growth and change (symbolized by the ripening 45 and f a l l i n g f r u i t ) and the other s t a t i c , associated with endurance and t r a n q u i l l i t y (symbolized by the house and the pear tree i t s e l f ) . Another associationnof human beings and trees occurs i n the mention of the ubamegashi trees which appear throughout the story. The name of t h i s tree, a kind of oak, i s written with three Chinese characters: old woman, uba, ; female, me, ; oak, kashi, . Its name hints that the tree i t s e l f i s l i k e an old woman, no doubt gnarled and worn but with a kind o f robust v i t a l i t y . This tree i s p a r t i c u l a r l y s i g n i f i c a n t i n that an enormous ubamegashi tree appears at the very end of Sazanami gunki, an arrow protruding from i t s trunk. The arrow, symbolizing the war and perhaps the passage 15 of time as well, has made i t s mark upon the tree just as i t has upon Musashi no Kami himself, and yet both the young warrior and old tree l i v e on, representing the s t a t i c yet persistent and enduring q u a l i t i e s of both man and nature. The fact that Sazanami gunki draws to a close with an image evoking the s t a t i c rather than the dynamic forces of l i f e seems to indicate that Ibuse's s h i f t towards the s t a t i c and confining areas of l i f e has already begun (this f i n a l i n s t a l l -ment, of Sazanami gunki being published in 1938). ..- Although the author tends to view the natural world as intimately entwined with the human realm, he avoids both a f f e c t a t i o n and sentimentality of expression and maintains his o b j e c t i v i t y . At the same time, his tone i s neither cold nor -devoid of sympathy. Rather i t i s imbued with a warm fellbw-feeling, f u l l of delight and wonder at a l l aspects of the natural world, even the lo w l i e s t . At the abandoned c a p i t a l of Fukuhara, the author has the young Musashi no Kami write: . . . i n the cracks of a l l the paving stones '•• various grasses grew luxuriously. Gen no shoko, 4 6 " O b a k o Y s u s u k i , o m i n a e s h i e t c . . . I t w a s a r r a n g e d t h a t I s t a y a t t h e b e a c h p a l a c e . T h i s b u i l d i n g w a s d i l a p i d a t e d l i k e t h e o t h e r s . T h e e a v e s l e a n e d a n d . . a ' , b i g h o l e g a p e d i n t h e r o o f . I c o u l d g a z e a t t h e n i g h t s k y a n d t h e m o o n t h r o u g h t h a t U h d l e . I n t h e c o r r i d o r s g r e a t n u m b e r s o f s e a b i r d s f l o c k e d , f l a p p i n g t h e i r w i n g s . 1 6 F i n d i n g n a t u r e f a s c i n a t i n g e v e n i n d e s o l a t i o n , M u s a s h i n o K a m i c a r e f u l l y n o t e s t h e p r e s e n c e o f t h e s i m p l e s t w e e d s a n d g r a s s e s , c a l l i n g t h e m a f f e c t i o n a t e l y b y name a n d l a t e r h e s h a r e s h i s b i l l e t c o n t e n t e d l y w i t h s e a b i r d s a n d t h e m o o n . T h e a u t h o r ' s d e l i g h t i n t h e w o r l d o f n a t u r e i s p a r t l y a n e x p r e s s i o n o f h i s f a s c i n a t i o n w i t h i t s g r e a t v i g o u r a n d v i t a l i t y . T h u s M u s a s h i n o K a m i n o t e s t h e s i z e o f t h e b a n a n a l e a v e s i n t h e g a r d e n a t R o k u h a r a : I b e l i e v e d t h a t t h e l e a v e s o f t h e b a n a n a t r e e i n t h e g a r d e n w e r e n ' t a n y b i g g e r t h a n u s u a l , b u t w h e n I l o o k e d a t t h e m j u s t n o w , I n o t i c e d t h e y w e r e t w i c e a s b i g a s l a s t y e a r . I n t h e s h a d e o f t h e b a n a n a l e a v e s s t u r d y f l o w e r s a r e b l o o m i n g . 17 O r h i s a t t e n t i o n i s a t t r a c t e d b y t h e " s p l e n d i d l y p r o t r u d i n g ^ 18 b r a n c h o f a k a r a t a c h i h e d g e " t h a t h a s t h e p o w e r t o s c r a t c h t h e a r m o u r o f s o l d i e r s r i d i n g p a s t . N a t u r e ' s v i g o u r s o m e t i m e s s e e m s t o p o s s e s s a n a l m o s t m a g i c a l p o t e n c y . F o r e x a m p l e , t h e p i n e t r e e i n t h e K o j i m a c a m p i s d e s c r i b e d a s t h e k i n d o f t r e e 1 9 " a . t e n g u w o u l d s i t i r i . " I b u s e ' s s e n s e o f w o n d e r a t t h e n a t u r a l w o r l d , t h e n , i s n o t p r e c i o u s o r a r t i f i c i a l . He o b s e r v e s t h e w o r l d o f n a t u r e a s h e d o e s t h e w o r l d o f men — c a r e f u l l y a n d m a t t e r - o f - f a c t l y y e t w i t h a c e r t a i n s y m p a t h e t i c 'r a f f e c t i o n a n d a d m i r a t i o n t h a t f i n d s p l e a s u r e a n d s a t i s f a c t i o n i n n a t u r e ' s v a r i e t y a n d v i t a l i t y . I b u s e ' s s p e c i a l w a y o f l o o k i n g a t t h e w o r l d i s t h u s m a r k e d b y a s e n s e o f d e l i g h t , a v e r y r e a l f e e l i n g f o r t h e i n t e r - c o n n e c t e d n e s s o f a l l p h e n o m e n a b o t h n a . t u - r a l l a n d h u m a n a s w e l l a s b y a n e m p h a s i s u p o n t h e i m m e d i a c y o f t h e m o m e n t . T h e e s s e n t i a l c h a r m o f S a z a n a m i g u n k i s e e m s t o l i e i n t h e 47 author's successful communication of these several viewpoints which, by virtue of t h e i r charm and appeal, suggest that the author i s tapping something basic in the human consciousness; he seems to have re-created some fundamental l i f e experience which we a l l know and share. In short, Ibuse's p a r t i c u l a r mode of perception seems to r e c a l l the special v i s i o n of childhood and early youth. Just as Ibuse u t i l i z e s humour and pathos in "Sanshouo" to create a f e e l i n g of lightness and ease, so i n Sazanami gunki he maintains a s i m i l a r lightness of tone througli the evocation of a kind of ' c h i l d - l i k e ' sense of wonder and pleasure i n a l l the myriad facets of l i f e and experience. This c h i l d - l i k e quality i s made even more pronounced by the fact that the main protagonist, Musashi no Kami, i s himself s t i l l a boy. Although we 1 do not know Musashi no Kami's exact age, the author refers to him i n the opening l i n e s as a boy (shonen) and, although Musashi no Kami matures considerably during the course of the story, he does not lose his c h i l d -l i k e mode of perception. That i s , although he comes to know the pain of parting, sadness, death and the pressures of adult r e s p o n s i b i l i t y , Musashi no Kami does not become trapped byuany p a r t i c u l a r emotion or experience. For t h i s young nobleman, adulthood seems to bring a f u l l e r p a r t i c i p a t i o n in l i f e and a widening of p o s s i b i l i t i e s rather than l i m i t a t i o n , confinement or r e s t r i c t i o n . Musashi no Kami, then, continues to trust i n l i f e . As in the past, his feelings are powerful, but f l u i d and thus he possesses a great capacity f o r adapting to l i f e ' s v i c i s s i t u d e s . In short, the young Musashi no Kami does not attempt to c l i n g ^ r i ; to the passing phenomena of l i f e , instead he l e t s go. This brings a f l e x i b i l i t y and r e s i l i e n c e of character reminiscent of childhood; i t also brings lightness and buoyancy i n tone and, i n the f i n a l analysis, seems to suggest something about the nature of Ibuse's detachment. 48 As i n "Sanshouo" the author i s c l e a r l y fascinated with the phenomena of l i f e and t r i e s to observe i t as c l e a r l y and as c a r e f u l l y as possible. In order to do t h i s he s t r i v e s to avoid excessive emotion which by i t s very nature implies attachment, a Icind of blockage i n the flow and movement of l i f e . In order to prevent as many blockages as possible, Ibuse maintains his position of detached observer. Whereas the author r e l i e d primarily upon humour and irony i n "Sanshc"uo" to maintain t h i s detachment, i n Sazanami gunki he depends c h i e f l y upon his a b i l i t y to evoke the flow anddmovement of l i f e , . Thus, he does not hold onto events, nor to emotions. He i s able to mention the glow from the f i r e destroying the c a p i t a l in almost the same sentence as he notes the tendency to doze i n the saddle; he records the burning of the g i r l ' s v i l l a g e at the same time as news of the casting of the Great Buddha; he contrasts the luxuriously growing grasses with the ruins of Fukuhara. This continual juxtaposition of such seemingly disparate elements gives a f e e l i n g of constant change and renewal which precludes any excessive attachment and also, i n a manner which r e c a l l s the fresh s p i r i t of early youth' and childhood, creates a f e e l i n g of wonder and delight as the world i s made anew with every changing image. In Sazanami gunki Ibuse has come a long way from his experimental f i r s t work, "Sanshouo". In "Sanshouo" confined both by theme and genre, Ibuse seemed unable to f i n d true ease of expression. Although "Sanshouo" i s undoubtedly the kernel from which a l l his l a t e r work grows, i t i s f a r too tigh t , withdrawn and d i f f i c u l t to show Ibuse's r e a l potential as a. writer. Sazanami gunki, on the other hand, represents the f i r s t f u l l flowering of Ibuse's a b i l i t i e s . Exceeding a l l other early works i n conception, i n scope and i n execution, Sazanami gunki must surely stand as Ibuse's e a r l i e s t master-piece. No doubt the actual manner in which Sazanami gunki 49 was written might help to explain, to some extent, the author's remarkable achievement. Ibuse began writing Sazanami gunki i n 1930 and published i t i n a series of installments and under various t i t l e s u n t i l 1938 when the 20 work was f inai'ly^/consolidated i n i t s present form. It seems that as the author himself evolved and matured, so did the work. Nevertheless, almost one-third of Sazanami . gunkI was completed by the end of 1930 and thus major questions of s t y l e , format and characterization were already determined at the e a r l i e s t date. Sazanami gunki can thus be viewed as a work i n which Ibuse f i r s t f u l l y r e a l i z e s his c a p a b i l i t i e s as a writer. Leaving behind the darkness and resignation of "Sansho"uo" Ibuse moves into the bright world of Sazanami gunki where each episode stresses the r e a l i t y of the present moment and also that moment's quickly changing patterns. The s o l i d i t y or r e a l i t y of l i f e i s seen i n the use of concrete imagery which stresses the v i t a l i t y and interconnectedness of man and"nature while l i f e ' s flow i s seen i n the ever-changing variety and d i v e r s i t y which characterizes both the human and'natural worlds. In these ways, then, the author c a l l s our"attention to the immediacy of l i f e and i n s t i l l s throughout the work a c h i l d - l i k e f e e l i n g of wonder and delight at i t s protean v i t a l i t y . "" In Sazanami gunki the f e e l i n g of darkness and confine-ment seen i n "Sanshouo" has been dispersed, although perhaps not quite d i s p e l l e d . In spite of the accent on movement, growth and v i t a l i t y , the spectres of loneliness and e x i l e cast t h e i r dark shadows now here, now there. And yet, i n spite of and perhaps due to these very shadows of adversity, an inexperienced boy becomes a young man while the author himself, emerging from the depths of l i t e r a r y experimentalism and self-consciousness, brings to f r u i t i o n a prose style that i s unique i n i t s a b i l i t y .to bestow a sense of l i f e and l i g h t even in the midst of war and upheaval. Chapter 3 50 In "Yohai taich.5", a short story written i n 1950 some twelve years a f t e r the completion of Sazanami gunki and set in a country hamlet around the end of World WarK.II, Ibuse views the closed and s t a t i c world of v i l l a g e l i f e and contrasts i t s more or less f i x e d standards and attitudes with the changes wrought i n the weary sold i e r s coming home from war. One of these sol d i e r s i s Yuichi Okazaki, ex-lieutenant i n the Japanese army. Lame, no longer i n his right mind, given to periodic mad f i t s , YQichi presents a rather sorry figure i n comparison to the youthful and enterprising Musashi no Kami of Sazanami gunki. In contrast, too, to the almost l y r i c a l evocation of the distant past seen i n Sazanami gunki, "Yohai taich"5" i s a pungent s a t i r e of the contemporary scene that arouses the reader's laughter as well as his sympathies. Yuichi, the mad e x - o f f i c e r , s t i l l believes he i s in command of his own troops and, given to raving and shouting wild orders, he i s a major source of disruption in the otherwise peaceful v i l l a g e of Sasayama. Although he i s now only a pathetic caricature of the hard-nosed m i l i t a r y man, Yuichi was once greatly feared by his troops who, mocking his passion f o r bowing rrepeatedly to the e'ast ( i . e . , to the Emperor), gave him the nickname 1yohai taicho' or Lieutenant Lookeast. In t h i s story, Ibuse, using the figure of the ranting e x - o f f i c e r as a p i v o t a l point, s k i l l f u l l y shows the attitudes and mores of v i l l a g e society through the various reactions of the v i l l a g e r s to the madman i n t h e i r midst. The s a t i r e i s thus double-edged; directed not only against the r i g i d and intolerant m i l i t a r y character, i t also pokes fun at the everyday world of v i l l a g e l i f e where gossip ogten runs wild and where the young are coerced into#maintainingfthe status quo. Although i t s t o p i c a l i t y and s a t i r i c a l bent make "Yohai taicho" a work which w i l l appeal naturally to 51 the modern taste, whether i n Japan or i n the West, i t s success as a work of art may also be attributed to the author's careful manipulation and juxtaposition of various levels within the story i t s e l f . In contrast to the multi-imaged scenes of Sazanami gunki, "Yohai taicho" i s perhaps more reminiscent of "Sanshouo" in that i t i s multi-layered. Whereas Sazanami gunki captivated the reader by i t s emphasis upon the variety and v i t a l i t y of the wide world of external r e a l i t y , "Yohai taicho", s i m i l a r to "Sanshouo", reaches down into the depths and probes below the surface, exposing the f o i b l e s of human beings while at the same time suggesting t h e i r v i r u t e s . In order to see the exact nature of ths relationship between "Yohai taicho" and the e a r l i e r works and thus determine the significance of "Yohai taicho" and i t s place i n Ibuse's writings, t h i s work w i l l be examined i n some d e t a i l with attention given p a r t i c u l a r l y to theme and structure, characterization and technique. In "YShai taichS", the author once again turns his attention towards the theme of confinement. Similar to the salamander trapped in the cave due to i t s own f o l l y , ex-lieutenant Yuichi Okazaki, too, suffers because of his own f o o l i s h and uncompromising behaviour. Yet Yuichi finds himself enclosed not by the rock walls of a cave but by the mental prison of insanity. Labouring under the delusion that the war i s s t i l l on and that the able-bodied men of Sasayama are troops under his command, Yuichi, at the height of one of his attacks, can cause quite a disturbance with his unexpected 1 commands to "Charge!", "Take cover!" or "Fetch me the NCO!" He evennexchanges blows with a stranger who refuses to obey his orders and, on occasion when escorted home by the v i l l a g e r s , he i s shut up i n a sturdy cage by his mother for two or three days u n t i l the attack passes. Thus, YOichi's confinement i s both l i t e r a l and f i g u r a t i v e : he i s imprisoned not only by 52 delusions of the past, but also by the stout wooden bars of his mother's cage. The author t e l l s us that: By and large, a general d i s t i n c t i o n can be made: when he i s notthaving an attack, Yuichi has the i l l u s i o n that he i s stationed at home, whereas during an attack he i s stationed overseas. 2 Yuichi l i v e s continually i n a delusion from which there i s no escape. U t t e r l y l o s t i n events from the past, YQichi i s no longer aware of the r e a l i t y of the present. For him, time has come to a s t a n d s t i l l . Like the salamander, Yuichi exists in a state of perpetual s t a s i s and confinement. Even the Chinese character used to write Ytiichi"s name: ju, suggests images of permanence and eternity, emphasizing the fact that his confinement i s t r u l y inescapable. Although Yuichi leads an existence which i s t o t a l l y circumscribed and r e s t r i c t e d by the bonds of his i l l n e s s , there are other factors which tend to mitigate the harshness of his s i t u a t i o n . His mother, i n spite of the sturdy v£ooden cage,- does not treat Yuichi c r u e l l y . Oniathe contrary, she provides him with shelter and protection. Doing her best to keep him out of mischief, she treats Yuichi l i k e a wayward c h i l d which, i n f a c t , i s how he often acts, pretending to run away,from her and then hiding i n chicken coops or n i g h t - s o i l sheds. Even though he t r i e s to hide, Yuichi s t i c k s close to home and never leaves his section of the v i l l a g e . The v i l l a g e r s , too, are s u r p r i s i n g l y tolerant, even kind, i n t h e i r treatment of Yuichi and w i l l do t h e i r best to humour him even in awkward circumstances. They f e e l c a l l e d upon to protect Yuichi from the rough treatment of outsiders who may not understand his ways. Thus, in spite of his madness, Yuichi i s not mistreated, but receives a goodly share of a i d and support from the l o c a l people. Yuichi's confinement, then, l i k e that of the salamander 53 i n the cave, seems to have both r e s t r i c t i v e and protective aspects. Unable to change, unable to get well, sometimes shut up i n a cage, Yuichi i s nonetheless sheltered and pro-tected from unnecessary cruelty and punishments. Unlike the salamander, however, Yuichi makes no r e a l attempt to escape and does not seem to r e a l i z e at a l l the fact of his own confinement. Not only i s Yuichi almost e n t i r e l y unaware of the facts of the present, he also seems to remember very l i t t l e from the past. His loss of memory seems to centre primarily around the i n j u r i e s he has suffered and thus a l l enquiries about his lame leg e l i c i t nothing but a blank stare. The actual cause of YGichi's condition i s shrouded in mystery and leads to no end of speculation by the v i l l a g e r s who propose several theories, each of which has a b r i e f vogue. The mystery i s eventually d i s p e l l e d by Yoju, a v i l l a g e r of the same age as Yuichi (32), who, returning home from war, hears the story from Yuichi's ex-orderly, Ueda Gor5, on the t r a i n south from Tsugaru. Ueda's tale adds another dimension to the story, trans-porting the reader from the cozy atmosphere of Sasayama v i l l a g e to the steamy jungles of war-torn Malaya. Unlike the wandering of the Heike through the bright world of the Inland Sea, how-ever, the progress of Yuichi and his platoon i s hampered on a l l sides by the rigors of the climate, bytthe destruction caused by war as well as by the breakdown of one of t h e i r own transport vehicles. Forced to take refuge in a grove of rubber trees u n t i l a bombed-out bridge can be repaired, Yuichi and his platoon can do nothing but wait and watch for a i r raids. F i n a l l y , just when the unit begins to cross the newly completed bridge, the lead truck breaks down i n the middle and they are again prevented from moving on. Packed tight i n the trucks, •the men soon f i n d the heat s t i f l i n g and begin loud, desultory conversations. Noting the vast number of bomb craters nearby, one of the men, Lance-corporal Tomomura, comments upon the 54 extravagance of m i l i t a r y expenditure: "An extravagant business, war i s , " said a lance-corporal c a l l e d Tomomura. "Extravagant. War costs money, i t does." 3 Yuichi, s i t t i n g i n the front of the truck, cannot help but overhear t h i s remark and, jumping down from his seat, he goes to the rear of the truck to d i s c i p l i n e the man. Standing just inside the t a i l g a t e , Yuichi orders Tomomura to stand and repeat what he has just said. When Tomomura does so, Yuichi h i t s him twice across the face and i s ready to h i t him a t h i r d time when the truck suddenly gives a lurch and the two men are catapulted out of the truck and over the edge of the bridge, Yuichi p u l l i n g Tomomura down a f t e r him. Tomomura disappears i n the muddy r i v e r while Yuichi, who lands on a b i t of concrete debris, escapes with a severe head wound and a broken l e g . Tomomura's body i s never recovered while Yuichi, s u f f e r i n g from his head injury, spends the rest of his m i l i t a r y career confined to the f i e l d h o s p i t a l , a f f l i c t e d with jungle sores, muttering scraps of m i l i t a r y jargon and bowing assiduously to the east.-YOichi's fanatic devotion to m i l i t a r y p r i n c i p l e s , then, leads d i r e c t l y to his own downfall. Losing the a b i l i t y to judge and discern in the f a l l from the truck, Yui&h'iir's obsession with duty and service begins to run e n t i r e l y out of c o n t r o l . One s o l d i e r remarks: "He's had i t . . . i f you ask me," said one s o l d i e r who went to the h o s p i t a l . "Real simple-minded, he Is. It'i's l i k e he was f u l l of drink." 4 Nevertheless, i t seems that Yuichi's 'intoxication' i s not e n t i r e l y a new phenomenon. On board the transport to South-east Asia (Ueda reports) Yuichi was already notorious f o r having his men bow to the east. In a pep talk one day he t r i e d to explain to his men the ecstasy which can be gained from a true understanding of the s p i r i t of s e l f - s a c r i f i c e 55 and service: " I f only you read the F i e l d Service Code deeply and thoughtfully enough...you, too,5my men, w i l l , i n a great f l a s h of l i g h t , suddenly perceive the wonderful truth behind our bowing to the east. Once you begin to understand i t , i t w i l l f i l l you with a kind of i n t o x i c a t i o n . " 5 Thus, the blow on the head has only -aggravated and exaggerated Yuichi's obsession. Caught up i n fanaticism and the excessive emotion which i t generates, Yuichi has never been able to view l i f e with the graceful detachment evinced by Musashi no Kami i n Sazanami gunki. Yuichi seems doomed to l i v e sout his l i f e i n a permanent state of 'intoxication' with h i s fanatic p r i n c i p l e s . Ueda's story shows us that Yuichi has never been pa r t i c u -l a r l y well-balanced and thus not only do we begin to see Yuichi in a new l i g h t , we also begin to r e a l i z e the astuteness of the v i l l a g e r s and t h e i r p r i n c i p a l theory. Although some of the v i l l a g e speculation concerninggYuichi' s condition borders on the bizarre or sensational (e.g., a strange South P a c i f i c malady or congenital s y p h i l i s ) , the theory that gains general acceptance i s the one that i s the closest to the truth: Even i n the army, they reasoned, Yuichi's insistence, in his language and behaviour, on service and s e l f -s a c r i f i c e must have seemed overdone; i t was quite possible that a colleague had complained to him about i t , that they had f a l l e n to blows, and that he had broken a leg as a r e s u l t . Thus the theory evolved that he had broken his leg i n a f i g h t with someone with whom he had quarreled. 6 The v i l l a g e r s , i t seems, were well aware of Yuichi's fanatic p r o c l i v i t i e s long before his accident and, talcing t h e i r explanation of Yuichi's behaviour one step further, they even begin to c i t e Yuichi "as a good example of how the sins of 7 the parents are v i s i t e d on the children." Yuichi seems to 5 6 come by his over-zealousness n a t u r a l l y . His mother, too, i s possessed of a great earnestness which, although i t could hardly be c a l l e d a 'sin*, i s nevertheless somewhat excessive. In the o r i g i n a l Japanese text the word used in the context of the above quote, i s a word which means fate; karma; causal-i t y ; inga; i«] ^ , a word which shows, perhaps more eloquently than any other, the true nature of Yuichi's confinement. After the death of Yuichi's father whose demise was the resu l t partly of the deprivations of poverty, Yuichi's mother hired herself out as a maid and, from her earnings, managed singlehandedly to put Yuichi through school as well as r e f u r -bish her property, t i l i n g the roof, planting a hedge of cedars around the grounds and setting up enormous concrete gateposts. The gateposts were ...added f o r good measure, without any relevance to the garden and the surrounding scene, but the neighbours nevertheless could hardly f a i l to be impressed by the w i l l to succeed that had made g his mother lay out so much money on such a d e t a i l . Although the t r a n s l a t i o n uses the phrase " w i l l to succeed'. the word i n the Japanese t e x t iscikigomi, ~$ ^ which means not only determination but also ardour and enthusiasm and thus shows Yuichi's mother to be motivated not only by strength of w i l l but also by intense desire and emotion. Her i n t e n s i t y as well as her tremendous sense of devotion seem to have been passed onto her son whose lo y a l t y to the Emperor and unswerving devotion to the fortunes of the state become his sole raison d'etre. "...I'd l i k e you to see the concrete gateposts outside Yuichi's house. You'll never understand him properly u n t i l you've seen those." 11 So Yoju remarks to Ueda. And indeed, these concreffegateposts not only bring Yuichi and his mother a better s o c i a l standing, they also bring praise from the villagerheadman himself and a recommendation f o r Yuichi for cadet t r a i n i n g college. i n 57 short, the concrete gateposts bring Yuichi and his mothfer both prosperity and opportunity and, almost as i f Yuichi's mother had made a second marriage, the v i l l a g e headman praises - 12 t h e i r "model family';" The concrete gateposts are thus not only a symbol of motherly love and devotion. They alsos;evoke masculine images of worldly success and opportunity, t h e i r presence a c t u a l l y helping to provide Yuichi with p a t r i a r c h a l support and patronage. Yuichi, seeking to express his gratitude as well as his devotion, gradually comes to embrace a r i t u a l in which the central figure, the Emperor, symbolizes, l i k e the gateposts, the bestowal of protection and largesse. The gateposts, a t y p i c a l l y complex Ibusean symbol, suggest a v a r i e t y of images and meanings which the v i l l a g e r s seem to have summed up rather well i n the simple yet revealing phrase: wthe fate/karma (trans, 'sins') of the parents? oya no inga, '^•*] . The gateposts, both father and mother, help to remind us that in Ibuse's works one's fate i s not only the result of d a i l y circumstances (e.g., Yuichi and the s t a l l e d truck, Tomomura and his chance remark) but i t i s also something which i s imposed upon one by the accident of b i r t h and heredity. Thus, Yuichi's present condition i s the result not only of his pwn actions but also of the actions of his mother who, with her tendency towards extravagant gestures, helped to seal her son's f a t e . In contrast to Yuichi who i s the prisoner of his delusions, the rest of the v i l l a g e r s adapt f a i r l y r e a d i l y to the v i c i s s i t u d e s of l i f e . During the war, f o r example, the v i l l a g e r s did not f i n d YSichi's attacks p a r t i c u l a r l y noticeable, but ...as Japandts defeat became imminent... people began to wonder at his way of carrying on. And i t was not u n t i l several days a f t e r the end of the war that he showed unmistakable signs of mad f i t s . 14 58 Thus i t i s cl e a r that although the v i l l a g e r s are able to move with the times, Yuichi can not. Nevertheless change in the v i l l a g e remains largely s u p e r f i c i a l when seen i n the context of v i l l a g e customs and t r a d i t i o n s . Young men l i k e Yoju just back from the war, f o r example, are urged to conform to the old ways: Hashimoto... said soothingly, "Now don't say that, Yoju. When in Rome, you know...If you don't behave, y o u ' l l f i n d yourself without a g i r l to marry you." 15 Although translated as "When in Rome..", the saying i n the Japanese text l i t e r a l l y mean's:: "When in the v i l l a g e , abide 16 by (the ways of) the village.-" Sasayama v i l l a g e i s , to Yoju at least, a place of some r e s t r i c t i o n and confinement. Much l i k e the cave of the salamander, Sasayama v i l l a g e exhibits both pleasant and unpleasant aspects. As a home and womb-area the v i l l a g e o f fers shelter and sustenance while in terms of modern or progressive ideas, i t seems rather behind the times. Yoju, refusing repeatedly to v i s i t his ancestor's tomb because i t i s "a r e l i c of the feudal era and a symbol of r e l i g i o u s 17 conf orrnism," i s unable to make his brother, Munejiro, and the two other v i l l a g e r s , Hashimoto and Shintaku, understand his point of view and, prevailed upon from a l l sides, Yoju i s f i n a l l y forced to give in and pay the requisite v i s i t . In the cl o s i n g scenes of the story, the four men, per-forming t h e i r r i t e s at the ancestral tomb, are suddenly interrupted by the peremptory voice of Yuichi as he commands 18 them to " F a l l — i n ! " Hashimoto, immediately recognizing that Yuichi i s at the height of one of his attacks, o f f e r s himaaabun stuffed with bean jam which has just been l a i d on the grave and Yuichi, accepting the g i f t with every sign of gratitude, acknowledges the bun as a g i f t from the Emperor and theia? as we might expect, orders the group to bow to the east. Even though the day i s cloudy, Yuichi makes no mistake about the d i r e c t i o n , aiming accurately towards Hattabira pond 59 which l i e s due east from the graveyard. The obeisance over, Yuichi places a small piece of the bun in each man's mouth before consuming the remainder himself. Thus occupied, Yuichi i s e a s i l y caught and led away by his mother who comes creeping up behind him. S p i t t i n g out the b i t s of bun, the four worshippers turn back to the grave to repay t h e i r respects, but Yoju i s furious: "Rubbish, the whole l o t of i t was!" said Yoju. "Nothing but a l o t of playacting by madmen. A chorus by a bunch of men i n jackboots." 19 It takes both Munejiro and Hashimoto to calm Yoju down and, as they return to the v i l l a g e , Munejiro r e a l i z e s that as elder brother he w i l l have to assert some authority over Yoju who on top of his outburst just now has also ignored his request to drain Hattabira pond. It seems that Yoju, i f he wishes to marry and s e t t l e down in Sasayarna, w i l l have to learn to put up with one of i t s more unpleasanttinhabitants as well as respect the authority of his elder brother. The v i l l a g e r s , t h e i r l i v e s circumscribed by custom and tradition]?, do t h e i r best to maintain the status quo. Although there i s some change, i t i s change imposed from outside the group as a whole (as in the case of the war) rather than from within by one "or two in d i v i d u a l s . In general the v i l l a g e r s are loath to rock the boat and so Sasayarna v i l l a g e remains a picture of s t a b i l i t y and conservatism with strong roots i n a continuing t r a d i t i o n . The v i l l a g e r s , s i m i l a r to Yuichi, thus have a more than ordinary connection with the past. In the case of Yuichi, however, the past i s not only l i m i t i n g and confining, i t i s also t o t a l l y absurd and meaningless in terms of his present existence. For the v i l l a g e r s , however, the past gives order and cohesion to t h e i r l i v e s ; i t i s meaningful in the context of the present and therein l i e s i t s value. Munejiro, f o r example, preventing a young man from attacking the raving Yuichi, says to him: 60 "Come o f f i t ! Just think a moment — you'd put up with i t a l l right i f only i t was wartime, wouldn't you? They used i t ( i . e . , m i l i t a r y language) a l l the time during the war. We"re a l l i n the same boat, aren't we?" 20 Munejiro, in r e c a l l i n g the past, i s asking the other to share in and confirm his memory. More importantly, he i s asking the other to accept that memory and the past i t represents, the bad as well as the good. The young man, however, refuses and, very much l i k e Yoju, seems to have l i t t l e use for such accep-tance and magnanimity. The v i l l a g e r s , then, in spite of t h e i r old-fashioned and s t u f f y ways, attempt to deal with l i f e i n ways which stress the unity and wholeness of existence* Thus they do not neglect the past nor do they refuse to accommodate the ' r e l i c ' which exists i n t h e i r midst. Instead, very much l i k e Musashi no Kami in Sazanami gunki, they seek to re-integrate t h e i r past experience with the r e a l i t y of the present and by so doing re-affirm the value and significance of t h e i r own l i v e s . "Yohai taicho" i s a work in which the past plays a major role not only, as we have seen, i n terms of theme and character-i z a t i o n , but also in terms of structure. Although "Yohai t a i c h 5 " begins in the present, the story does not move forward i n a consecutive fashion as does Sazanami gunki, rather i t contin-u a l l y stops and tacks back to some time i n the past before moving forward again. Ueda's tale i s the longgst of these flashbacks and a f t e r t h i s , the story remains i n the present u n t i l the f i n a l scene i n which there i s a b r i e f flashback to Yuichi's early l i f e . In t h i s f i n a l scene, the four men, returning home from the graveyard, pass by Yuichi's house just as his mother i s drawing water from the well. As the bucket i s wound up, the sound of the iron well-chain grates unpleasantly on t h e i r ears. The v i l l a g e headman, the author informs us, once praised the 61 sound of that well-chain when he came to recommend Yuichi for cadet school and Yuichi's mother, susceptible to the f l a t t e r y , f o r some time a f t e r that continued to "draw more water than she r e a l l y needed, so that the neighbours a l l 21 about would hear the sound.1.1 Thus, we are reminded once again of Yuichi's mother's lack of moderation and her sonfes unfortunate fate while at the same time we are struck by the way in which the story has come f u l l cycle. Just as Yuichi i s i d e n t i f i e d as the chief source of "ruptions i n the 22 v i l l a g e " i n the very beginning of the story, so, at the end of the story i s his mother's iron well-chain a cause of d i s -turbance in the otherwise peaceful environs of Sasayama. "Yohai taicho" begins with Yuichi i n the present but ends with his mother i n a scene from years gone by. The past, then, i s gradually and continually being revealed and, as i t i s slowly uncovered, we "begin to understand and appreciate the events of the present. Thus, the f i n a l image of Yuichi's mother drawing water from the well represents not only a scene from the past which illuminates the present anddadds a f i n i s h i n g touch to the story, i t also seems to imply that, very much l i k e water drawmifrom a well, l i f e ' s hidden depths can also be brought to the surface. The impression of concealed or hidden depths i s seen further in the use of natural and other imagery. In contrast to the sparkling quality of Sazanami gunki, for example, "Yohai taicho" makes use of imagery which emphasizes murkiness or cloudiness. The muddy waters of the unknown r i v e r i n Malaya thus hamper the soldiers i n t h e i r search f o r Lance-corporal Tomomura and i n the end they f a i l to f i n d him. Not onthy^ris the r i v e r muddy but the clay on the r i v e r bottom sti c k s to the s o l d i e r s ' boots and further delays t h e i r progress. The murky r i v e r seems to have the e f f e c t not only of conceal-ing the fate of the unfortunate Tomomura, but i t is:,also associated with the accident innwhich Lieutenant Lookeast's 62 brain becomes permanently clouded. The bomb craters which dot the area around the r i v e r are also f i l l e d with muddy water and thus t h e i r depths cannot be fathomed. In one of these craters ...two water buffaloes were soaking companionably in the muddy water, with only t h e i r heads above the surface. A white heron could be seen perched on the horns of one of the buffalo. Bird and beast a l i k e were per f e c t l y s t i l l , as though spellbound by the sight of the engineers at work on t h e i r bridge. 23 Immobility and concealment are thus emphasized, two q u a l i t i e s which are further underscored in scenes of Sasayarna v i l l a g e , p a r t i c u l a r l y i n the case of Hattabira pond, a quiet backwater of Sasayarna v i l l a g e which i s f i l l e d with 'perfectly unremark-24 able, f a i n t l y cloudy water." Hattabira pond l i e s i n a grove reached by a woodcutter's track and i s the "kind of i n s i g n i f i -25 cant pond that a stranger would never notice." This pond, however, figures i n a children's song which Lieutenant Lookeast used to sing so often on the transport to South-east Asia that Ueda Goro himself learned i t . And i t i s t h i s song and the discussion of the d i a l e c t pronunciation of Hattabira that i n i t a i l l y brings Ueda and Yoju together on the t r a i n from Tsugaru. From the graveyard Hattabira pond l i e s due east and, as we have seen, even though the weather i s cloudy, Yuichi makes no mistake about which d i r e c t i o n the men should bow. For Yuichi, the pond seems to be the one l i n k between his dimly remembered past and his equally dim and deluded present. Yuichi, who sang the praises of Hattabira on the troopship going south, thus continues to pay homage to i t s murky waters i n the present. The f a i r l y well-hidden and ' f a i n t l y cloudy waters' of Hattabira pond are c l o s e l y connected with Yuichi himself and remind us of his continued i s o l a t i o n from l i f e ' s flow due to the murky shadows of his obsession. 63 Isolation from l i f e i s further stressed i n Yuichi's connection with the graveyard where he walks among the stones, lashing out at them with his be l t as i f they were his troops. The stones, however, mark the graves of the v i l l a g e ancestors and thus Yuichi seems to be lashing out in his deluded way not only against the lowly s o l d i e r s who believe war to be extravagant but also against the very roots of his own existence which to a large extent seem to have determined his fate. The nadir of darkness and i s o l a t i o n comes soon a f t e r t h i s as Yuichi's mother, c l i n g i n g to the hem of her son's jacket, p u l l s him away from Yoju and the others and leads him away down the h i l l s i d e . Here "Yohai taicho" reaches i t s gloomiest moment: Through the trees, they could see down to the v i l l a g e street below, with a view onto Y u i c h i 1 s house — t i l e d roof, cedar hedge, concrete gate-posts and a l l . Usually the colored glass that topped the posts g l i n t e d now red, now blue, but on a cloudy day i t made a poor showing. They could see Yuichi and his mother trudging in through the gateway. 26 As the retreating figures of Yuichi and his mother merge with images of decline and obscurity, we r e a l i z e the true extent of mother-and son', s f a i l u r e and misfortune. The v i l l a g e r s , however, continuing otn down the h i l l , begin to make plans f o r the yearly draining of Hattabira pond on the next day. It seems, that just as the unknown events surrounding Yuichi's i l l n e s s have at l a s t been revealed to the v i l l a g e r s of Sasayama, so, too, w i l l the hidden depths and recesses of Hattabira pond now stand exposed to the l i g h t and a i r . Thus, i n spite of imagery which stresses concealment and darkness, the hidden depths are gradually brought to l i g h t and, as the past slowly comes to illuminate the present, our view of YSichi and the v i l l a g e of Sasayama i s also alt e r e d . Instead of simply an obnoxious and overbearing madman, we see also a son who has come to 64 represent the f a i l u r e of a l l his mother's fond hopes and instead of simply a gossipy, close-knit, conservative l i t t l e community, we see also a group of people who possess a great tolerance, an amazing r e s i l i e n c e and also, i n the face of l i f e ' s changing fortunes, an unhesitating acceptance. The author's keen s e n s i t i v i t y to l i f e ' s contrasting p o s s i b i l i t i e s , then, creates a work which alternately excites our laughter and arouses our p i t y . This a b i l i t y to combine elements which are amusing or i r o n i c with those which are p i t i f u l or pathetic i s a technique which we have seen before i n "Sanshouo" and i n "Yo"hai taicho" i t i s again employed. In "Yohai taicho", however, there i s a certain edge to the irony and amusement which i s not seen i n "Sanshouo" and i t i s t h i s which, among other things, seems to give "Yc5hai taicho" i t s p a r t i c u l a r i n t e n s i t y . , No doubt such i n t e n s i t y i s due i n part to the way i n which Ibuse has chosen to treat the theme of confinement., i / e . , through emphasis on madness and militarism, two elements which tend to provoke extreme reaction and^emotion i n most people whether in Japan or i n the West. Ibuse himself i s no.exception in t h i s case and manages to convey his feelings very c l e a r l y by equating the uncompromising m i l i t a r y mind with obsessionn and madness. Thus, irony becomes s a t i r e and the reader i s i n v i t e d to share in the author's outrage at the excesses of the m i l i t a r y . At the same time, the v i l l a g e of Sasayarna comes i n fdr i t s share of mockery as Yuichi's fate i s shown to be cl o s e l y t i e d up with his mother's extravagance and v i l l a g e hypocrisy. Nevertheless, the v i l l a g e has i t s redeeming features whereas the m i l i t a r y does not, and i n t h i s the author reveals his bias. For Ibuse, both militarism and madness are extreme forms of attachment and thus they tenddto block l i f e ' s flow. By placing such elements within the context of ordinary everyday l i f e , the author i s able to demonstrate t h e i r obstructive 65 q u a l i t i e s to f u l l advantage. Such juxtapositions also create a sense of the absurd and the incongruous and i t i s through t h i s sense of incongruity that Ibuse i s able to make us laiSgh. Thus, YOichi's a r r i v a l on a scene i s always incongruous: ...two young men who had come to the v i l l a g e to buy vegetables f o r the black market were resting by the wayside shrine, when Yuichi happened to come past. "Target, three hundred!" he declared, much to t h e i r astonishment. "Goddam fo o l s ! " he chided them almost immediately. "What are you dithering for? You'''re under f i r e ! " 27 Such humourous incongruity i s often followed by a s a t i r i c a l observation: U t t e r l y demoralized, the two young men inquired no further, but f l e d i n abject confusion. The war was only just over, and i n a l l l i k e l i h o o d the vegetable brokers were intimidated by a ce r t a i n authority they sensed in the m i l i t a r y phraseology. This was a hangover, no doubt, from wartime days, when m i l i t a r y language was something no one could afford to ignore. 28 Ibuse's s a t i r e against the r i g i d i t y of m i l i t a r y thinking i s no doubt p a r t l y the result of his own experiences when, drafted to serve as a war reporter in Singapore f romssl941-42, Ibuse found himself in the midst of men devoted to a m i l i t a r y cause. Nevertheless, i n spite of the author's obvious distaste f o r such r i g i d i t y of thought and emotion, he does not allow such feelings to gain the upper hand. Instead, the in t e n s i t y of "Y-<3hai taicho" i s tempered throughout by images which arouse our pit y and compassion. Due no doubt to the sharpness of the s a t i r e , such images seem a l l the more pathetic. 29 Yuichi, f o r example, the !istiff-necked martyr to duty," i s also portrayed as singing a children's song on the way to war,1 And, i n his madness, Yuichi i s frequently likened to someone possessed by a fox s p i r i t , yet Yuichi, the author t e l l s us, i s not nearly so elusive. Rather than f l e e t i n g from h i l l t o p to h i l l t o p , he merely hides i n chicken coops. Yuichi 66 i s also shown to be fond of sweet things and towards the end of the story in a rare gestureoof gratitude he acknowledges the g i f t of the bun from the four worshippers. In such ways as these, the author evokes not only the pathos of Yuichi's condition but also his es s e n t i a l humanity. Mad and offensive 30 though he may be, t h i s "God-awful , urelic" i s not devoid e n t i r e l y of human s e n s i b i l i t i e s . "YtShai taicho", then, i s a complex work of several l e v e l s . The v i l l a g e and the outside world, past and present, madness and fate, war and change are but a few of the many layers which are superimposed one upon the other i n t h i s story. In respect of t h i s complexity as well as i n i t s theme of confine-ment and i n the use of humour, "Yohai taicho" has much in common with "Sanshouo". Onnthe other hand, "Yohai taicho" i s not self-conscious nor self-absorbed as i s "Sanshouo", but looks to the outer world f o r i n s p i r a t i o n very much as does Sazanami gunki. Thus, "Yohai taicho", s i m i l a r to Sazanami gunki, i s able to incorporate a great variety of characters and situations into i t s whole, and yet at the same time, unlike Sazanami gunki, i t dwells upon the deep and intimate connections between these figures and events. "Yohai taichTJ" , therefore, represents a very p a r t i c u l a r merging of e a r l i e r s t y l i s t i c patterns and devices. Whereas "Sanshouo" stressed the v i t a l i t y of the inner, hidden world and Sazanami gunki the v i t a l i t y of the external, "Yohai taicho" incorporates both£ thereby achieving a greater unity as well as a greater concentration and complexity. Insteadlof the constantly moving, ever-expanding scenery of Sazanami gunki or the tight and s t a t i c world of "Sanshouo", "Yohai taicho" moves back and f o r t h i n time and space, gradually bringing the picture of Sasayarna v i l l a g e and i t s madman, Yuichi Okazaki, into sharper and sharper focus. "Yohai taicho" i s thus an extremely sophisticated example of Ibuse's a b i l i t y to examine one scene i n minute d e t a i l . Here 67 he shows us not only that scene', s various aspects, he also brings to l i g h t i t s unexpected angles and hidden depths. "Yohai taicho" possesses an outstanding acuity*, asi, well as compactness, representing not only a new refinement of style and technique but also a consolidation of e a r l i e r perspectives. Inasmuch as "Y5hai taicho" represents an attempt by the author to come to terms with war and i t s aftermath, i t also represents an attempt to re-integrate an e a r l i e r pre-war l i t e r a r y v i s i o n with the demands of a new era. ' And so, l i k e the sold i e r s in his story, Ibuse turns towards home, taking with him past and present, war and peace, inner and outer and, se t t i n g i t against the r e l a t i v e l y unchanging backdrop of v i l l a g e l i f e , he finds not bitterness or resignation but, in fa c t , acceptance and the determination to carry on, q u a l i t i e s which seem to give "Yohai taicho" i t s added poignancy and strength. Chapter 4 68 Perhaps the most widely known anddwidely read of a l l Ibuse's works, both in Japan and i n the West, i s Kuroi •amev Separated from "Y5hai taicho" by fourteen years and from the eve rabbit describes by nearly two decades, Kuroi ame was completed when Ibuse was nearly seventy years of age. Thus t h i s work attests not only the author's great vigour and v i r t u o s i t y as a writer, but also his tremendous v i t a l i t y and perc e p t i v i t y as a human being who, from the vantage point of age and experience, has brought his f u l l talents to bear upon the portrayal of an event which does not rreadily lend i t s e l f to any form of aesthetic interpre-tation — the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. There have been many attempts (both East and West) to 1 write a "book about the bomb" and i n Japan t h i s kind of work has even acquired the status of a p a r t i c u l a r genre, the .'atomic bomb novel* or genbaku shosetsu J$,'1 • fiL* » y e t . i n spite of such numerous attempts, very few works have succeeded i n achieving any major l i t e r a r y standing. Two works which may be mentioned here as among the better examples of t h i s type of l i t e r a t u r e are Natsu no hana <3> lL (Summer Flowers, 1947) by Hara Tamiki jjj. (,\-§* (1905-1951) and Shikabane no machi j}t *"f (City of Corpses, 1945) by Ota Yoko 5Jf £ (1903-1963), the l a t t e r of these being one of the works which Ibuse himself regarded 2 as of p a r t i c u l a r value. Part of the d i f f i c u l t y i n writing about the bombing no doubt stems from the nature of the material i t s e l f which constitutes, f o r the most part, accounts of endless horrors, grotesquery and tragedy. Ibuse's success in avoiding the sensational yet i n evoking the r e a l i t y of the event i s due no doubt to his a b i l i t y to examine and observe the world from a position of some detachment, con-sidering both the pleasant and the disagreeable, the ordinary 6 9 and the extraordinary as but parts of the whole. Not only i s the author able to maintain o b j e c t i v i t y , he also has considerable experience, as we have seen, i n treating themes of war and disaster. Besides such works as Sazanami gunki and "Yohai taicho" which deal with,war, there i s a whole body ofxlbuse's works which are concerned with natural disasters and the reactions of human beings caught up i n such catastrophes. The author's i n i t i a l fascinationowith excessive and violent natural events can be seen even i n "Sanshouo' i n the image of the powerfully moving whirlpool. These novels of disaster are not limited to one period of the author\s career, but span four decades of Ibuse's creative l i f e . Thus, Ibuse writes about such varied calamities as those of volcanic eruption i n "Aogashima t a i g a i k i " , of flood i n "Nakajima no kaki no k i " ^ I7 ^ ^ ^ ("Nakajima's Persimmon Tree," 1938), of f i r e and volcano i n "Gojinka" ("The Sacred F i r e , " 1943), of volcano, landslide and the submersion of an isl a n d in "Wabisuke", of shipwreck in Jon Manjiro hyoryuki and Hyomin Usaburo and f i n a l l y of the atomic disaster i n "Kakitsubata" -ft $ o 11" -f- ( " I r i s , " 1953) and. 3 Kuroi ame. IbuseIs long fascination and experience with themes of war and disaster as well as his s k i l l f u l u t i l i z a t i o n of s t y l i s t i c devices which fos t e r o b j e c t i v i t y seem to be two possible reasons why he has been successful in writing about the bomb where others have f a i l e d . Nevertheless, there are other reasons f o r the success of t h i s work, some of which have been pointed out by other c r i t i c s i n analyses and commentarieSL'on Kuroi ame • Kawakami Tetsutaro, for example, notes that Kuroi ame does not play upon the reader's sense of righteous indignation but instead emphasizes the stoicism and endurance of the people of Hiroshima. It i s t h i s 4 5 "constancy of heart" and "extraordinary ordinariness" that helps set Kuroi ame apart from the t y p i c a l atomic bomb 70 novel. Other Japanese c r i t i c s also remark upon the out-standing strength and earnestness of the town and country-fo l k and comment in various ways upon the v i v i d evocation of everyday l i f e that i s perhaps a hallmark of Kuroi ame. Nevertheless, there i s as yet r e l a t i v e l y l i t t l e c r i t i c i s m o n Kuroi ame among Japanese scholars and c r i t i c s whereas the work has not yet been dealt with i n any d e t a i l by Western scholars with one notable exception, i . e . , the rather extensive analyses proposed by A.V. Liman. Professor Liman sees Kuroi ame as a mythopoeic structure i n which r i s i n g 7 forces (tatsu chikara) characterized by p i l l a r s , trees, columns etc. and flowing forces (nagareru chikara) character-ized by waves, r i v e r s , whirlpools etc. meet and mingle, thereby creating a series of patterns and images that o f f e r a glimpse into the very nature of the cosmic forces which encompass the realms of l i f e and death, heaven and h e l l , the i n d i v i d u a l and the universe. Such observations as the above, then, show us that Kuroi ame i s much more than a novel about the atomic bomb. A work of great scope and many facets, the reasons f o r i t s success also appear to be manifold. In order to determine the significance of t h i s work not only i n r e l a t i o n to the above interpretations but also i n terms of i t s place in the body of Ibuse's writings, Kuroi ame w i l l be examined, as were previous works, with p a r t i c u l a r attention being paid to theme and structure, characterization and technique. Ibuse f i r s t began writing Kuroi ame under the t i t l e Mei no kekkon,- - ^ J a> k\ ^ |s , The Niece' s Marriage "'and only g l a t e r changed 'it to Kuroi ame • The use of these two rather disparate t i t l e s indicates that there are in fact two stories here, one, the story of Shigematsu Shizuma's attempt to f i n d a husband for his niece, Yasuko, and the other, the story of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima which was followed, among 71 other strange phenomena, by a 'black r a i n ' . Since l o c a l v i l l a g e rumour has i t that Yasuko was present i n Hiroshima when the bomb f e l l , i t i s suspected that she must have contracted some radiation disease and thus no marriage proposals are forthcoming. It i s i n order to d i s p e l l such a rumour as t h i s that Shigematsu undertakes the tr a n s c r i p t i o n of Yasuko's diary of the bombing fo r the perusal of the go-between. .Eater he decides to append his ownnjournal of the bombing to Yasuko's b r i e f e r account and i t i s thi s document which forms the basis of the rest of the story. , The diary, s i m i l a r to Sazanami gunki, provides the story's basic structure, yet in Kuroi ame t h i s structure i s i n f i n i t e l y more complex, incorporating not only Yasuko 1s diary and Shigematsu's "Journal of the Bombing" but several other d i a r i e s 10 and .numerous eye-witness accounts as well. Nevertheless, i t i s primarily through Shigematsu's journal that the story unfolds, gradually revealing the events of the past. The emphasis upon the significance and importance of the recorded past i s seen as Shigematsu f i n i s h e s the tr a n s c r i p t i o n of Yasuko's diary and deci(c|<|s to append his own. He t e l l s his wife, Shigeko: "This diary of the bombing i s my piece of history, to b;e preserved i n the school l i b r a r y . " 11 For ;Shigematsu, as for the v i l l a g e r s of Sasayama i n "Ychai taicho" , the p:ast has meaning and i t i s through the acknowledg-ment and understanding of thi s past that l i f e acquires s i g n i f i c a n c e . Also like' the v i l l a g e r s of Sasayama, Shigematsu looks to the past f o r reassurance and vindication of his own actions. The diary, he hopes, w i l l give Yasuko a clean b i l l of health, proving that she was nowhere near the blast onnthe day the bomb f e l l . Engrossed i n the copying of his old journal, Shigematsu soon finds himself catight up i n memories of those war-time days and, as the diary entries become longer*] the past indeed seems to l i v e again. So compelling i s t h i s record of the past 7 2 that.^Shigerhatsu returns to the present only to eat, to run errands or to check on the progress of the baby carp he and his friends are r a i s i n g . Otherwise, he i s t o t a l l y absorbed in the events of his journal and f o r three-quarters of the story his present l i f e seems a mere leitmotiv compared to the story of the bombing. When the present at l a s t asserts i t s e l f , however, i t does so with a vengeance as Shigematsu*s hopes for Yasuko are .dashed. Delving deeper and deeper into the events surrounding the bombing, Shigematsu soon comes to r e a l i z e that proximity to the blast i s not the only c r i t e r i o n for contamination. Simply walking through the ruins as did Shigematsu with his wife and Yasuko i s enough i n most cases to cause, sickness and death. The past, then, f a r from v i n d i -cating. Shigematsu 1 s convictions, confirms his worst fears and at the same time, gives an unexpectedly unpleasant twist to the present as Shigematsu discovers that Yasuko has begun to show symptoms of radiation disease. ..-..Unable to continue with his t r a n s c r i p t i o n , Shigematsu casts about f o r a cure, for any ray of hope, and by chance comes to hear of the remarkable recovery of Dr. Iwatake who, in a;-much worse condition than Yasuko, managed to beat the disease. Iwatake*s account of the bombing, his i n j u r i e s and subsequent i l l n e s s and recovery as well as his wife's r e c o l -l e c t i o n s f i l l the f i n a l chapters of Kuroi ame, giving Shigematsu new hope and the necessary impetus to f i n i s h his own t r a n s c r i p t i o n . The past, s i m i l a r to "Yohai taicho", represents the hidden, seemingly unimportant or forgotten moments of l i f e from' which present events take t h e i r shape and i n Kuroi ame such matters are brought to l i g h t primarily through the medium of written records which provide lengthy and absorbings flashbacks into the past. The past, also as i n "Yohai taicho", not only helps to c l a r i f y the present and affirm the s i g n i f i -7 3 cance of human existence, i t also brings to our attention the vagaries and r e s t r i c t i o n s of fate ( i . e . , of past a c t i o n s ) . At the same time, however, the events of the past are developed much more f u l l y than i n the e a r l i e r work and in Kuroi amd we come to r e a l i z e the tremendous significanqa-athat past time has f o r the author. Not only, i s the past seen as r e s t r i c t i n g and confining, i t i s also seen as supportive and reassuring, hence the close association of the past with the v i l l a g e , i t s environs and with mature female figures such as the mother and/or the woman of the household. Whereas t h i s female figure was portrayed as a symbol of fate and confine-ment i n "Yohai taicho", in Kuroi ame she appears primarily as a custodian or guardian': In the old days, Shigematsu had l e f t the regular a i r i n g of the things i n the storehouse e n t i r e l y to his mother; since she had died, he had l e f t i t to Shigeko. 12 Shigeko's position as protector of the past i s further empha-sized as she takes Shigematsu into the dark and gloomy family storehouse to show him the colour of the ink i n an old l e t t e r . The l e t t e r , written i n Western ink in the early years of M e i j i , i s found to have faded and thi s prompts Shigematsu to resume his transcriptiontuusing Japanese brush and paper instead of the Western pen he has employed so f a r . Thus, no matter how f r a g i l e or faded, the past i s preserved and protected i n the dark recesses of the family storehouse, an area associated with wife and mother, representing the womb-space of the family i t s e l f and thus the s t a t i c forces of l i f e , forces with which Shigematsu i s also c l o s e l y associated i n his role as recorder and preserver of past events. At the same time, however, the past i s also seen as an acknowledgment of l i f e ' s flow and movement. This emphasis upon the past both as s t a t i c e n t i t y and as indicator of l i f e ' s flow can be seen p a r t i c u l a r l y well i n the descriptions of 74 everyday l i f e in war-time Hiroshima as well as i n the continual references throughout the story to other h i s t o r i c a l periods, p a r t i c u l a r l y to times of war or, as i n the case of 13 the above l e t t e r , to times of r a d i c a l s o c i a l change. It seems that the past contains both s t a t i c elements(represented by the f i n i s h e d or completed act) as well as dynamic aspects (emphasized through h i s t o r i c a l imagery and records of d a i l y l i f e which stress change and movement). Thus, while the emphasis upon the past and upon l i f e ' s s t a t i c forces i s of prime importance throughout Kuroi ame and while themes of fate and confinement as well as of support and preservation loom large, Kuroi ame also stresses change and movement, an element seen at i t s most dramatic in the depiction of the bombing anddat Its most prosaic i n the a c t i v i t y and a f f a i r s of everyday l i f e . Kuroi ame, then, i s a work i n which the wholeness of l i f e i s stressed, i n which both flow and move-ment, s t a s i s and confinement play major r o l e s . The juxtaposi-tion of these contrasting elements i s instrumental not only i n depicting l i f e ' s t o t a l i t y but also i n bringing unity to the work. Thus, i n spite of i t s episodic nature, Kuroi ame i s neither loose nor d i s j o i n t e d , but drawn t i g h t l y together through the s k i l l f u l u t i l i z a t i o n and development of two p i v o t a l elements which, i n t h e i r e s s e n t i a l natures, r e f l e c t the complementary yet opposing forces of s t a s i s and movement, -i . e . , the image of the bomb, a force of sudden, r a d i c a l and disastrous change and the figure of Shigematsu himself, a figure that emphasizes the steadfast and enduring q u a l i t i e s of man and nature. The bomb, with i t s b r i l l i a n t b l i n d i n g f l a s h over Hiroshima early on the morning of 6 August 1945 i s the point around which every account revolves. This great f l a s h of l i g h t followed by a tremendous roar, t o t a l darkness and the r i s i n g of an enormous mushroom-shaped cloud i s 75 described again and againa.in various terms by the survivors as they recount t h e i r escape from the destroyed c i t y : When the bomb f e l l . . . 1 4 When the b a l l of fire...burst...15 When a: =ball of f i r e blazed i n the sky...16 When there was a b r i l l i a n t flash...17 When there was a t e r r i b l e f l a s h of bluish-white l i g h t outside...like a shooting star the size of hundreds of suns...18 'When the bomb f e l l ' (and i t s numerous variations) becomes a constant r e f r a i n which accompanies each account noted by Shigematsu as he c o l l e c t s and c o l l a t e s the myriad views of the bombing. The mysterious a f t e r - e f f e c t s , the sudden collapse and death of those who are barely injured, the raging firestorm that sweeps the c i t y — a l l these features, too, are noted repeatedly by the survivors who each have t h e i r own ind i v i d u a l story to t e l l . Throughout that f a t e f u l day and the days following u n t i l the Japanese surrender on 15 August, Shigematsu reports i n d e t a i l not only his own thoughts and actions but also those of his family, friends, co-workers and those strangers with whom he comes i n contact. What emerges i s an i n t r i c a t e and dynamic mosaic, consisting of countless i n t e r - l o c k i n g facets, a l l of which r e f l e c t , i n one way or- another, the image of the bomb bursting over Hiroshima. 1 The bomb thus represents a t e r r i f i c energy release which brings r a d i c a l , drastic change. In thi s excessiveness of heat, l i g h t and movement, we see an overflow of the dynamic p r i n c i p l e which brings death, dispersal and disruption,-^ Just as the excessive confinement of war and militarism blocked l i f e ' s flow i n "Yohai taicho", so does the excessive energy release of the atomic bomb play havoc with the natural course of things i n Kuroi ame. Thus, Shigematsu notes the peculiar regeneration of a plantain tree a few days a f t e r the b l a s t : Yesterday, I had seen a new shoot a foot and a half 76 long on a plantain tree...The o r i g i n a l stem had been snapped o f f by the blast and had disappeared without a trace, but a new shoot, encased i n a sheath l i k e bamboo, was already growing i n i t s place. Today, the shoot was a good two feet long. Familiar with trees as I was, af t e r a childhood spent on a farm, I was astonished. 19 The bomb, i t seems, brings strange and unnatural change, having the power not only to destroy but also to af f e c t l i f e ' s very essence by accelerating the cycles of growth and reproduction. Not only does the bomb tamper with l i f e ' s e s s e n t i a l processes, i t also exposes areas and/or objects previously hidden. The eff e c t s of t h i s exposure are noted by Shigematsu almost at once as he observes the effects of the bomb blast on f i s h i n making them r i s e to the surface and he compares t h i s to the same eff e c t on f i s h observed during an 2'<J-earthquake. The bomb, s i m i l a r to a natural disaster, i n i t i a t e s r a d i c a l change and reveals l i f e ' s hidden depths; yet unlike such natural disasters, i t s destructive energies also contain the potential to either a l t e r or extinguish a l l of l i f e i t s e l f . Closely a l l i e d to the excessiveness of the bomb which brings destruction i s the excessiveness of war which, s i m i l a r to "Yohai taicho", brings r e s t r i c t i o n and confinement. In Kuroi ame, images of the bomb and of the war are c l o s e l y intertwined, o f f e r i n g a marked and v i v i d contrast not only between the forces of s t a s i s and movement, but more p a r t i c u l a r l y , between the excessiveness of these forces which, unleashed and unchecked, bring unpleasant and unnatural disturbances. The image of the bomb bursting i s associated not only with the actual event but also with another equally shocking and disturbing occurrence, the discovery of Yasuko's radiation sickness. Shigematsu writes: Her sight has deteriorated rapidly, and she complains of a constant ringing i n her ears. 77 When she f i r s t t o l d me about i t , i n the l i v i n g room, there was a moment when the l i v i n g room vanished and I saw a great, mushroom-shaped cloud r i s i n g into a blue sky. I saw i t quite d i s t i n c t l y . 20 Although the e f f e c t s of the bomb do not manifest i n Yasuko 1s case u n t i l almost f i v e years a f t e r the event, once the disease takes hold, i t brings rapid and complete deterioration and within a few short weeks Yasuko becomes p r a c t i c a l l y an old woman. Seemingly emphasizing the bomb's capacity to a l t e r and accelerate l i f e ' s natural cycles, the radiation disease appears' as a p a r t i c u l a r l y horrible and pathetic parody of the aging process. Thus, Yasuko's hair and teeth begin to f a l l out and, covered with f e s t e r i n g sores, pale and anemic, she gradually becomessia bed-ridden i n v a l i d . 2 Besides bringing Yasuko 1s i l l n e s s , t h i s "new and savage" bomb is s a l s o the reason f o r Japan's surrender and here, i n two subtle, revealing scenes the author shows us another kind of destruction which i s not physical of material:, but in i t s own way, just as devastating. Although the atomic bomb has achieved a p a r t i c u l a r l y horrendous t o t a l destruction on a scale never before seen by man, the people of Hiroshima at f i r s t see the bombing as only one more misfortune of war to be endured and overcome. Everyone i s s t i l l preparing to f i g h t on. In a scene from the f i r s t chapter of Kuroi ame the v i l l a g e headman of Shigematsu's v i l l a g e of Kobatake addresses the r e l i e f and rescue team on t h e i r way to search for survivors: " . . . i t i s an unquestionable f a c t that a war i s i n progress, and you, as members of a voluntary labor unit, are proceeding henceforth to bring home your comrades-in-arms. I must request you above a l l , '" 1 therefore, to take care not to drop those symbols of your i n v i n c i b l e determination to f i g h t on to the b i t t e r end — your bamboo spears." 22 As the team pauses f o r lunch at a farmhouse half-way to 78 Hiroshima, they hear over the radio "an unprecedented 23 broadcast by His Majesty the Emperor" announcing the surrender. A f t e r s i t t i n g f o r awhile i n silence, the group decides to move on,.leaving t h e i r bamboo spears behind. Although the English t r a n s l a t i o n explains that the broadcast i s one made by the Emperor, the Japanese text i s much less e x p l i c i t . The sentence simply states that: "At that time ( i . e . , when the group was eating lunch), they heard an 24 important broadcast on the radio inside the house." The fact that every Japanese reader, even today, at once under-stands without further elaboration the nature of t h i s i •important broadcast' shows the tremendous impact t h i s announce-ment had upon the entire nation. This broadcast does not appear again i n the story u n t i l the f i n a l pages where Shigematsu, able to look at the r o i l i n g mushroom cloud but unable to l i s t e n to the 'important broadcast', stands<3outside the works canteen gazing at baby eels swimming upstream. When the broadcast i s over and Shigematsu returns to the canteen, he r e a l i z e s that something very serious indeed has occurred: I walked along the corridor towards the canteen. A stream of workers passed me, t h e i r expressions grimmer than I had ever seen them before. Some of the male hands were crying. Some of the g i r l s had covered t h e i r faces with t h e i r work hats...Tears started into my own eyes...A middle-aged kitchen helper who had just f i n i s h e d setting the table came up to me. "Oh, Mr. Shizuma," she began, bowing formally i n the manner of one who off e r s condolences, "I r e a l l y don't know what to say at a time l i k e t h i s . You know, I may not be much - I'm only a poor o l d woman - but I f e e l so sad, and so angry...I don't want..." Her voice f a l t e r e d . "Oh dear..." 25 With the Emperor's broadcast the people are psychologically Their great e f f o r t s of s a c r i f i c e and devotion seem to have been i n vain. Thus, besides the atomic blast of radiation 79 which destroys an entire c i t y , other 'bombs* are released throughout the story, one, the Emperor's broadcast, a psychological bomb that nearly destroys the foundations of the society and the other, a slower-ticking time-bomb, the radiation disease that suddenly and unexpectedly almost f i v e years l a t e r s t r i k e s Shigematsu's bea u t i f u l and innocent niece, Yasuko. Just as images of the bomb provide a major pi v o t a l point i n the story, so, too, does the figure of Shigematsu Shizuma of Kobatake v i l l a g e . Shigematsu, observer and compiler, i s a capable and determined i n d i v i d u a l . In contrast to the violent movement and a c t i v i t y associated with the bomb, Shigematsu appears as a steadfast and resolute fi g u r e , well able to withstand danger and hardship. Employed during the war in a m i l i t a r y clothing factory just outside Hiroshima, Shigematsu i s present i n the c i t y at the time of the b l a s t . Fortunate enough to escape with only a burn on his cheek, Shigematsu i s soon re-united with his wife and niece whom he leads through the burning ruins of the c i t y to the clothing factory and r e l a t i v e safety. After the defeat Shigematsu and his family return to the v i l l a g e of Kobatake where Shigematsu suffers a mild bout of radiation sickness and finds he can no longer engage in strenuous physical a c t i v i t y . As a resul t he joins^'his two friends, Asajiro and ShSkichi, also survivors of the bomb, i n the r a i s i n g of carp, an occupation considered suit a b l y ^ relaxing as well as s u f f i c i e n t l y remuner-ative for victims of the bomb. It i s while he i s copying out his journal and preparing the f r y for the ponds that Shigematsu discovers his niece's i l l n e s s . Powerless to cure her, Shige-matsu 'finds himself hoping i n vain for a miracle. In many respects, then, Shigematsu i s a f a m i l i a r character. Very much l i k e Miyaji Kotaro i n Sazanami gunki, Shigematsu i s an older, middle-aged man, steadfast and •. 80 resourceful. The portrayal of such mature or el d e r l y men, as c r i t i c s have noted, i s an area i n which Ibuse excels: These men are usually i n touch with the basic elements of t h e i r l o c a l e : they o f f e r a f o c a l point and a key to i t s essence...when they are put to the test, i t i s the strength of these earthy old men that proves equal even to the Bomb. 26 Shigematsu i s one of these ^earthy old men1, clos e l y connected with his natural surroundings very much as Miyaji Kotaro was connected with the Inland Sea area in Sazanami gunki. And indeed, just as Miyaji Kotaro stood v a l i a n t l y at Ichi-no-tani, so does Shigematsu 'prove equal' to the bomb at Hiroshima. This can be seen p a r t i c u l a r l y well just a f t e r the bomb blast when Shigematsu r e a l i z e s something dreadful must have happened: There was no p a r t i c u l a r pain, yet a mild horror pri c k l e d at the nape of my neck...a c h i l l struck throughout my body. Suddenly the uproar about me receded into the distance; i t was not exactly faintness, but the mental shock of that moment was quite indescribable... "Something t e r r i b l e ' s happened," I said. "Something" t e r r i b l e , so we must keep calm, Mrs. Takahashi. We must think before we act. And keep r e a l l y calm." 27 And again as he- stares up at the mushroom cloud and f e e l s himself about to collapse in ter r o r : With a mighty e f f o r t , I forced myself to get a grip on myself. Catching sight of a s t i c k . . . I beat myself indiscriminately on the calves, buttocks and thighs. Next, I beat my shoulders and upper arms. Then I shut my eyes andddid some deep breathing...breathing in and out very slowly, i n almost incantatory fashion. It gave me back control of my legs as well as a certain mental detachment, and I set o f f eastward along the tracks. 28 Shigematsu struggles not only with his fears but also with his emotions which at times threaten to overpower him: 81 For a moment, I f e l t l i k e flinginggmy bundle i n the r i v e r . I hated war. Who cared, a f t e r a l l , which side won? The only important thing was to end i t a l l as soon as possible: rather an unjust peace, than a "just" war! 29 And yet his calm p r a c t i c a l i t y soonr;; reasserts i t s e l f : I went back to the parapet, but instead of f l i n g i n g my bundle into the r i v e r made i t fas t on my back/i.It was f u l l of things necessary f o r s u r v i v a l amidst the ruins.:.-30 This great fortitude and determination of Shigematsu i s perhaps his most outstanding feature and even seems to be r e f l e c t e d i n the characters of his name which mean honour and respect; oppressed; heavy, massive; to p i l e up: shige and pine tree: matsu fa . As in Sazanami gunki human beings are. again associated with trees. Professor Liman interprets the name as follows: (Shigematsu) i s not only a pine...but also a shigeru matsu. The shige of his name i s written , . with the character f o r kasanaru, to p i l e up, store up. So the emphasis i n shigeru i s on the onflow, '•r or p i l i n g up of experience, strength and wisdom that grow and p i l e up i n waves just as a tree's years. 31 Nevertheless, i n spite of Shigematsu's amazing a b i l i t y to endure and to control his fears and emotions, there i s another aspect of his character that i s somewhat less happy. Bound and r e s t r i c t e d by the circumstances of war and fate, the figure of Shigematsu seems to represent not only the ' p i l i n g up of experience, wisdom and strength 1, but also the p i l i n g up of duties and r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s . Kuroi ame begins: For several years past, Shigematsu Shizuma, of the v i l l a g e of Kobatake, had been aware of his niece Yasuko as a weight on his mind. What was worse, he had a presentiment that the weight was going to remain with him, unspeakably oppressive, f o r s t i l l more years to come. In Yasuko, he seemed to have taken on a double, or even a t r i p l e , l i a b i l i t y . 32 8 2 This 'weight' that oppresses Shigematsu in the English t r a n s l a t i o n i s i n the Japanese text a word that also means h 3 3 r e s p o n s i b i l i t y and obligation': futan: Jl if. and by the end of the story Shigematsu's r e s p o n s i b i l i t y towards Yasuko has indeed grown heavier. It was Shigematsu who brought Yasuko to Hiroshima and found her a job in his own place of work to prevent her being drafted elsewhere, and i t was also Shigematsu who made the decision that they should brave the ruins of Hiroshima. Although i n the beginning of the story the p o s s i b i l i t y of marriage seems remote for Yasuko, by the end of Kuroi ame her very s u r v i v a l seems u n l i k e l y . As f a r as his niece i s concerned, Shigematsu seems beset by mis-fortune. Shigematsu's name, then, has a double si g n i f i c a n c e ; not only i s strength and d u r a b i l i t y implied but also the heaviness of r e s p o n s i b i l i t y and f a t e . In the figure of Shigematsu, we see one of the most powerful concentrations of the s t a t i c forcer-;that has yet appeared in a character i n Ibuse's works. Combining both positive and negative aspects of s t a s i s (i,ie., endurance and confinement) Shigematsu stands out as a s o l i d and steadfast i n d i v i d u a l limited and confined by the circumstances of fate. No doubt due to such confinement and r e s t r i c t i o n , Shigematsu finds himself p a r t i c u l a r l y attracted to the free and unrestrained^, to the forces of flow and movement, and in th i s respect, perhaps nothing i s as compelling and ultimately fas c i n a t i n g as the spectacle of the atomic disaster i t s e l f . Thus Shigematsu observes: Although the cloud seemed at f i r s t glance to be motionless, i t was by no means so. The head of the mushroom would billow out f i r s t to the east, then to the west, then out to the east again; each time, some part or other of i t s body would emit a f i e r c e l i g h t , i n ever-changing shades of red, purple, l a p i s - l a z u l i or green. And a l l the time i t went on b o i l i n g out unceasingly from within. Its stalk, l i k e a twisted v e i l of fine cloth, went on swelling busily, too. 34 83 And some time l a t e r : The mushroom cloud was r e a l l y shaped more l i k e a j e l l y f i s h than a mushroom. Yet i t seemed to have a more animal v i t a l i t y than any-'jellyfish, with i t s leg that quivered anddits head that changed colour as i t sprawled out slowly toward the southeast, writhing and raging... 35 Not only i s Shigematsu fascinated by the excessive and violent action of the bomb, he i s also attracted by the gentler, hnore refreshing movements of l i f e , such as that of 3 6 the baby eels "swimming b l i t h e l y upstream against the current." Like the salamander trapped i n the cave, Shigematsu also peers out at the world from the confines of h i s own existence and beholds the violence and movement of l i f e with a mixture of wonder and awe. Also l i k e the salamander, he recognizes his confinement and must struggle with his emotions. And yet, even though h i s fee l i n g s are active and powerful, he i s not over-whelmed by them as i s the salamander, or Kakutan of Izumidera in Sazanami gunki. Instead, l i k e the ultimately detached frog figure of "SanshSuo", Shigematsu attempts to come to terms with l i f e ; a n d death, accepting the v i c i s s i t u d e s of fate and taking r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r his own actions. In the figure of Shigematsu, we f i n d q u a l i t i e s that are p a r t i c u l a r l y reminiscent of both frog and salamander, and thus in some respects the figure of Shigematsu harks back to the e a r l i e s t story where two lowly creatures of the depths struggled with such imponderables as fate and confinement. ''Shigematsu, too, l i k e the frog and salamander, has close and intimate connections with the depths and, s i m i l a r to the frog and salamander, he undergoes a kind of metamorphosis while immersed i n these lower reaches. Called upon by the works manager to perform the l a s t r i t e s over those who have died on the factory grounds, Shigematsu secures the necessary sutras from an old pr i e s t and undertakes the reading of the appropriate 84 scriptures. From dawn to dusk f o r two days Shigematsu acts as p r i e s t , intoning the funeral service over the dead in the factory or i n the dry riverbed where the bodies are taken for cremation. In a scene at the riverbed which 37 r e c a l l s the twelfth century H e l l Scroll-spaintings, Shigematsu surveys the utter desolation: From the top of the embankment, countless holes were v i s i b l e , dug i n the sand. I could see bones i n most of them, and the ,skulls e s p e c i a l l y stood out with strange clarity...Some of the s k u l l s gazed f i x e d l y at the sky'with empty eye sockets, others clenched t h e i r teeth i n angry resentment... In some holes, only; the head and the legs had been consumed. In others, bright red tongues of flame s t i l l f l i c k e r e d f i t f u l l y . I remembered the other body awaiting me, and set o f f back along the embank-ment, murmuring the "Sermon on Mortality" to myself as I went. This time, I got through i t without so much as a glance at my notes. 38 And l a t e r i n the c i t y where he has been sent to procure coal for the factory, the images of death and destruction which have been growing s t e a d i l y throughout the story reach t h e i r maximum i n t e n s i t y as Shigematsu stumbles upon a scene of so l d i e r s burning bodies i n h a s t i l y dug p i t s . At t h i s makeshift charnel house under the blazing summer sun, Shigematsu faces the ultimate i n death and horror and, quite overcome by the spectacle, he momentarily loses himself i n the r e a l i z a t i o n of complete a n n i h i l a t i o n . Muttering the "Sermon on Mortality" and watching l i f e ' s processes wind dov/n to the f i n a l endpoint, Shigematsu, too, seems to touch bottom, perceiving almost in spite of himself the very depths of extinction and d i s s o l u t i o n . From th i s point onward, however, Shigematsu's connection with the end of things, with death, with the continual r e c i t a t i o n of sutras etc. begins to disappear. Having passed through the f i r e s of h e l l and beheld th e i r workings, he now emerges from t h e i r depths, seemingly reborn from the very ashes of the destroyed c i t y . Thus, resting on some stone 85 steps, Shigematsu.observes: (There Was) a thick layer of ash s e t t l e d on them. It was a dry, powdery ash l i k e buckwheat f l o u r . Dabbing at i t with my finger, I found I could draw s c r o l l s and write l e t t e r s i n i t . I wrote a l l kinds of things. I v i s u a l i z e d the blackboard at school i n my childhood, and started to draw the diagram for Pythagoras's theorem... 39 For the f i r s t time, then, Shigematsu begins to entertain p o s s i b i l i t i e s of reconstruction, of building a new l i f e from the rubble. His contact with the depths of existence seems to have given him a new lease on l i f e . Seemingly reborn from the depths, he i s ready to re-enter l i f e ' s flow. At the same time, however, the images of the past and of established p r i n c i p l e s that Shigematsu finds i n the ashes of Hiroshima serve to re-affirm and re-establish his es s e n t i a l q u a l i t i e s of s t a b i l i t y and constancy. Thus, Shigematsu's return to l i f e i s not marked by sudden, drastic change, but by a re-affirmation of his sturdy a b i l i t i e s ; rather than attempting any untoward action, Shigematsu merely decides to 40 pursuesa more "independent" course i n his. e f f o r t s to acquire the requisite c o a l . Shigematsu's search for t h i s v i t a l commodity which originates i n the earth's midden recesses reminds us yet again that the depths contain pdssib.iMti.es not only of extinction and d i s s o l u t i o n but also of sustenance and continuity. This process of r e v i t a l i z a t i o n begun in the ruins of Hiroshima continues throughout the remainder of the story and, even in the face of Yasuko's advancing i l l n e s s , Shigematsu, i n an act of f a i t h and determination, reaches down once again into the depths, t h i s time not i n the role of one who o f f i c i a t e s over the forces of di s s o l u t i o n , but as a progenitor i n an act of creation as he struggles to bring l i f e from the cloudy hatchery ponds he and his two friends have prepared and constructed. 86 Shigeko, Shigematsu's wife, i s so c l o s e l y a l l i e d to her husband that the two are v i r t u a l l y inseparable. Like Shige-matsu, Shigeko also possesses the homely virtues of patience and f o r t i t u d e , p r a c t i c a l i t y and calm strength. I f her husband i s the enduring pine, then she i s that pine's worthy 41 branch. Her name, written i n kana ( y >T % ), o f f e r s no p o s s i b i l i t y f o r interpretation beyond that of r e f l e c t i n g the shige of her husband's name and thereby r e i n f o r c i n g her image as her husband's help-meet and f a i t h f u l companion. Her notes e n t i t l e d "Diet i n Wartime Hiroshima" which Shigematsu appends to his journal "of the bombing as well as her diary of Yasuko' s i l l n e s s show Shigeko to have as observant an eye as her husband i n recording matters while at the same time her goodwifely image i s stressed. Shigeko accompanies Shigematsu wherever he decides to lead, even through the incredible dangers and the seething ruins of Hiroshima, giving him her support and t r u s t . Shigeko, as we have seen, i s also associated with images of shelter and preservation^ q u a l i t i e s which r e f l e c t the gentler aspect of the confined and s t a t i c world of home and v i l l a g e . Shigeko's connection with preservation i s also emphasized p a r t i c u l a r l y well i n the scene where she hurries to sink important household items i n the pond and bury others i n the a i r r a i d shelter before the approaching firestorm descends on t h e i r Hiroshima c i t y house. Although Shigeko's r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s towards Yasuko are not emphasized as are Shigematsu's, Shigeko nonetheless helps shoulder her husband's burden and the two make th e i r way through l i f e together, o f f e r i n g and receiving mutual aid and support. Thus, when we see Shigematsu, leaning on a bamboo spear and with one arm round his wife's shoulders, struggling homeward "rather l i k e a defeated remnant from one 42 of the peasant r i s i n g s of the l a s t century," we r e a l i z e that both Shigematsu and Shigeko, l i k e the sturdy pine associated with t h e i r names, have t h e i r roots planted deep i n 87 t h e i r native s o i l . Beset with troubles though they may be, they are both tough and durable, persistent and indomitable survivors. Both Shigematsu and Shigeko are clo s e l y associated with the elements of s t a s i s and confinement and thus t h e i r figures provide an e f f e c t i v e contrast against the forces of drastic change and movement associated with the bomb. Although we have seen these elements of s t a s i s and movement continually juxtaposed i n a variety of ways throughout the story — and indeed, the story revolves around just such a juxtaposition ( i . e . , between Shigematsu and the bomb) — there are some areas i n which these forces are not merely contrasted but instead seem to converge and commingle, as for example, i n the case of Shigematsu's niece, Yasuko. Yasuko has a great deal i n common with her aunt and uncle. D u t i f u l and considerate, modest and p r a c t i c a l , Yasuko i s a great help to Shigeko and to Shigematsu, she i s "almost a 43 daughter." Nevertheless, in spite of her c a p a b i l i t i e s , i t seems that there i s some inherent weakness i n Yasuko's con s t i t u t i o n . Unlike Shigematsu who has escaped with r e l a t i v e -l y mild symptoms of radiation disease and Shigeko who seems affected not at a l l , Yasuko becomes desperately i l l f o r no apparent reason. Yasuko*s possible contamination by the bomb i s suggested early in the story, however, as she and her companions are rained on by a shower of 'black r a i n ' coming towards them from the d i r e c t i o n of the bombed c i t y . No matter how hard she rubs at the marks on her skin, the spots w i l l not come o f f . Shigematsu, however, blames himself for her i l l n e s s and attributes i t s cause to the scrape which Yasuko received on her elbow as the family made the i r way through the sticky asphalt street of the ruined c i t y , crawling under downed e l e c t r i c i t y cables. At any rate, for whatever the reason, the young and beautiful Yasuko on the verge of a successful marriage arrangement f a l l s i l l and weakens rapidl y . 88 In the figure of Yasuko, then, we see not only a proper and d u t i f u l 'daughter' dependent upon both aunt and uncle for sustenance and strength, we see also a fast i d i o u s and gentle young woman eager to enter the flow of l i f e and yet so frightened and upset by the sudden turn of events that she gives way to despair and seems to lose even her w i l l to l i v e . This combination of dependence and delicacy r e f l e c t s Yasuko*s connection with the forces of both s t a s i s and flow, a connection which can be seen i n one of the early images of the story. When the bomb f a l l s , Yasuko, in shock and fear, presses herself against a rock very much l i k e the small white flower that already clings there. This image of the white flower c l i n g i n g to the rock emphasizes Yasuko 1s relationship to her sturdy aunt and uncle and thus her connec-tion with the s t a t i c forces; at the same time t h i s image stresses Yasuko's delicacy and f r a g i l i t y , q u a l i t i e s that c a l l our attention to the transiency and ephemerality of l i f e . Although Ibuse generally tends to f i n d v i t a l i t y i n the flow and movement of nature, here, in the figure of Yasuko he seems to r e c a l l more t r a d i t i o n a l associations, noting delicacy instead of strength, s u s c e p t i b i l i t y instead of potency. The emphasis upon l i f e ' s transiency can be seen further in the f i r s t character used i n Yasuko's name: arrow, v 44 ya, i\ which emphasizes Yasuko's connection with the flow of time and thus, l i k e the image of the flower, suggests that the passage of her days w i l l be rapid. Yasuko's d e l i -cacy i s also emphasized by the ease with which she i s marked by the black rain whose f a l l i n g drops symbolize the p o l l u t i o n of l i f e ' s natural flow. The second character of Yasuko's name c a l l s our attention to the dependent or s t a t i c aspect of her nature, showing i t to be characterized by a sense of duty and obligation as well as by a certain amount of r e s t r i c t i o n or confinement, t h i s second character having the meanings of j-g 45 ought; must; proper; to wait: ^u-,-.-7|i, • Thus we see that 8 9 not only must Yasuko wait f o r help and strength from her sturdy r e l a t i v e s , she i s also circumscribed by obligations to them. In terms of s t a t i c strengths and q u a l i t i e s , as with q u a l i t i e s of dynamism and movement, Yasuko i s rather poorly endowed. Somewhat l i k e Musashi no Kami i n Sazanami gunki, Yasuko's fate i s cl o s e l y connected to her family as well as to the flow of time. And yet, while Musashi no Kami's l i f e energy Waxes strong, drawing strength from such a s o l i d figure as old Kotaro, Yasuko shies away from Shigematsu once she i s i l l , due i t seems to a combination of shame and disappointment, and thus, unable to draw strength from the one person who could be her support and mainstay, Yasuko's energy quickly wanes with time's passage as does her deter-mination to survive. Although one can hardly blame her f o r giving up so horrible i s the disease, Yasuko's circumstances o f f e r a marked contrast to the much more severe case of Dr. Iwatake who somehow manages to recover. Dr. Iwatake's story which Shigematsu shows to Yasuko's own doctor as an example of one successful treatment and 46 recovery from t h i s "freak disease" i s an encouraging tale of survival against a l l possible odds; an e s s e n t i a l l y true story, the real-Dr. Iwatake eventually resumed his practice 47 i n Tokyo a f t e r h i s convalescence. Unlike Yasuko, Iwatake was very close to the centre of the actual explosion. On a parade ground receiving a pepetalk from his unit's second-in-command, the middle-aged late draftee Iwatake even sees the bomb as i t i s dropped by parachute from a lone B - 2 9 f l y i n g overhead. Buried under rubble, burned severely on face and hands, Iwatake nevertheless manages to free himself and make his way to safety along the r i v e r , wandering f o r several hours through the heart of the mushroom cloud i t s e l f . Collapsing at a reception centre f o r refugees, Iwatake i s f i n a l l y re-united with h i s wife who together with her brother, a doctor, nurses him back to health. 90 The treatment, consisting primarily of blood transfusions and injections of vitamin C, i s also supplemented by a diet of grated peaches and eggs. Iwatake's wife, a f r a i d that the peaches, a well-known l o c a l variety, w i l l soon be out of season, stores two b i g l o t s at the bottom of a deep well. These peaches concealed i n the depths of the earth remind us that l i f e ' s healing and restorative processes are primarily the res u l t of tapping those reserves of strength and endurance that l i e hidden i n the deep well of one's being, the s t a t i c yet regenerative depths of l i f e . And indeed, during his i l l n e s s , Iwatake exists only on these peaches, managing to consume the entire amount. Even Yasuko makes an e f f o r t to contact the healing powers of the deep, p u l l i n g up and eating the roots of the aloe i n a vain attempt to cure her rapidly advancing anemia. Iwatake, however, due no doubt as much to the c a r e f u l ministrations of his brother-in-law and his wife as to his own inner reserves of strength, begins to recover s t e a d i l y , grad-48 u a l l y acquiring "more or less l i t e r a l l y , a new body." Iwa-take 's great f o r t i t u d e as well as his a b i l i t y to survive can also be seen i n the characters of his name which are suggestive of a long and f r u i t f u l l i f e based upon a substantial and enduring foundation: rockjcrag, iwa, and bamboo, take, , 49 /r] . Accordingly, even while sick in bed and reduced to a skeleton;,! Iwatake i s capable of seeing his emaciated body as the " i r o n framework of a building under construction 1*." Similar to Shigematsu, then, Iwatake i s also reborn from the depths of his experience and without h e s i t a t i o n at once begins the task of recovery and reconstruction. Afte r a close perusal of Iwatake and his wife's story, Shigematsu concludes that the reason f o r Iwatake's recovery l i e s not only with the treatment he received but may also be 51 attributed to his""enormous w i l l to beat the disease." That Yasuko i s somehow lacking i n such determination, Shigematsu i n s t i n c t i v e l y r e a l i z e s , and thus he decides that the only 91 course of action i s to give Yasuko confidence that she, too, w i l l l i v e . Although the requisite transfusionssandclinjections are begun on Yasuko, Kuroi ame comes to a close before we are able to learn the results of t h i s treatment or of Shigematsu's decision to render extra support and encouragement. Yasuko's fortunes, then, suddenly decline while Iwatake's gradually improve. Iwatake, very much l i k e Shigematsu himself, comes into contact with the ultimate powers of destruction and, sinking into the nethermost realms of existence, he confronts the e s s e n t i a l forces and emerges l i t e r a l l y a new man. Both the middle-aged Shigematsu and Iwatake have close connections with the s t a t i c and hidden side of l i f e whereas Yasuko, being young, l i v e s very much on the surface of things and i s no.tt able to draw courage from the depths of l i f e . a n d experience as are Iwatake and Shigematsu. Yasuko•s fate, i t seems, i s her s u s c e p t i b i l i t y to excessive flow and movement, her i n a b i l i t y to endure i n the face of sudden, drastic change. Thus, i n the f i n a l l i n e s of the story Shigematsu stands gazing at the h i l l s , hoping that somehow Yasuko w i l l be able to overcome t h i s s u s c e p t i b i l i t y and make contact with the v i t a l and positive elements of l i f e ' s flow: " I f a rainbow appears over those h i l l s now, a miracle w i l l happen," (Shigematsu) prophesied to himself. "Let a rainbow appear — not a white one, but one of many hues — and Yasuko w i l l be cured." So he t o l d himself, with his eyes on the nearby h i l l s , though he knew a l l the while i t could never come true. 52 The hoped-for multi-coloured rainbow i s an image which reminds us of the v a r i e t y and v i t a l i t y of l i f e ' s natural flow from which Yasuko has been excluded. Associated with monochromatic images (such as the white flower, black r a i n and white r a i n -bow) which stress weakness and s u s c e p t i b i l i t y , Yasuko seems un l i k e l y to f i n d the strength necessary to recover and, unlike Shigematsu and Iwatake, i s not l i k e l y to survive. 92 The theme of su r v i v a l and endurance i s thus of primary-importance i n Kuroi ame. Although various aspects of t h i s theme may be seen i n the e a r l i e r works, e.g., the determina-ti o n to carry on ("YOhai taichC") or the durable " v i t a l i t y of man and nature (Sazanami gunki), Kuroi ame, as we have seen, offers a much f u l l e r and more thorough-going treatment of t h i s theme. Nevertheless, the core of the theme l i e s i n Ibuse's e a r l i e s t work, "Sanshouo", with i t s emphasis upon the w i l l to l i v e . Very much l i k e Shigematsu wh<3% finds i n s p i r a -tion and new hope in his e a r l i e s t childhood memories, the author, too, r e c a l l s the elements of one of his e a r l i e s t themes and brings i t to new expression i n Kuroi ame. Thus, just as fate and confinement are juxtaposed against the w i l l to l i v e in "Sanshouo", so i s the unfortunate fate of an entire c i t y contrasted against i t s c i t i z e n s ' tremendous w i l l to survive i n Kuroi ame. Reminiscent of the self-contained and stout-hearted frog figure i n "Sanshouo", the people of Hiro-shima, i n numerous vignettes, display a remarkable a b i l i t y to take courage i n action and yet at the same time to f i n d strength through the acceptance of t h e i r s i t u a t i o n . Their indomitable w i l l i s thus tempered by a s p i r i t of acceptance and calm endurance. The w i l l to survive i n Kuroi ame as i n "Sanshouo" i s composed of two d i s t i n c t aspects, one active, the other passive, suggesting that, at a deep and very basic l e v e l , existence i t s e l f i s e s s e n t i a l l y the res u l t of a c a r e f u l l y maintained and continuous interchange between both active and passive, dynamic and s t a t i c forces. Kuroi ame, very much l i k e "Sanshouo" and "Yohai taicho", represents the author's fascination with the hidden depths of l i f e and yet, unlike these e a r l i e r works innwhich these mysterious recesses remainnhidden or are revealed only through complex;maneuvrlngs, Kuroi ame stands as a work of immense clar i t y : a n d l u c i d i t y . At every turn, the author brings the hidden depths to l i g h t , revealing not only the s t a t i c shadowy 93 q u a l i t i e s but also the v i t a l i t y and movement of these areas which u n t i l now have remained concealed from view. This concern with c l a r i t y can be seemiin the figure of Shigematsu, for example, who sees himself primarily as an observer of fac t u a l r e a l i t y , as one who dispels obscurity. He views his journal as a work devoid of f r i l l s or fancies: "From a l i t e r a r y point of view, the way I describe things i s the 53 crudest kind of realism," he t e l l s Shigeko over dinner. And then, with the kind of l i g h t touch which belies a r t i s t i c •crudity' and yet at the same time conveys the impression of an a r t l e s s grasp of r e a l i t y , the author has Shigematsu continue: "By the way, have these loach been kept i n clean water long 54 enough to get r i d of the muddy taste?" The Japanese text here l i t e r a l l y says something l i k e "Have these loach been 55 made to spew out t h e i r muddiness?" a much more v i v i d expres-sion and thus, i n one seemingly simple yet t e l l i n g juxtaposition, the author places the creation of realism i n l i t e r a t u r e side by side with the image of muddiness being expelled. The elimination of muddiness and the exposure of the depths remains a primary concern of the author throughout the story and thus no hidden or concealed areas are l e f t unplumbed or unfathomed. The i n t e r i o r s of those areas previously associated with the s t a t i c or hidden and elusive forces of l i f e , such as ponds, pools, wells, jars, p i t s , r i v e r s and the l i k e , now stand exposed to our view and, l i k e Shigematsu at the f i r e p i t s , we are able to see t h e i r inner workings. Perhaps the most s i g n i f i c a n t of these hidden areas which are exposed to the l i g h t of day are the hatchery ponds of Shigematsu and his two friends. The main ponds into which the f r y w i l l be released, for example, have been prepared i n a special way. F i r s t they were completely drained and ...then f i s h e n t r a i l s , kitchen waste, and the l i k e had been put in along with silage and other s t u f f , and the whole l o t l e f t to decompose i n the heat of 94 the sun. Only then had water been run i n . Both Asajiro and Shokichi had agreed that the water had turned cloudy to just the right degree. It was not transparent l i k e spring water, they explained, but had nourishment imdib, producing vegetable plankton and water f l e a s . The water came from the stream nearby, and the pond was so arranged that i t flowed gently through for f i v e or six hours every day. 56 Thus, even though the depths stand revealed in Kuroi ame, .*they are eventually returned to t h e i r o r i g i n a l state; i t seems that cloudiness and muddiness as well as c l a r i t y and l i g h t are necessary to sustain l i f e and by analogy, we may also assume that i n works of l i t e r a t u r e the starkness of realism must also be tempered by the more nebulous poetic q u a l i t i e s i n order to achieve success. The hatchery ponds, then, are a composite image i n which l i g h t and dark, creation and disso-l u t i o n , s t a s i s and movement appear in varying degrees. And yet, a careful balance i s maintained, each component performing a necessary function and none allowed to run out of cont r o l . As a re s u l t , the hatchery ponds are able to preserve and sustain l i f e and in the cl o s i n g scenes of Kuroi ame as Shige-matsu stands by the hatchery ponds, we are shown the eventual fruitfu'lness of t h i s c a r e f u l l y controlled yet v i t a l and vibrant environment: The alko (sic) were coming along well, and i n a shallow corner of the larger pond some water weed was growing...Its•oval, shiny green leaves dotted the surface of the water, and from t h e i r midst rose a slender stalk on which a small, dark purple flower was i n bloom. 57 Very s i m i l a r to the figure of Shigematsu's niece, Yasuko, the hatchery ponds represent an area in which elements of both st a s i s and movement meet and mingle and yet, i n contrast to the i l l and despairing niece, the hatchery ponds present an image of strength and v i t a l i t y . Yasuko's d e b i l i t y can thus 95 be seen as a kind of imbalance in which s t a t i c and dynamic q u a l i t i e s are i n s u f f i c i e n t l y concentrated and incapable of interchange, thereby rendering Yasuko incapable of producing or sustaining l i f e . In the image of the hatchery ponds, however, we see not only the fecundity and regenerative power of l i f e ' s depths, we see also the balanced and controlled interchange of s t a t i c and dynamic p r i n c i p l e s that i s the basis of l i f e i t s e l f . ' Not only does the author explore the concealed and hidden depths of the natural world, he also probes the depths of the human realm, dealing not only with the personal experiences of such people as Shigematsu and Iwatake and t h e i r f a m i l i e s , but also with the deep and intense emotion aroused by the war and the defeat. Although such matters were dealt with to some extent i n "Yohai taicho", by and large the overt expression of deep feelings connected with the war tended to be eschewed. In Kuroi ame, however, the depths of these emotions are explored in a dir e c t and immediate way not seen i n the e a r l i e r work. That i s , rather than the oblique and s a t i r i c a l complexities of "Yohai taicho" which were concerned primarily with the a f t e r -math of war, Kuroi ame takes a look at war-time i t s e l f , examining i t s innermost aspects with a view to c l a r i f y i n g matters which have long remained hidden or unexpressed. This can be seen i n Shigematsu's description of his i n i t i a l reaction to the Emperor's broadcast. As tears s t a r t to his eyes, Shigematsu suddenly r e c a l l s a time from his childhood when, tortured by a b u l l y , he used to run to his mother and "badger (her) into baring her breast" f o r him; he continues: It was only then, at the sight of that f a m i l i a r haven, that I burst into tears at l a s t . Even now, I can s t i l l remember the s a l t y taste of her milk. The tears I shed were tears of r e l i e f , and I believe that my tears t h i s day were of the same kind. 58 Here, the figure of the Emperor i s connected more e x p l i c i t l y 96 to the mother figure than was the case i n "Yotiai taicho" . The Emperor, very s i m i l a r to Shigematsu's mother, of f e r s a most welcome and immediate release from unbearable pressure and torment. Unlike the unfortunate Yuichi i n "Yohai taicho" who can never be released, Shigematsu has been freed from the bonds of war. In spite of the f e e l i n g of freedom and release, there are s t i l l some attempts at obscuring matters, notably by the works manager who says" "The Emperor-just broadcast a message. The radio's not working properly, though. One of the hands t r i e d to adjust i t , but the more he tinkered with i t the worse i t got, and we couldn't hear very w e l l . But i t seems l i k e surrender, a l l r i g h t . 59 A factory hand, too, who maintains that the "Imperial broadcast had been annexhortation to the nation to f i g h t s t i l l 6 0 harder" gives everyone a bad moment. Such attempts, however, are not successful and f i n a l l y a l l those present agree that Japan has been defeated. Unlike the depths of the hatchery ponds, then, the deep, often hidden or obscure emotions connected with the war no longer serve any useful or creative purpose and must now stand exposed i n the l i g h t of unexpected and new-found freedom. And so, Shigematsu, released from the confinement and r e s t r i c t i o n s of the war, goes outside to take one more look at the baby eels on t h e i r way upstream. The eels, however, have swum past and instead Shigematsu finds that the waters 61 of the stream are now running "clear anddempty." Thus, the "Journal of the Bombing" ends — on a refreshing note' of naturalness and c l a r i t y as the flow of l i f e , so long interrupted, seems at l a s t to have been restored, the need to struggle onward against the current npolonger necessary. The Emperor's broadcast, then, i s not only a psychologically-destroying 'bomb' that staggers the whole society, i t also provides a means of release and renewal whereby l i f e ' s flow 97 and movement may be re-affirmed. The Emperor, a figure associated with the s t a t i c q u a l i t i e s of l i f e , has, i n a few short moments, dissolved the d e t r i t u s of the past and in so doing stimulated l i f e ' s flow, s e t t i n g i t i n motionnonc.e again, an action that c a l l s attention not only, to the latent power of the s t a t i c forces but also emphasizes as in the case of the hatchery ponds the necessity of balanced and continuing interchange between the forces of both s t a s i s and movement. This affirmation of l i f e ' s flow and movement has much in common with Sazanami gunki and i n Kuroi ame as i n other works of Ibuse that treat themes of disaster or upheaval, contact with the destructive force often brings a renewal of l i f e ' s energy and v i t a l i t y . Thus, i n Sazanami gunki the upheaval of war brought contact primarily with the forces of l i f e and nature as the Heike wandered throughout the b e a u t i f u l and •Vital Inland Sea area while i n other works that deal with disasters, s i m i l a r contacts also occur. Perhaps one of the more notable examples i s that of'nN_akajima nq kaki no kip i n which a young woman takes refuge from r i s i n g flood waters i n a giant persimmon tree and gives b i r t h to a c h i l d . In Kuroi ame, however, the victims of Hiroshima wander through a wasteland of unremitting horror, cut off from almost any p o s s i b i l i t y of r e l i e f or succour, struggling desperately to re- e s t a b l i s h contact with the forces of l i f e . This contact i s re-established i n several ways, primarily as we have seen, through a new appraisal and understanding of l i f e ' s hidden depths; i t i s also re-established through a new appreciation and re-affirmation of external r e a l i t y , i . e . , of the flow of l i f e . Not since Sazanami gunki have we seen such a fa s c i n a t i o n with the circumstances of everyday l i f e . L i f e at work and at home, l i f e in the c i t y and in the country, the features of the c i t y i t s e l f and i t s environs, d i e t , the weather, b e l i e f s , superstitions, f e s t i v a l s , rumours, household 98 items, clothing and possessions, houses and buildings, wounds, i l l n e s s e s and t h e i r treatment — the range i s enormous and succeeds in communicating the prosaic yet v i t a l d e t a i l s of ordinary existence i n a way which i s at once immediate and convincing. So well has Ibuse chronicled such d e t a i l s that occasionally Kuroi ame has the flavour of an almanac or other good book of mundane information; the major difference here being Ibuse's extraordinary a b i l i t y to view each object, each d e t a i l not only as a thing i n i t s e l f ( i . e . , 'objectively') but also as a thing of significance and value. Thus Shigematsu observes: This month...was a succession of f e s t i v a l s . The Mass fo r Dead Insects had gone by already; the Rice-Planting F e s t i v a l came on the eleventh, and the I r i s F e s t i v a l , by? the old lunar calendar, on the four-teenth.. On the f i f t e e n t h there was the River Imp F e s t i v a l , and on the twentieth the Bamboo-Gutting F e s t i v a l . In a l l these countless l i t t l e f e s t i v a l s he seemed to sense the a f f e c t i o n that the peasants of the past, poor though they were, had lavished on each d e t a i l of t h e i r d a i l y l i v e s . And...it seemed to him that i n t h e i r very in s i g n i f i c a n c e these farmers' f e s t i v a l s were something to be loved and cherished... 62 And indeed, the author has a r e a l f e e l i n g f o r the ' i n s i g n i f i -cant', the 'unimportant' d e t a i l which attests the significance of l i f e ' s flow whether in the midst of disaster or i n ordinary circumstances. Keeping a diary or a journal, l i k e keeping the farmers' f e s t i v a l s , i s simply one of the myriad ways in which the v i t a l i t y of the external r e a l i t y of human existence i s affirmed. The importance of the everyday world i s also acknowledged through an emphasis upon commonplace objects. Similar to the use of objects i n "Yohai taicho" (e.g., the iron well chain, the gateposts e t c ) , ordinary objects i n Kuroi ame are often used to sum up a scene, to complete the picture the author has drawn and to add the f i n i s h i n g touch. For example, i n 99 the scene i n Yasuko's diary where the group has just s e t t l e d down to have tea, the bomb flashes and everyone rushes outside. Afte r the blast has passed, Yasuko suddenly notices the tea kettle l i d where i t has f a l l e n below the verandah. Such a simple yet attentive observation gives the scene an added poignancy and at the same time hints at other things, i n p a r t i c u l a r the destruction of t r a d i t i o n , the end of old Japan. The potential destruction of old values culminating i n the Emperor's broadcast i s seen through the use of other objects as well: the old column with the word "Dream" carved on i t in the ruins of Hiroshima, the scorched paper with the cherry blossom music that f l o a t s down from the sky, the burned piece of wood fished from the r i v e r with a carving of Mt. F u j i etc. Although objects are used to mark the end of an era, they are also used to indicate continuity and the a b i l i t y of c i v i l i z a t i o n to r i s e again from the rubble. The pots that Shigeko takes with her to the un i v e r s i t y pool are reminders that the world w i l l go on, just as the pathetic notices tacked to walls and standing columns show the f r a i l t y yet persistence of human c i v i l i z a t i o n . Even though the author attests the worth and value of external r e a l i t y through close attention to the objects and d e t a i l s of ordinary l i f e , he i s also aware of the iro n i e s and incongruities inherent i n th i s r e a l i t y and, si m i l a r to e a r l i e r works, u t i l i z e s such material f o r s a t i r i c a l , humourous or pathetic purposes. Thus, as v/e might expect, war and the m i l i t a r y come in for t h e i r share of mockery. Perhaps one of the most amusing of these sketches i s that of the passengers on a t r a i n who s t u f f t h e i r precious r i c e b a l l s into the boots of a sleeping army o f f i c e r to protest the man's arrogance at sprawling over an entire seat. There are also comical scenes drawn from v i l l a g e l i f e such as the confrontation with the woman from Ikemoto's or humourous digressions such as Shige-100 matsu's observations on lumbago and the Japanese dance, but by and large such scenes as these are tinged with considerable pathos; the s i t u a t i o n which i s now funny has arisen due to previous unpleasant circumstances, such as the bombing, radia-tion disease and.the l i k e . The incongruous i s made use of not only f o r s a t i r i c a l or humourous purposes; i t also plays a very great part i n helping the reader to understand the horrors and also the wonders of the strange new world that the bomb has created, thus the 'black r a i n ' of the t i t l e i t s e l f . Very much l i k e a 'stranger i n a strange land', Shigematsu comes to observe the mushroom cloud and wander i n the ruins; and yet, what i s remarkable i s that there i s no sense of a l i e n a t i o n . Forced to face the nightmare of atomic holocaust, Shigematsu never becomes inured to the parade of horrors that passes before his eyes nor does he give way to despair or madness. Peering into the very maw of cosmic forces gone wild, he i s f i l l e d with terror and awe and yet, very much l i k e the v i l l a g e r s of "Yohai taicho", he accepts what he finds and i n his own way seeks to interpret his experiences in the l i g h t of the f a m i l i a r , the known, the human. Kuroi ame, then, stands at the pinnacle of Ibuse's works, representing not only a re-statement of certain basic themes and images which have longgoccupied the author but also a complete and masterly re-working of those same themes and images into a work of immense scope and complexity. Thus, while we see once again the lowly yet v i t a l world of pool and pond, there i s not the s i m p l i s t i c categorization of "Sanshouo" nor the convolutions'of "Yohai taicho". Instead the protective yet confining areas of l i f e are seen with c l a r i t y and insight; due to the blinding f l a s h of the bomb the i r depths are revealed to our gaze and t h e i r murky waters momentarily cleared. In t h i s way we are able to see the true nature of Ibuse's depths — the v i t a l yet ambivalent womb-area in which l i f e i t s e l f thrives and f l o u r i s h e s , 101 protected by such ^ d e i t i e s ' as Emperor and mother, r e s t r i c t e d by war and the workings of fate, stimulated by change and movement, yet at a l l times a constant source of regeneration and renewal, of growth and l i f e , of a r t i s t i c i n s p i r a t i o n and creation. Just as l i f e ' s inner recesses are f u l l y explored, so, too, i s the nature of external r e a l i t y as the author confronts the ultimate dynamic essence of l i f e ' s flow in the release of the atom. Thus, time i t s e l f i s no longer able to move in the arrow-straight patterns of Sazanami gunki nor i n the tidy flashback sequences of "Yohai taichb", but instead, l i k e the image of the whirling atom i t s e l f , past and present turn and wheel in kaleidoscopic images of people and events, customs and t r a d i t i o n s , object and fact that r e f l e c t not only the h o r r i f i c energy of the bomb but also the v i t a l i t y of ordinary r e a l i t y , the true flow and movement of everyday l i f e . Just as Sazanami gunki represented a tremendous leap forward i n terms of Ibuse's e a r l i e r writings, so does Kuroi ame represent a s i m i l a r achievement i n terms of Ibuse's post-war work. Kuroi ame can thus be seen as a culmination of that process which was beginning to take place i n "Yohai taicho", i . e . , the consolidation of past e f f o r t s and the development of a better integrated and more highly polished l i t e r a r y s t y l e . That Ibuse suc'deeds i n t h i s i n Kuroi ame i s due no doubt to his long experience as well as to the passage of time i t s e l f which has enabled the author to acquire the necessary perspective not only in terms of his own work, but also in terms of the events he describes. Thus, Ibuse i s able to place matters in right proportion, to look back upon the war and the defeat and see not only r e s t r i c t i o n and insanity but also images of renewal, release and r e b i r t h ; to look even at the atomic bombing i t s e l f and f i n d hope and strength i n the fact that there were many who managed to survive on of the most awesome and dreadful events of our time. In Kuroi ame th i s constant juxtaposition and merging of contrasting images 102 of s t a s i s and movement not only emphasizes the v i t a l i t y of man and nature, i t also creates a new awareness and percep-tion»iof the t o t a l i t y of l i f e and experience while at the same time re-affirming the authort 'S a r t i s t i c stance as sympathetic yet objective observer. The author's new-found perspective gives Kuroi ame a wholeness and v i t a l i t y not seen i n e a r l i e r works. Thus, although there Is the depth and complexity of "Sanshouo" and "Yohai taicho" as well as the breadth and scope of Sazanami gunki, Kuroi ame stands out as a multi-layered and multi-faceted whole .-iiato^hi^th every respect i s very much greater than the sum of i t s parts. No doubt Kuroi ame owes something of i t s extraordinary power and unity to the ultimate confron-tati o n that i t depicts between one determined human being and the dread forces unleashed by the atomic catastrophe. Just as Shigematsu i s able to survive only by tapping deep reserves of hidden strength, so, too, does Ibuse r e l y upon his own inner-most resources, and not only i s he able to come to terms with the war and the bombing, he i s also able to draw strength and i n s p i r a t i o n from his l i f e ' s work and thus, very much l i k e Shigematsu who brings l i f e from the hatchery ponds, Ibuse, too, reaches down into the depths of his art and creates a work of great and l a s t i n g value. 103 Conclusion It can be seen from the preceding analyses, then, that the work of Ibuse Masuji represents a t r u l y unique and d i s -t i n c t i v e a r t i s t i c v i s i o n , unique i n that the f o c a l point of t h i s v i s i o n l i e s i n the realm of powerful.contrasting natural forces which primarily stress l i f e ' s v i t a l i t y , and d i s t i n c t i v e in the sense that the author's exploration of th i s realm i s marked by the development of a highly o r i g i n a l prose style which i n i t s various and diverse elements i s p a r t i c u l a r l y well-suited to the depiction of both dramatic and subtle aspects of these contrasting natural forces. Fascinated from the very beginning of his career by the v i t a l i t y of l i f e and nature, Ibuse demonstrates early that although the true essence of t h i s v i t a l i t y may be found in such t r a d i t i o n a l natural imagery as frogs and ponds, i t also exists i n such lowly things as salamanders, caves and pollen-scattering moss. As the author probes the depths of just such a humblei.world as that of the sanshouo, he creates not only a marvellously imaginative set of images and themes which contain the essence of his v i s i o n , he also develops an extremely novel mode of l i t e r a r y expression which combines fantasy with realism and symbolism with humour. Thus, Ibuse's attempt to plumb the depths of t h i s world i s not haphazard nor ar b i t r a r y , but i s accomplished withinna c a r e f u l l y constructed l i t e r a r y frame-work i n which the authors scrupulously avoids the whirlpools of emotion and s t r i v e s to maintain a careful distance as well as a sympathetic o b j e c t i v i t y . The depths of l i f e and nature which Ibuse beholds in t h i s way are seen primarily i n terms of a contrast between the forces of s t a s i s and movement, a fundamental contrast which underlies much of Ibuse's work. Although t h i s contrast i s seen e s s e n t i a l l y as one of constant interplay and interchange, many works tend to emphasize either one element or the other just as do cert a i n proposed periods of the author's l i t e r a r y career. Thus, in "Sanshouo" and in the other early works 104 the author i s concerned primarily with the s t a t i c areas of l i f e while i n -Sazanami gunki and throughout the 1930's Ibuse i s p a r t i c u l a r l y fascinated by the dynamism of l i f e ' s flow and:,? movement. While the war years and the years immediately following the war mark a return to a concern with confinement and r e s t r i c t i o n , the author now develops these aspects of his l i t e r a r y v i s i o n in ways which not only stress the complexity and i n t e n s i t y of emotion but also demonstrate his mastery of e a r l i e r techniques. "Yohai taicho", which i s one of the best examples of t h i s period, exhibits the polished style and precision of a master craftsman yet nevertheless remains a work concerned primarily with the, darker, s t a t i c regions. Attempts to f i n d release or to reveal the hidden depths of l i f e and human emotion are treated symbolically and s a t i r i c a l l y , while contrasts between t h e t s t a t i c and the dynamic are viewed largely i n terms of pathetic incongruities rather than as meaningful r e a l i t i e s . It i s not u n t i l the l a t e r works, p a r t i c u l a r l y Kuroi ame, that we see the f u l l ' i n t e g r a t i o n of both s t a t i c and dynamic forces as Ibuse reaches the peak of his mature expression. So naturally are these v i t a l forces and t h e i r various aspects interwoven and entwined that the author succeeds not only i n emphasizing l i f e ' s t o t a l i t y but also i n suggesting that i t s depths and fastnesses, exteriors and surfaces are but a l t e r -nating aspects of a constant yet e s s e n t i a l l y dynamic pattern of existence. Kuroi ame thus represents a consummate a r t i s t i c achievement i n which Ibuse f u l l y r e a l i z e s the power and scope of his l i t e r a r y genius. This thesis has attempted to gain some insight into the nature of Ibuse's genius as well as into the nature of his creations through a study of four selected works and hopefully It should also point the way to further studies of t h i s writer who, by virtue of his d i s t i n c t i v e style and unique view of l i f e and a r t , represents one of the most i n t r i g u i n g l i t e r a r y 1 105 figures writing i n Japan today. That there i s as yet no single volume study of t h i s author i n Japan (or i n the West) seems surp r i s i n g i n view of Ibuse's stature as a modern author. This lack of any comprehensive overview of Ibuse's work such as attempted i n th i s thesis i s no doubt related to the fact that Ibuse i s not a "popular" writer and even today continues to occupy a position somewhat outside the mainstream of current trends and a f f a i r s . Thus, Ibuse's works, rather l i k e the secluded pools and ponds he i s so fond of describing, remain larg e l y unplumbed and unfathomed by Japanese and Western c r i t i c s and scholars a l i k e . It seems that the time has now come and may i n fact be long overdue f o r the concealed yet v i t a l and vibrant Ibusean world to be revealed more f u l l y to both Japanese anddWestern readers i n ways which w i l l bring a greater appreciation and understanding of his a r t , not only as Japanese l i t e r a t u r e , but in a wider sense, as l i t e r a t u r e which i n i t s primary emphasis upon the v i t a l i t y and robustness of l i f e can have meaning and relevance for the larger world. 106 NOTES Introduction 1 Although the f i r s t t r a n s l a t i o n of one of Ibuse I s works appeared i n 1940 (Jon Manjiro: the cast-away, his l i f e and adventures, t r . Hisakazu Kaneko, Tokyo, Hokuseido), i t was not u n t i l the mid-1950's that t r a n s l a t i o n of Ibuse's works began in earnest in the West. 2 One exceptiomito th i s i s A.V. Liman of the University of Toronto whose work on Ibuse i s well-known both in the West and in Japan. 3 Kobayashi Hideo, "Ibuse Masuji no sakuhin n i t s u i t e , " i n Kobayashi Hideo zenshu, Vol. 4 (Tokyo: Shinchosha, 1967), pp. 31-35. 4 Nakamura'Mitsuo, "Kaisetsu," i n Ibuse Masuji shu:nihon bungaku zenshu, "Vol. 32 (Tokyo: Shinchosha, 1963), p. 574. A l l translations of words or phrases from c r i t i c a l sources i n • Japanese are mine. 5 Onuma Tan, "Ibuse Masuji: sakka to sakuhin," i n Ibuse Masuji shu:nihon bungaku zenshu, Vol. 41 (Tokyo: Shueisha, 1974), p. 397. Onuma, p. 404. 7 ,0numa, p. 404. 8 The o r i g i n a l t i t l e was "Yuhei" i * & ftl ("Confinement") but t h i s was changed to "Sanshouo" i n 1929. 9 This information i s from my supervisor, Prof. Kinya Tsuruta. 10 Of these works only "Kuchisuke no i r u tanima" has not been translated. 11 KawakamI Tetsutaro, "Kaisetsu," in Sanhouo - Yohai taicho,,- '('To yo: Iwanami shoten, 1975) p. 153. 12 Kobayashi, p. 31. 13 Kobayashi, p. 32. 14 J_-*P Nakamura Akira, "Ibuse Masuji," i n Gendai bungaku to kotoba, No. 2 (1975), p. 66. 107 15 The most important of these were Se i k i j£ which published "Sanshouo" in 1923 as "Yuhei"; Bungei toshi i^'iifif which Ibuse became associated with i n 1928; Sakuhin \\< «<i ima!930; Bungakkai % i n 1938. 1 6 Edward Putzar, Japanese Liter a t u r e : A H i s t o r i c a l Outline (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1973), p. 209. 17 — Togo Katsumi, "Ibuse Masuji: 'Sazanami gunki' ron," Gunkimono to sono shuhen (Tokyo: Waseda University Press, 1969), p. 835. 1 8 A.V. Liman, "Ibuse's 'Black Rain'," i n Approaches to the Modern Japanese Novel, ed. Kinya Tsuruta and Thomas E. Swann (Tokyo: Sophia University Press, 1976), p. 67. 19 r Of these works only Jon Manjir5 has been translated. 20 Donald Keene, "The Barren Years: Japanese War L i t e r a -ture," Monumenta Nipponica, Vol. x x x i i i , no.l (1978), pp. 67-112. 21 Of these works "Fukikoshi no shiro", "Wabisuke", and "In no shima" have not been translated. 2 2 Putzar, p. 229. 23 Synopses of Contemporary Japanese Literature II 1936-1955, by the Kokusai Bunka Shinkokai (Japan Cultural Society, Tokyo, 1970), p. 132. 24 None of these are translated. 25 Of these works only Yosaku has been translated. Chapter 1 i A l l quotations from Ibuse's translated works discussed i n t h i s thesis (I.e., "Sanshouo", "Yohai taicho" and Kuroi ame) are taken from the translations of John Bester. Any quotations from the Japanese texts w i l l be so indicated, o John Bester, trans., Lieutenant Lookeast and Other Stories, by Ibuse Masuji (Tokyo and Palo Alto: Kodansha International, 1971), p. 59. 108 3 Bester, Lookeast, p. 64. 4 Bester, Lookeast, p. 64. 5 E l l e n Douglass Leyburn, "Animal Stories," i n S a t i r e : C l i f f s , N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1971), p. 217 6 7 Bester, Lookeast, p. 62. Modern Essays i n C r i t i c i s m , ed. Ronald Paulson (Englewood Leyburn, pp. 220-222 Bester, Lookeast, p. Bester, Lookeast, p. 63. 9 Bester, Lookeast, p. 62. 10 Bester, Lookeast, p. 59. 11 Bester, Lookeast, p. 63. 12 Bester, Lookeast, p. 63. 13 Bester, Lookeast, p. 60. 14 Northrop Frye, Anatomy of C r i t i c i s m (New York: Atheneum, 1969), p. 92. 15 — Kawakami, Sanshouo, p. 156. 16 Bester, Lookeast, p. 62. 17 Bester, Lookeast, p. 59. 18 Bester, Lookeast, p. 62. 19 Bester, Lookeast, p. 60. 20 Bester, Lookeast, p.62. 21 " Bester, Lookeast, p. 65. 22 — — Kawamori Yoshizo, "Ibuse bungaku no shuhen," i n Nihon no bungaku, supp. 34, v o l . 53 (Tokyo: Chuo koronsha, 1966), p.5. 23 — — Ibuse Masuji, "Sanshouo" i n Ibuse Masuji zenshu, Vol. I (Tokyo: Chikuma shobo, 1974), pi 7. 24 Bester, Lookeast, p. 60. 25 Bester, Lookeast, p. 61. 2 S Bester, Lookeast, p. 9. 27 Kawakarni Tetsutaro, "Kaisetsu," i n Kuroi ame (Tokyo: Shinchpsha, 1970), p. 314. 28 Bester, Lookeast, p. 59. 29 Bester, Lookeast, p. 59. 3.0 611 Isogai Hideo, "Ibuse Masuji';"' Lecture i n Asia 533, University of B r t i s h Col mbia, March, 1978. 109 p. x x i . 3 Chapter 2 1 Sazanami gunki has not yet been translated into English. The t i t l e has been rendered as Echoes of War by A.V. Liman i n his a r t i c l e "The Old Man and the Bomb" and by Edward Putzar as Just a L i t t l e War i n Japanese L i t e r a t u r e . L i t e r a l l y , sazanami means ri p p l e or wavelets and gunki i s a m i l i t a r y chronicle. A l l translations of the text i n t h i s chapter are mine. 2 Hiroshi Kitagawa and Bruce T. Tsuchida, trans., The Tale of the He ike (Tokyo: University of Tokyo Press, 1975), Kitagawa, p. 5. 4 _ Ibuse, Sazanami- gunki i n Ibuse zenshu, Vol.I, p. 370: Juei ni-nen shichigatsu, Heike ichimon no hit o b i t o wa heiran n i owarete t e i t o o tobo s h i t a . Tsugi n i shimesu kiroku wa, sono to k i Heike nanigashi no h i t o r i no shonen ga kakinokoshita tob*5ki de aru. Koko n i watakushi wa sono kiroku no ichibu o gendaigo n i yakushite miru. Shichigatsu ju-go n i c h i (Juei ni-nen) Kino no yoruv.Harada, Kikuchi, Matsuura to no hi t o t a c h i ga, san sen yo k i o inotsu shite t e i t o e kaetta. Chinzei no muhon o tairagete k i t a yoshi de aru. Rokuhara ikedono no hiroba n i wa, kagaribi ga takarete at t a . 5 The c a p i t a l : Kyoto. 6 Ibuse, Sazanami, p. 377: Watakushitachi no Rokuhara! Sore wa watakushitachi no ch i c h i de a r i haha de aru. 7 Kawamori, p. 7. 3 Ibuse, Sazanami, p. 464: Kakutan ga kagaribi no akarumi de isshin-furan n i kare no 'Juei k i ' o kakitsuzuru no de, watakushi mo senchu kono n i k k i o kakitomete i r u . Shikashi nagara, itsumo t a k i b i no mihari o shite kureta Miyaji Kotaro wa, mohaya kono yo no mono de wa nai. 9 Ibuse, Sazanami, p. 470: Ikuta no mori de u c h i j i n i s h i t a Miyaji Kotaro... 10 -Ibuse, Sazanami, p. 471: Nakunatta Miyaji Kotaro... 11 Ibuse, Sazanami, p. 379: Hi ga kurete shimau to, t e i t o no hogaku de wa sora ga ichimen ni aku n a r i , sono akarumi wa, unadarete uma n i matagatte i r u hitob i t o no ushisugata o te r a s h i t a . Moshi ato o furikaette miru hito ga atta to sureba, sora no aka-iro no akarumi ga, 110 sono hito no kanashige na kao o sh*5mei s h i t a de aiCo. . .Watashi wa bajo de inemuri o shigachi de atta no de, shiba shiba samurai-tachi n i chui sareta. 12 Ibuse., Sazanami, p. 380: Kyo wa shichigatsu n i - j t l hachi n i c h i de aru ka mo shi r e n a i . Watakushi wa seikaku na tsu k i h i o shitsunen s h i t a . Shikashi watakushi wa, ryoyu n i shitsumon suru no o gaman sho. Aite o kanashimaseru dake de aru. Hizuke to i u no wa, kibo o i d a i t e i r u hito n i totte dake hitsuyo de aro. 13 Ibuse,. Sazanami, p. 475: ...sono minatomachi n i shukuei s h i , watakushi wa sono urayama no chufuku n i aru minka no shojo to nagisa de mikkal s h i t a koto ga aru. Sono toki kanojo wa tohatsu o Rokuhara fu n i mane shite i r u . Suenari wa kanojo no ie mo yakiharatte shimattar5. Teito de wa daibutsu chuzS no se'nyu n i ts u i t e f u r e i sareta to i u koto de aru. 14 For example, the paintings of ladies under trees i n the Shosoin treasures; the association of women and trees i n the Tale of Genji, etc. 15 Japanese proverb: koin ya no gotoshi. Ibuse, Sazanami, p. 380: .. . s h i k i i s h i no kotogotoku no sukima n i wa, kusagusa naru kusa ga oishigette i r u . Gen no shoko, "obako, susuki, ominaeshi e t c . , Watakushi wa hama gosho n i shukuhaku suru koto ni natta. Kono tatemono mo hoka no tatemono to onajiku kohai shite shimatte, noki ga magari, yane n i oki na ana ga aite i r u . Sono ana kara yozora to tsuki to ga nagamerareru. Kairo n i wa suta no umidori ga muragatte habataki shite i r u . 17 Ibuse, Sazanami, p.I 372: Niwa-no basho no ha wa, reinen y o r i Skiku naranai no da to s M n j i t e i t a ga, sakihodo miru to, kyonen y o r i nibai mo okiku natte i r u koto n i k i ga t s u i t a . Basho no ha kage n i kengo na hana ga saite i t a . 18 Ibuse, Sazanami, p. 392: Karatachi no migoto n i i n o b i t a eda...; karatachi i s the Bengal quince. 19 Ibuse, Sazanami, p. 468: ...tengu no kakete matsu no yo na "oki na matsu...; tengu - a long-nosed goblins-;: symbol of strength and magical power. 2 0 For a l i s t of previous t i t l e s and publishing dates, see Zenshjjk, p:. 487. Ghapter"3- r '>,.'/"•'... • i Bester, Lookeast, p. 24. I l l 2 Bester, Lookeast, P- 24. 3 Bester, Lookeast, p. 35. 4 Bester, Lookeast, P- 42. 5 Bester, Lookeast, P- 43. 6 Bester, Lookeast, p. 31. 7 Bester, Lookeast, P- 31. 9& 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 Ibuse, "Yohai taicho," i n Ibuse zenshu, Vol. IV, p.304 Bester, Lookeast, p. 30. Ibuse, "Yohai taicho," p. 303. Bester, Lookeast, p. 44. Bester, Lookeast, p. 30. Ibuse, "Yohai taicho,", p. 304. Bester, Lookeast, p. Bester, Lookeast, p. Ibuse, "Yohai taicho shitagae" i s the proverb. 29, 46, II > » 320: "G5 ni haitte, go n i 17 Bester, Lookeast, P. 4'6. 18 Bester, Lookeast, p. 47 . 19 Bester, Lookeast, P- 49. 20 Bester, Lookeast, P- 27. 21 Bester, Lookeast, P. 51 . 22 Bester, Lookeast, P- 23. 23 Bester, Lookeast, P. 34. 24 Bester, Lookeast, P. 32. 25 Bester, Lookeast, P. 32. 26 Bester, Lookeast, P- 50. 27 Bester, Lookeast, P. 25. 28 Bester, Lookeast, P- 25. 29 Bester, Lookeast, P. 51 . 30 Bester, Lookeast, P. 49 . Chapter 4 1 John Bester, trans., Black Rain, by Ibuse Masuji (Tokyo and Palo A l t o * Kodansha International, 1969), p. 8. 112 p Kawamori, pp 8-9. 3 Of these works only Jon Manjiro,"Kakitsubata"and Kuroi ame have been translated. 4 Kawakarni, Black Rain, p. 313. 5 Kawakarni, Black Rain, p. 313. Only eight major a r t i c l e s .;. •.. appear in l i t e r a r y maga-zines from 1965 - .1974. 7 A.V. Liman, "The Old Man and the Bomb:The Mythopoesis of Ibuse's 'Black Rain'," i n £lfg^^DJath^ana^Age i n Modern Japanese Li t e r a t u r e , ed. Reiko Tsukimura (Toronto: University of Toronto-York University Joint Centre on Modern East Asia, 1978), p. 38. 8 Liman, "Old Man", p. 38. 9 Ibuse, Kuroi ame i n Ibuse zenshu, Vol. XIII, p. 455. The completed text of Kuroi ame consists of twenty chapters. 10 Tadae'Michitaro . p "Ibuse Masuji 'Kuroi ame' - furusato no ochita genbaku," Asahi Journal, 9, No. 10 (1967), p. 38. Tada notes at least six d i a r i e s . 1 1 Bester, Black, p. 36. 12 Bester, Black, p. 41. 13 Other h i s t o r i c a l references include the mention of the Teiyu c i v i l war, the f l e e i n g Heike, the peasant revolts of the nineteenth century, etc. 14 Bester, Black, p. 11 et passim. 15 ~ • Bester, Black, p. 119. 1 6 Bester, Black, p. 123. 1 7 Bester, Black, p. 89. 1 8 Bester, Black, p. 21. 1 9 Bester, Black, p. 191. 20 Bester, Black, p. 219. 2 1 Bester, Black, p. 299. 2 2 Bester, Black, p. 12. 2 3 Bester, Black, p. 13. 24 Ibuse, Kuroi ame, p. 6: Sono;,toki ie no naka kara r a j i o no judai ho*so ga kikoete k i t a . 113 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 Bester, Black, p. 297. Liman, "Old Man", p. 36. Bester, Black, p. 46. Bester, Black, p. 55. Bester, Black, p. 161. Bester, Black, p. 161. Liman, "Old Man", p. 44. Bester, Black, p. 9. Ibuse, Kuroi ame, p. 3. Bester, Black, p. 53. Bester, Black, p. 54. Bester, Black, p. 296. These twelfth century paintings frequently show human figures burning i n agony i n the flames of h e l l . O Q Bester, Black, p. 138. 39 Bester, Black, p. 163. 40 Bester, Black, p. 170. 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 Ibuse, Kuroi ame, p. 19 et passim. Bester, Black, p. 144. Bester, Black, p. 92. Ibuse, Kuroi ame, p. 3. Ibuse, Kuroi ame, p. 3. Bester, Black, p. 226. Bester, Black, p. 6 (Alive as of 1969). Bester, Black, p. 270. Ibuse, Kuroi ame, p. 235. Bester, Black, p, 270. Bester, Black, p. 266. Bester, Black, p. 300. Bester, Black, p. 60. Bester, Black, p. 60. Ibuse, Kuroi ame, p. 55. Bester, Black, p. 271. 5 7 B e s t e r , B l a c k , p . 3 0 0 . A i k o s h o u l d b e k e g o 5 8 B e s t e r , B l a c k , p. 2 9 8 . 5 9 B e s t e r , B l a c k , p . - 2 9 8 . 6 0 B e s t e r , B l a c k , p . 2 9 9 . 5 1 B e s t e r , B l a c k , p . 3 0 0 . 6 2 B e s t e r , B l a c k , p . 1 0 1 . 115 BIBLIOGRAPHY Bester, John, trans. Black Rain. By Ibuse Masuji. Tokyo and Palo A l t o : Kodansha International Ltd., 1969. . Lieutenant Lookgast and Other Stories. By Ibuse Masuji. Tokyo and Palo A l t o : Kodansha International Ltd., 1971 . Frye, Northrop. Anatomy of C r i t i c i s m . New York, Atheneum, 1969. Ibuse,Masuji . 4 f ^ # | ~ "Shojosaku made" 4* ^ ^ # £." , Shin-cho nihon bungaku, geppo 17 Ibuse Masuji shu jf^ f vti\ tf-^jCT AM.'7 ^<.*f-4f. , (1970), pp. 1-4. __. Ibuse Masuji zenshu. $-f<,.!-J$ ^"4^ Vol .1,IV,XIII. Tokyo: Chikuma shobo i l ^ i T ^ , 1974. Kaiko,Ken. Jj ^ "Kami no naka no senso (8): Ibuse Masuji 'Kuroi ame' no^baai." #\v « f C8) -r J . ^jg'^^Bungakkai JL'f-^ .24, No. 2 (1970). pp. 214-221. Kamei,Katsuichiro. ^ ^ j[% - ^ "Ibuse Masuji no yumoa." ^ < . t ^ O - A Nihon no bungaku t| ^ <?> ^ ' f • Supp.34, vol.53. Tokyo: Chuo koronsha ^ - f c 1 9 6 6 , pp. 10-11. Kanai,Yoko. ^ffrflr "Ibuse Masuji no bungaku'.: 'Sanshouo to 'Kuroi ame'." < f • ' i M ^ . t . j * r.f. , Bungaku ^ ' f , 41, No. 2 (1973), pp. 96-104. Kawakarni, Tetsutaro. V^&itKK^ "Kaisetsu." $jfif>L In Ibuse Masuji shu: gendai nihon bungaku zenshu ^^jk^z-% %~ • Vol. 41. Tokyo: Chikuma shobo iiJL./f'f'A , 1953, pp. 431-434. . "Kaisetsu." In Kuroi ame " ' . Tokyo: Shinchosha |^r> , 1970, pp. 310-315. . "Kaisetsu." In Sanshouo-Y5hai taicho HA ii*$^-JL * T o k y ° : Iwanami shoten -J j l j^f fa 1975, pp. 151-157. Kawamori, Yoshizo. "Ibuse bungaku no shuhen." ^K'K'f 0 ' f l ^ - Nihon no bungaku Vf • Supp.34, 116 vol.53. Tokyo: Chuo koronsha 1966, pp. 1-9. Keene, Donald. "The Barren Years: Japanese War Literature." Monumenta Nipponica, v o l . x x x i i i , no.l (1978), pp. 67-112. Kitagawa, Hiroshi and Bruce T.Tsuchida, trans. The Tale of the Heike. Tokyo: University of TokyooPress, 1975. Kobayashi, Hideo. "Ibuse Masuji no sakuhin n i i t s u i t e . " fyZ$$*T9&%&^r*''lln Kobayashi Hideo zenshu f #jl Vol. 4. Tokyo: Shinchosha f ^ / ] * ! , 1967, pp. 31-35. Leyburn, E l l e n Douglass. "Animal Stories." In S a t i r e : Modern Essays i n C r i t i c i s m . Ed. Ronald Paulson. Ehglewood C l i f f s ,M.J. : Prentice-Hall, 1971, pp. 217-^232. Liman, A'.'V. "Ibuse's 'Black Rain'." In Approaches to the Modern Japanese Novel. Ed. Kinya Tsuruta and Thomas E. Sv/ann. Tokyo: Sophia University Press, 1976, pp.45-72. "The River: Ibuse's Poetic Cosmology." In Essays on Japanese L i t e r a t u r e . Ed. Katsuhiko Takeda. Tokyo: Waseda University Press, 1977, pp. 129-145. . "The Old Man and the Bomb: The Mythopoesis of Ibuse's 'Black Rain'." In Life,Death and Age in Modern Japanese L i t e r a t u r e . Ed. by Reiko Tsukimura. University of Toronto-York University Joint Centre on Modern East A s i a . Toronto, 1978, pp. 35-44. Nakamura,., Aki r a . H $\\ "Ibuse Masuji." ft >>0-%- Gendai bungaku to kotoba ij'i t z t tf" , No. 2 (1975), pp. .64-71 . Nakamura, Mitsuo. \ f ' L K "Kaisetsu." $f d'L In Ibuse Masuji shu: nihon bungaku-/.zenshu $ % ^i't . Vol. 32. Tokyo': Shinchosha , 1963, pp. 569-577. Onuma, Tan. "Ibuse Masuji: sakka to sakuhin." «>« In Ibuse Masuji shu: nihon bungaku zenshu ^ . ( f e f r . #. : l-^lf ^ 4f. Vol. 41. Tokyo: Shueisha j&jfeii. , 1974, pp. 393-423. 117 Putzar, Edward. Japanese Li t e r a t u r e : A H i s t o r i c a l Outline• Tucson, Arizona:University of Arizona Press, 1973. Synopses of Contemporary Japanese Literature II 1936-1955. Compiled by Kokusai Bunka Shinkokai (Japan Cultural Society). Tokyo, 1970. Tada, Michitaro. J tf/ if "Ibuse Masuji 'Kuroi ame' -furusato no ochita genbaku" ~ r.f. • * ii-^^A^'t Asahi Journal jj^-yx-j-'l 9, No. 10 (1-967), pp. 35-40. Terada, Toru. \H i£ "Ibuse Masuji ron'.'" $(iK&%~'£$fr In Ibuse Masuji shu: gendai nihomlbungaku zenshu U'fjt'f'^'-A • v°l- 41. Tokyo: Chikuma shobo tij^-fjf » 1 9 53» PP. 413-430. . "Ibuse Masuji." s- Nihon kindai bungaku d a i j i t e n £l£K K'f K fjh- • 1977 e d i t i o n . Togo, Katsumi. jj[/$f "Ibuse Masuji 'Sazanami gunki' ron" jf</<£$ - r ^ % * 6 j ffi . In Gunkimono i 2 sono shuhen ^ X \ e> $\£L • Tokyo: Waseda University Press, 1969, pp. 829-852.
UBC Theses and Dissertations
The static and the dynamic : a study of the hidden world of Ibuse Masuji Brown, Janice 1979
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