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The theme of innocence in Miyazawa Kenji's tales Hagiwara, Takao 1986

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THE THEME OF INNOCENCE IN MIYAZAWA KENJI'S TALES by TAKAO HAG I WAR A ' M. A., The University of British Columbia, 1979 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES Asian Studies Department We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITYVBRITISH COLUMBIA August 1986 (£)Takao Hagiwara, 1986 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 h e a d o f my d e p a r t m e n t o r by h i s o r h e r 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 o 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 1956 Main M a l l V a n c o u v e r , C a n a d a V6T 1Y3 D a t e S e p t e m b e r 5, 1986 [ ABSTRACT Miyazawa Kenji (1896-1933), an exceptionally prolific poet and children's story writer, was little appreciated by his contemporaries, but after his death his literary fame grew rapidly. This neglect can be traced to a lack of understanding of Kenji's cosmology which gave rise to his unique sense of innocence. He expressed this sense of innocence through both his literature and his life. This dissertation is an attempt to clarify the nature of Kenji's idea of innocence as exemplified, specifically, in his tales. Chapter 1 presents a biographical sketch of Kenji. It provides the necessary contextual information for analyzing his tales and explores the ways in which he expressed innocence in his life. Indeed, Kenji's life closely parallels his literature and can be seen as a "meta-text," as yet another tale whose central theme is innocence. Chapter 2 dicusses the relationship between Kenji's ideas of innocence and "the other world," or ikukan. in terms of certain dichotomies such as Iwate (nature) vs. Tokyo (culture), art (imagination) vs. life (reality), and life vs. death. These conceptual pairs will also be considered in relation to another opposition, the center-periphery or "unmarked-marked" opposition. Chapters 3 and 4 focus on how Kenji uses symbolism in his tales to express his ideas of innocence. Ideas from a wide variety of sources, including psychoanalytic theory, various schools of literary criticism, anthropology and religion, are used in analyzing Kenji's symbolism. These ii chapters w i l l establish that Kenji 's innocence is of cosmic scale and is often expressed through mandala-like images in which the center and the periphery interpenetrate. Chapter 5 examines s t y l i s t i c features of Kenji 's tales such as his use of Iwate dialect, songs, onomatopoeia, and sc ient i f i c vocabulary, in their relationship to the Issues of innocence, ikukan and the center-periphery dichotomy. The conclusion attempts to provide a synthetic view of innocence in Kenji. This chapter argues that Ken j i s ideas of innocence are best understood in relation to his cosmology which can be explained in terms of a special type of cyc l i c i t y and c ircular i ty. Indeed, the structure of Kenji"s universe may be compared to that of the Mobius s t r ip in which ends are connected to beginnings through a simple half tw i s t ; this bu i l t - i n tw i s t generates the v i ta l and energetic innocence seen in Kenji ' s l i terature as we l l as in his l i fe. i i i Table of Contents Introduction 1 Chapter 1 A Biographical Sketch of Miyazawa Kenji 9 Chapter 2 Kenji ' s Ideas of the Other World (Ikukan) 62 Chapter 3 The Symbolism of Interpenetration in "The Fourth Day of the Month of Daffodils" 96 Chapter 4 The Symbolism of Death and Rebirth in The Night of the Milky Way Railroad" 129 Chapter 5 Style and the Idea of Innocence in Kenji ' s Tales 181 Conclusion 212 Appendix I 223 Appendix II 224 Appendix III 225 Appendix IV 226 Selected Bibliography 227 iv ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I am deeply grateful to my supervisor, Dr. Kinya Tsuruta, for the kind and invaluable direction that he has offered me through a l l the stages of this project. I am also indebted to the members of my thesis committee, Drs. John Howes and Michael Duke, for their patient and valuable advice. I am thankful, too, to Drs. Leon Zolbrod, Leon Hurvitz, Ken-ichi Takashima, Shotaro lida, and Anthony Wilden for their encouragement and Intellectual guidance, to the Asian Studies Department for i t s support, and to Mr. Tsuneharu Gonnami and other l ibrarians of the Asian Studies Library for their help in providing me wi th sources. I would also l ike to express my gratitude to Professor Takahito Momokawa for his st imulating conversations and for his assistance in col lect ing references, to Mr. Seiroku Miyazawa for his kind response to my inquiries about Kenji and for the hospital ity he extended to me at his home in Hanamaki, and to my mother, Misao Hagiwara, for her endless patience in sending me books and love from Japan. Finally, I owe a special debt to my friends; in particular I would l ike to thank Denise A l lard and Kim Adams for their helpful editorial advice, typing and moral support. v 1 Introduction Miyazawa Kenj i 1 % ^(IQ (1896-1933) was an exceptionally energetic and creative figure who, during his short l i fet ime, engaged in a diverse range of act iv i t ie s and occupations. Along w i th his career as a poet and "children's story" w r i t e r , 2 he was also a soi l sc ient ist, a religious thinker, a teacher, farmer, social reformer, and engineer-salesman. In most of these roles, he was not merely active, but outstanding, demonstrating tremendous original ity of thought and expression. Certainly, i f one were to consider only Kenji ' s l i terary career, i t could be argued that he is without counterpart in the tradit ion of Japanese l iterature. Indeed, his exuberant style, based upon a highly idiosyncratic cosmology, seems to place him in a category of his own. Though Kenji received l i t t l e recognition as a wr i te r during his l i fet ime, his l i terary fame grew rapidly after he died. To date, s ix different editions of his col lected works (seven, if we include the work currently being published by Chikuma Shobo) and innumerable books, periodicals and 1 In this dissertation, Japanese names will be cited according to conventional Japanese style; i.e., the family name first, followed by the first name (except for people of Japanese descent living in Western countries, where the Western practice of first name-family name will be adopted). Also, following the custom of the Japanese critics and readers of Miyazawa Kenji, Kenji's given name, rather than family name, is used. 2 In spite of the fact that Kenji himself called his stories dowa (children's stories) and wrote them in that style, the term "children's story" does not seem to be quite appropriate because his stories are often abstruse for children, and too much so for the very young. In this dissertation, therefore, we shall generally use the term "tales" (or occasionally "stories") rather than "children's stories." 2 ar t ic les related to Kenji studies have been published. It is probably safe to say that in the post war period, few primary or secondary school students in Japan graduate without having read one or two of Kenji 's poems or tales. And recently, even in the non-academic world, Kenji has become extremely popular. Comic books and animated movies based on or adapted from his tales have been published commercially, whi le in Hanamaki, Kenji 's birth place, various public works commemorate him, and every souvenir shop se l l s cakes and other g i f t items bearing his name or a passage from his poems. The situation outside Japan, of course, is quite different. Naturally, what might be cal led Kenji sangyo ( l it. Kenji tourist industry) is confined to Japan, and there is relat ively l i t t l e scholarship concerned w i th Kenji outside the country. Recently, however, there has been a growing interest in Kenji and his l i terature among Western academics as wel l . For example, a number of translations and studies of Kenji 's works have been published in English, German, and Swedish. In English, these translations and studies include Gary Snyder's translations of Kenji ' s poems in his Back Country. 5 Hiroaki SatS's Spring and Asura: Poems of Kenji Miyazawa.* John Bester 's Winds and Wildcat P l ace s 5 and Winds from Afar.6 both translations of 3 Gary Snyder, The Back Country (New York: New Directions, 1968). * Hiroaki Sato, trans., Spring and Asura: Poems of Kenii Miyazawa (Chicago: Chicago Review Press, 1973). 5 John Bester, trans., Winds and Wildcat Places (Tokyo and Palo Alto: Kodansha International, 1967). 6 John Bester, trans., Winds from Afar (Tokyo and Palo Alto: Kodansha International, 1972). 3 Kenji ' s tales, Mallory Fromm's "The Ideals of Miyazawa Ken j i , " 7 Makoto Ueda's substantial chapter on Kenji in his Modern Japanese Poets and the  Nature of L i terature. 8 and Sarah Strong's "The Poetry of Miyazawa Kenj i . " 9 One might wonder why Kenji attracts such widespread attention today, both in Japan and increasingly in the West, when he was almost total ly unknown to, or rather ignored by, l i terary c i rc les in Tokyo during his l i fet ime. In the most general terms, each of the studies mentioned above may be seen as an attempt to answer this question. Certainly, to the extent that it i s concerned wi th explaining the meaning—and hence the appeal—of Kenji, the present dissertation is also such an attempt. More speci f ica l ly, however, th is study is about the idea of innocence in Kenji ' s work. Literary scholars, c r i t i c s and translators have so far treated the issue of innocence in Kenji ' s work only tangentially or indirectly, especially when discussing 7 Mallory Fromm, "The Ideals of Miyazawa Kenji: A Critical Account of Their Genesis, Development, and Literary Expression," Diss. London University 1980. 8 Makoto Ueda. Modern Japanese Poets and the Nature of Literature (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1983), pp. 184-231. 9 Sarah Strong, "The Poetry of Miyazawa Kenji," Diss. The University of Chicago, 1984. For more information about studies and translations of Kenji's works outside Japan, see Strong, pp. 4-5; and Ueda, pp. 425-429. 4 his t a l e s . 1 0 Few have grappled w i th this issue in terms of how i t relates to various other themes in Kenji ' s l i fe , his thought and his l i terature—themes such as nature, the other world, the center-periphery dichotomy, symbolism and style. The present essay is intended to throw light on this important element of Kenji ' s l i terature, as we l l as on the question of why that l i terature was ignored or misunderstood by many people in Kenji ' s time. In our attempt to c lar i fy the nature of innocence in Kenji ' s work, we shall focus mainly on his tales, f i r s t l y because no major study of his tales has been undertaken in the West, and secondly because they are a part icular ly r ich source for those wishing to explore Kenji ' s v iews of innocence. Kenji did, after a l l , address his tales to ch i ld ren , 1 1 whom he associated closely w i th innocence. Along w i th analysing Kenji ' s tales, we shall also draw on biographical information, his poetry, other prose works, and personal correspondence when necessary. Because of the strong paral lels which Kenji himself wished to draw between his l i f e and his l iterature, a knowledge of his biography is part icularly important in 1 0 See, for instance, the following remarks by Bester in his Winds from Afar, p. 8: Yet still more essential in Miyazawa than this humanism is an intense nostalgia for Innocence, for the childlike state that precedes all such things as society and morality. This nostalgia, together with the sensitivity towards nature with which it is so closely linked is, above all, what gives his work its special flavor. The harking back to innocence is not so much a retreat into childhood as a reaffirmation of certain aspects of our relationship with the universe about us. 1 1 That children do not necessarily appreciate his tales is another issue which we shall treat in the conclusion. 5 comprehending his view of innocence. Indeed, Kenji ' s biography is not only useful in elucidating his tales, but his l i f e can Itself be read as a kind of "meta-text," as yet another tale whose central theme is innocence. The methodology adopted In this dissertation fo l lows quite naturally from these aims and from the nature of the topic i t s e l f — t h e theme of innocence in Kenji ' s tales. Innocence is one of those aspects of the world which, once we try to conceptualize or define i t , becomes endlessly elusive. This is probably because, l ike other concepts, such as God, eternity, love, good, ev i l , l i f e and death, i t i s essential ly an abstract idea. Trying to define i t is, in fact, l ike trying to see one's own eyes w i th one's own eyes. We have innocence, or rather we are in innocence, and this i s perhaps the reason that when we encounter Innocence, we Intuitively recognize i t as such at once. But to define It i s not such an easy matter, and any attempt to do so necessarily becomes c i rcular and discursive. The issue of innocence in Kenji ' s tales Is, perhaps, a rather complex matter. Kenji himself drew on various experiences and Ideas In formulating his thoughts on the subject, and he expressed those thoughts through various symbols, themes, Images, and s t y l i s t i c means. Thus, to comprehend how he viewed innocence, we w i l l examine not only the sources which informed his thinking on the subject, but also the means he used to express them. In general, our strategy is to cast a metaphorical dragnet In order to gather the various components which comprise Kenji ' s v iew of Innocence. As for organization, this study consists of seven main parts: an introduction (the present section), f ive chapters, and a conclusion. In Chapter 1, we w i l l sketch Kenji ' s biography In such a way as to provide a context for comprehending his tales and his view of Innocence. The biographical Information we have chosen to present has been conditioned 6 accordingly by this aim. This does not, of course, mean that we have used unlimited licence to distort information. Rather, i t only means that each biographer has his own principle in choosing and arranging material, and that this principle inevitably l im i t s and conditions the scope and the tone of the biography he presents. To reiterate, the biographical sketch of Kenji given here w i l l largely overlap w i th the works so far done by other biographers, 1 2 but along w i th presenting an overall picture of Kenji, i t emphasizes those events, episodes and aspects of Kenji ' s l i f e which bear part icular ly on his thoughts concerning Innocence. Chapter 2 treats the relationship between Kenji ' s ideas of innocence and "the other world" or, to use Kenji ' s term, i k Q k a n ^ J f ^ ( l i t . a different space). His visionary temperament and his intense Interest in nature—both touched upon in the biographical sketch—are more fu l ly discussed to demonstrate, w i th reference to his tales in general, how they influenced his thinking about innocence. This chapter w i l l also analyse how his thoughts on Innocence can be ordered around certain conceptual and physical dichotomies, such as Iwate (nature) vs. Tokyo (culture), art (imagination and imaginary) vs. l i f e (reality), and l i f e vs. death. Finally, these conceptual pairs w i l l be considered in relation to another major opposition which is useful in understanding Kenji ' s thought—that is, the center-periphery or "unmarked-marked" opposition. Chapters 3 and 4 focus on Kenji ' s tales, and the manner in which they express his v iews of innocence. Specif ical ly, these chapters are concerned wi th how Kenji uses symbolism in his tales. For this analysis, we have concentrated on two tales which represent Kenji ' s symbolism. Thus Chapter For a substantial biographical sketch of Kenji in English, refer to Strong, pp. 15-124. 7 3 explores the symbolism in "The Fourth Day of the Month of Daffodils" (Suisenzuki no yokka, j^itU J{ a) \jst 0 ) and Chapter 4 analyses "The A £ - )• In analysing Kenji 's symbolism, we have drawn on a wide variety of sources—such as the author's biography, psychoanalytic theory, various schools of l i terary c r i t i c i sm, anthropology, folklore, and re l ig ion—the main cr i ter ion of selection being that such sources enhance our understanding of the text. In general terms, the text is considered an organic tota l i ty (fol lowing the methodology of "New Cr it ic i sm"), but one which is not, by virtue of that, divorced from i t s context. The f i f t h chapter discusses Kenji 's style in i t s relationship to innocence and the other world. A central theme in this chapter is how Kenji 's thoughts concerning the two dichotomies of "center-periphery" and "unmarked-marked" converged with his style. In particular, the chapter examines such s t y l i s t i c features of Kenji 's tales as his use of Iwate dialect, songs, onomatopoeia, and sc ient i f i c (especially mineral) vocabulary. In addition, the unique features of Kenji 's style are c la r i f ied through a comparison w i th the styles of various other modern Japanese writers. The concluding chapter reviews the preceding chapters as wel l as attempts to provide a synthetic view of "innocence" in Kenji 's l i f e and literature. We would l ike to argue that Kenji 's ideas of innocence are best understood in relation to his world view, a view which would explain the structure of the universe in terms of a special type of cyc l i c l t y and 8 c i r c u l a r i t y . 1 3 Indeed, the structure of Kenji 's universe can be compared to that of the Mobius s t r ip (see Appendix I) in which ends are connected to beginnings through a simple half twist . As we shall see, i t may be this bu i l t - i n tw i s t that is the secret of the l i f e and energy in Kenji 's l i terature as wel l as in his own l i fe. In any case, if we may apply the lesson of the Mobius s t r ip to the present dissertation, we may return now to the beginning, to the biographical sketch of Miyazawa Kenji in Chapter I. 1 3 Onda Itsuo \23 , a prominent Kenji scholar, points out in his article, "Kenji ni okeru enkan goitsu no ishiki" ^ > a I z 3F»' ^j"^ •f^ ' f) 1 ^ (Sense of circularity and unification in Kenji) that the characteristics of Kenji's world view include such interrelated elements as the sense of continuity of things, the sense of constant change and flow, the sense of the "way" that leads man to the supreme goodness or happiness. Onda argues further that underlying these elements is the energy or will of what Kenji calls Cosmic Consciousness, and that "circularity" is one form of continuity and "unification" an ultimate form of continuity and circularity (Onda Itsuo. Miyazawa Kenii ron %_ if^, gl i%L [Treatises on Miyazawa Kenji], ed. Hara Shiro jj^ 3- fcfc and Ozawa Toshiro vk >>^_ 4 f [Tokyo Shoseki, 1981], 1,123-151). It is regrettable that Onda does not elaborate on the theme of circularity and unification concerning Kenji's senses of continuity, flow, "way," and Cosmic Consciousness. The present dissertation is, in a sense, an attempt to develop Onda's theme from where he leaves off. (Here and throughout the dissertation the place of all Japanese publications is Tokyo unless otherwise specified.) 9 Chapter 1 A Biographical Sketch of Miyazawa Kenji I. Childhood and Middle School Days: 1896-1914 Miyazawa Kenji (1896-1933) was born in the town of Hanamaki in Hienuki County, Iwate prefecture on August 27, 1896. He was the eldest son \ (1877-1963). Besides Kenji, the couple had four other children: Toshi K V (1898-1922), Shige y 7" (1901- ), Seiroku >% A (1904-), andKuni 7 ^ (1907-1979). The Miyazawa family belonged to the "Miyazawa clan," one of the old and powerful mercantile clans in Hanamaki. When Kenji was born, his father, Masajiro, was running a second-hand clothing shop as we l l as a pawnshop. However, Masajiro was not a mere merchant. He was an extremely devout Buddhist, a fo l lower of the Shin sect of Buddhism (Jodo shinshQ, yk3~% 'i^ ). Not only was he devoted to his own sect, but he was quite open-minded towards other Buddhist sects. Thus he founded and actively organized the Hanamaki Buddhist Society (the Hanamaki bukkyokai, ^ o / ^ and Invited Buddhists and scholars from various sects to Hanamaki to give lectures to the townspeople every year. MasajirS 's occupation as a merchant and his rel igious devotion were two factors that deeply influenced Kenji and his l iterature. There is a story about the young Kenji, who, at the age of four or f ive, memorized entire sutras, such as a "Posthumous Writing About a Skeleton" (Hakkotsu no ofumi, l istening to his parents chanting every morning in front of the altar. He (1874-1957) and his wi fe, Ichi 10 later chanted the same sutras as he sat on top of a kotatsu (a traditional Japanese heating device). 1 Another story relates how an older Kenji, who, whi le tending his father 's pawnshop, would loan any amount of money that customers requested, to the dismay of his father. 2 Ichi, Kenji ' s mother, was also an important figure in the development of Kenj i i ' s character. She was the second daughter of another Miyazawa family in the Miyazawa clan, and l ike her husband was a devout Shin Buddhist. Ichi was stable, calm, bright and humorous. She was kind to everyone. She Is said to have told the young Kenji, almost as a bed-time story, that man is born to serve other men. Later, when Kenji had grown up and impaired his own health in the service of others, his mother forgot what she had taught him as a chi ld and is said to have lamented, "Why does my son so devote himself to others, without caring a bit for his own comfor t ? " 3 In the year Kenji was born, two major natural calamit ies hit Iwate prefecture. One was a t idal wave that ravaged the east coast of the prefecture and caused the deaths of more than 2,000 people. The other was 1 HorioSeishi ^ ^ . Nempu Miyazawa Kenii den >^-^T^ ^IT fa (A chronological personal history of Miyazawa Kenji) (Shimbunsha, 1966), p. 14. Sakai Tadaichi — • Hvoden Miyazawa Kenii ^ \% ^ i t (A critical biography of Miyazawa Kenji) (Ofusha, 1968), p. 40. 2 Horio, 68. Sato Takafusa )rf£j<$ J£ , Miyazawa Kenii %M^.% > a (FuzambS, 1970), p. 58. 3 Mori Soichi JL ft tL ?K. Miyazawa Kenii no shozo A portrait of Miyazawa Kenji) (Hirosaki: Tsugaru Shobo, 1974), p. 253. 11 an earthquake of fa i r ly strong intensity that hit the town of Hanamaki f ive days after Kenji 's birth. One may see the calamit ies that occurred at Kenji 's birth as rather symbolic portents of his later l i f e and l iterature, for both were dedicated to bettering the l ives of the poor farmers in his prefecture. Iwate, which is often called the "Tibet of Japan," is a mountainous prefecture situated in the northeast of the main island of Honshu. Throughout history, i t has suffered uncounted famines due to drought and cold weather. 4 Even in Kenji ' s time, when peasants had bad crops, they were forced to se l l their daughters to pleasure quarters or to wealthy people In order to survive. In the precinct of Shoan temple (Shoanji, PA ^ which Kenji and other children used as their playground, tombstones s t i l l commemorate those who perished in various famines. Kenji and his friends may have played on these stones, climbing up and down them. In one of his stor ies entit led "A Biography of GusukS Budori" (Gusuko Budori no 4 As one of the most tragic cases of these famines, a chronicle of Iwate records a story of a starving mother who killed and ate her own children and who was finally shot to death by officials. For more on this story and other records of the famines, see Hara Shiro, "Miyazawa Kenji no hito to sakuhin" i'-zl <D ^ ^ (Miyazawa Kenji: the man and his works) in Kansho nihon oendai bunoaku: Miyazawa Kenii ' f T 0;£jg/f£ ^ % % v£ ^ ? >£ (Appreciation of modern Japanese literature: Miyazawa Kenji), ed. Hara Shiro (Kadokawa Shoten, 1981), XIII,8-10;andMakabeJin, # & £ _ 4 = ~ "MiyazawaKenji tosonojidar't" 5f <^ (Miyazawa Kenji and his period) in Oendai nihonbunqaku arubamu: Miyazawa  Kenii Z f y j ^ Q f e k J ^ ^j? iv£ (Modern Japanese literature in photos: Miyazawa Kenji), ed. Sakurada Mitsuru vD (Qakushu Kenkyusha, 1974), X, 185-216. This kind of history of famines in his native prefecture may be related to Kenji's "peculiar" attitude about food and eating in general, a point which we shall touch more upon later. 12 denkl, 7 X 3 — 7 " V) #) fa \^ ), Kenji wr i tes about a boy who loses his family 1n a famine. This boy later becomes a sc ient i st and by r e -directing a volcanic eruption saves the people from a disaster and at the same time controls the c l imate and prevents crop failure. In 1901, when Kenji was hospitalized at the age of s ix for dysentery, his aunt, Yaso V 7 , a s k i l l f u l storytel ler, told Kenji many folktales as she nursed him. These folktales are said to have been another important element In the development of Kenji ' s l i terary career. 5 During Kenji ' s i l lness, his father, Masajiro, also looked after him and became Infected w i th his son's dysentery. From that t ime on Masajiro" suffered from chronic stomach problems. Kenji ' s concern that he had hurt his father 's health at this time caused him considerable guilt later when, as a young man, he rebelled against his father. 6 In 1903, at the age of seven, Kenji entered KajO Primary School (Kaj6 shogakko, in Hanamaki. This period abounds in stories, some semi-legendary some factual, that provide a background to Kenji ' s later interests and eccentric characterist ics. Among these there are three episodes which are most relevant here. The f i r s t i s a story concerning Yagi Eiz5 ; , one of Kenji ' s teachers, who fascinated Kenji and his classmates w i th children's stor ies by such wr i te r s as Hans Christ ian Andersen and the Brothers Grimm. Perhaps, this i s one of the factors which ignited Kenji ' s interest In "children's stories." Years later, after Kenji had started wr i t ing his stories, he came across Yagi Eizo and said, "It was the children's stor ies you read for us that opened my eyes to poetry. My 5 Hara , p. 12. 6Hara,p. 12. 13 children's stor ies are rooted in the Lotus Sutra (HokkekyO, -J&^fc^ ), but don't you notice that they have flavours of the stories you told us at that t i m e ? " 7 Another possible motivation for wr i t ing tales was the bed-time stor ies his two aunts told young Kenji during his i l lness mentioned above. Iwate, as elsewhere in the northeast area of the Japanese mainland, has a long tradit ion of folk tales. Elderly people used to entertain by te l l ing stories, especially during the long and severe winters. A second notable story about Kenji from around this t ime te l l s of how, at about age eleven, he started to show an unusual zeal for col lect ing rocks and stones. He was so enamoured w i th rocks that the people of his family nicknamed him "Pebbly Kenj i " (Ishikko Kensan, 35 a % 2 ). This kind of enthusiasm for stone col lect ing is not particularly unusual for boys of this age, but wi th Kenji i t became a l i fe- long passion and an essential part of his l i f e and l iterature. Later he was to study so i l science at the Horioka Higher School of Agriculture and Forestry (Morioka k5to nsrin gakk5, t ft. ) and not surprisingly his l i terature (both poems and tales) Is fu l l of mineral imagery and motifs that range from pebbles and jewels to stars and planets. 7 Yagi Eizo, "Miyazawa Kenji" & % S £ in Hienuki fudoki ^ ^ J L ^ i i j (Gazette of Hienuki), Yagi Eizo, ed., 1,1951, quoted by Hara in Kansho. p. 15. See also Mori Soichi, "Kenji no bungaku teki shoden" a) %_ c£ fe^ ' J N ^ (A small literary biography of Kenji) in Qeppo f[ ffi^ (Monthly bulletin) in Kohon Miyazawa Kenii zenshu ^ zF^, 1/ v?, ^  J l - - (Variorum edition of the complete works of Miyazawa Kenji), ed. Miyazawa Seiroku yfc 7\ et al. (Chikuma Shobo, 1976), II. Here and in the subsequent chapters, unless otherwise specified, all translations are mine. 14 A third story concerns Kenji ' s rather unusual attitude about eating. He was deeply troubled by the fact that, in sustaining his own l i re, he was destroying or causing pain to another. According to Miyazawa 5elroku, Kenji ' s younger brother: Indeed, although on the surface he looked very cheerful, my brother [Kenji], whom I had known well since I was a small child, seemed to have 8n unspeakable sorrow deeply hidden in his heart Even when he had meals with his family, my brother ate as quietly and self-effacingly as possible, as if he were ashamed of something or as if he were apologizing to someone.8 Also, when Kenji was fourteen or f i f teen he was poisoned by lacquer. His parents made paste, mashing smal l crabs for treatment, but Kenji refused i t because he thought that i t was too cruel to the crabs. 9 This kind of "over-sens i t iv i ty " towards the pains of l iv ing things in general remained unchanged throughout Kenji ' s l i fe , and he later practiced vegetarianism and wrote many tales that dealt w i th the paradoxical aspect of l i f e (i.e., l i f e l iv ing on l i fe) inherent in the world. In 1909, at the age of thirteen, Kenji graduated from the primary school in Hanamaki w i th excellent marks and, in Apr i l of the same year, entered Morioka Middle School (Morioka chugakko, Kf ^ -few ) in Morioka c ity, the capital of Iwate prefecture, about 30 ki lometers north of Hanamaki. During his f i r s t three years there, he l ived in the school 8 MiyazawaSeiroku, "Ani Kenji noshogai" ^ l £ 0) (Life of my elder brother Kenji) in Miyazawa Kenii kenkvu ^ i£ ^ iX^. (Studies on Miyazawa Kenji), ed.KusanoShimpei jJLff /c'ij2- (ChikumaShobo, 1969), pp. 243-244. 9 Sato, pp. 20-21. 15 dormitory. His Interest in col lect ing rocks persisted, and to pursue his Interest he developed an enthusiasm for hiking and mountain climbing. In 1910, when he was fourteen, Kenji, together w i th his teacher and classmates, climbed tit. Iwate, situated about 24 ki lometers northwest of Morioka city. The mountain enchanted Kenji w i th i t s beauty and height (2040.5 m), and from then on Kenji climbed this mountain countless times, both by himself and w i th others. Kenji ' s academic performance In middle school was mediocre. One reason for th is is said to be that he did not have any hope of attaining a higher education because, as the eldest son, he was expected to fo l low his father 's occupation and become a merchant as soon as he graduated from school. Moreover, when he was 1n the fourth year, he became Involved In an altercation between the dormitory supervisor and students and was consequently expelled from the dormitory. A f te r that, he lodged at a Buddhist temple in the c i ty and practiced Zen meditation at another temple. He also read Buddhist scriptures and composed tanka. These tanka amount to nearly 120. When he was in the third year, Kenji wrote the fol lowing, recal l ing the t ime he entered middle school: Chichi yo chichi yo Oh, Father. Oh, Father. nadote kansha no Why did you [have to] wind mae ni shite your big silver watch dai naru gin no in front of 16 tokei o makishi10 the supervisor? In March 1914, at the age of eighteen, Kenji graduated from Morioka Middle School w i th average grades. Soon after graduation he underwent a simple operation for chronic inflammation of the nose, but this was fol lowed by a complication, suspected typhoid fever, and he had to remain in the hospital for about two months. During his stay at the hospital he f e l l in love w i th one of the nurses. This was presumably his f i r s t love. Kenji seriously thought of marrying her, but his father forbade i t because of his son"s youth. Kenji wrote several tanka about his f i r s t love, one of which reads as fol lows: Sukoyaka ni Oh, sound and wholesome wuruwashiki hito yo beautiful one. yamihate te [But I], exhausted from illness waga me W8 kinari my eyes are yellowish, kitsune ni nizu ya (Z 1:19) Am I not like a [hideous] fox? These two early tanka demonstrate that Kenji ' s poetic sens i t iv i ty d i f fers from that of most wr i te r s who ly r ica l ly express human emotion through images charged w i th traditional implications, such as snow, moon and flowers. His studies in agricultural science would strengthen this untraditional approach to tanka, but we w i l l touch on this issue later. 1 0 Zenshu. 1. 1QQ. Hereafter the quotations from this edition will be specified in parentheses as in (Z 1:100) where "Z" stands for Zenshu's collected works, "1" for volume I and "100" for page number. In this series, however, Volume Twelve is divided into two parts which will be hereafter referred to as" 12-A" and" 12-B.M 17 After he was discharged from the hospital at the end of May 1914, Kenji spent frustrat ing days tending his father 's shop, but in September he found he could stand i t no longer—he had to go on for a higher education. His father f ina l ly gave in, and Kenji began to study zealously in preparation for the entrance examination to Morioka Higher School of Agriculture and Forestry. During this year Kenji had discovered the Lotus Sutra, the central sutra of the Nichiren sect of Buddhism, and was extremely moved by it. From then on, the sutra became his Bible, and he gradually Inclined towards the Nichiren interpretation of Buddhism unti l he eventually deserted the Shin sect, which his family fol lowed, to become a devout fo l lower of Nichiren. The reason that Kenji was so attracted to the Lotus Sutra and the Nichiren sect was not and w i l l never be total ly clear, but one thing seems obvious: as opposed to the Introverted and "pess imist ic " Shin sect, the tenets of the Nichiren sect are exceptionally extroverted, active and "optimist ic." It Is often said that the Lotus Sutra Is a hymn to Cosmic L i fe and Energy as represented by the Cosmic Buddha. 1 1 This optimism must have charmed Kenji, for he was opt imist ic and sensit ive to the animist ic joys of l i f e despite his religious sens it iv i ty, which was negativlst ic because of both his temperament and upbringing. Along w i th the Lotus sutra, The Major Theories of Chemistry (Kagaku honron,/(t>'v$^F-^^ ), published in 1915, was also a major influence on Kenji ' s world view. This book, by Katayama Masao }j iU jL-k^ . a 1 1 See, for example, Kino Kazuyoshi f£j 3f — , Oendai iin no bukkvo: inochi no sekai hokkekvo jfo'ti K 6) * A ^ N <D 0)^% >£J^JL( Buddhism of modern men: the world of life: the Lotus Sutra) (Chikuma ShobO, 1965), V, 6-7,206. 18 prominent sc ient ist, gives extensive descriptions of the physlcochemlcal make-up of matter, incorporating the latest theories and discoveries, such as the laws of thermodynamics, the concept of energy, the Brownlan movement, and electro-chemical reactions In molecules and atoms. Kenji encountered this book a few years after he read the Lotus Sutra, and i t s Impact seems to have been equally great. Salts Bun'lchl argues that through this book Kenji gained a sc ient i f i c view on the apparent metamorphosis but real continuity of matter and ex i s tence. 1 2 This kind of view of matter and existence Is s im i la r to that of Buddhism. Miyazawa Seiroku, Kenji ' s brother, te s t i f i e s that Kenji always kept both the Lotus Sutra and The Major  Theories on his desk and repeatedly read t h e m . 1 3 The importance for Kenji of these two books Is suggestive of a fundamental feature of his l i terature and l i fe: the synthesis of rel igion and science. II. Morioka Higher School and KokuchOkai: 1915-1921 In 1915 at the age of 19, Kenji enrolled in the Morioka Higher School of Agriculture and Forestry. Once again, he entered the school dormitory, which became the base for his act i v i t ie s during the three years of his schooling. On weekends Kenji usually did not return home but went out to the f ie lds and mountains in order to col lect specimens of minerals, rocks and plants. On his frequent overnight outings he carried such things as a map, a compass, a notebook for jott ing down poems, a flashl ight, a hammer 1 2 Saito B u n ' i c h i ^ ^ . , Miyazawa Kenii to sono tenkai: hvochisso no sekai t %*>ATf] ^ < % % *) Ht^r- (MiyazawaKenji and his unfolding: the world of frozen nitrogen) (Kokubunsha, 1976), pp. 108-111. 1 3 Miyazawa Seiroku, p. 247. 19 and biscuits. As a result of these forays, It Is said that none of the rocks that jutted out of the earth In the v ic in i ty of Morioka c i ty escaped being knocked on the head by Kenji ' s hammer. 1 4 With his changed attitude towards academic training, Kenji became a very dil igent student and the favourite of his teachers. Above a l l , Professor 5eki Toyotaro f^^J^tJ (1868-1955), who was feared and nicknamed by the students "Lion" because of his eccentric behaviour and severity, took a part icular fancy to Kenji. The professor later appointed Kenji as his assistant for a geological study of the earth in the Morioka area, commissioned by the government of Hienukl county of Iwate prefecture. It seems the professor Intended to recommend Kenji for the position of assistant professor at his school. Kenji also became more active and public in his occasional wr i t ing which, unti l then, he had kept private. In his third year, Kenji, along w i th three other friends, founded a l i terary magazine entit led Aza l la (Azaria Tf') T )• He contributed a number of tanka and a few prose works to this magazine as we l l as to a school periodical, KSyQkaishl $ t £ / £ pyc f • That he continued to use un-tanka-l lke devices Is apparent from the fol lowing examples: Sono mukashi In ancient times namako no gotoku the rough-faced quartzite minasoko o like a sea slug haite nagareshi flowed, crawling sekiei somengan (Z 1: 290) along the water's bed 1 4 Abe Takashi y$%f £, "Chugakusel no koro" ^ % jfc. *) &k ([Kenji's] middle school period), Yoiiaen t>3 /kft (The fourth dimension), No. 100 (1959), p. 10. 20 Kohaku h a m Covered with amber, tsumetaki sora wa the cold sky, ake chikaku near the dawn, otokage ra no is letting float kumo o hitaseri (Z1:304) clouds of giant reptiles As is evident from these examples, Kenji ' s tanka are almost entirely divorced from tradit ional aesthetics such as mono no aware *t>(D(J)1fr Ys-( l i t. sorrow of things) and yOgen ^ ( l i t. dark and mysterious). These tanka avoid the wet emotionalism of ChQko-Chusei (roughly between the ninth and sixteenth centuries) aesthetics and remind one of the pr imit ive sens i t i v i t ies of the pre-Manyo age (before the f i f t h century). This tendency is also seen in his tales which combine primeval, an imist ic sens i t iv i t ies w i th modern and surrea l i s t ic poesy. This tendency is one of the factors that makes Kenji ' s l i terary efforts stand out in the stream of Japanese l iterature. Indeed, in his art ic le, Isogai Hideo argues that Kenji ' s wr i t ings set him apart in two ways: f i r s t , they ref lect a Buddhist world view which d i f fers completely from the idea of the individual in modern societies; and second, they express a primordial animism which gives a v i ta l exuberance to his l i te ra ture . 1 5 1 5 Isogai Hideo 7$!^ f l , "Ninon kindaibungaku shijo ni okeru Miyazawa Kenji" 0 jfc. l ~ 3° ^ 3 *&^t (Miyazawa Kenji in the history of modern Japanese literature) in Takamura Kotaro. Miyazawa Kenii ^ ^ ^ty^tj ' %. i ^ . i C ^ £ . ed. Nihonbungaku kenkyu shiryo kankokai 0^>$L^/Stt ^ + ll ^7 (The society for publishing the materials for the studies of Japanese literature) (Yuseido, 1973) pp. 168-175. 21 ) Certainly Kenji is not alone In this. Many modern Japanese wr i te r s express in their work a Buddhist philosophy as we l l as the animist ic sens i t iv i ty of the ancient Japanese. Kawabata Yasunari ) i| J | (1899-1972), for instance, would seem to resemble Kenji on these points. In contrast to Kenji, however, Kawabata's animism and Buddhism are deeply steeped in, and thus subdued and darkened by, the sens i t iv i t ies of the ChQko-Chusei periods. S imi lar ly Shiga Naoya's %'\A^SQ (1883-1971) animism, whi le i t may not have the darkness of Kawabata's, is s t i l l rather quiet and contemplative when compared w i th the exuberant and even explosive sense of l i f e found in Kenji ' s work. The same can be said of s t i l l another type of ethnoanimistic wr i te r exemplif ied by IbuseMasujI J ! | ^— (1898- ), Fukazawa ShichlrS 7 ^ i ) v - ^ ^ (1914- ), and Nakagami Kenji ^x- ^ ^ (1946- ). While we can easi ly sense that these wr i te r s are deeply rooted in the magma of the common people's v i ta l i t y , which was, perhaps, basical ly the same thousands of years ago, their l i terature is without the dazzling colours, the lightness of innocence, and the soaring imagination seen in Kenji ' s stories. In the f i e ld of poetry, Hagiwara Sakutaro ^ fa ¥Jj 7* %^ (1886-1942) and Nishiwaki JunzaburS v l l 5- ^ (1894-1982) may be c ited as counter examples. However, Sakutaro's Buddhism is Theravada Buddhism, and one that came v ia Schopenhauer's pess imist ic philosophy, and even the modernistic SakutarS was attracted by traditional Japanese poetry l ike Buson's. Nishiwaki also returned to the Eastern traditions in his interest in Zen and in one of i t s sources, philosophical Taoism ( r5sosh i s5. f f& ). Thus we can say that Kenji i s different from his contemporaries even in his ethnoanimism and Buddhism. A l l the other wr i ter s mentioned above are, in 22 one way or another, restr icted by, or rather deeply rooted In various tradit ional Eastern sens it iv i t ies. Here, because it bears centrally on his work and development as an art i s t , i t would be appropriate to touch br ief ly on Kenji 's religion. His understanding of Buddhism deepened and changed as he studied in the Morioka Higher School. Ono RyQsho argues that Kenji 's introverted manner deepened in this period due to his personal contacts w i th Shimajl Taito Jjt&X 'ff (1875-1927), the superior of the Gankyo Temple (GankySji, $&%t% ) In Morioka and an authority on the philosophy of Tendai Buddhism (Tendai bukkyS, ^ a i*%%_V& Tendai philosophy is we l l known for i t s meticulous teachings on the relationship between the mind and the universe as, for instance, expressed in the concept of ichlnen sanzen ~Jh^J\ (°ne mmanv and manv in one)-At the same time, as Kenji began to open his eyes to the corruption of the Shin sect of Buddhism, his conclusions gradually drove him away from his family rel igion and caused him to look towards the Nichiren sect. There was a newly founded Nichiren sect cal led Honke myOshQ ^ t > - ^ r 9?-. (the fine teachings of the original Bodhisattvas) founded by Tanaka Chigaku ^ (1861-1939). Upon the basis of his bel iefs Chigaku also founded an ult ra-nat ional i s t ic society cal led the Kokuchukai j H ^ ^ (P i l la r of the Nation Soc ie ty ) , 1 7 which Kenji was to join later. 1 8 Ono Ryusho ;|> "fj }% \^ , Miyazawa Kenii no shisaku to shinko^ % i**) jfc £ •j Vff ' j 5 (The musings and beliefs of Miyazawa Kenji) (TairyOsha, 1979), pp. 9-52. 1 7 "Pillar of the Nation Society" is Donald Keene's translation of the Kokuchukai in his Dawn to  the West: Japanese Literature of the Modern Era: Poetry. Drama. Criticism (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1984), p. 285. 23 Before joining this society, Kenji seemed to have experienced considerable sp ir i tual wanderings and doubts, which Ono RyQshO has studied In detail In his book mentioned above. 1 8 According to Ono, one reason that Kenji hesitated to jo in KokuchQkai was i t s ultra-national ism as expressed, for instance, In Chlgaku's "Renovation of the Nlchlren Sect" (ShQmon no Ishin %f^Z/ ) published In 1898. "Renovation" was applauded by various Intellectuals of the times, Including Tsubouchl ShQyo" i f l *| j j£ i JL (1859-1939) and Takayama ChogyQ % ^ \ (1871-1907). Ono RyQshO also thinks that this pamphlet Is the predecessor of "General Principles for the Renovation of Japan" (Nihon kalzO h5an talks Q% S^^J^XLM ) by K l ta Ikkl i L H O f - (1883-1937), a fasc i s t who was Involved w i th the aborted COUP d'etat of 1936 and was executed in 1937. Kenji could not res i s t the energetic optimism of the organization and i t s rel igion, which he believed to be the authentic embodiment of the teachings of Nichiren and the Lotus Sutra. Ono argues that there i s even a s im i la r i t y between a number of tanka wr i t ten by Kenji at th is t ime and the nationalism expounded by "Renovation." 1 9 In th is regard, there is a letter wr i t ten by Kenji addressed to an acquaintance who was serving as a soldier In Manchuria. In his letter, Kenji envies as we l l as encourages the soldier and says that if circumstances allowed he would also l ike to fight and serve his country. 2 0 As the previous discussion of Kenji ' s interest in rocks indicates, Kenji ' s temperament was such that he could become obsessed w i th a given thing once i t Ignited his 1 8 Ono, pp. 49-90. 1 9 Ono, pp. 78-86. 20 Z 13: 406-407. 24 passion. It seems that his myst ic and obsessive temperament towards the Cosmic Buddha or L i fe underwent a chemical reaction w i th the nat ional i st ic yet opt imis t ic Ideals of KokuchQkal which he referred to as converting the world to the teachings of Nichlren and the Lotus Sutra In order to real ize the Kingdom of God (or rather the Cosmic Buddha) on earth. In 1918. at the age of twenty-two, Kenji graduated from Morioka Higher School of Agriculture and Forestry. The t i t l e of his graduation thesis was "The Values of Inorganic Elements In Furnas for Plants" (Fushokushltsu chd no muki seibun no shokubutsu ni talsuru kachi, j | j J & . J $ ^ K / p J %k$% — ?3 ^ i& ). Immediately after his graduation he assisted Professor Sekl ToyotarO In his laboratory and f ie ld work. During this period, Kenji wrote a few tales and prose works. They included "Spider, Slug and Badger" (Kumo to namekuji to t a n u k i . f e %%JC f£ <y?< C \z$2.), "The Twin Stars" (Futago no hoshi, <n% \ "An Exceptional Effect of Full Dress" (Taireifuku no reigal teki k5ka, -%Ji\x fik.(D^ K\ $Y&3 %p$J, and "The House With a Spring" (Izumi aru ie, % 1 %^ )• "Spider, Slug and Badger" i s a tale which sat i r i zes the competitive systems of schools and society through allegories. (Also, underlying the theme of competition is that of the biological food chain—an important theme of Kenji ' s literature.) Kenji ' s sense of humour and his or ig inal ity can be observed through his v iv id and humorous characterization of the insects and animals as we l l as the songs inserted throughout: Akai tenagano kumo 0, the red long-legged spider ten no chikaku o haimawari Crawls about up in the sky suru suru hikari no ito o haki As he lets out, soft and bright kiirari kiirari su o kakeru His silver thread of light 25 (Z 7: 7-8) In ashiningweb spun high21 "The Twin Stars" is also a tale w i th a somewhat didactic flavour, but Kenji ' s imagination, which ranges from the bottom of the sea up to the stars in the night sky, has an unusally wide scope and thus i s exceptional in the Japanese l i terary imagination. This tale prefigures Kenji ' s other tale about the night sky, "The Night of the Milky Way Railroad," which we w i l l treat more fu l ly in Chapter 4. Both "An Exceptional Effect of Full Dress" and "The House With a Spring" are short and somewhat fragmented prose works which display the kind of talent that might have made Kenji a good novelist had he pursued that form. C r i t i c s have conjectured about why he did not go on to wr i te novels, but i t seems that the reason l ies in the nature of Kenji ' s imagination and sens it iv i ty, which are too myst ic and cosmic to be confined wi th in the narrow range of human society, which is, after a l l , the domain of the nove l . 2 2 It seems that after Kenji ' s graduation in 1918, Professor Seki intended to recommend Kenji as an assistant professor at his school, but Kenji declined this honour for two main reasons: he thought that he did not have suff ic ient talent and s k i l l for laboratory work; he wanted to help farmers more directly. Thus Kenji resigned from his assistantship and returned home to tend his father 's shop. Towards the end of that year, however, Toshi, Kenji ' s s i ster, who was in the third year at Japan Women's Academy (Nihon joshi daigakko, $%^lr 2 1 Bester, Winds from Afar, p.44. 2 2 We shall discuss this issue in more detail in Chapter 5. 26 ), 2 3 became i l l and was hospita1i2ed in Tokyo. Kenji and his mother le f t Hanamaki for Tokyo on December 26, 1918, and Kenji stayed there unti l Feburary of the fol lowing year, assuming the responsibi l ity for his s i s ter ' s care after his mother returned to Hanamaki in January. How devoted Kenji was to the care of Toshi can easi ly be surmised by the number of letters he wrote to his father. During his forty-day stay in Tokyo, Kenji wrote fo r ty - f i ve letters to his father, minutely reporting on Toshi 's daily condition. When Toshi had improved, Kenji would go out to l ibrar ies and theaters. He planned to start a new business as a jewel le r in Tokyo and wrote his father to ask for permission as we l l as for f inancial assistance. Obviously, Kenji did not l ike the family business and wanted to escape from it. Kenji even suggested to his father that he quit his business as a pawnbroker and move the entire family to Tokyo. To his father, who was an experienced merchant, Kenji ' s plan to start a jewel lery shop appeared naive and optimist ic. Thus, Masajiro refused his son's proposal and ordered him to return home and bring Toshi w i th him. Kenji ' s reluctance to succeed in the family occupation stemmed chief ly from his rel igious beliefs. As mentioned earl ier, Kenji had joined Kokuchukai whi le in Morioka Higher School. The Nichiren sect is perhaps the only Buddhist sect in Japan which is extremely "mi l i tant " in i t s attempt to proselytise non-believers. Consequently, Kenji tr ied hard to convert his family members to his sect. His s ister, Toshi, was the f i r s t to fo l low Kenji into the sect, but his father, Masajiro, was the most reluctant. Father and 23 Later, Japan Women's University (Nihon joshi daigaku, ^^ Hf3} j<- ). 27 son had f ierce arguments over the superior merits of their respective beliefs. Conf l icts between them had actually started much earl ier, about the time Kenji graduated from Morioka Middle School. In one of the tanka Kenji wrote when he was hospitalized for the operation on his nose, we f ind the following: Nenmaku no The red rags akaki borokire of the mucus membrane nodo ni burasagareri hang down in my throat: kanashiki isakai o I had a sad altercation chichi to mata suru with my father again. (Z 1: 123) At th is t ime the issue of the arguments seems to have been whether Kenji should advance to higher school or not, a disagreement that had no relation to the argument over their beliefs. However, the source of much of their discord was religious, and Kenji did not want to succeed in his father 's occupation pr imari ly because he saw a contradiction and conf l ict between the business of pawnbroking and a sincere adherence to the Shin sect. In general, Masajiro was a broad-minded man concerning religion. He supported a fe l low, Christ ian resident of Hanamaki, Saito Soj i ro yJZtf (1861-1969), one of Uchimura Kanzo's ^ H ^~ (1861-1930) disciples, for instance, when the townspeople persecuted Sojiro. His tolerance for the bel iefs of others did not mean that he lacked conviction towards his own bel iefs, however. Thus the arguments between Kenji and Masajiro escalated daily as Kenji became increasingly frustrated w i th Z8 tending his father 's pawnshop. Kenji thought seriously of leaving the house to go to the headquarters of KokuchOkal in Tokyo, apparently as a means of protesting against hts father as we l l as escaping from an unbearable situation. He decided to leave suddenly on January 23, 1921. That day, whi le tending the shop, Kenji was brooding over how he could carry out his plan to leave home when a copy of the Lotus Sutra fe l l on his back from the raised god shelf (kamldana. ^ flft ) behind him. It was 4:30 p.m., and the train for Tokyo was to leave Hanamaki at 5:12. Kenji Immediately cleaned his hands and wrapped the sutra and other a r t i fact s of his Nichlren fa i th in a cloth, and, taking an umbrella w i th him, left the house unnoticed. On arr ival at Ueno Station the fol lowing morning, he went to the Kokuchukal's headquarters. The man who answered Kenji ' s ca l l was Takachlo ChiyS *e%tS1883-1976), one of the high disc iples of Tanaka Chigaku. Takachio did not accept Kenji ' s offer of service right away but suggested that Kenji sett le down somewhere f i r s t . Kenji rented a smal l room in Hongo and found a job at a small printing company near Tokyo Imperial University. He worked there in the mornings and in the afternoons joined in the missionary act iv i t ie s of the society through road-side evangelism. At night he attended a series of lectures given by the same society. In February of the same year, Takachlo ChiyQ suggested to Kenji that he propagate the teachings of Nichlren through literature. Thereupon Kenji turned his tremendous energy to wr i t ing tales. It Is said that he wrote at 29 the speed of 3,000 pages per month and that In the end, letters jumped out of the manuscript paper by themselves and bowed to him as he wro te . 2 4 In the meantime, Kenji ' s father was worrying about his son's f inancial condition and sent him money. Each time, Kenji returned It, wr i t ing on the unopened envelope, "Your kindness accepted w i th gratitude." Kenji also wrote to his father, saying, "As soon as you are converted I shall return home." His mother, In a more passive show of concern, set out meals for him in his absence and prayed for her son's safety. At this t ime Kenji was practic ing vegetarianism and frequently ate only boiled potatoes and water at his two daily meals. Once again, Toshi, who was teaching at Hanamaki Gir l s ' High School, became i l l . Because of her grave condition Kenji was cal led home from Tokyo in September 1921. He returned to Hanamaki w i th a big trunk fu l l of the manuscripts wr i t ten during his eight-month stay in Tokyo. When Seiroku, Kenji ' s younger brother, met Kenji at the station, Kenji pointed to the trunk and said, "This is what I created instead of begetting a chi ld in Tokyo." 2 5 Kenji continued wr i t ing tales even whi le looking after Toshi. These tales include "E lectr ic Poles in the Moonlit Night" (Tsukiyo no denshin bashira, Z " A ^ ^ ' ^ ' l f ? ), "The F i rst Deer Dance" (Shishiodori no haj imari , jjjg. £ | j ^ cn v%. ), "Acorns and Wildcat" (Donguri to Yamaneko, V L C S) Y. A A °$Q ), and "The Restaurant of Many Orders" (Chumon no oi ryoTiten, >£i<7) ^ ^ jp\ Jfjfi ). Together w i th the stor ies he brought back from Tokyo in the trunk, Kenji published these 2 4 Sakai, Hvoden. p. 117, note 23. Also see Miyazawa Seiroku, "Ani kenji no shogai," p. 248. 2 5 Z 14: 541. 30 himself in 1924 as a col lect ion of "children's stories" t i t l ed The Restaurant  or Many orders. This was the only col lect ion or Kenji ' s tales to De published whi le he was s t i l l alive. III. Hanamaki A g r i c u l t u r a l School Period: 1921-1926 In December 1921, Kenji was offered a position as teacher at Hienuki (later Hanamaki) Agricultural School. This was a good opportunity for both Kenji and his father to solve their conf l icts over the family business. Kenji immediately accepted the offer, though his s i s ters were a bit skeptical as to whether their brother could real ly teach. However, i t seems that Kenji proved to be a natural teacher, and the next four years and four months at th is school were the happiest and most peaceful of Kenji ' s l i f e . 2 6 Here, Kenji could express as wel l as develop his talents and s k i l l s — both in his specialty as an agronomist and as an art ist. The broad-minded principal, Hatayama Ei'ichlro" % A % - tj , al lowed Kenji much freedom to choose his own teaching methods. Kenji taught chemistry, algebra, English, so i l science, and fe r t i l i ze r s , along w i th a practicum in the r ice paddles. His teaching methods were rather unusual. One of his students later said: In the beginning we were really puzzled and at a loss. He [Kenji] did nothing from the textbooks. So the students realized that they had to write; i.e., to take notes. "How far did we go last time?" he would ask us. When we told him how far we had 2 6 See, for instance, Kikuchi Chuji % TJ$L> ^~ , "Hanamaki nogakko no kyoshi seikatsu teacher at Hanamaki Agricultural School) in Miyazawa Kenii kenkvQ. ed. Kusano Shimpei, p. 265. (On Kenji's life while he was a 31 gone he would say, "Oh, is that right?" and start teaching without the textbook. We were astounded by that.27 According to Shirafuj i J i sh i i , one of Kenji ' s colleagues, Kenji categorized his teaching material into three ranks: 1) not very important, 2) important, 3) essential. He took most pains w i th the material in th is last category, explaining i t in great detail. "This required," says Shi rafuj i , "a tremendous amount of talent and ab i l i t y . " 2 8 It i s also interesting to note that Kenji told his students that they should not study too hard and that those who attained a 75 percent average did not need to study harder because getting higher marks was useless. Those who attained less than 75 percent were told to str ive to attain that l e v e l . 2 9 The students also attested to the strange behavior of their teacher: He swam around in the pampas grass in moonlight, danced with birds and flowers, danced frantic dances to recorded music and, while walking hastily, jotted down something in his notebook with a pencil hung from around his neck.30 Horio Seishi also provides the fol lowing recol lection of Kenji, wr i t ten by Shirafuj i JishQ: For example, Kenji used to bring records to school at night and, playing them, would dance to the music. But none of his dances had organization and order, and no two dances were the same. At first glance, they looked like a mad man's dances. Asked, "What do your dances mean?" Kenji would answer, "No two pieces 2 7 Horio, Nemou. p. 121. 2 8 Horio., p. 121. 2 9 Horio.,p. 122. 3 0 Horio., p. 123. 32 of music are Identical and so neither are dances. My dances are for attaining the sense of rhythm In my body, and this rhythm becomes the rhythm of writing poems." One night the field of barley in front of the school shone In the moonlight. Seeing this, Kenji suddenly jumped Into the field and began to "swim" to the ridge. Reaching the other end of the ridge, Kenji returned and then moved on to the next ridge. In this way he kept swimming for nearly an hour and finally came back saying, "Gee, I'm tlredl I've swum In the silvery waves and I feel quite refreshed."31 At t imes Kenji ' s eccentr ic i t ies went a bit too far, as when he went in and out of the teachers' room by the window and was admonished by the principal, or when he ate apples whi le walking down the street In Hanamaki and made his embarrassed colleague do the same, or when he walked w i th his dirty rubber shoes down the corridor just cleaned by the students. However, on the whole, Kenji ' s warm and kindly personality was extremely we l l accepted by his colleagues and by the students. Because the number of staff was smal l , teachers had an unusually high frequency of night duty—once every four days—compared to today's standard of once In a month or two, and the teachers considered It a nuisance. Kenji, on the pretext that he was t i red after working In the school's f ie lds and did not feel l ike returning home, would substitute for other teachers on night duty. His colleagues more than welcomed Kenji 's offer. Kenji would eat supper w i th the dormitory students and then wr i te poems and stories. When one of his colleagues had to resign his teaching post because of tuberculosis and so suffered f inancial ly, Kenji gave the man 3 1 Horio., p. 123. 33 one third of his salary every month for three years unti l the death of the colleague. The same can be said of Kenji ' s kindness towards his students. He not only paid the school excursion fees for students of poor famil ies, but he also took a student who had been caught thieving and helped to rehabil itate him by finding him a job In Hokkaido. In a word, Kenji treated his students almost as If they were his own children or younger brothers. His progressive approach to teaching mentioned earl ier was another reason for Kenji ' s popularity among students and colleagues. Besides the regular subjects, Kenji freely introduced his students to various art forms such as l i terature, plays, music and fine arts. When Kenji taught the practicum, he deliberately made a seed bed or two which did not receive enough f e r t i l i z e r and then, together w i th his students, he added the fer t i l i ze r . They then stretched themselves on the grass and watched the changes in the r ice seedling as i t quickly ass imilated the fe r t i l i ze r . As they lay in the bright sunlight, observing the r ice plants revive and breathe in the green winds of May, Kenji would read his own poems to the students. At another time, after a certain amount of f ie ld work, Kenji summoned a l l the students from the r ice paddies and made them s i t on the grass and watch as he danced his "dance," fa l l ing down on the wet grass and stretching his arms into the air w i th a shout. This was strangely attract ive and entertaining to the students. 3 2 Although shy and introverted, Kenji was at the same time bright and humorous. Because of his inf in i te kindness to others, he also seemed to embody the ideal of the Bodhisattva. Whenever and wherever Kenji was 3 2 Mori.Shozo. p. 70. 34 present, the atmosphere suddenly became bright and lively. In one other episode Kenji amused his colleagues by mimicking the gait of the new principal who, unlike his predecessor Hatayama Ei ' lchlro, was so authoritarian that he repelled the teachers. In the midst of his clowning the principal came in and stood behind Kenji, who kept on mimicking until he f ina l ly real ized the situation from the fac ia l expressions of his colleagues. 3 3 The record does not describe in detail how Kenji dealt wi th this embarrassment, but th is anecdote, together w i th the ones mentioned above, indicate that Kenji also had considerable theatr ical and sa t i r i ca l talents. Indeed, Kenji wrote four plays, one of them a comic operetta, for his students and staged them at the celebration which commemorated the completion of the newly built school. The t i t l e s of these plays are, Plant  Doctor (Shokubutsu ishi, t i ^ i j ik ), The Polan Square (Poran no hiroba, /INTTV <r>%lMp ). Starvation Barracks (Kiga j i n ' e 1 , / | ^ , ^ i ffy ), and The Night of Taneyama Highland (Taneyama ga hara no yoru, A >j fa <n l L ) . Although the plays themselves are not exceptionally interesting or amusing, the attract ive t i t l e s indicate Kenji 's talent in humorous literature. Of the four plays The Night of Taneyama Highland is the most fantast ic and suggests the author's myst ic temperament, one of the most important elements of his l iterature. It is Interesting to note that his myst ic i sm Is often mingled w i th fo lk lor lc elements, as seen In the song sung by one of the tree sp i r i t s in the play: Taneyama ga hara no kumo no naka de The grass I cut in the clouds of Taneyama 3 3 Mori., p. 99. 35 katta kusa wa dogosa ga oida ga wasureda ame'a furu Taneyama ga hara no sedaka no susuki azami katte de ogiwasurede ame furu ame furu Taneyama ga hara no kirl no naka de katta kusa sa wBsure gusa mo haitta ga wasure da ame furu Taneyama ga hara no ogiwasure no kusa no taba wa dogoga no nagane de nurederu nurederu Taneyama ga hara no nagane sa oida kusawa kumo ni mottegarede nagunaru nagunaru Taneyama ga hara no nagane no ue no kumo o bokkagede mireba nagunaru nagunaru (Z 11: 374-375) Highland Where did I put it? I forgot. It rains. The tall pampas grass and thistles of Taneyama Highland. I cut them and forgot where I put them. It rains. It rains. The grass I cut in the mist of Taneyama Highland Was there some wasure grass in it? I forgot. It rains. The sheathes of grass I left forgotten on Taneyama Highland Are getting wet, getting wet somewhere on a ridge. The grass left on the ridge of Taneyama Highland Is carried away by the clouds and disappears, disappears. When you chase after the clouds above the long ridge of Taneyama Highland, they disappear, disappear. The songs and music wr i t ten and composed by Kenji for his students exhibit the same character. The above song for which Kenji composed music is one example. Although Kenji was an avid fan of Western c lass ica l music 36 and had a large col lect ion of recorded music by Beethoven, Bach and other composers, the rhythm and melody of his music, though his own, ca l l to mind the indigenous Buddhist pi lgr im's songs (goeika.f^o^y ffi^ ) and Buddhist sutra chanting (dokyo. - f ^ £ 1 ) 3 4 Another example of a song wr i t ten by Kenji in this period is the school anthem of the Hanamaki Agricultural School (Hanamaki nogakko seishinka, $ i ^ $U^-^ )• In i t s noble ambition, expressed through refined diction which involves mineral and cosmic imagery, this song achieves a high level of art istry. It was set to music by Kawamura Goro M\ ti \\ \J , who along w i th Kenji had studied at the Morioka Higher School of Agriculture and Forestry. Unlike Kenji ' s music, Kawamura's ref lects a Western flavour. This arrangement matches the highflown Idealism in Kenji ' s works w i th the result that the school anthem easi ly surpasses most of the school anthems in Japan. 3 5 It is Indeed an interesting contrast to see that this idea l i s t ic song was sung by the students of a small agricultual school, one which had i ts classrooms In a straw-thatched building originally built for teaching sericulture and which was nicknamed "Mulberry University" (Kuwakko daigaku, |? ) by the townspeople and the students of the nearby Hanamaki Gir l s ' Highschool. In conjunction wi th Kenji ' s love of occidental music Fujiwara KatQji 's &j%^$&]tik>z. < 1 8 9 6 ~ > n a m e should also be mentioned. Fujiwara KatSji was a teacher of music at Hanamaki Gir l s ' High School. Fuj iwara also 3 4 Itaya Eiki jfc&Ji&6 . Kenii aensokvoku ^l^irt (Kenji fantasia) (Renga Shob6Shinsha,1982), pp. 17-19. 3 5 One critic sees the influence of hymns on this anthem. See Makabe, "Miyazawa Kenji to sono jidai," p. 194. 37 wrote poems. One that he sent to a local newspaper was published and caught Kenji ' s attention. Kenji v i s i ted Fuj lwara one day in October 1922, and the two young teachers became l i felong friends. Fuj iwara taught Kenji music theory, and in return Kenji taught Fuj iwara German. Of their various act iv i t ies , their mutual appreciation of recorded music concerns us here. Kenji had a keen sense of synaesthesia, and so the music he heard immediately turned into colours and vision. There Is a passage from one of Beethoven's piano concertos that apparently frightened Kenji out of his wits. He te l l s us that when he heard that part of the music, he could see red and blue demons come rushing towards him w i th wicked weapons in their hands. SatQ Takafusa, in his Miyazawa Kenji. relates an amusing episode which took place shortly after Kenji ' s resignation from his teaching post in 1926. 3 6 One autumn evening in 1927, Kenji and Fuj iwara gave a record concert for the music lovers of the town. When they played "La Mer" by Debussy, Kenji suggested that they make comments about the piece whi le i t was being played. Fuj iwara protested. He argued that this was an improper way to appreciate music because to make comments on a piece l imited the interpretations which otherwise would vary w i th the listener. To this Kenji said, "Okay, then. You don't have to do it. I w i l l do it." And as the record began, Kenji started his comments: "it is a beautiful starlit night. A fisherman has just rowed his boat out onto the calm sea. He now dives into the sea and goes deeper and deeper down to the bottom. Now he has caught an octopus. He hurriedly comes up and throws the creature into his boat " 3 6 Sato, pp. 202-204. 38 As soon as the record ended, Fuj iwara stood up, kicked over his seat and shouted at Kenji angrily, "Kenji, you've made a nasty comment! I'm going home. This is the end of our friendship!" Then he rushed out. The audience was astounded. What they did not know was that Fujiwara 's students had nicknamed him "the octopus," thinking that he looked l ike an octopus whenever he became excited playing the piano. Some people went up to Kenji, saying, "Is i t okay, then, Kenji? " Kenji calmly answered, "Oh, It's okay. Don't worry about It. This is the third or fourth time that Fuj iwara has declared the end of our friendship in my presence." Indeed, Kenji and Fuj iwara stayed very good friends until Kenji died. Kenji even found a w i fe for Fuj iwara and acted as the "go-between" at their marriage ceremony. Kenji ' s sens i t iv i ty towards fine arts was no less keen than his sens i t iv i ty towards music. Although he received no professional training in drawing and painting, several water colour paintings left by Kenji tes t i fy to his visionary temperament. A l l his pictures are of non-mimetic nature: some of them are surreal i s t ic and some abstract. We can see a strong af f in i ty between Kenji ' s pictures and his l i terature In the quality of his visionary sensit iv ity. Many of his fantasy- l ike wr i t ings overflow wi th the imagery of v iv id colours. See, for example, "A Night in the Oak Grove" (Kashiwa bayashi no yoru, ^ X L rt'fmfej and "The Fourth Day of the Month of Daffodils." Kenji also took an interest in Japanese woodblock prints (ukiyo e, >'%. •titi&) and owned a good col lect ion, many of which were pornographic. He brought them to school to show his colleagues, who were surprised not so much by the pictures themselves as by the fact that Kenji, whom they thought to be quite "square" and puritanical concerning sex, had such an aspect to his nature. Although Kenji remained celibate throughout his l i fe , 39 believing that sexual energy must be sublimated for his a r t i s t i c achievement and for serving others, he was by no means ignorant of sex. He owned and read the seven volumes of Studies of the Psychology of Sex (1897-1928) by Havelock E l l i s (1859-1939), the then-famous English medical doctor and psychologist, and Kenji was also fami l i a r w i th Freudian psychology. In his l iterature, however, Kenji seldom dealt w i th sex as such. This does not mean that he had no abi l i ty to deal w i th i t or was not interested in sex. On the contrary, his sexual drive was so strong that, as he consciously t r ied to suppress i t , It consequently found expression under the guise of seemingly asexual images in his l iterature. We shall discuss the issue of sex in Kenji ' s l i terature in more detail later on. Here suf f ice it to say that among his prose works wr i t ten around 1918, there is a very short story entit led "The Sixteenth Day" (JQroku nichi ,4 "A 9 ) in which Kenji displays unusual understanding in discerning and presenting the subtle psychology of a young country w i fe whose sexual desires waver between her uneducated husband and a young university student from the city. Kenji was by no means a misogynist, but there are some elements In his wr i t ings that may be interpreted as indications of a fear of sex and hence a sense of alienation from women. Around 1919, at the age of twenty three, Kenji wrote a passage in prose-poem style under the t i t l e "Woman" 40 (Onna,-£-), in which we glimpse Kenji's fear of sex and women.3 7 It reads as follows: The edge of the sky goes sinking in, and only the farthest end of the road edged with pines burns a cheerless dark 8mber. In the evening on the outskirts of the town a huge cypress is frantically swaying in the winds. It is the seaweed of the atmosphere—the cypress hairs. In the oark house a lamp is lighted yellow and vague, while a woman with a crimson face is hastily raking rice into her mouth all alone. She is raking in. The grey of the rice starch. The green of the tree top that was dragged out of the darkness by the lamplight. It looks horribly green. It looks horribly deep. It looks horribly swaying. (Z 11: 262) Kenji wrote a great deal whi le he was a teacher at the Hanamaki Agricultural School. Except for the six-month si lence after the death of his 3 7 Other critcs also noted Kenji's repression of sex in this poem. See, for instance, Amazawa Taijiro, "Kaisetsu" lUL, (Commentary) in Bunko ban Miyazawa Kenii zenshu \7 ffi. ^ i ^ i . -JlL (Collected works of Miyazawa Kenji: pocketbook edition), ed.Amazawa Taijiro etal. (ChikumaShobo, 1986), VIII, pp.671-672;and ItoShin'ichira's A?$k% — tf evaluation of this poem in Sato Yasumasa ^ ^ IE- , ed., Miyazawa Kenii hikkei ^> /v ' f f (A guide to Miyazawa Kenji) (Gakutosha, 1981), pp. 93-94. 41 beloved s i s ter in 1922, Kenji wrote stories, poems, plays and songs one after another. Many of his important works were created in this period. In 1924 Kenji even published, though privately, two books: one a col lect ion of his poems, Spring and Asura (Haru to shura, ^> Hff" JSL. ), the other a col lect ion of his tales, The Restaurant of Many Orders mentioned earlier. Neither of them sold wel l . No one, except perhaps a handful of l i terary men, paid attention to them. Among the few exceptions, Tsuj i Jun j l i i ^ (1885 1944) was the f i r s t l i terary man of some Importance to praise Spring and  Asura profusely in his essay "Random Words From the Cave of Idle Sleep" (Damindo mogo,,^ PfU -^f ) published in The Yomluri (Yomiuri Shinbun, t»L-fc ¥j^\ ) on July 23,1924. The poet, Sato" Sonosuke fitjlfc & Lty (1890-1942) was another who recognized Kenji 's talent In Soring and Asura and applauded i t In the December issue of the periodical The Japanese Poets (Nihon shi j i n , t$Fl£j-AJ). Kusano Shimpei (1903- ) read Spring and Asura in China in the spring of 1926 and te l l s us how deeply i t moved him. From that t ime on, Kusano became one of the major champions of Kenji and energetically introduced him to the world, publishing Kenji ' s poems in his magazine Gong (Dora, ^ 1 ) whi le Kenji was alive, and editing the col lected works of Kenji (1934-1935) shortly after his death. The Restaurant of Many Orders received an even worse response than Soring and Asura. In fact i t was often mistaken for a book on cooking. Suzuki Mlekichi X -=-4 G (1882-1936), the founder of A Red Bird (Akai t o r i , ^ ; o j?-. ), did not approve of Kenji ' s stories. A Red Bird, a monthly magazine special iz ing in children's stories, lasted from 1919 unti l 1929 and published stor ies contributed by various wel l-known wr i te r s such as ShimazakiToson (1872-1943),TokudaShusei i%® (1871-1943), Tanizaki Jun' ichiro % ^ >f/l - i f (1886-1965) and 42 Akutagawa RyQnosuke A\ j ^ i ^ i T (1892-1927). The one obvious and perhaps most important difference between Kenjrs tales and those wr i t ten by these wel l -establ i shed wr i te r s In Tokyo was that, whi le the latter tended to condescend and even "force" themselves In order to wr i te for children, Kenji found the wr i t ing of tales a very natural form of s e l f -expression. Nature and the world in Kenjrs l iterature display extremely fresh colours and vibrate w i th the joy of l i f e as if captured by the innocent and primordial sens i t iv i ty of a chi ld or a pr imit ive man. KenjTs days in the Hanamaki Agricultural School were on the whole peaceful and happy except for two occasions. One was his s i ster, Toshi's, death on November 27,1923, and the other was his concern for his students after their graduation. Toshi 's death upset Kenji tremendously and caused him to wr i te the series of famous elegies: "Last Farewel l " (Elketsu no asa, ^ ). "Pine Needles" (Matsu no hari, Pu 6) <£-J* ) and "Voiceless Grief" (Musei dCkoku ^ ), a l l of which, together w i th other elegies wr i t ten later on, he included in the f i r s t volume of Spring and Asura. Brother and s i s ter were so close to one another that one c r i t i c even suspects an incestuous re lat ionship. 3 8 The magnitude of the grief Kenji experienced at Toshi 's death can also be surmised from his six-month l i terary si lence immediately fol lowing i t in the midst of what was otherwise Kenji 's most creative period. Another dark element that made Kenji unhappy in this period was the refusal by many of his students to return to farming after graduation. 3 8 Ao e Shunjiro - tj , Mivazawa Kenii %lfi%zi (Kodansha, 1974), pp. 16-27. 43 Instead they wanted to receive a higher education to become whi te-co l la r o f f ice workers or teachers. Kenji consistently urged his students that they should return home and farm after graduation. Since the students ignored this advice, Kenji believed that what he was doing at school was of no value to the farmers and peasants. On the contrary, he thought i t even harmed them. What was more, Kenji himself was one of those whi te-co l la r salaried men. He was too honest to deceive himself about this contradiction. IV. The Period of the Rasu Farmers' A s s o c i a t i o n (Rasu c h i j i n kyokai): 1926-1928 On March 31, 1926 at the age of thirty, after teaching for four years and four months, Kenji resigned his teaching post and went to l ive alone in a smal l house built by his grandfather on the outskirts of Hanamaki. His father by this t ime had decided to change the family business from that of pawnbroker to hardware dealer, and Kenji ' s younger brother Seiroku was to succeed in it. Thus Kenji was l iberated from the burden of tending his father 's business. In the cottage on the outskirts of Hanamaki, Kenji ' s grandfather, Kisuke (1840-1917), had spent his later years. Toshi also had stayed in this house for a few months before she had been moved to her parents' home in the c i ty to die. The place where the house stood was cal led Sakura and was situated about two ki lometers southeast of Kenji ' s parents' house. Before Kenji moved in, he had the cottage renovated so that i t contained a large plank-floored room where he could hold gatherings of the peasants and farmers from the neighbourhood. He had to wait unti l the f a l l when the farmers had more free time before he could start to hold regular meetings to teach the farmers agronomy as we l l as art theory. In the meantime, Kenji cult ivated the w i l d 44 wasteland near his house, hoping to grow f lowers and vegetables, whi le at night he wrote poems and tales, gave record concerts for the young farmers, many of whom were his former students, and read aloud tales wr i t ten both by himself and by others such as Hans Christ ian Andersen and the Brothers Grimm. Kenji also organised a small chamber orchestra consisting of young farmers. He provided most of the Instruments, but early the fol lowing year, before the group had attained many sk i l l s , Kenji had to disband the orchestra for a reason we w i l l touch on shortly. Although Kenji intended to become a farmer, he did not grow r ice on the land he cultivated. One reason might have been that, unlike cult ivat ing f lowers and vegetables, growing r ice demanded too much labour, labour which Kenji could not perform alone. Another possible reason was that Kenji could not obtain water, the v i ta l ingredient for r ice growing. In spite of a l l this, there s t i l l remains the question: Why did Kenji not grow dry land r ice which requires less labour than the regular r ice or why did he not grow other kinds of grain such as wheat and barley? That Kenji seemed to have been indifferent to this staple food seems to be closely related to his general Indifference to his diet throughout his l i f e and, more particularly, during this period. In order to save trouble, Kenji cooked r ice for three meals at one time and kept i t hanging In a wel l . In winter he ate frozen r ice, sprinkling salt on it. Once a neighbourhood boy came to Kenji ' s cottage, and hearing that Kenji l iked smal l , pickled eggplants and usually ate four or f ive of them at one meal, said that at his house he was not allowed to eat more than two. Af ter that Kenji decided that he would eat not more than two eggplants at one t ime . 3 9 Kenji 's 3 9 Sato, p. 194. 45 mother, worried about her son's health, often cooked nutrit ious food and had her daughters take i t to Kenji. Each time Kenji so sternly rejected i t that his s i s ters returned home in tears. Kenji ' s unusual indifference to, or rather almost fanatic abhorrence of food can be explained at least on the surface: eating coarse food was his way of attempting to identify w i th the poor farmers and peasants. Confronted w i th the ironic contradiction between this and his indifference to r ice growing—the very symbol of the Japanese fa rmer—we cannot help suspecting that his attitude towards food and farming may have deeper roots that are related to the quality and nature of his l iterature. This is not the place to pursue this idea further. Here we can simply point out that the deeper root we suspect to underlie the various aspects of his l i f e and l iterature is a peculiar type of dualism, which he also seemed to have intuited as an essential character ist ic of the universe as a whole. I to Katsumi ^P^t jsSLffj , one of his neighbours and a member of his orchestra, recal l s Kenji ' s l i fe s ty le at this time as fol lows: Soon we began to see Sensei [Kenji] in khaki working clothes and a straw raincoat walking around on his fields near Kitakami River or on the river bed of Shishihana. In those days Sensei, like others, went out to his fields to work early in the morning, but at around 10:30 he would return to his cottage and seemed to be reading or writing. After lunch he would work in the fields until around four o'clock but would return home early to read again. The villagers thought that Sensei did this kind of thing just for fun, and no one understood him. In fact, Sensei's life in those days was exactly like that of an ascetic. We often witnessed him washing himself with cold water by the side of the well 8 t around eleven every night, or we suddenly heard him chanting sutras around one 46 o'clock In the morning or playing the organ and singing to himself. My grandmother was famous for her piety In Sakura, and she soon became good friends with Sensei; she would teach him how to use a hoe or would talk with him about something for a long time. Whenever we made rice cakes or dumplings at our house, my grandmother put some in a box and made me take it to Sensei.40 While Kenji spent his days at Sakura in this way, he prepared for the formal gathering of the Rasu Farmers' Association, (Rasu ch i j in kyokai, 'ttK Mfa £ ).4i He intended to hold the f i r s t meeting on August 23 (July 16 by the old calendar) of that year when even the busy farmers and peasants were said to take the day off for the Bon Festival. However, i t seems that Kenji actually held the f i r s t gathering of "Rasu Farmers' Asociation" on November 26, 1926. 4 2 At this meeting Kenji introduced his famous "Notes for the Outline of Agrarian Art " (Nomin geijutsu gairon koyo, ^ ^ l ^ t ^ f e ~%m 1$$r ) a s w e l 1 a s s c ient i f i c agriculture to the farmers. What Kenji advocates in the notes i s the abolition of professionalism in art and religion in order to elevate agrarian l i f e to the level of art and religion: Now religionists and artists are those who monopolize and sell truth, good and beauty. We cannot afford to buy them, nor do we need such art and religion. We now have to go along the right path and create our own beauty. We must refine our 4 0 Gifu Sei'ichi \ % $ \ ^ — . Mivazawa Kenii: sonoai tosei % j^f i*L t '14 (Miyazawa Kenji: his love and sex) (Geijutsuseikatsusha, 1972), pp. 190-191. 4 ' "Rasu Farmers' Association" is Ssrah Strong's translation for "Rasu chijin kyokai." See Strong, p. 93. It seems that Kenji did not mean anything particularly by the name Rasu 47 grey labour in the furnace of art. Here is our constant, pure and joyous creation. (Z 12-A: 10) At the basis of this assertion l ies the idea that the whole universe is one gigantic process of creation: "The new age is moving towards the state where the whole world becomes one consciousness, one creature. To l ive correctly and strongly means to become aware of the galaxy in one's self and to respond to this consciousness" (Z 12-A: 9). "Agrarian art," according to Kenji, " i s a concrete expression of Cosmic Consciousness through the earth, man and personality" (Z 12-A: 11). In order to real ize this potential to produce agrarian art, one must "F i rst of a l l become, together w i th others, the shining modica of the universe and be scattered throughout the l im i t le s s sky" (Z 12-A: 15). Kenji cal led agrarian art the fourth dimensional art (Dai yojigen no geijutsu, )f? \l3 >^7L><0 £-$S ): "The huge stage of our l i f e moves along the axis of time to form the imperishable four-dimensional art" (Z 12-A: 15). It is doubtful how much the farmers understood Kenji ' s idea l i s t ic aspirations towards a higher l i fe. Even now more cynical and " rea l i s t i c " people shy away from his ideas on art, rel igion and l i f e in general. It is quite natural that one who pursued such ideals would not easi ly be distracted by what he would regard as "mundane affairs." Marriage was one of these a f fa i r s for Kenji. As is usual w i th any Japanese family, Kenji ' s parents were rather anxious to see their eldest son, already over thirty, get married and sett le down wi th a steady job instead of seeing him waste t ime and energy on wr i t ing nonsense and on f ru i t less ac t i v i t i e s among the farmers and peasants. It is said that when Yasu Af X > o n e °f n i s aunts, at 48 his parents' w i l l , came to Sakura and tr ied to persuade him to marry. Kenji held his cel lo tenderly in his arms and said, "This is my w i f e . " 4 3 Such being his attitude towards marriage and woman, Kenji must have been dismayed when a young woman appeared and made advances towards and a Christian, who happened to hear Kenji when he lectured to the farmers at her school. Soon after Kenji started his ac t i v i t ie s w i th the neighbourhood farmers in Sakura, this woman came to jo in their gatherings. At f i r s t Kenji welcomed her participation, thinking that she could tidy up his house or act the woman's role in a play he planned to stage. It seems she had other p lans—to make Kenji her future husband. She began to v i s i t him three or four t imes a day, sometimes very early in the morning when Kenji was s t i l l sleeping. This so upset Kenji that he began to avoid her by thinking up various t r icks and excuses such as pretending to be out, or by te l l ing her that he had leprosy and showing her his soot-smeared face. Since she was a Christian, leprosy did not deter her, but Kenji ' s persistent messages of reject ion f ina l ly got through and she stopped coming to his cottage. Instead, she now began to slander him. Kenji appears to have rejected this woman part ia l ly out of fear that he would d is i l lus ion the neighbourhood farmers for whom he was a kind of saint f igure—an ideal to which Kenji himself strived. At the same time, one suspects that this woman did not after a l l meet Kenji ' s image of an Ideal woman, for later Kenji came across a woman whom he seriously thought of marrying. Be that as i t may, It was obvious that Kenji was extremely sensit ive about the feelings of the neighbourhood farmers and peasants. There were 4 3 Mori, p. 171. , a primary school teacher 49 at least two major reasons for this. F i r st ly, he was the eldest son of a wealthy merchant and landowner In the town but an outsider in sakura. Secondly, the Nichlren sect, of which he was an ardent fol lower, was the arch enemy of a secret Shin sect of Buddhism (hl j l nembutsu s h O , ^ ii W ^ ) which was dominant in the region in which Kenji l i v ed . 4 4 One of the fo l lowers of this secret Shin sect whom Kenji named Kuma in his poem used this incident of the woman Takase Tsuyu to spread malicious rumours about Kenji. The cart which Kenji purchased to carry his vegetables and f lowers to the town for sale was another target of the peasants' envy and i l l - w i l l . What was worse, most of the vegetables and f lowers Kenji grew were quite new and strange to the peasants. Thus there were good reasons that Kenji had to be cautious about the feelings of the people around him. It was under such circumstances that the Iwate Dally (Iwate Nippo, Q^ffj, a local newspaper, ran an ar t i c le on Kenji ' s ac t i v i t i e s at Sakura. The art ic le Itself was quite favourable towards Kenji, but i t drew the attention of the police to his meetings. In those days, as m i l i t a r i sm grew stronger and stronger, the government was very sensit ive about public gatherings. Because of the newspaper a r t i c le Kenji was summoned by the police to c la r i f y the nature of his act iv i t ies. Soon after th is Kenji disbanded his orchestra and stopped other act i v i t ie s of the Rasu Farmers' Association. He feared that his ac t i v i t ie s would 4 4 See for example, Tobita Saburo ^ $2 , "Hiryo sekkei to rasuchijin kyokai ( k i k i g a k i ) " ^ ^ t (i% t ) (Fertilizer planning and Rasu Farmers' Association: an interview) in Mivazawa Kenii kenkvu. pp. 275-287. 50 mistakenly be considered Communist or Social ist. They thus could ult imately cause trouble to the participants of his gatherings. 4 3 After disbanding the regular gatherings at his house, Kenji switched his ac t i v i t ie s to advising the farmers and peasants on f e r t i l i z e r for the r ice paddies. On the whole his free advice brought about an increase in crops. Sometimes when the peasants' r ice plants were threatened by strong winds and rain, Kenji would go out into the storm and desperately run around the r ice f ie lds apologizing profusely to the owners one by one, promising that he would compensate for the loss. In those days sc ient i f i c agriculture was not as effect ive as i t is today, and there was no way of knowing whether it was because of Kenji or nature that the r ice plants were ruined, but a l l the same Kenji assumed complete responsibil ity. In June 1928, about one year after he started to help the farmers plan to use fe r t i l i ze r , Kenji made an 18-day tr ip to Tokyo and Izu Oshima, an island about 80 ki lometers south of Tokyo. In Izu Oshima, Kenji v i s i ted It5 Nanao / f $ j t -tPk. and his s i s ter Chie 5 ^ • Nanao and Chie had come from Mizusawa, a smal l town about 30 ki lometers south of Hanamaki. Several months prior to Kenji ' s tr ip, they had ostensibly sought Kenji ' s advice about a horticultural school Nanao planned to open on Izu Oshima. Their real aim had been to seek out Kenji as a prospective husband for Chie. Kenji seemed to have l iked the brother and s ister, for he promised to v i s i t them on their island later to give them further advice. Gifu Sei ' ichi gives two more reasons for Kenji ' s t r ip to the island: since the newspaper had publicized 4 5 Sakai Taoaichi, "Kenji nempu no mondai ten/' ^ \XL I^rl '^ plf ^ (Problems in Kenji's chronology), Kokubunoaku %}J% (Japanese literature), 23, No. 2 (1978), 175. See also Gifu. Ai tosei. p. 268. 51 the Rasu Farmers" Association, Kenji had decided to swi tch his act i v i t ie s to advice on f e r t i l i z e r and other farming matters. He considered Nanao to be In this category, and by leaving Hanamaki temporarily, he thought he would escape from, and thus discourage, the persistent passes of the primary school teacher. 4 6 Nanao and Chie welcomed Kenji as an important guest to the island, but their plan to marry Chie to Kenji did not progress at a l l . This was simply due to Kenji ' s indecision. Judging from the poems he wrote during the tr ip and from what he said to his friend, Fuj iwara KatQji, l a t e r , 4 7 Kenji seems to have predicted the ult imate f u t i l i t y of their relationship, as we can see in the fol lowing passage from one of the poems he wrote on his tr ip to the island: Minami no umi no Out of the strong heat and minamino umi no thick vapour hageshii nekki to kemuri no naka kara Of the south, south sea hirakanu mama ni ssezae kaori Sprouts a huge bud of a flower tsui ni hirakazu mizu ni koboreru Fragrant and fresh without opening Okina nana no tsubomi ga aru And finally, without blooming, it (Z 6: 218) Falls down onto the water. It looks as if Kenji had somehow known what was in store for him before he left Hanamaki, for soon after his return from the fatiguing tr ip, he f e l l i l l , and until his death f ive years later never completely recovered. That summer the weather was unstable, and Kenji exerted himself both mentally 4 6 Gifu.pp. 268-269. 4 7 Mori, pp. 176-177. 52 and physically w i th the Inspection of r ice paddies for which he planned fer t i l i ze r , one stormy day m August he f ina l ly broke down w i th acute pneumonia and had to return to his parents home in the city. His ambition to become one of the farmers and serve them was thus halted two years after he began his ac t i v i t ie s at Sakura. V. Tohoku Rock-Crushing Factory and Kenji's Death: 1928-1933 Kenji suffered from high fever for forty days after he returned to his parents' home. In September, he recovered enough to wr i te letters to his friends and acquaintances, reporting about his i l lness and apologizing for his silence. In early spring of the fol lowing year, a man by the name of Suzuki Tozo ^ v i s i ted Kenji ' s bedside. He was the owner of a smal l rock-crushing factory named the Tohoku Rock-Crushing Factory (Tohoku saiseki kojo, in a smal l town called Matsukawa about 45 ki lometers southeast of Hanamaki. His factory produced limestone, which can be used, in i t s powdered form, to improve the quality of farm soi l . Suzuki heard that Kenji highly recommended limestone and came to Kenji ' s house to v i s i t him. Kenji seems to have l iked Suzuki and passed on various pieces of s c ien t i f i c information concerning the use of limestone. This was the beginning of the relationship between Kenji and the Tohoku Rock-Crushing Factory. From then until the end of the year, Suzuki wrote a number of letters to Kenji to consult him on the advertisement of his factory 's products. In the meantime, Kenji gradually recovered and by early the fo l lowing year, (1930), he could leave his bed to work on his poems and 53 tales and to tend his f lower beds where he grew various exotic f lowers from abroad. Around Apr i l Suzuki came to v i s i t Kenji again, this t ime to consult him about synthetic fer t i l i zer . The more Kenji knew about the nature of the factory and i t s owner, the more sympathetic towards them he became. In September Kenji wrote to Suzuki to say that he would l ike to work in his factory if Suzuki wanted him. Early the fol lowing year, Kenji fe l t that he had recovered almost completely, and so he formally became an engineer and salesman for Suzuki. It was also agreed that Kenji ' s father would Invest capital for the factory, which was suffering from chronic f inancial d i f f iculty. Once he became Its employee, Kenji dedicated everything he had to help the company avoid bankruptcy. Kenji busily travelled as a salesman, eagerly giving Suzuki advice for improving the quality of the products. On one of his sales tr ips, Kenji v i s i ted Mori 551chi, a friend In Morioka, and shocked him by saying, "My continence did not bear any f ru i t after a l l . I became i l l because of my abstinence" and "Although I practiced i t for the ut i l i ta r ian purpose that I might gain some good prof it out of i t , i t was tota l ly useless. " 4 8 We can sense that his Illness greatly shocked him and he was beginning to doubt whether he could be super-human. In a letter to one of his former students wr i t ten about one year ear l ier than this confession to Mori, Kenji says: I felt most confident and thriving during the four years at the agricultural school. Towards the end of that time, I became quite arrogant depending on my small talent. I regret it, but it is now too late. For me those days were the zenith of my 4 8 Mori, pp. 177-178; and Sato pp. 242-244. 54 life. I now only wish to find a new way to proceed so that I can return even in a small way the great favours bestowed upon me by people. (Z 13: 273) To work for the rock-crushing factory, no doubt, was one of the ways for Kenji to carry out this desire. In a letter to Kudo To'ichi x-^ — , an engineer acquaintance, Kenji wr i tes about his new work: The owner [Suzuki Tozo] of the factory is a rather honest and straightforward man who has written a few small books on a self-governing community, and he does not seek undue profits, all of which agrees with my temperament. I, for my part, with no desire for a family, will be quite content if I can earn a regular monthly 49 salary of 50 yen. Then I shall consider this beautiful prefecture, Iwate, as my own garden and at night will play the cello a little bit, write nonsensical poems and re8d books. When, in the near future, the prices of commodities perhaps rise with a concomitant rise in the price of limestone, we will have to worry only about the increase in the labourers' salaries and will be able to keep the price of our products at today's price level. This is my only expectation at present. (Z 13: 309-311) But Kenji ' s l i f e during this period was far from the idyl l described in this letter. It seems to have been a feature of his nature to devote himself wholeheartedly to one thing once he set his mind on it. Just as w i th the Rasu Farmers' Association when he worked at Sakura for the farmers, Kenji continued to push himself in a l l directions as a salesman to rescue the small factory from bankruptcy. Kenji took to his bed w i th high fevers a number of t imes in the process, but he would not stop. Owing to his Kenji's monthly salary when he resigned from his teaching post at Hanamaki Agricultural School was 130 yen. 55 energetic devotion, the factory sales greatly increased, so much so that production could not meet the demand. In September of 1931, Kenji decided on a sales t r ip to Tokyo and the Kansai area. He wanted to develop new markets in those areas for decorative bricks, a product Kenji had invented to se l l during the winter when the farmers did not need limestone products. He packed 40 kilograms of brick samples in the big trunk he had brought back from Tokyo when his s i s ter Toshi became i l l ten years before. On the day of his departure (September 19), a l l the family members tr ied to dissuade Kenji from going because he had not completely recovered from his i l lness. In part icular his mother Ichi, w i th tears in her eyes, implored her son not to go, but Kenji would not l i s ten to her. He fe l t he carried the future of the factory on his shoulders. On his way to Tokyo, Kenji stopped by Sendai, where he attended to other sales business and spent the night. At the inn, the guests next door held a drinking party and made merry until late at night, but since Kenji was not comfortable asserting his r ights when others were causing a disturbance, he did not complain but slept poorly. He caught an early tra in the fo l lowing morning and f e l l fast asleep. In the meantime, a passenger s i t t ing across from him got off the train, leaving the window wide open. Cold winds blew direct ly onto the sleeping Kenji. When he left the train in Tokyo, he was running a high fever and as soon as he reached an inn he took to his bed. 5 0 Kenji must have sensed from his past experiences that the unusually high fever might k i l l him. He wrote farewel l letters addressed to his 50Sakai,p. 341. 56 parents and sibl ings and kept them in the inside pocket of his trunk. He pretended to the people of the inn and his friend whom the inn people cal led to his bed-side that he had the f lu and would recover in a few days. The day fol lowing his arr iva l , Kenji wrote to Suzuki Tozo that he had safely arrived in Tokyo, but he did not say a word about the Illness. Perhaps Kenji simply could not disappoint Suzuki w i th the truth that he had become stranded as soon as he arrived in Tokyo. Kenji did not notify his home for one week. Since his condition did not Improve, the people In the inn f ina l ly cal led a doctor who suggested Kenji should return home for better treatment. The fol lowing day Kenji cal led home and said to his father, "Since I believe this is the end of my l i fe , I want to hear your voice before I die " 5 1 His father ordered Kenji to return home immediately and had an acquaintance by the name of Kobayashl Rokutaro /k"fcfc ^  •£» buy a sleeping-car t icket to Hanamaki. Kobayashi and his w i fe escorted Kenji to Ueno station and put him on a night train. Seiroku, Kenji ' s brother, went to the station to meet Kenji on his arr ival. Kenji le f t the tra in not from a sleeping car, but from a th i rd-c lass coach. He looked a l i t t l e pale but had neatly dressed himself and even put on a tie. Seeing this, Seiroku thought that there was nothing part icularly serious about his brother's condition, but as a precaution they took a taxi home. At home Kenji exchanged pol ite bows and greetings w i th each member of his family, momentarily rel ieving them. However, as soon as he went upstairs, saying, "Excuse me. 1 am a bit tired," he took to his bed and 5 1 Ogura Toyofumi/k /| ^ »Ame nimo makezu techo shinko ' I J - ^ T T ^ ^ § t (New thoughts on the "unbending to rain" notebook) (Tokyo Sogensha, 1978), p. 24. See also Sakai, p. 344 and Z 14: 687. 57 did not leave it. Seiroku later found out that Kenji had risen a few stations ear l ier to dress himself neatly and t id i ly , pretending that his Illness was not serious, so that he would not worry Seiroku and the other members of his f am i l y . 5 2 Kenji was unable to leave his bed unti l around May of the fol lowing year. He recovered gradually, and by October of that year he could walk one hundred meters and s i t up for one hour, but i t was obvious that this time he would never completely recover. Even as he recuperated, Kenji continually received correspondence from Suzuki T6z5 of the TOhoku Rock-Crushing Factory and pol itely answered w i th advice about advertisements and other matters. Kenji ' s relationship w i th this factory continued unti l one month before his death. When he recovered a l i t t l e , Kenji spent days planning f e r t i l i ze r s for farmers, studying mathematics, growing f lowers and rewr i t ing his tales and poems. He rewrote many of his old f ree-sty le poems from colloquial language into c la s s i ca l - s ty le verse. C r i t i c s attribute this change of style to his two major Illnesses which almost competely crushed his youthful ambition and pulled him down to an earthy, sordid reality. On November 3, 1931, Kenji wrote the untit led poem that starts w i th the line, "Unbending to rain" (ame ni mo makezu, ii?f 7 X S ), which Is perhaps the most popular of his poems and yet considered by some c r i t i c s his least successful and most power less. 5 3 5 2 Sato, pp. 242-244. 5 3 See, for example, Nakamura Minoru ^ ' f c f ^vtr .Mivazawa Kenii x%l%^ iv (Chikuma Shobo, 1975) pp. 193-218; and Ao'e, pp. 174-177. 58 Kenji contributed a number of poems and tales to various small maga-zines and periodicals such as Children's Literature (JidO bungaku, SC ), and at the same time he rewrote his old tales. "The Night of the Milky Way Railroad," "MatasaburO, the Wind C h i l d " (Kaze no matasaburo, J i o ^ ^ C ^ -fef ) and "Gorsh, the Ce l l i s t " (Serohiki no Goshu,-fe.o <J) — i/*- ) are some of the tales Kenji continued to revise almost t i l l the last moment of his l i fe. Kenji 's i l lnesses left him with an ineradicable and deep-rooted sense of f a i l u re . 5 4 His letters to friends and former students expressed his chagrin and regrets about his past mistakes. He read a number of books on divination and changes and was attracted by their ideas about the v ic iss i tudes of l i fe. In a letter addressed to Mori SQichi wr i t ten on March 31,1933, the year of his death, he said: <** ^ I find the principle of +*• % in divination to be interesting. When everyone thinks that the situation is kichi (lucky) it is already in rin % (declining) and so to restore the kichi state is almost impossible. When people deplore kyo ^ (unluckinesss) they are already in kai (repent-ance), which promises tomorrow's pure felicity. This is very scientific and I think it is a wonderful idea. I also think that those who stayed constantly in the state between kyo and kaj. would be quite free in their lives. (Z 13: 435) The idea of eki. ffi (divination and changes) stated here shares something in common wi th the Buddhist notions of the cyc l i c i t y of time and l i fe. This may be one reason that i t attracted Kenji, but his remark that the state between kyo and kai is the best and ideal indicates the negative state 5 4Sakai,p. 355, p. 358. 59 of his mind. Six months later, ten days before his death, Kenji reiterates this idea in his letter to Yanagihara ShSetsu >)%j , his former student: My miserable failure originates in my past mistakes. I threw myself into one of the streams of "arrogance," the great illness of our age in general. I believed my small talent, ability, social rank and family wealth to be something that belonged to myself from the start and despised my work and scorned my fellows, while thinking that from somewhere, someday someone would come to pull me up to the heights of society. Thus I lived only in illusions, and forgot to taste the perfect life of the present. In this way I spent several years in vain, and finally witnessed the disappearance of my mirage, which made me angry and indignant at others and society, which, in turn brought about the loss of my teachers and friends, and caused me anguish and ill health. (Z 13: 450-451) From these se l f - tortur ing and self-condemning passages we can sense how Kenji ' s two i l lnesses shocked him into a new form of s e l f -knowledge. Because of a l l this, he did not give in to physical defeat, for he often said that if his health allowed he wanted to carry out his old ambition In a different way. 5 5 And even whi le he was in bed recuperating he continued his work. But he was never to real ize completely his wish to start his work anew. In spite of the tidal wave that hit Iwate prefecture in March of 1933, causing death and Injury to 3,000 people (we are reminded of the earthquake and the t idal wave that attacked Iwate in the year of Kenji 's birth), Iwate was enjoying an unusual bumper harvest In the f a l l of that year. Hanamaki's 5 5 Z 13: 403-404,450,454. 60 annual Shinto f a l l fes t iva l , held for three days from September 17 to 19 to celebrate the good harvest, was part icular ly l ively that year. Kenji would never miss a fes t iva l , and so he sat in front of his house every day to watch the people and the passage of the portable god house (mlkoshi. On the last day of the fest iva l , Kenji sat at the gate of his house until late at night in order to worship the returning shrine. The fol lowing morning a farmer came to consult Kenji about some fer t i l i zer . A f ter he had given the farmer kind advice, Kenji ' s condition suddenly worsened. He had acute pneumonia and thought he would die. That day he composed two tanka, his last: Hojuri hienuki no mikamo ine urete mimatsuri mikka sora hare wataru (Z 1: 340) In the ten square miles of the Hienuki valley the rice has ripened and during the three days of the festival the sky is totally clear. Itatsuki no yue nimo kuchin inochi nari minori ni suteba ureshikaramashi (Z 1: 340) Because of my illness, my life is about to pass away. If I could offer it for the sake of the good harvest and the Buddhist Law I would be grateful. 61 Later, another farmer came to the house for some advice. The members of his family tr ied to stop Kenji from getting out of bed, but he would not l i s ten and sat formally to hear the farmer and give advice. Around noon of the fol lowing day his family was preparing lunch for themselves downstairs when they heard Kenji chanting the Nichlren prayer. 5 6 They a l l hurried upstairs. Kenji made his last request to his father at this time. This was to make one thousand copies of the Lotus Sutra in Japanese and send them to his friends and acquaintances. The last pages of the copies were to have the fol lowing line: "The work of my whole l i f e was to send this sutra to you so that you would real ize the Buddha's wish and attain the supreme way." Leaving Kenji w i th his mother, the family members went downstairs to have lunch. Kenji asked his mother for drinking water. Receiving an earthen teapot from her, he drank most of Its contents. Saying "It was real ly good!" he picked up a lump of cotton soaked in hydrogen peroxide and wiped his hands, neck and the rest of his body. Tidying up his bed, his mother stood up to leave the room to fetch something and turned back to see Kenji. She noticed something was wrong w i th him. Kenji stopped talking and, as if fa l l ing asleep, he let the cotton drop from his hand. He no longer answered his mother's ca l l . The year was 1933 and Kenji was th irty seven. 5 6 This and the subsequent description of Kenji's last moments is based on Sato, p. 253; Mori, p. 432; and Z 14: 715-716. Chapter 2 62 Kenji's Ideas of the Other World (ikukan) It Is possible to see Kenji ' s death as symbolic not only of his l i f e but also of his v iews of the other world. A few days before his death, the annual fest iva l of Toyagasakl Shrine was held, and the mlkoshl. the portable shrine, was carried out of i t s divine precinct (the other world) into town (this world). Wishing to dedicate himself to the deity and the r i tua l of this fes t i va l , Kenji sat in front of his house, r isking his l i fe , to worship the passing mikoshi throughout the three-day fest ival . In so doing, Kenji " sacr i f iced" himself for the r i tual of the rebirth and procreation of nature and the universe. In his death Is symbolized the merger and interpenetration of l i f e and death, of this world and the other world. In this and subsequent chapters, we shall examine the nature of the other world as conceived by Kenji In Its relationship to innocence. In a passage from his poem, entit led "Anokutatchl Fantasy" (Anokutatchl g e n s o k y o k u . f ^ ^ j ^ i t , £ ^ & ), Kenji writes: The reason why many humming birds seem to be chirping somewhere must be that the Sun that crossed the sky cheerlessly behind the porcelain clouds 63 ... has now fallen into the jaws of the great fish Makatsu1... beyond the pointed, rugged teeth of the rocky mountains, and tiny cracks will be formed in the void of the sky. ... That void is indeed the sensitive bodies of atoms of different kind or the medium for the different space... (Z 4: 133-134) Kenji was an art i s t who was "obsessed" w i th the "different space" (ikukan. |5 '2.fjf\) o r t n e other world and who consciously pursued it. It is not an exaggeration to say that Kenji ' s entire l i f e and l iterature were both a pursuit and an expression of that "other world" through the medium of this world. Kenji sought this different world because, l ike many other art i s t s , he was not quite sat i s f ied wi th the world he was born into. For Kenji, the different space was in many ways better, truer, more beautiful, and more p e r f e c t — i t was the realm of primal innocence from which, as various myths from a l l over the world te l l us, man has been expelled since time began. This does not necessarily mean that Kenji was an escapist. It may only be that, l ike many other art i s t s , thinkers, and religious people, Kenji tr ied to achieve a harmonious fusion of this world and the other world. The aims of this chapter are to examine the nature of Kenji 's "different space" (ikOkan)--or the realm of innocence—in i ts relation to this world as expressed in 1 Makatsu ^.^j , or makara in Sanskrit, is a mythical fish enormous in size both in Hindu and Buddhist myths. See also, Mochizuki Shinkyo % - , Mochizuki Bukkv5 daiiiten $C $k (Mochizuki's dictionary of Buddhism), V (Kyoto: Sekai Seiten Kanko Kyokai, 1954), 4726-4727 and Nakamura Hajime 7C> , Bukkvoao daiiiten / ^ ^ ^ (A dictionary of Buddhist terms), II (Tokyo Shoseki, 1975), 1278. 64 Kenji ' s tales. We shall refer also to his poems, letters, biography and other materials, as necessary. To further explore the nature of Kenji ' s "different space," let us begin by quoting another passage from his tale, "Grape Juice" (Budo sui/fjlf 7\C ), wr i t ten around 1922. 2 This Is a simple, yet humorous tale about Seisaku, a fe l low who t r ies to brew i l legal wine out of w i l d grapes but fa i l s because, for some reason, the bottles f i l l ed w i th the Juice a l l blow up in the cellar. The fol lowing Is a scene In which Selsaku's chi ld is playing w i th some grapes that Seisaku picked In the f ield: The night has set in. Seisaku, having eaten a hearty supper, is in good spirits, and with a red face and breathing heavily, is briskly plucking grapes, throwing them into a big, wooden tub. His wife, too, is plucking grapes, rather quietly. His child is only dangling a bunch of grapes or tossing them onto the floor. However often his parents scold him, he starts doing it again. The child is saying, "Oh, look. They're green! They're green! I can see them. I can see them!" There are only one or two tiny green grapes among the black, shiny ones. These green grapes are nearly transparent, and, calmly reflecting lights, they are more beautiful than green gems. Whoops, excuse me! Please forgive me, Miss Green Grapes. I am still talking such nonsense. Everyone, it's my fault. Gems are gems. Green grapes are green grapes. Besides, should you say to any animal, "You are taller than a frog, aren't you?" he would be quite offended. Yes indeed, I am to be blamed. Well, Seisaku, put all your grapes quickly into the tub, place the lid on it and go to bed. Good night, everyone. (Z 7:245-246) 2 There are two versions of this tale, the first and the second ones, but the differences between the two are minor (e.g., the hero's name is changed from Seisaku to Kosuke) and can be ignored here. In this chapter, we shall use the first version. 65 The charm of the child 's behaviour and remarks in this scene seems to l ie in the mysterious combination of Innocence and the "different space" (ikQkan) which Kenji evokes. Perhaps the chi ld Is rais ing the bunch of grapes up to the lamplight. The chi ld is seeing the "different space" in, or rather through, the green grapes and is delighted w i th what he sees. His delights are in marked contrast w i th those of Seisaku, who delights in the hearty meal and the excitement of the Illegal brewing of homemade wine. Both his child 's play and the green grapes are meaningless from Seisaku's point of view, but for the chi ld they have the highest value and beauty. The green grapes, which the narrator of the tale compares to green gems, are, so to speak, the treasures hidden in the different space which Is usually cut off from the eyes of the grown-ups l ike Seisaku, who l ive in th is world of experience, rat ional ity and survival. Kenji could see the world in the same way as did Seisaku's child. This way of seeing Is also embodied in the character of Kenju, the mentally retarded hero of another of Kenji ' s tale, "KenjQ Wood" (KenjQ kOenr ln ,^ - ] -) wr i t ten around 1922. "KenjQ Wood" opens w i th the fol lowing passage: With his kimono fastened by a piece of rope and a smile on his face, Kenju would often stroll through the woods or along the paths between the fields. When he saw the green thickets in the rain, his eyes would twinkle with pleasure, and when he caught sight of a hawk soaring up and up into the blue sky he would jump for pure joy and clap his hands to tell everyone about it. But the children made such fun of him that in time he began to pretend not to laugh. When a gust of wind came and the leaves on the beech trees shimmered in the light so that his face could not help smiling with pleasure, he would force his 66 mouth open and take big, heavy breaths to cover it up as he stood gazing and gazing up into the boughs.3 In Kenji ' s tales, the "different space" usually exposes i t se l f only to those who have the innocence of a "child." In th is connection, i t i s interesting to note Kinya Tsuruta's observation about the heroes of the mukogawa \ I1] (the "other side" or the "world beyond") novels in modern Japanese l i terature. 4 According to Tsuruta, most of the male heroes who enter the other space, presided over by a mysterious woman, go through a metaphorical death or regression to infancy. Mukogawa (or the other side) both in the Western and modern Japanese l i terature that Kinya Tsuruta analyses in his art ic le, often assumes the qual it ies of the womb, which can be both paradise and Hades (tomb) as the case may be. Here seems to exist a common ground where the mukogawa described in Tsuruta's a r t i c le corresponds to that found in Kenji ' s tales, though otherwise they appear rather different from one another. In Kenji ' s tales, the element of erot ic i sm and a mysterious woman figure are scarce, if not nonexistent. Indeed, in Kenji ' s l iterature, one could say that the issue of sex and erot ic i sm is scattered or dispersed throughout the entire universe to such an extent that the reader barely senses i t as such. However, both in the works that Tsuruta deals w i th and in Kenji ' s tales, mukSgawa or ikukan is closely related to the issue of innocence, whether 3 Bester, p. 153. 4 See Kinya Tsuruta, "Mukogawa no bungaku" Tjfcj ? 1 j 0) yL ^ (Literature of the "other side") in Kokubungaku kenkyu shiryokan /JO &K^ ^ | yf |> t ed., Bunoaku  ni okeru mukogawa >j£ x^-ln v\ 3 rI^\ (The other side in literature) (Meiji Shoin, 1985), pp. 5-35. 67 this be through childhood (as in Kenji) or through mother-child complex (as In Tsuruta). This s im i l a r i t y is not a mere coincidence. We can surmise that human existence in this world is sandwiched between two kinds of mukogawa: one is the "dark realm" (i.e., the womb) from which we come into this l i f e at birth; the other is the equally "dark world" (i.e., the tomb) to which we are supposed to go after death. Man can be said to be "Innocent" inasmuch as he belongs to the other side or mukogawa. and is unconscious of the sophisticated desires and competitions which usually accompany deceptions. Birth, death and innocence are the tr iadic aspects of the other wor ld. 5 In general in Kenji ' s tales, mukQgawa or IkQkan. as opposed to this world of desires, competitions and deceptions, is the ideal, perfect r e a l m — the realm of innocence and purity. A l l those forms of art which str ive to achieve some kind of perfection and beauty can be cal led attempts to real ize mukogawa. Af ter a l l , a l l a r t i s t i c works are " f i c t ion " or " imitat ion" and do not exactly mirror the real i ty of our dally lives. But just as we can distinguish between the broadest sense of the term, symbolism, which a l l art makes use of, and Its narrower sense which is applied to those nineteenth-century French poets whose chief aim was the conscious use of symbols to evoke a transcendental world, we can also distinguish between wr i te r s who consciously pursue the other world in the form, for instance, of a mysterious space w i th a mysterious woman or a mysterious chi ld as separated from the daily world, and those who mainly 5 It is suggestive that, according to Japanese tradition and customs, the deBd, whether they were "good" or "evil" in their lives, are invariably called hotokesama I 13 (venerable Buddha, the enlightened one). 68 deal w i th the mundane real i ty of daily l i fe. Kenji def initely belongs to this former group of writers. It does not necessarily fo l low, however, that the "different space" in Kenji ' s tales is handled in an obtrusive and unsk i l l fu l manner. Often, when dealing w i th the "different space," Kenji ' s magical hands are so dexterious that, as in the examples of "Grape Juice" and "The KenjQ Wood," the "different space" Is submerged in the context of the ordinary space in such a subtle manner that a careless reader may easi ly overlook Its Inconspicuous, yet unmistakable, existence. Or, as In the cases of "The Fourth Day of the Month of Daffodils" and "The Night of the Milky Way Railroad," which we shall analyse in the next chapters, the "different space" Is obviously there and yet the reader does not f ind i t obtrusive or unconvincing. Of course, underlying what appears to be the author's technical dexterity is, Indeed, a deeper reason: his intuit ive, genuine sympathy and empathy w i th the world he expresses. We shall deal more w i th Kenji ' s techniques In creating a different space in Chapters 3, 4 and 5. In this chapter, we shall proceed to a further discussion of the nature of IkOkan and Its relationship to Innocence in Kenji ' s tales. Here, our attention shall be focused on his sympathy w i th the "different space." As is often the case w i th many wr i te r s and art i s t s , Kenji also found IkQkan In nature, or more exactly, In nature both Inside and outside the human psyche. Like many other a r t i s t s w i th a myst ic temperament, Kenji believed in paradoxical correspondences between the inner and outer landscapes. The deeper one probes Into one's own psyche, the deeper one steps into the world hidden behind the everyday appearance of outer nature. There is a secret loophole that connects the two realms, which are often cal led respectively macro and micro cosmoses. 69 Kenji often cal led his poems "mental sketches modified" or "modified imagery sketches," 6 a description which may also be applied to his tales. While walking in mountains or in f ields, Kenji quickly jotted down whatever wel led up to the surface of his consciousness. What was wr i t ten in his notebook was l i te ra l l y an automatic expression of his psyche that was stimulated by the jmpression of outer nature through his senses. He then later modified his rough mental sketches of outer and inner nature. Most of his poems were created in this fashion. Kenji sets forth his "philosophy of composition" in the prefatory poem, cal led "Proem," of Spring and Asura. the f i r s t and the only col lect ion of his poems to be published before his death: The phenomenon called "I" is a blue illumination of the hypothetical, organic alternating current lamp (a compound of all transparent ghosts) a blue illumination of the cause-effect alternating current lamp that flickers busily with landscapes, with everyone with such assured certainty (the light persists, while the lamp is lost) In the twenty-two months, which in my perception lie in the direction of the past, I have linked these pieces on paper, with mineral ink 6 "Imagery sketches" is liakoto Ueda's translation of Kenji's shinsho suketchi ic %_ X *T»/Jy . See Ueda, p. 187. (they flicker with me, everyone feels them simultaneously) each a chain of shadow and light, a sketch of the imagination as it is, that I have maintained until now. For each of them, the man, the galaxy, Asura, the sea urchin, eating cosmic dust, breathing air or salt water, may conjure a fresh ontology, but that too will be no more than a mental scene. Yet the landscapes documented here are as they are documented; if they represent nothing, that's the way nothing is. This holds true of everyone, more or less (just as everything is everyone in me, so I am everything in everyone) But while these words, supposed to have been copied honestly in the accumulation of the vast, bright times of the Cenozoic era and alluvial epoch, change their structures and contents in a flash of light and shadow (or in Asurtfs billion years) the possibility is always there that both the printer and I feel them as immutable. Because, just as we feel our senses, landscapes, and personalities, 71 just as we all merely feel them, so the documents, histories, and topographies, together with their various data, are no more than what we feel (under the temporal restrictions of cause and effect) Perhaps, two thousand years from now, an appropriately different geology may win the time, apposite evidence may turn up from the past, everyone may think two thousand years ago colorless peacocks filled the blue sky, fresh bachelors of arts may excavate wonderful fossils from the top stratum of the atmosphere, the glittering freezing point of nitrogen, or discover the enormous footprints of an invisible mankind among the Cretaceous sandstone strata. All these propositions are asserted in the four-dimensional extension as the attributes of imagination and time.7 We do not have time to analyse this proem in detail here, but i t s general tenet is c lear. 8 It i s based on the Buddhist world view of dependent-co-origination (Japn.: innenshoki. 0 j $ ^ i £ ; Sansk.: pratltyasamtpada) and the re lat i v i ty theory of modern physics proposed, particularly, by 7 Sato, pp. 6-7. 8 For a more detailed analysis of this proem in English, see Ueda, pp. 185-190. 72 Einstein and Minkovski. 9 From the former we have the idea that the individual (i.e., in-dividual) ego cal led "I" does not have an unchangeable identity and entity, but is a f lu id, transparent phenomenon l ike an e lect r ic AC lamp. Therefore, our mental phenomena are also quite f lu id and changeable. Kenji says that he simply jotted down what appeared on the screen of his mind, i.e., AC lamp. The reason that his records have some meaning to others is that egos (minds) are transparent and f lu id, and thus are interpenetrating among themselves. Related to this idea of "ego" and "mind," Kenji draws on the re lat i v i ty principle of modern physics. Since, according to this principle, t ime and space are relat ive, a moment can be thought of as eternity and a point as inf in ity, depending on our viewpoint: "or in Asura's b i l l ion years"; "everyone may think that two thousand years ago / colourless peacocks f i l l ed the blue sky." Therefore, Kenji ' s jott ings may change both structural ly and qual itatively, meaning something entirely different from what he thought the jott ings meant in the beginning. The same is true w i th human histor ies and topographies. Thus Kenji believes that the human psyche and the images (shinsho < c ) produced by i t are in the fourth dimension of space and time. From this quick overview of his proem, we can say that, for Kenji, the outer world and the inner world as we l l as past and future are not 9 Einstein visited Japan in 1919, when Kenji was a student at Morioka Higher School of Agriculture and Forestry. As for Kenji's "fourth dimensional art," some critics consider the influence of Bergson rather than that of Einstein and Minkovski. See, for instance, Ono Ryusho, "Miyazawa Kenj i sakuhin no shinrigaku teki kenkyu" ^7^%i^^\o^<0  1V % & K (Psychological studies of Miyazawa Kenji's works), Takuboku to Kenii ^ i*£ (Takuboku and Kenji), No. 10 (1977), pp. 6-7. 73 independent, c learly separable entities. Rather, they interact and interpenetrate. Through these interactions and interpenetrations, the images which Kenji jotted down are modified in two ways: f i r s t , because of the very nature of this world, nothing remains the same even for a moment; secondly, our perception Is not absolutely object ive. 1 0 This i s presumably the reason that Kenji cal led such works "mental sketch modified." Let us consider another example that w i l l shed more light on Kenji ' s ideas concerning "image" and "imagination" in i t s relation to the "other space" and innocence. In the preface to the col lect ion of his tales, The  Restaurant of Many Orders, published in 1924, Kenji writes: Even if we don't have as much crystal sugar as we want, we can eat crystal clean winds and drink peach coloured beautiful morning sunlight. Also, I saw often in fields and woods that my terribly tattered clothes had been changed into those of the best velvet and woolen cloth studded with jewels. I like such beautiful food and clothes. As for these tales of mine, I received all of them from rainbows and moonlight in the forest, the fields or at a railroad. Indeed, when I pass through the blue evening of an oak grove alone or when I stand shivering in the mountain winds of November, I cannot help feeling 1 0 We may find an analogy for this kind of view in Werner Heisenberg's indeterminacy (or uncertainty) principle in modern physics. For a further discussion of this and related topics, addressed to the general lay-man, see, for instance, Fritjof Capra, The Tao of Physics (Berkelv: Shambhala, 1975); Gary Zukav, The Dancing Wu Li Masters (New York: William Morrow and Company, 1979); and the two books by Werner Heisenberg: Physics and Philosophy (London: George Allen & Unwin, 1958) and Physics and Beyond, trans. Arnold J. Pomerans (New York, Evanston, and London: Harper & Row ,1971). 74 that this really happens to me. I simply recorded the things as they were that I by no means could deny. So of these tales collected here, there will probably be some which are meaningful to you and some which are simply there and do not mean anything. I cannot distinguish one group from the other too well. You will probably come across passages which sound like nonsense to you, but they sound like nonsense to me, too. Be that as it may, how I wish that a few pieces of these small tales might in the end turn out to be our true, crystalline food! (Z 11:7) This preface is not as abstract and theoretical as the proem to his Spring  and Asura quoted earlier. The message Kenji sends us by this simple, yet poetic passage is unmistakably the same as that of the proem. We should note that Kenji s tarts w i th the pronoun "we" instead of "I," which echoes back to the line in the proem, " just as everything is everyone in me, so I am everything in everyone." Another notable feature of this preface is the frequent use of images of transparency, such as crystal sugar, transparent wind, peach-coloured morning sunlight, jewels, rainbows, moonlight, blue evening and crysta l l ine food. The recurrent use of such images of transparency in this preface and in many other of his works seems to be related to his idea of "ego" being l ike the transparent AC lamp referred to in the proem. Kenji ' s predilection for transparent images seems to be related to his food symbolism, too, which we shall deal w i th in Chapter 4 in analysing "The Night of the Milky Way Railroad." From the preceding consideration of the nature of Kenji ' s "mental sketch," we can conclude that according to Kenji the ab i l i ty to see, or rather feel, the "other space" in nature—both inside and outside one's psyche—is 75 the ab i l i ty to see things not as r ig id and unchangeable but as relat ive and constantly changing, without being preposterously disturbed by the forces of the other world, as is the case w i th some psychotics and modern novelists. It may be that for those psychotics and the novelists and poets who suffer from or deal w i th so-cal led alienation, the boundary between this world and the other space is more r ig id than In Kenji, and consequently the energy of the other realm often appears In the form of dark, chaotic powers that menacingly Invade this wor ld—the bright realm of order and rationality. This is true of Kenji, to some extent, but w i th his tales In general the boundaries between inside and outside, this world and the other world, etc., become relat ive and transparent, and thus they freely correspond to each other and interpenetrate to create a joyous realm of innocence. This correspondence or interpenetration of the two worlds can be seen as a ref lect ion of Kenji ' s contrasting temperaments: one dark and introverted; the other bright and extroverted. If the former is the world view of the Shin sect of Buddhism, the latter would be that of the Nichiren sect. From the viewpoint of the Shin sect, Kenji ' s inner-scape tends to appear as the turmoil of Asura, whereas from the standpoint of the Nichiren sect, his psyche resounds w i th the bright outer-scape to create the symphonic cosmos of the mandala. To take s t i l l another standpoint, Kenji 's tales generally correspond to the bright Nichiren world, whereas his poems Incline towards the dark and negative aspects of Buddhism, the Shin sect. Kenji ' s l i terature can be said to be a dynamic i n te r ac t i on of the two worlds. If the assumption that Kenji ' s tales tend to represent bright and extroverted aspects of his psyche is correct, we can assume that his tales 76 chief ly deal w i th outer nature, and i t Is there that we come across the other space. Indeed, a useful way to understand how Kenji envisaged the relationship between the outer and inner natures is to apply the analogy of the two, or rather one, side(s) of the Mobius s t r ip (see Appendix I). In other words, the Inner-scape is paradoxically, I.e., in a twisted way, connected w i th the outer-scape, and so the two worlds are originally and essential ly one and the same. To take our analogy and speculation one step further, we can presume that the original residence of "innocence" is neither in the inner-scape alone nor in the outer-scape alone, but rather, in the space that subsumes both realms. This kind of encompassing viewpoint is possible only when one places oneself on the inf in i te ly fine line or boundary between the two realms. This boundary, l ike a mathematical line, has a locus but no breadth or entity, and In this sense it is empty. This emptiness is replete w i th the poss ib i l i t ies of the two worlds we have been discussing. The boundary is the meeting place of the two worlds, or rather It Is the very locus by which the two worlds come Into existence. We could, therefore, assume that alienation from Innocence presumably occurs when we lose sight of this overall, cosmic viewpoint to take up the l imited sight of the individuated ego that rational izes the existence of r ig id boundaries among ideas and things and stands on either side of the boundary. Earl ier in this chapter we mentioned that, for Kenji, this paradoxical interpenetration between the two realms was largely based on his knowledge of the Buddhist Idea of dependent co-origination (innen shoki or Dratltyasamutoada). which, in turn, is connatural w i th other Buddhist ideas such as "one in many and many in one" (Japn.: ichinen sanzen. — ) and the dharma-world of interpenetration (Japn.: r ij imuge hokkai. 77 •£gfj£^-.j i j imuge hokkai. fflL^&J^- ). n We shall touch more on these ideas in the next chapters when dealing w i th symbolism and innocence in Kenji ' s tales. What we should note here is that these Buddhist ideas are relevant not only to the correspondence and interpenetration between the inner and outer spaces, but also to that between the ordinary and extraordinary spaces in Kenji ' s l iterature. In "Anokutatchi Fantasy" quoted in the beginning of this chapter, the demarcation between this world (the ordinary) and the other world (the extraordinary) is clearly set not only spatial ly but also tempora l ly . 1 2 In th is poem, ikukan or the extraordinary, is spatial ly somewhere beyond the wal l of the evening sky, and temporally i t is distinguished from daytime by the image of the sun sinking into and behind the jaws of the rugged mountains. 1 3 Also in the tale, "Going Across the Snow" (Yuki watar i , if ML 'J ), the other space is somewhere in the woods of the foxes as segregated spat ia l ly from the vi l lage of human beings, and i t is also separated from the ordinary by the age l im i t of human beings who are allowed to enter this segregated space. Here grown-ups are clearly and definitely rejected from the realm of the extraordinary. 1 1 riii mure &L^%k.%%^ literally means "nonimpededness of the noumenal and the phenomenal," whileiiii muae Js& ^ ^ J n e a n s "nonimpededness among phenomenal things, e.g., a man and a tree." For more on this, see Alfonso Verdu, Dialectical Aspects in Buddhist  Thought (New York: Paragon Book Gallery, 1974). 1 2 Here is also the paradoxical interpenetration of time and space, which reminds us of Einstein's four-dimensional time-space continuum. 1 3 Of course this also constitutes a spatial image of ikukan. 78 A more subtle treatment of the ordinary and the extraordinary can be seen, for example, In "Grape Juice" and "KenjQ Wood" which we also touched on earlier. In these cases the extraordinary does not announce i t se l f to be extraordinary. Paradoxically, i t seems that what constitutes the extraordinary in the seemingly ordinary scenes is not the extraordinary i t se l f , but the ordinary. In a sense, i t is not Seisaku's chi ld or KenjQ, the s l ow-w i t ted man, who real ly sees the Innocence of the extraordinary or of IkQkan. but the eyes of the author and the reader who more or less belong to the world of the ordinary and of experience. Children and the mentally retarded are not real ly aware of being children or mentally retarded; i t takes the perspective of grownups or of "normal" men to see their innocence. They are often indifferent to nature just as nature, i.e., trees, r ivers, mountains, etc., i s indifferent to itself. It requires the eyes of "man," who is at least part ia l ly outside nature and Is thus "alienated" from it, to truly perceive the beauty and innocence, i.e., naturalness, of nature. In the same way, the innocence of a chi ld can be fu l ly recognized as such only through the sens ib i l i t ies of a grownup, who has at least part ia l ly lost it. In this sense, the existence of Seisaku in the tale is a crucial element in order for the reader, a grownup, to sense the real beauty of the behaviour of Seisaku's child. We could even say that there Is a trace of Seisaku's character, which possesses a bifurcating function of rational ity, operating in Seisaku's chi ld himself, and conversely, there are some aspects of ch i ld - l i ke Innocence in Seisaku, the greedy yet somewhat good-natured "material ist." It may be the discriminatory function of rational ity, or rather i t s in it iatory sign, in combination w i th his predominant innocence and no-mindedness (mushin. / IV) that makes Seisaku's chi ld exclaim in joy when he sees the jewels of green grapes. And i t may be the trace of humorous, good-naturedness in 79 Seisaku himself that makes him the hero of another tale, "The Night of the Oak Grove," in which he and the sp i r i t s of the oak trees hold an innocent singing contest. A l l this i s an ironic and paradoxical truth, but this is rather easily understood from the Buddhist world view of the dharma-world of interpenetration and dependent-co-origination. This may also be what is cal led a cosmic paradox. This kind of ironic relationship between the ordinary and the extraordinary, or between innocence and experience Is also reflected In the narrative points of view. As a whole, the corpus of Kenji ' s tales can be divided into two groups In terms of point of view: in one group of tales the ordinary is looked at from the perspective of the extra-ordinary or IkQkan: in the other, the reverse Is true. In other words, in the f i r s t group the narrative point of view is in the extra-ordinary, from which the hero usually goes to the ordinary, whereas in the second group the order is reversed. Naturally, however, there are some works that belong to both categories. Let us take a quick overview of some examples of these groups. Those which belong to the f i r s t group include tales such as "The Edge of the Field" (Hatake no heri, £fy a) \y ), "The Pig of Flandon Agricultural School" (Furandonnogakko no buta, 77 yp'VKM. ), "The Apr i l of the Mountain Man" (Yamaotoko no shlgatsu, A ^ (O «fl M ), and "The Biography of Pennennennennen Nenemu" (Pennennennennen Nenemu no denki, v y t y "The Edge of the Field" is a short tale of a few pages. It represents the world as seen through the eyes of frogs in the fields. A f te r the f lax plants have been cut, the stalks of corn standing in a line at the edge of the f i e ld loom high. A frog who happens to see the stalks thinks that they might be soldiers from the land cal led Kamagin. To his astonishment the stalks of 80 corn a l l have two or three monsters under their "arms." The monsters have seventy teeth w i th pale hairs standing upright from the teeth and w i th s ix green mantles that wrap the monsters upside down from head to foot. The frog is horr i f ied because these monsters, he believes, must have eaten up the f lax plants, a l l of whom he thinks were straightforward, good youths. He is more horrif ied, however, when creatures cal led human beings with, according to one of his fe l low frogs, sixteen hands growing on top of their heads appear and violently pluck the "green monsters" from the corn. The edge of the f ie ld is the borderline between the world of fauna and f lora and that of man. The idea that human beings are to be feared by the Inhabitants of the "other space" Is often expressed In Kenji ' s tales. "The Pig of Flandon Agricultural School" contains another example of this. In this tale, the human world Is looked at through the eyes of a Yorkshire pig which Is soon to be butchered. Here, Kenji v iv id ly captures the character ist ics and "psychology" of a Yorkshire pig that speaks a human language. The Yorkshire is bludgeoned to death In the end after reluctantly signing the "agreement to die" under a threat from the school principal. Besides the violence of human beings against other l iv ing beings, this tale, together w i th "At the Edge of the Field" and other tales, points to one of the crucial thematic problems in Kenji ' s l i f e and l iterature: the paradox of one l iv ing organism l iving at the 81 expense of other l i v e s . 1 4 Man is the only creature on earth that believes he has the capacity and the right to set himself apart from the natural order of 1 4 Regarding this issue, Isogai Hideo writes: If we push this problem [of Asura] a step further in the Buddho-Pantheistic context, we arrive at the question: "Why one organism must feed on another to live?" One may brush this question away, just by saying, "0 it's typically a Buddhist question," but it was this horrible question which no one can answer that was the greatest problem for Kenji. This is obvious from the fact that a considerable number of his children's stories have this question as their main theme— As long as Kenji was intensely aware of this paradox [of life], the tone of his literature could not have become unconditionally bright. It is probably due to this brooding of Kenji that his children's stories seldom end with the so-called happy ending. (Isogai, "Ninon kindaibungaku shijo ni okeru Miyazawa Kenji," pp. 173-174) 82 the food chain. Thus from Kenji 's viewpoint, which sees a l l sentient beings as essential ly equal in value, man is to be feared by other forms of l i f e . 1 5 The idea that man's world or this side of the border between this world and the other world generally is the realm of experience as opposed to the other world of innocence is also seen in the tale ent it led "The Apr i l of the Mountain Man," which belongs to Kenji ' s early works. A h i l l man or a w i l d man of the mountains (yamaotoko. A ) is a popular figure in the folk tales of Iwate prefecture. Yanaglda Kunio fyfl \Q g ) j§ (1875-1962), a famous fo lk lor l s t and poet, col lected and recorded these folk tales under the t i t l e . The Tales from Tono (T5no monogatarl. ^ l j <8Dlt) In 1910. It Is highly probable that Kenji was fami l i a r w i th this work and made use of 1 5 In conjunction with this it is interesting to note the remarks of Oary Snyder, a poet, a practitioner of Zen and translator of Kenji's poems: "The most revolutionary consciousness must be found in the classes that have most cruelly been exploited: animals, trees, water, air . . . ." (translation mine), quoted by Edgar Morin in his Journal de Californie (Paris: Editions du Seuil, 1970), p. 206. See also the following passage from Alan Watts: For every form of life exists at the expense of some other form, the whole living world constituting a colossal cannibalism, a holocaust in which life continues only at the cost of death. Man lives because of the sacrifice of the wheat and the vine, and he, in his own turn, is a sacrifice to the birds and the worms, or to the bacilli which effect his death. This is the inescapably grim fact of being alive, and which most civilized peoples do their best to conceal. (Alan Watts, Mvth and Ritual in  Christianity [Boston: Beacon Press, 1968], p. 147.) 83 the yamaotoko ( l it, mountain man) and other mot i f s in his t a l e s 1 6 There is a f i r s t version of the tale of the mountain man, as is the case of many other tales by Kenji. Here we shall use the second, more complete version. The tale opens w i th a red-faced and golden-eyed yamaotoko lying on a h i l l s ide, looking up at the clouds in the sky. A f te r chasing geese he is t i red and soon fa l l s asleep. In his dreams he goes to a town and there meets a Chinese pedlar, who coaxes him to drink some kind of medicine. This medicine is l iquid magic, and Yamaotoko quickly shrinks in s ize and is put into a small box of p i l l s . Hopping w i th joy, the Chinese pedlar puts the box into the wicker trunk on his back and starts walking, looking for another v ict im. In the meantime, one of the p i l l s in the box, which were a l l originally human beings, te l l s Yamaotoko how to grow back to his original state. As the Chinese pedlar is trying to lure another v i c t im, Yamaotoko takes one of the p i l l s and grows big—thereby breaking the trunk. Astonished by this, the pedlar, in confusion, drinks the wrong medicine and is made into a giant. The Chinese giant now pounces on Yamaotoko, who t r ies to run and escape in vain. His legs vainly kick at the ground; he does not go forward. He wakes up. Although the plot of th is tale is very simple, and i t s motifs, such as entering the other world through a dream and magic p i l l s that make one shrink or grow, are rather fami l ia r ones , 1 7 Kenji ' s imagination and s k i l l enable him to create a fascinating character of Yamaotoko. Outwardly, 1 6 kenji personally knew Sasaki Kizen (1887-1925), who told the stories in Tono monooatari to Yanaqida. 1 7 For instance, it is not difficult to see the influence of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, with which Kenji W8S familiar, in this tale. 84 Yamaotoko looks untidy and horrible but is harmless and innocent on the inside, so much so that he says in this dream, "If I am going into the town, I have to disguise myself. Otherwise the people would beat me to death." Or he thinks, "I would sacr i f i ce my body so that this Chinese pedlar can make 60 sen and go to an inn to have a humble meal." We can see this good-natured aspect of Yamaotoko in many other characters in Kenji 's tales. KenjQ in "KenjQ Wood," Kojuro in "The Bears of Mt. Nametoko," Yamaotoko in "The Night of the Fest ival " (Matsuri no ban, *y ), Nighthawk in "The Nlghthawk Star" (Yodaka no hoshi, <9 H X and Earthgod in "Earthgod and Fox" (Tsuchlgami to kitsune, JcJf^ z. ) are some examples of this kind of character. An interesting character ist ic of Kenji ' s IkQkan is that Its Inhabitants, who are sometimes depicted as monsters, are usually gentle and harmless to human beings. They even fear humans. This seems part icular ly true in Kenji ' s ear l ier works. When Kenji ' s l i f e and health were relat ively stable and his creative imagination was most vigorous, he seems to have lived, at least imaginatively, in the other space or ikukan rather than in this world, and could identify himself w i th the creatures of that world. "The Biography of Pennennennennen Nenemu" was wr i t ten when Kenji ' s creat iv i ty was at such a point. As the t i t l e indicates, this i s a biography of Pennennennennen Nenemu, who r i ses from the lowly status of a woodcutter's son to the highest rank of a great judge in his country. One difference between the usual success story and this one is that a l l of i t s characters, including the hero, are monsters. Towards the end of the tale, the judge Nenemu is so proud of and inflated w i th his position and abi l i ty as a judge that he makes a wrong step whi le dancing and crosses the border into the human world. To appear in the human world Is considered a serious taboo in the monster 85 world. The apparent reason for the taboo is that the monsters feared frightening human beings needlessly, but a deeper reason seems to be that they are afraid of the world of human beings, just l ike the frogs and Yamaotoko in the tales mentioned earlier. The place where Nenemu has appeared is a border between Nepal and Tibet, also the locale of the poem, "Anokutatchi Fantasy" quoted in the beginning of this chapter, where he sees many tal ismanic flags standing and flapping in the wind. Seeing this, Nenemu f lees and t r ies to return to his terr itory, when a group of pi lgr ims come along. Finding Nenemu, the monster, they chant a spell which makes him faint. When Nenemu comes to, he finds himself lying in a f i e ld surrounded by his subordinates who a l l wear worried looks. He b itter ly repents his pride and decides to resign his position. The tale ends here. The world of monsters for Kenji did not hold the nightmarish apparitions of the suppressed realm of the unconscious, as is often the case w i th many modern wr i te r s and poets, such as Poe, Baudelaire and Kafka, but rather i t was a realm of the free, joyful expressions of the cosmo-psychic energy Itself. Despite the fact that, because of his pride, Nenemu steps out into the forbidden realm, his dithyrambic dance and songs mingled w i th the volcanic eruptions in the background forceful ly draw the reader into the rapturous joys of cosmic l i f e . 1 8 "The Fourth Day of the Month of Daffodils" is another example of this kind of Nietzschean dithyramb, based on the Dionysian principle, seen in the other realm. This tale, which we shall examine in detai l in the next chapter, 18 In this climactic scene it is suggested by one of the characters, albeit half jestingly, that Nenemu's psychic sympathy with the volcanic eruptions is comparable to Nietzsche's philosophy, presumably that of the Apollonian and Dionysian principles. 86 also looks at the human world through the eyes of the inhabitants of the other world. In i t s v iv id colour imagery, use of onomatopoeia and animist ic presentation of snow and wind, the prose-poem-like tale beautifully captures the horrors and strange charms of a raging blizzard. One difference between this tale and the others mentioned above is that the narrative point of view of the former is f ixed on the borderline between the realm of the supernatural and that of this world. Thus the reader feels that he Is looking at both worlds from a third, neutral point of view. Moreover, as we shall see later on, the borderline between the two realms Is not r ig idly f ixed but is f lexible and dynamically moving, ult imately becoming one w i th the ambiguous dark-whtte vortex of the snow storm, tinged w i th the br i l l iant colours of red, gold, blue, green and amber. Therefore, on the one hand, the tale 's neutral point of view enhances the aesthetic distancing of the work; on the other hand, it involves the reader in the kaleidoscopic whirlpool of the snowstorm that ref lects the galactic vortex of the entire universe. The colourful f l ight of Kenji ' s imagination seen, for example, in "The Fourth Day of the Month of Daffodils," is part icularly pronounced in the early period of his career as a wr i te r of tales. A l l the tales mentioned here belong to Kenji ' s ear l ier works. Kenji ' s tales can be roughly divided into two periods: the f i r s t period Is that between 1921, when he went to Tokyo to jo in KokuchQkai, and 1926, when he resigned his teaching post at Hanamaki Agricultural School. The second period runs from 1926 until his death in 1933. As c r i t i c s point out, Kenji ' s early tales are more animist ic, 87 brighter and more fantast ic than his later t a l e s . 1 9 In his career, Kenji ' s idealism faced the severe rea l i ty of society and was part ia l ly defeated. Kenji ' s tales of the latter period are somewhat subdued in their colours and f l ight of imagination. "Matasaburo, the Wind Child," "The Biography of Gusuko Budori," and "The Night of the Milky Way Rai lroad"—three major tales from this period of Kenji ' s l i terary ca ree r—a l l deal w i th human children in rather rea l i s t i c everyday settings. As we have seen earl ier, the hero and other characters of "The Biography of Pennennennennen Nenemu," an ear l ier version of "The Biography of Gusuko Budori," are a l l monsters. We can only get a glimpse of the other world from time to time, as the folktale elements in "Matasaburo, the Wind Child" or as the sc ience- f ic t ion elements in "The Biography of Gusuko Budori." When the other world is the main part of the tale, as in "The Night of the Milky Way Railroad," i t i s placed in the dream of a boy, and the introduction to the boy's dream is careful ly constructed so as to lu l l the reader's suspicious rat ional ity into dreamland. Like the novels of mukogawa (the other side), whose m i c h i y u k i 2 0 Tsuruta careful ly traced and analysed in his a r t i c le mentioned earl ier, 1 9 See, for example, Fukuda Kiyoto ^% X$ *%A- and Okada Junya $ Vtf f&L *5, Mivazawa Kenii: hito to sakuhin ^ >/t ^ i vL A )z f£ ob. (Miyazawa Kenji: the man and his works) (ShimizuShoin, 1978), p. 177. See also Fukushima Akira i^f, J|, jp; . Miyazawa Kenii: kokoro no kiseki l|£ yjt. >£. 2 Z ~b <7) ^/t$#(Miyazawa Kenji: the trajectory of his mind) (Kodansha, 1985), pp. 50-52. 2 0 michiyuki £ literally means "going along the road." In traditional Japanese theaters such as noh, kabuki and joruri, it refers to the part of the play that describes the main characters' travelling to their destinations; hence the "process" of things or an "introduction" to something in general. 88 Kenji ' s "The Night" also seems to have required a michiyuki. one function of which is to lead the reader into "unreality." In Kenji ' s early period, his soaring imagination and his particular form of children's stor ies compensated for much of this later "michiyuki" process. Kenji could start his tales in medias res and the reader was almost instantly taken into the magic land. Some of his works deal entirely w i th the other world. Even in his early tales, however, Kenji ' s imagination did not always play only in the other world. He took minimum procedure of introduction before he started deploying the other world. These tales belong to the second group mentioned earlier. In this group, which seems to be the most universal type of mukogawa tale, the narrative point of view begins in this world, and the reader, together w i th the hero, goes or has a glimpse into ikukan. The direction of viewpoint is from this world to the other world or ikukan. Tales from this group include "Going Across the Snow," "The Restaurant of Many Orders," "The Beginning of the Deer Dance," "The Night of the Oak Grove," and "E lectr ic Poles in the Moonlit Night." However, unlike his later works such as "Matasaburo, the Wind Child" and "The Biography of GusukQ Budori," the dominant portions of these tales are occupied by ikukan. These tales w i l l not be outlined here, but the point to be reiterated is the divis ion between the two groups of Kenji ' s tales, in which we can observe two points of view: one looking at this world from the other world; the other, the reverse. As we have noted earl ier, the coexistence of these narrative v i ew -points in Kenji ' s tales seems to be essential ly related to his world view which sees a complementary relationship between the ordinary and the extraordinary, and between experience and innocence. Besides the analogy of the MObius str ip, used to explain this paradoxical complementary 89 relationship, we could also give the analogy of the Klein bottle (see Appendix II), whose mouth is connected to i t s bottom in such a way that the outside of the bottle is the inside and vice versa. We could use s t i l l another example in the pictures by M. C. Escher (see Appendixes III and IV), who made use of the relat ive nature of human vis ion and points of view. These analogies suggest the re lat iv i ty and interpenetration of a l l the r ig id dual it ies made by our rational ity, such as inslde-outside, this world-the other world, past-future, l i fe-death, innocence-experience, subject-object, man-woman, and man-nature. Kenji ' s tales, and his other l i terary works as we l l as his own l i f e Itself, are based on this Idea of the interpenetration of these opposites. Our rat ional i ty f i r s t requires us to part icular ize each of the terms of these pairs, and then usually to regard them as oppositions. Let us take the example of the man-nature relationship, one of the central themes of Kenji ' s l i terature and l i fe. According to sc ient i f i c and rational ways of thinking nature and man may be said to confront one other. Or otherwise, nature can be defined as greater than man (man is Inside nature). In Bertrand Russell 's set theory, for example, nature would correspond to a c lass and man to i t s member (and the other way around). In any case, man and nature are clearly separated from one another. For Kenji, however, this idea of d ist inct logical types fa i led to grasp the real nature of the relationship between man and nature. For him, man and nature were not in opposition and neither did they represent different logical types. Rather, their relationship was one of Interpenetration. Indeed, Kenji believed in the ult imate unity of the universe and himself, of man and nature, where the differentiat ions of logical types, and the subject-object d ist inct ion between man and nature, did not exist. 90 Insofar as he saw man and nature as one, Kenji did not hold one set of values for man and another for the natural world. Thus, "cannibalism" in human culture and "cannibalism" in nature upset him equally. From this, his concern with the problem of autophagy (I.e., life devouring Itself) becomes more comprehensible,21 as does his obsessive "love affair" with nature. Clearly, Kenji did not consider nature as an "object" of human rationality but rather as something ultimately inseparable from man. Opposed to this view of unity is that of bifurcation or rationality— the basic principle of civilization, or rather the kinds of civilizations which are currently dominant on earth. According to the logocentric or anthropocentric views which dominate modern thought, "man" occupies the highest position in the world, presiding over nature to create human civilization and history—allegedly a closed system governed by internal laws and order. In this scheme, every existence that is considered to partake of less rationality than "man" is alienated to the periphery of civilization, to be oppressed and exploited. Besides nature and children, we can include (as Michel Foucault has done) Invalids, the crippled and deformed ("monsters"), madmen and criminals as those who have been alienated by human rationality. Kenji's tales emphasizing nature, children, monsters and "mentally backward" adults such as Yamaotoko and KenjQ, show a strong predilection for what might be called, after Yamaguchi Masao, a Japanese 2 1 See the following passage from Norman 0. Brown's Love's Body (Toronto: Random House of Canada Limited, 1966), p. 170: "This world as food feeds on itself. The mystical body feeds on itself. Autophagy. The supper as self-sacrifice " For more on autophagy, see footnotes 20 and 22 to Chapter 4 of this dissertation. 91 anthropologist and interdisplinarian, the "periphery" (Japn.: shuen. f f i^c ) . 2 2 another name of which can be the other world or ikukan. That glimpse of fear of the world of man seen in some of Kenji ' s tales may be the fear and protest of the oppressed "innocent" against the self-r ighteous domination of man's rationality. This protest against "culture-centeredness" and "anthropocentrism" seems to constitute the core of Kenji ' s "Notes for the Outline of Agrarian Art." What Tsurumi Shunsuke called "marginal art" (genkai geijutsu. ?H % J ) describes one important aspect of Kenji ' s ideas of art expressed in his "Outline" as we l l as in his other works. According to Tsurumi, "marginal art" is "art that non-professional a r t i s t s create for the non-professionals (i.e., laymen) and i t i s distinguished both from "pure art ' (junsui geijutsu. fykJfy l t#T) , which is created by professionals for those w i th "professional tastes, ' and from 'mass art ' (taishu geijutsu. % % . ^ $ J " ), which is created by professionals for the masses who have no special training for or appreciation of a r t . " 2 3 For Kenji the everyday l i f e 2 2 Yamaguchi Masao \0 %j . Bunka to rvooisei • J£fC ^- '^f '\%~ (Culture and ambiguity), (1975; rpt. Iwanami, 1984). Also for the discussions on the periphery from the viewpoints of writers, a historian and a cinema director, see Chushintoshuen ^ /o*t (Center and periphery), ed. OeKenzaburo i$_.j?L.iiJ> etal. (Iwanami, 1981). 2 3 Tsurumi Shunsuke ^ iL^U^'. "Miyazawa kenj i no sosaku" %^JL% (Miva2awaKenii'screation) inMiva2awaKenii kenkyu l|[ i j ^ ^ l\ &x\ '-^ (Studies on Miyazawa Kenji), p. 24. See also Tsurumi's "Geijutsu no hatten" £ #t (Development of art) in Tsurumi Shunsuke chosaku shu "^^UJ^.^ M (Collected works of Tsurumi Shunsuke), IV (ChikumaShobo, 1975), >. 3-39. 92 and s ituation of the individual begets the very circumstances and material from which he creates his own art. To quote from his "Outline": talgrarian art is a concrete expression of Cosmic Consciousness through the earth, man and personality. It is the creation of consciousness and unconsciousness using the inner experience of intuition and emotion for its materials. It always affirms the reality of everyday life and aims to deepen and heighten it more. It teaches us to enjoy life and nature by making them into incessant artistic photographs or into endless songs and poems or into a gigantic theater and dance. It causes spiritual communication of the people; it socializes their emotions and it finally aims at leading every existence/being to the supreme state. . . . (Z 12-A:11) Thus, for Kenji any everyday act iv i ty, whether i t be speech, house building, farming, f ishing or cooking, is potential ly creative and art i s t ic . From this point of view Tsurumi asserts that Kenji ' s "Report on the School Excursion to Hokkaido" (Shugaku ryoko fukumei s h o ^ ^ M J i 4%. ^  % ) , wr i t ten in May 1924 when Kenji took his students to Hokkaido on an excursion, i s a beautiful example of "marginal a r t . " 2 4 In his "Report," which Kenji wrote in a semi-c lass ica l Chinese style, he v iv idly portrays the students' joys in singing in unison, rowing boats, walking along the streets of Sapporo at night, and being treated to r ich, fresh milk by the president of Hokkaido Imperial University. Behind this successful school excursion l ie 2 4Tsurumi, "Miyazawa Kenji nososaku," p. 8. 93 Ken j i s worr ies about a student's f inancial p rob lems 2 5 and about the plans for the excurs ion—its agenda and purposes. These hidden efforts and worr ies together w i th the joyous act i v i t ie s of the students and Kenji in Hokkaido constitute a human drama. Tsurumi considers that this drama is for Kenji a creation of "marginal art," and that Kenji ' s l i terary works in the narrower sense are merely one part of this larger d rama. 2 6 Kenji ' s l i f e and l iterature, which remained cut off from and ignored by those in Tokyo, the center of Japanese culture, are typical examples of "marginal art" or art of the periphery. The issue of the center-periphery relationship in Kenji, however, is not merely a monolithic opposition between the center and the periphery, which can be translated into other terms of opposition such as this world vs. the other world, experience vs. innocence, Tokyo vs. Iwate, culture vs. nature, and man vs. nature. As we have seen through the discussion of the paradoxical relationships between the terms of these pairs, the center-periphery relationship is that of interpenetration in the same sense that the "two sides" of the Mobius str ip interpenetrate or that in some cases a c lass and i t s members are se l f - referent ia l to each other. The same paradoxical relationship can be seen in the relationship between Kenji ' s l i f e and his l i terary works. If we regard his l i fe as his macro-cosmic a r t i s t i c work, we can say that his poems and tales are i t s micro-cosmic counterparts. As we have seen in Chapter 1, Kenji displayed a rather ambivalent vac i l lat ion between Iwate (nature or the periphery) and 2 5 We have touched on Kenji's financial assistance for a poor student on this excursion in Chapter 1. 2 6Tsurumi, p. 8. 94 Tokyo (culture or the center). We can Interpret this vac i l lat ion as his attempt to synthesize or harmonize these two seemingly contradictory poles. Kenji ' s "Notes for the Outline of Agrarian Art," which is based on both science and religion, and his act i v i t ie s among the farmers and peasants are his theory and practice towards this attempt. This attempt naturally paral lels the d i f f i cu l t task of harmonizing the ideal i s t ic , romantic idea of the periphery or nature w i th that of the natural i st ic, " rea l i s t i c " nature where a l l l iv ing things are struggling and fighting w i th each other for survival. With every possible resource, Kenji t r ied to real ize his ideal world both in his l i f e and art. Or rather, for Kenji l i f e is none other than art, and vice versa. Peripheral art, which Is how Tsurumi defines Kenji ' s art, is the result of this idea. Peripheral art in Kenji, therefore, i s not a mere art on the periphery as opposed to the center. The two interpenetrate to real ize an ideal world, the other world which Kenji referred to under various names, such as ikukan (different space) and lhatove, 2 7 the dreamland Iwate. Dreamland Iwate, for Kenji, is thus the center of the universe and the abode of innocence embodied by a l l of i t s inhabitants such as trees, birds, mountains, rocks, wind, water, stars, animals, children, and last, but not least, adults. 2 7 Some critics think that "lhatove" is the Esperanto reading of Iwate prefecture. By giving this name to his prefecture, Kenji seems to have tried to sublimate the real Iwate into a dreamland Iwate or see a dreamland (ikukan) superimposed onto the real Iwate. See the quotation from Kenji on the second and the third pages of Chapter 5. See also Hara Shiro, ed., "Kenji dowa o toku kii wado" ^>£i f i£ W\ ^ r 7 ~ K (Key words for understanding Kenji's tales), Kokubunoaku. 31. No. 6 (1986). 148. 95 Looked at from a f ixed viewpoint, the Tokyo-lwate dichotomy is r ig idly translated into the center-periphery relationship. However, through the ideal of lhatove as a dreamland, Kenji central ized Iwate and "peripheral 1 zed" Tokyo, just as the frogs and the monsters in Kenji 's tales central ized their world and "peripherallzed" the human world, reversing the common sense order of the dist inct ion between this world of human beings and the other world of non-human beings. This reversal, again, does not remain stat ic, but rather continues i t s reversal dynamically, ad Infinitum, thus manifesting what Kenji cal led in his proem to his Spring and Asura the phenomenon of the "AC lamp," the dharma-world of interpenetration. For Kenji, then, the realm of innocence is not merely in the other space of ikukan as such, to be differentiated and cut off from this world. The true realm of innocence Is real ized on the borderline or borderland between the two realms, which can be compared to the boundary between the "two sides" of the Moblus strip. This borderland Is also the realm of "play," or rather "cosmic play," which we shall further examine In the subsequent chapters through a detailed analysis of the symbolism and sty le in Kenji ' s particular works. 96 Chapter 3 The Symbolism of Interpenetration in "The Fourth Day of the Month of D a f f o d i l s " Whereas in the previous chapter we examined how Kenji ' s v iews of ikukan and innocence were expressed through his l i f e and l iterature, in this and subsequent chapters we shall concentrate on how he treated those themes in his "children's" tales. More spec i f ica l ly we shall focus on the two central elements of symbolism and style in Kenji ' s tales. Symbolism is closely related to the issue of ikukan in that i t gives concrete form to ikukan. which, otherwise, would remain in the invisible, abstract realm of ideas. In this sense, symbolism serves as a bridge between this world and the other world, for i t is through symbolic images that the ideal manifests i t se l f to and in the phenomenal. Style in Kenji 's tales, on the other hand, is related to center-periphery, the " th i s -wor ld vs. the-other-world" problem. But we shall discuss Kenji 's sty le in Chapter 5. Before further elaborating on the relationship between symbolism and ikukan. it may be helpful f i r s t to c la r i f y the meaning of "symbol." Here, a symbol is considered pr imari ly as a means of bridging a gap between two apparently disparate things, or more particularly, between those two separate realms variously referred to as this world and the other world (ikukan). the worldly and the divine, the material and the ideal, the f in i te and the inf in ite, the temporal and the eternal, and the part icular and the universal, or the archetypal, to use C. G. Jung's term. An apple and the galaxy, for instance, are ostensibly two very disparate entit ies, but, when considered in relation, they may be seen to correspond closely wi th one 97 another and resonate w i th s imi lar rhythms and meanings. Maybe th i s i s because behind each of these l ies something universal. This we may also ca l l the ideal, the divine, the eternal, the archetypal, and so on. In other words, it is because the abstract and archetypal power manifests i t se l f through concrete and individual things that we can detect analogies and correspondences between things seemingly far apart or even diametr ical ly opposed to one another. Thus, the paradoxical relationship between the inside and the outside of man's psyche, touched on in Chapter 2, can be said to arise from this one unifying power or force which pervades a l l things in the universe. This kind of view on symbol and symbolism is generated by a world view which has much in common with that of Kenji. See, for instance, the fol lowing excerpts from the proem to his Spring and Asura quoted earlier: The phenomenon called "I" is a blue illumination of the hypothetical, organic alternating current lamp (a compound of all transparent ghosts) a blue illumination of the cause-effect alternating current lamp that flickers busily, busily with landscapes, with everyone with such assured certainty (the light persists, while the lamp is lost) For each of them, the man, the galaxy, Asura, the sea urchin, 98 eating cosmic dust, breathing air or salt water, may conjure a fresh ontology, but that too will be no more than a mental scene. Yet the landscapes documented here are as they are documented; if they represent nothing, that's the way nothing is. This holds true of everyone, more or less (just as everything is everyone in me, so 1 am everything in everyone)1 We should also note that in th is proem, Kenji 's thought draws heavily on Buddhist ideas such as "dependent-co-origination" (innen shoki) and the "dharma-world of interpenetration" ( r i j i muge hokkai and j i j imuge  hokkai). S imi lar ly, in one of his tales entit led "Indra's Net" (Indora no ami, /f y |CV 7 if) ), a divine chi ld in a Buddhist paradise points to a huge, yet invis ible, net covering the entire sky, w i th each knot of the net ref lect ing a l l the other knots, whi le the heavenly drums quietly pound inaudible sounds, it is obvious that Kenji wrote this story in order to give l i terary expression to the Huayen (Japn. : Kegon , ^ " ^ L ) philosophy of the "dharma-world of interpenetration." To a great extent, th is Buddhist idea corresponds to the definit ion of symbolism employed in this dissertation; i t is a definit ion of symbolism, based largely on J . E. Cir lot ' s , which, in turn, is indebted to C. G. Jung's symbology 2 1 Sato, p. 6. 2 See Cirlot, A Dictionary of Symbols, trans. Jack Sage (New York: Philosophical Library, 1978), pp. xxix-xxxvi. 99 Given this broad definit ion of symbolism in i t s relation w i th the other world, the general relationship between symbolism and innocence in Kenji ' s tales becomes more comprehensible. Although i t s s ignif icance is deep and far reaching, this relationship is i t se l f rather simple and obvious. As discussed in the previous chapter, in Kenji 's tales, ikukan is pr imari ly the realm of innocence, where only children or those w i th ch i ld - l i ke sens i t iv i t ies are allowed to enter. If the function of symbols, as we have argued above, is to provide a bridge between this world and the other world, i t fo l lows naturally that in Kenji ' s tales symbols are used to express innocence—or to be more precise, innocence expresses i t se l f through symbols. To further explore the relationship between symbolism and innocence, i t is necessary to analyse in more detail how symbolism operates in Kenji ' s tales. In analysing Kenji 's symbolism, we shall concentrate on two tales: "The Fourth Day of the Month of Daffodils" and "The Night of the Milky Way Railroad." There are two main c r i te r i a for these choices. F i r st ly, since they belong to the early and the later periods respectively of Kenji 's career as a "children's story" wr i ter , they provide us w i th a relat ively balanced representation of Kenji ' s symbolism throughout his tales; secondly, they are highly a r t i s t i c and of a l l his tales, show the greatest symbolic integrity. In the sense that they represent his ideas and emotions, Kenji 's other works may also be described as "symbolic." But then the same may be said not only of almost a l l l i terary works, but also of almost a l l a r t i s t i c works which are metonymic and function according to what T. 5. E l iot cal led the "objective correlative" of one's inner psychic state. El iot ' s conception of "symbol" does not contradict our definit ion of symbol and symbolism, but ours is more inclusive. Essential ly El iot ' s definit ion is contained with in the 100 Buddhist concept of M j i muge (or interpenetration between the noumenal and the phenomenal), whereas our and presumably Jung's concept of symbol, because it is based on the idea of j i j i muge (or interpenetration of the things in the phenomenal world) as wel l as on the idea of r i j i muge. is wider in scope. The symbolism of "The Fourth Day" and of "The Night" is a l i terary embodiment of this Idea of j i j i muge. Given our approach to symbols and symbolism, i t fo l lows that we must necessarily address certain "extra-textual " elements In analysing the symbolism of Kenji ' s tales. To some extent, this would be necessary in analysing any wr i t ten text. Take, for example, haiku, where extreme brevity of form demands an extremely frequent use of suggestion and association. As Harold Henderson points out: As would naturally be expected, many haiku evoke associations by references to Buddhist beliefs, to social customs, and to episodes in Japanese history that every Japanese would know. Unfortunately these references would be as unintelligible to the Western reader as the connotations of Easter, Thanksgiving, or Guy Fawkes' Day would be to the average Japanese, and therefore haiku containing them call for so much explanation that they have had to be inadequately represented here.3 Once we have learned to look at a work from such a "discovered" perspective, the hidden part w i l l never remain hidden, but rather w i l l always assert i t se l f as an important and integral part of the tota l i ty of the work's a r t i s t i c effect. It is hardly necessary to point out here that one's knowledge of Kenji ' s biography w i l l also change, to a greater or lesser 3 Harold G. Henderson, An Introduction to Haiku (Garden City, New York: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1958), p. 6. 101 degree depending on the reader, one's perspective towards an aesthetic appreciation of his works. Kenneth Burke argues succinctly that: There is a strict sense in which, whenever you cry "Wolf," you repeat the same act (as regards the meaning of the word in a dictionary, the "lexical" wolf). But there is another sense in which your cry is quite different if there is no wolf, or if there is a wolf, or if you had been repeating the cry when there had been no wolf but this time there is one. Here, obviously, the nature of the term as an "act" is defined not just by its place in the context of a certain language, but by its extra-verbal "context of situation." Furthermore, such a nonverbal scene or context of situation is capable of being defined in terms of varying scope, or "circumference." (For instance, I am writing these words "in Florida this January," or "during a lull in the bombing of North Vietnam," or "in a period following the invention of the atomic bomb but prior to a soft landing of electronic instruments on the surface of the moon," and so on.) Thus, the "same" act can be defined "differently," depending upon the "circumference" of the scene or overall situation in terms of which we choose to locate it. 4 There is one additional argument concerning the nature of symbols themselves which would further demonstrate the importance of "ext ra -textual" elements in understanding the symbolism of Kenji ' s tales. It i s generally recognized that symbolism is of three types: universal, cultural, and personal. The f i r s t type of symbols, such as day (light) and night (darkness), standing for l i f e and death or for good and ev i l , are universally 4 Kenneth Burke, Lanquaoe as Symbolic Action: Essays in Life. Literature, and Method (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1966), pp. 359-360. 102 recognized by a l l people throughout the world. The second type of symbols, those such as the cross in Christ ianity and the lotus f lower in Buddhism, possess meaning pr imari ly only for those who share a certain cultural tradition. The last type of symbols are those which have symbolic meaning pr imari ly to the individual (in this case, the author) who creates and uses them. For example, the giant, Albion, in Wi l l iam Blake's personal mythology stands for England in i t s paradisiac, perfected state, while the recurrent image of an apple in Kenji ' s tales and poems seems to symbolize purity and innocence as wel l as a microcosm. This is quite speci f ic to Kenji and is different from the symbolism of the apple in the Christ ian tradit ion or from that of the apple in the Greek myth of Paris. The same can be said of Kenji 's English Beach (Igirisu kaigan.^f 'M>-#-^- ), the name Kenji used for the bed of the Kitakami River that l ies near Hanamaki. Kenji named the shore English Beach because i t s geological features resembled those of Dover, and because he found the fos s i l s of ancient walnuts there. In Kenji ' s personal symbolism, English Beach is shura no nagisa. or the beach of Asura. On the other hand, in order to understand an author's "personal" symbols, one must inevitably refer, not only to other works by the same author but also to his entire world view, which necessarily involves a consideration of his biography. The biographical study, in turn, would ca l l for an examination of the cultural, h istor ical mi l ieu in which the author grew up, and to understand this mi l ieu one must understand traditional symbolism. This Indicates that the three types of symbols are not completely divorced from each other, but rather that they have much in common. Indeed, i t is we l l known that Blake based his personal mythology upon the traditional occidental religions and philosophies such as Swedenborg's 103 myst ic i sm, Judeo-Christ ianity, Platonism and Neo-Platonism. 5 Also, his huge Albion lying on the marsh of England's beach s t i r s our senses to see correspondences between the giant and the Br i t i sh island and also between these two and the entire universe. Kenji ' s apple and English Beach can be seen in the same way. Kenji ' s imaginative vis ion of English Beach as the beach of Asura obviously involves tradit ional Buddhist ideas about Asura, the realm of arrogant, war - l i ke demons, which overlaps in a universal manner w i th the idea of decay evident in the fal len state of Blake's Albion. Kenji ' s "obsession" w i th the apple, on the other hand, is at least part ia l ly related to the geological s ituation of Iwate, the northern part of Japan, where apples are tradit ional ly grown, but in more universal terms, the apple can be associated w i th purity as wel l as w i th perfection. In the fresh, sweet-sour taste of i t s white f lesh in cool weather, the apple is an effect ive symbol of pur i ty. 6 Further, because of i t s spherical shape, i t can partake of the universal symbol of perfection and cosmic harmony. And f inal ly, in a remote way, i t can even be connected w i th the B ib l ica l symbol of original sin. As we w i l l see later on in "The Night of the Milky Way Railroad," we encounter the images of both English Beach and apples juxtaposed w i th Christ ian images. With the above discussion of symbolism in mind, we shall now proceed to analyse "The Fourth Day of the Month of Daffodils" and "The Night of the Milky Way Railroad." In outline, "The Fourth Day" says: 5 For Blake's mythology see, for example, S. Foster Damon. A Blake Dictionary: The Ideas and  Symbols of William Blake (New York: E. P. Dutton & Co., 1971). 6 For more about the geographical as well as the moral implications in the apple imagery in Kenji's poems and tales, see Strong, "The Poetry of Miyazawa Kenji," pp. 191 -192. 104 "The Old Snow Woman [Yukibango,^ ijj? 2? ] was away, far away. With her pointed ears like a cat's and her swirling ashen hair, she was far, far away beyond the ragged, gleaming clouds over the western mountains. Wrapped in a red blanket, his mind full of thoughts of homemade candy, a solitary child was hurrying impatiently homeward past the foot of a snow-covered hillock shaped like a great elephant's head."7 The boy was on his way home from the town where he had gone pushing a sledge of charcoal the previous day. " A l l the while, up in the cold, c r y s t a l -clear regions of the sky, the sun was busy stoking his dazzling white f i re " (159). The Snow Boy [Yukiwarasu, "ff i ] w i th his two snow wolves [Yukioino, % ]—they were invis ible to human beings—was walking on top of the elephant shaped h i l l . The Snow Boy sings greetings to the invis ible stars in the navy blue sky: Cassiopeia! The daffodils will begin to bloom soon! Turn, turn your Glass water wheel! Andromeda! The thistles will bloom soon! Puff, puff your Alcohol lamp! 7 Bester, p. 159. The page numbers of the subsequent quotations from Bester's translation of "The Fourth Day" will be given in parentheses after the quotations. 105 On top of the h i l l stood a great chestnut tree bearing a beautiful, golden sphere of mist letoe wi th red fruit. The Snow Boy ordered one of his wolves to fetch him some. Immediately the wolf obeyed the master's order. With his mist letoe in his hand the Snow Boy cast his gaze down to "the handsome town standing far away on the white and indigo plain. The r iver gl i ttered and white smoke rose from the rai lway station" (160). He also noticed the chi ld walking along the narrow path that skirted the foot of the h i l l . The Snow Boy laughed and fl ipped his mist letoe towards the child. It f lew l ike a bullet and landed in front of the child, who, start led, picked i t up and looked around him wide-eyed. The Snow Boy laughed again and cracked his whip. "Then from a l l over the cloudless, polished, deep blue sky, white snow began to f a l l l ike feathers from a snowy heron; i t made that quiet, lovely Sunday of snow on the plain below, of amber light and brown cypress trees, more beautiful than ever" (160). But then, just as the snow stopped fal l ing, the sun seemed to move farther away in the sky to the resting place where he replenishes his dazzling white fires. From far off to the east, there came a tiny sound as if something had slipped in the sky's mechanism. The wind grew steadily stronger, and soon i t seemed to be tearing everything apart. The sky turned dark and the snowflakes came. All at once, the ridges of the hills began to give out a sound, a kind of creaking and swishing. Horizon and town disappeared beyond the dark vapor, leaving only the white shape of the Snow Boy dimly visible as he stood erect in the storm. Then, from amidst the rending and the howling of the wind, there came another, stranger voice. "Whew! Why do you tarry? Come, snow! Whew! Whew! Come, snow! Come, blow! Why do you tarry? Is there not work to do? Whew! Whew! See, I bring three with me from yonder! Come, snow! Whew!" The Snow Boy leaped up as though electrified: the Old Snow woman had arrived. Crack! went the Snow Boy's whip, and the snow wolves bounded forward. His face grew pale, his lips tightened together, his hat flew away in the wind. "Whew! Whew! To work, to work! No idling! Whew! Whew! To work! To work! Whew!" The Old Snow Woman's cold white locks swirled round and round in the snow and wind; her pointed ears and glittering gold eyes were visible among the scurrying black clouds. Already the three snow boys she had brought with her from the western plain were rushing to and fro unceasingly, with deathly pale faces and lips clamped tightly together, too busy even to exchange greetings with one another. Soon hills, driving snow and sky were quite indistinguishable; the only sounds were the shrieks of the Old Snow Woman as she went to and fro, the cracking of the snow boys' whips, and the panting of the nine snow wolves as they rushed about in the newly fallen snow. (161) And then, in the midst of the chaotic rage of the snowstorm, the Snow Boy heard a faint voice of the child crying. He dashed in the direction of the voice and found that the chi ld was trying to get up from the snow in which he had got f i rmly stuck. 107 "Lie back and pull the blanket over you!" shouted the Snow Boy as he ran. "Lie back and pull the blanket over you. Whew!" (162) But the child heard only the sound of the wind and saw nothing. He s t i l l struggled to get up, weeping al l the while, his mouth twitching and trembling w i th fear. "Whew!" The Old Snow Woman had come up. "Harder to work! No idling, now! On, on! Whew!" He [the Snow Boy] could see the purple slit of her mouth and her pointed teeth looming through the storm. "Ohoh! Here's a funny child! That's right! We'll have him. Why at this time of year we've a right to one or two at the very least." (162) "Of course we have," said the Snow Boy and gave the child a big buffeting. But he soft ly whispered to the child, "Lie quiet. You musn't move, do you hear?" The Old Snow Woman was pleased to see what the Snow Boy did to the chi ld and f lew off again, leaving them alone. The child tr ied to get up. Laughing, the Snow Boy gave him another great buffeting. This t ime the chi ld fe l l down in the snow and did not get up any more. Laughing, the Snow Boy stretched out a hand and pulled the red blanket right over him. "Now go to sleep. I'll cover you with many quilts, so you'll not freeze. Dream now of homemade candy till the morning." (163) The Snow Boy went over and over the child putting layer after layer of snow over him unti l the red blanket disappeared under the snow. 108 "That child still has the mistletoe I gave him," muttered the Snow Boy to himself, looking tearful for a moment. (163) The snow kept fa l l ing a l l through the night. Then when dawn was near the Old Snow Woman ran one last time from south to north and rushed off to the east, w i th her mouth chattering and her rough, dry hair swir l ing. Plain and hills seemed to relax, and the snow shone with a bluish white light. The sky had cleared, and starry constellations were twinkling all over the rich blue vault of heaven. (163) The snow boys, col lect ing their snow wolves, greeted each other for the f i r s t time. One of them said, "A chi ld died a whi le ago, didn't he?" (164) The Snow Boy, who had fel led the child, answered, "It's a l l right. He's only asleep. Tomorrow I'll leave a mark there to show where he is" (164). Then, the three snow boys from the west took leave of the Snow Boy, who stopped them to ask these questions: "There's one thing which has always been puzzling me. They are the t r ip le t s of Cassiopeia, aren't they? They are a l l blue f i re, aren't they? But why do we have snow when they burn we l l ? " One of the snow boys answered, "Oh, i t ' s l ike cotton candy, you know. You see, the machine turns round and round and the crystal sugar a l l becomes f lu f fy cotton candy, isn't that r ight? That's why the more the f i re burns, the better i t is, you know." "Oh, I see," answered the Snow Boy. The three snow boys with their nine wolves set off homewards to the west. Before long, the eastern sky began to shine like a yellow rose, then gleamed amber, and finally flared up all gold. Everywhere, hills and plain alike, was full of new snow. The Snow Boy's wolves were sitting limp and exhausted. The Snow Boy, too, sat down on the snow and laughed. His cheeks were like apples and his breath had the fragrance of lilies. The gleaming sun rose in all his glory, with a bluish tinge today that made him more splendid than ever. The whole world flooded pink with sunlight. The snow wolves got up and opened wide their mouths, from which blue flames flickered. "Come, all of you, follow me," said the Snow Boy. "Dawn has broken; we must awaken the child." He ran to where the child W8S buried beneath the snow. "Here, scratch away the snow just here," he ordered. With their back legs, the snow wolves kicked up the snow, which the breeze scattered at once like smoke. A figure wearing furs, with snowshoes on his feet, was hurrying from the direction of the village. "That will do!" shouted the Snow Boy, seeing the edge of the child's red blanket peeping out from under the snow. "Your father is coming," he cried, racing up the hillock in a column of powdery snow. "You must wake up now!" The child seemed to stir a little. And the figure in furs came running for all it was worth. (164) We should remember that this is merely an outline, and an English translation at that; the original reads more l ike a ly r ica l poem in prose than an ordinary tale. Large portions of the music and even the colours, two of the important elements of Kenji ' s symbolism, are inevitably lost or transformed into something else in translation. Translation is often the back side of the beautiful brocade of the original. The fol lowing analysis, no therefore, also alms at supplementing the tale 's lost implications and aesthetic effects. What Wi l l iam Empson ca l l s "ambiguity" 8 runs through the entire tale of "The Fourth Day." In the tale 's opening passages, the Old Snow Woman (Yuklbango) is depicted as both human and beast, or to put i t another way, as neither completely human nor beast. "With her pointed ears l ike a cat 's and her sw i r l i ng ashen hair," the Old Snow Woman can be considered as a borderline being between man and nature and as such exists, from the human point of view, on the periphery. In other words, as an ambiguous existence, she is "marked" and alienated from the ordinary "unmarked" human realm, just as the chaotic, destructive forces of nature, such as typhoons, earthquakes and epidemics, are estranged from human society. Thus the tale opens w i th the sentence: "The Old Snow Woman was away, far away But Immediately after this short opening sentence, the author suddenly directs our attention to the realm of human beings. A sol i tary human chi ld is intently hurrying homewards around the sk i rt of a snow-covered h i l l shaped l ike an elephant's head. The chi ld is from the town, and thus is, so to speak, wandering away from the center of c i v i l i za t ion into the wi lderness—the other space, the realm of the Old Snow Woman. Another beast image—that of an elephant—as we shall touch on later in more detai l , seems to be signif icant here in that it contributes to the sense of wilderness in the scene. The Old Snow Woman Is yet absent, and the child is s t i l l sk i rt ing around the fringe of the h i l l w i th his mind f i l l ed wi th "homemade candy," an image suggestive of culture and c iv i l i zat ion. 8 William Empson. The Seven Types of Ambiguity (New York: New Directions, 1947). Il l Ambiguity is also working here: the elephant image of the h i l l ; the child 's homemade candy as opposed to a city-made fancy cake; and the chi ld himself, a marginal being as opposed to grown-ups w i th fu l ly developed rat ional ity and common sense. One of the more interesting examples of ambiguity in this tale is Kenji 's use of elephant imagery. The h i l l is likened to an elephant or an elephant's head three t imes in the tale. Kenji uses elephant images in various other tales, as wel l . In "The Bear Feet of Light" (Hikari no suashi, V 'J^HUO, for instance, Ichiro and his younger brother Narao are "attacked" by a snowstorm soon after they pass by an elephant-shaped h i l l w i th chestnut trees, and in "The Young Sp i r i t of a Tree" (Wakai kodama, % 1 ) the young tree sp i r i t is deceived by an ibis by the side of a h i l l w i th the shape of an elephant's head and is almost drawn into a dark grove, which may be seen as a symbol of death. On the universal or general level, the elephant's mighty power symbolizes the libidinous sides of nature, both inside and outside the human psyche, thus drawing our attention to the bestial aspects of the Old Snow Woman. On the tradit ional, cultural level, tamed elephants become gentle and useful vehicles for c iv i l i zat ion. Perhaps i t was the combination of these two levels of symbolism that produced the other complex cultural symbolism of the elephant in Hindu-Buddhist as wel l as in medieval European traditions. In the Hindu tradit ion "[ejlephants are the caryatids of the universe" 9 and because of their colour and shape, they are associated w i th clouds. Also "[a] mountain-top or cloud, elephant-like in outline, could represent an axis of the universe. . . . " , 0 In the Hindu-Buddhist tradition, elephants are the 9 Cirlot, p. 96. 10 Cirlot, p. 96. 112 vehicles of various deit ies and Bodhisattvas, and thus by extension they are the symbols of invincible might, sacred wisdom, the Jewel of Buddhist law, love, compassion and kindness. 1 1 In the tradit ion of the Middle Ages in the West, too, elephants stand for s imi la r ideas such as wisdom, moderation, eternity and p i t y . 1 2 Thus we can say that the elephant, l ike many other images, can be a symbol for two opposing forces: one bright and positive, the other dark and negative. In using elephant Images as a semi-personal symbol in his tales, Kenji seems to have intuit ively grasped these symbolic Implications. Suzuki Kenji, in discussing the elephant symbolism in Kenji, argues that the elephant-shaped h i l l in "The Fourth Day" is related to Vinayaka in Tantric Buddhism. He points out that Kenji Jotted down the name of Vinayaka, together w i th that of Gundali, another deity in Tantric Buddhism, in his notes for wr i t ing poems and ta le s . 1 3 Vinayaka is the name for the host of guardian gods of Nandekayeshbara (Japn.: Kang1ten,§j£j| ^ ) or the god of the supreme joys. They a l l have elephant heads and human bodies. Vinayaka is supposed to i n f l i c t d i f f i cu l t i e s and disasters on human beings. In Kenji ' s tales, whenever the Image of an elephant head appears, something ominous happens to the heroes, and the scene in "The Fourth Day," where the chi ld is attacked by the bl izzard soon after he passes by the elephant-shaped h i l l is 1 1 J. C Cooper, An Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Traditional Symbols (London: Thames and Hudson, 1978), pp. 60-61. 1 2Cirlot,p. 96. 1 3 Suzuki Kenji «J , '"Zo no atama no katachi o shita oka' ni tsuite" r % <r> i | <0 Wf-^ \ V & j i - o v_» Z(On "the hill with the shape of an elephant's head") Kenii kenkvG \ 7^ % (Studies on Kenji), No. 3.1 (1982), pp.31-33. 113 no exception. Though Kenji here uses the elephant to predict disaster, we should also keep in mind the ambiguities of elephant symbolism mentioned above as we l l as the fact that the malicious Vinayaka gods are also the guardians of the deity of the supreme joys. We shall return to this issue later on. The closeness of the child 's homemade candy to nature is suggested by the image of the sun that Kenji introduces immediately after discussing the candy: "I'll make a cone of newspaper," he told himself, "and I'll puff and puff till the charcoal burns up bright and blue. Then I'll put a handful of brown sugar in the candy pan, and then a handful of crystal sugar. Then I'll add some water, and all that'll be left will be to boil it, bubble, bubble, bubble..." No doubt about it, he had no thought for anything but homemade candy as he hurried on his way home. All the while, up there in the cold, crystal-clear regions of the sky, the sun was busy stoking his dazzling white fire. The light from it shone out in all directions; some of it, falling down to earth, transformed the snow on the hushed uplands into a dazzling sheet of white icing.14 The burning sun and the bright snow of the h i l l constitute, as i t were, an image of nature-made candy. Kenji 's words in his introduction to The  Restaurant of Many Orders, which includes "The Fourth Day," are pertinent here: "Even if we don't have as much crystal sugar as we want, we can eat crystal clear winds and drink peach coloured beautiful morning sunlight" (Z 11:7). 14Bester,p. 159. 114 The ambiguity of the homemade candy corresponds w i th that of the chi ld and the Snow Boy (Yukiwarasu). In relation to human adults, the chi ld belongs to the marginal realm that borders on ikukan but in relation to the Snow Boy, w i th his three-cornered cap of polar-bear fur and his two snow wolves, he represents the human world. The Snow Boy is the child*s double or mirror image in the other world. Towards the end of the tale the Snow Boy has a conversation wi th other snow boys about cotton candy and the snow sent by Cassiopeia burning blue in the sky. This cotton candy corresponds to the child 's homemade candy as wel l as to the sun and the g l i t ter ing snow that fol low immediately in the tale. Also, in the beginning of the tale, the Snow Boy f l ip s the sprig of mist letoe at the child, who keeps it even during his struggle in the snowstorm. The mist letoe functions as a bond between the two boys. In this tale, mist letoe has very complex symbolic implications. It is a kind of microcosmos or a mandala that encompasses almost a l l the other symbols in the work. Being an evergreen plant, i t universally symbolizes l i fe and rejuvenation and thus f i t s in we l l w i th the general theme of the t a l e—the death and rebirth of both the chi ld as a human being and of nature through the seasons. The mist letoe that the Snow Boy throws at the chi ld has a tal ismanic power that protects the chi ld from death. But at the same time, i t is immediately fol lowing the scene where the mist letoe is plucked off and flipped at the chi ld that the weather takes a sudden turn and the bl izzard "attacks" the child. It seems that the mist letoe 's magical power is two-sided. In his Golden Bough. James Frazer (1854-1941) extensively examines the tree worship and mist letoe cults practiced among various peoples al l over the world. According to him, in the Norwegian myth, Baldur, Oden's son, 115 was k i l led because Hotel threw some mist letoe at h im. 1 5 Frazer sees an analogy between this myth and the legend of the sacred tree on the lake Nemi in northern Italy where once a priest-king is said to have f iercely guarded a sacred tree because if someone were to pluck a tw ig from the tree, i t would k i l l h im. 1 6 The Celt ic Druids believed that mist letoe from an oak, a sacred tree not only for the Celts but also for the Anglo-Saxons, had magical powers, such as the abi l i ty to cure diseases and fe r t i l i z e catt le and women. 1 7 Frazer points to a s imi la r cult among the Ainu of Japan. 1 8 Presumably it is on the basis of these cults and bel iefs that J . C. Cooper wr i tes about mistletoe: "As neither one nor the other, which, by extension, is the realm of freedom from l imitat ion, so that anyone under the mistletoe is free from restr ict ions, but also free from protection, and re-enters the world of chaos." 1 9 We do not know whether or not Kenji knew these Western traditions concerning mistletoe, in whole or in part, but there is an uncanny correspondence to these Western ideas in what occurs to the child after the wolf has bitten off the mistletoe from the chestnut t r e e — a member of the oak fami ly—and flipped i t at him. Another "coincidence" is that the mist letoe in "The Fourth Day" is described as a "beautiful golden ball w i th 1 5 James Frazer. The Qolden Bouqh. the abridoed edition (1922: rpt. London: MacMillan, 1924), Chapt. 61. 1 6 Frazer, p. 704, pp. 710-711. 1 7 Frazer, Chapt. 65. 18 Frazer, p. 660. 1 9 J. C. Cooper, Symbols, p. 106. This symbolism seems to shed light on the Christmas custom that a woman standing under the mistletoe may be kissed by any man. 116 red berries," whi le the t i t l e of Frazer's work is The Golden Bough, which he i s said to have taken from V i rg i l ' s Aeneid. VI: Then, when they [a pair of doves] came to the mouth of noisome Avernus, Swiftly they rose, and, planing the yielding air, Came down on the perch they had chosen, a twofold tree Where shone through the boughs the contrasting glimmer of gold. As the mistletoe plant, the fruit of an alien tree, In the cold of winter puts forth fresh green in the woods, Embracing the shapely trunks with its light yellow growth; So looked that leafage of gold on the dark holm-oak, So crackled the thin metal foil in the light-blowing breeze.20 Frazer's Golden Bough was published between 1911 and 1915 in 12 volumes and is said to have been f i r s t introduced to Japan by Ueda Bin (1864-1916), a poet-scholar. Yanagida Kunio (1875-1962), a famous Japanese fo lk lor i s t , also read the works and v i s i ted w i th the author in Geneva in early 1920's. Kenji may have come across The Golden Bough either through Yanagida, whose works he read, or through other sources, such as Ueda. Or considering that he could read English, he may have read the original volumes themselves. But this i s not the place to explore Frazer's influence on Kenji. The point here is that a tradit ional symbol, which is generally thought to be peculiar to a part icular people of a spec i f ic place and age of the world, can actually be quite universal as we l l as personal. Kenji ' s personal interest in the mist letoe becomes obvious through i t s recurrent appearances both in his l i terature and in his l i fe. Besides "The 2 0 Virgil. Aeneid. trans. Michael Oakley (New York: E. P. button, 1957), p. 119. 117 Fourth Day," the mist letoe image appears in such works as "A Young Knife Sharpener" (Wakai togishi, % v» ffi I f 7 ) and "TaneN Seems to Have Chewed [It] the Whole Day" (Taneri wa tashika ni ichinichi kande itayodatta, j \ ' j n f~ t # I - ^ *? r~> f % A > " £ " t-^^b ft" Moreover, in his letter to a former student, which he wrote when he was recuperating from his f i r s t major i l lness, Kenji asks for mist letoe taken from chestnut t rees. 2 1 On the whole he associates mistletoe, both in his l i terature and in his l i fe , w i th good luck. This i s in general true of the mist letoe image in "The Fourth Day" as we l l , because, though the mist letoe can be associated with the cause of the chaotic snowstorm, i t also functions as a protector for the chi ld as wel l as a rejuvenator of cosmic l i f e and harmony. In conjunction w i th the positive connotations of the mist letoe image in "The Fourth Day," we should note the mist letoe 's colour and shape. It is golden in colour and spherical in shape, and hence is reminiscent of the sun, which also plays an important role in this tale as wel l as in many other works by Kenji. Kenji apparently had special admiration for the sun, which brings to mind the sun-worship of various ancient peoples. The sun in the original tale of "The Fourth Day" is called o-hisama. which l i te ra l l y means "the venerable sun," o and sama being respectively the honorific prefix and suff ix, which confer a great respect on the object or person to which or to whom they are attached. The sun that plays the drama of death and rebirth in the tale seems to symbolize the "death" and "rebirth" of the human child 2 1 Z 13: 269. In his letter to the same person dated April 4, 1930, Kenji writes: "Thank you very much for sending me the mistletoe. I gave some of it to other people and used the rest at home. It reminded me of the spring mountains where it must have been, such as the ravine of the H8yase River on the way to the Sennin Pass and the gentle highland above Akabane" (Z 13: 273). 118 who is buried w i th the golden mist letoe in the snow. It may be that by his g i f t of mist letoe to the child, the Snow Boy, who has a magical sympathy w i th nature, has sent him a drop of the sun. This association between mist letoe and the sun is only one of the innumerable correspondences we can detect between mist letoe and other images in the tale. Kenji creates the association as mentioned earlier, because mist letoe functions as a mandala or microcosmos in "The Fourth Day." Both because it is a miniature, i.e., a "child," of the parent tree, the great chestnut, and because it has red f ru i t on i t , mist letoe can be associated w i th the red blanket of the chi ld as wel l as w i th the Snow Boy's cheeks, which were red l ike apples. We should also note that the Snow Boy let his gaze sweep over the quiet scenery of the handsome town on the plain as he picked up the mistletoe. It was Sunday, a "holy day"—and his act thus symbolized cosmic harmony. This harmonious cosmos is also symbolized by the elephant-shaped h i l l crowned by a great chestnut tree at i t s crest. Both the h i l l and the tree can be read as symbols of the center of the universe. The chestnut tree, in particular, wi th i t s mandala-like mistletoe, seems an apt symbol for the axis mundi (the world-axis). We can see a concentric or nest-box l ike gradation in the images surrounding the h i l l and the chestnut tree: the red f ru i t in the mistletoe; the mist letoe i t se l f ; the chi ld and the Snow Boy w i th his snow wolves; the Old Snow Woman wi th her snow boys; the swi r l ing snowstorm; the earth; the sun; the stars and the galaxy; and the entire universe. We should also note that these images are not simply presented in a s tat ic way. The Old Snow Woman w i th her swi r l ing ashen hair; the chi ld walking hasti ly, wrapped in the red blanket; the sun busily stoking his dazzling white f i re; the snow wolves ' bright tongues, lol l ing, l ike flames; the Cassiopeia stars sending 119 pulsating blue waves down to the earth, responding to the 5now Boy's greeting songs; the 5now Boy dancing up w i th rage scolding his wolves; the gleaming, white light of his shadow; the wolves darting back to their master, one of them bouncing up l ike a ball to chew off the mistletoe, which the Snow Boy f l ip s to the child; and the Snow Boy laughing and cracking his whip, which makes feather- l ike snowflakes fa l l from a l l over the blue s k y — a l l these images pulsate wi th an organic rhythm, mutually correspondent. In what seems a peaceful scene, a l l acts anticipate the impending snow storm. Just as the ancient shamans and magicians evoked the extraordinary atmosphere by swaying their s t icks and wands, the author of "The Fourth Day" makes s k i l l f u l use of these swaying and waving images to foreshadow the swi r l ing snow storm, a microcosmic re-enactment of the vort ica l play of the larger universe. Together, the chestnut tree and the h i l l constitute the axis of the cosmic sw i r l of the blizzard. The great chestnut tree as the central p i l l a r of the universe, is, in a sense, a cosmic wand that invites the cosmic snow storm. At the same time as they function as "centre" markers, the chestnut tree and the h i l l also function as "boundary" markers: Just as the child, the Snow Boy and the Old Snow Woman are "marked," so the space where the tree and the elephant-shaped h i l l exist is differentiated from "ordinary" space. Although the tree and the h i l l , when looked at from the point of view of "ordinary space," stand at i t s periphery, they can also be said to stand at the center of the entire universe insofar as they are on the boundary between this world and the other world or between this world on earth and the other world in heaven, both of which together constitute the entirety of the universe. 120 The ambiguous and paradoxical status of the tree and the h i l l , which simultaneously "mark" both the center and periphery, is one of the innumerable paradoxes of this tale. These paradoxes and ambiguities ult imately converge into the paradox of l i f e and death—which is the tale 's central theme. The great chestnut tree, a fruit-bearing tree, standing wi th the golden mist letoe and i t s red berries on the snow-covered h i l l in winter, is an apt symbol of the paradoxical unity of l i f e and death. The elephant-shaped h i l l , as we have seen earlier, has both negative and positive implications in the images of Vinayaka and Bodhisattva. The chestnut tree and the elephant-shaped, snow-covered h i l l , around which the snow storm swi r l s , are the axes where what Arnold van Gennep might ca l l "pivoting" of values takes p l a ce . 2 2 Around them the clear-cut demarcations between things such as l i f e and death, earth and sky, and day and night are obliterated. Just as elephant-shaped h i l l s have a special symbolism in Kenji ' s tales, so also do chestnut trees. In "Polano Square" (Prano no hiroba, t-°7- ? f) A ) and in "Taneyama Highland" (Taneyama ga hara, ^  iu 7 , ), we come across a haloed chestnut tree, and in "Matasaburo, the Wind Child," in which "Taneyama Highland" is included in i ts revised form, chestnut trees assume a divine aura as in the fol lowing passages: When the boys reached there [the entrance to the highland], they looked down towards the west. Beyond the hills overlapped in shades and lights stretched the real plain along the river in the hazy blue. "Say, that's a river!" " Arnold van Gennep, The Rites of Passage, trans. Monika B. Vizedom and Cabrielle L. Caffee (1909; rpt. London: RoutledgeandKegan Paul, 1960), pp. 12-13. 121 "It's like the sash of the god Kasuga," said Matasaburo. "Like what?" asked Ichiro. "Like the sash of the god Kasuga." "Have you seen a god's sash?" "I've seen one in Hokkaido." The boys had no idea about what Matasaburo was saying, and they became silent. Indeed, the place where they were standing was the entrance to the highland. In the midst of the clearing, where the grass was cleanly cut, stood a great chestnut tree with its trunk burnt black like a cave at its base and with old ropes and torn straw sandals hanging down from its boughs. (Z 10: 186) Once arriving on the highland, the boys chase some horses from the vi l lages below the h i l l . Two of the horses jump over a fence and flee. Matasaburo and Kasuke, one of the boys, chase them. Kasuke loses sight of Matasaburo in the f ie lds of t a l l th i s t les and pampas grass. Then suddenly a huge ravine appears before his eyes. The other side of the ravine disappears in the mist as i f i t is bottomless. When the wind blows, the blades of pampas grass stretch out their slender hands as far as they can, busily swaying them as if they are saying, "Ah, Mr. West! Ah, Mr. East! Ah, Mr. West! Ah, Mr. South! Ah, Mr. West!" It is so abominable a scene that Kasuke looks aside, only to see a black path in the grass. He fo l lows the path: However, the path was unreliable, for its width fluctuated from five inches to three feet and besides, it looked like it was circular. And finally it diverged into many vague paths when it reached under a huge chestnut tree whose top was burnt. Perhaps that was the gathering place of the wild horses, because it looked like a round open space in the mist. (Z 10: 191) 122 Kasuke then fa l l s down in the grass and sleeps. In his sleep he sees Matasaburo w i th his glass mantle and glass shoes on: On Matasaburo's shoulder fell a green shadow of a chestnut tree, while his shadow fell green on' the grass. The wind was blowing on and on very strongly. Matasaburo neither laughed nor spoke, but he was silently looking up at the sky with his small lips firmly closed. Suddenly he jumped up into the sky. His glass mantle glittered dazzlingly. (Z 10: 192) Opening his eyes, Kasuke sees one of the horses standing in front of him, looking sideways as if i t feared Kasuke. Kasuke jumps up to grasp i t s halter, when he hears the ca l l s of Ichiro and his brother. Later, after the boys are refreshed wi th f i re and dumplings, the sun reappears to chase away the mist, and "The blue f ie ld in the far west smiled abashed as if i t had just stopped crying, whi le the chestnut tree over there emitted a blue halo." (Z 10:195) A chestnut-tree image appears once more in the next section where the boys pick w i l d grapes after school. Here and there in a south-facing hollow stand chestnut trees, and under the chestnut trees are bushes of grape vines. The boys begin picking the grapes, but Kosuke alone has been rather mean to Matasaburo on their way to the s ite, and then Kosuke says to the other boys, "This is the place I found, so don't pick too many, 0. K.?" To this Matasaburo replies: "I am going to pick the chestnuts," and picking up a pebble he threw it at a chestnut tree. A ball of green chestnut burrs fell from the tree... Soon Kosuke passed under a chestnut tree to move on to another bush, when suddenly dewdrops showered upon him from the tree, soaking him all over 123 as if he had been dunked in water. Taken aback, with his mouth wide open, Kosuke looked up and saw that, before he knew it, Natasaburo had been up in the tree and he, too, was smirking as he wiped his face with his sleeves. (Z 10: 197) In these scenes, Kenji uses the chestnut trees to evoke the supernatural. They have a close relationship w i th the strange child, Matasaburo, whom the children believe to be the sp i r i t of the north w i n d . 2 3 It is not very d i f f i cu l t to see s im i l a r i t i e s between these scenes and the chestnut tree scene on the h i l l in "The Fourth Day." The Wind Child, Matasaburo, corresponds to the Snow Boy. Taneyama Highland, w i th i t s horses both domestic and wi ld , corresponds to the elephant-shaped h i l l w i th i t s snow wolves, whi le the bushes of the grape-vines under the chestnut trees quoted above might be compared to the mist letoe w i th the red berries. More than anything else, the chestnut trees in both works serve as center-boundary markers: they constitute the cosmic axis as we l l as both a horizontal and vert ica l boundary, or rather a bridge, between this world and ikukan. We can c i te s t i l l another tale in which chestnut trees are used to create a holy space. The last scene of "The Bears of Mt. Nametoko" is perhaps one of the most beautiful and moving scenes of i t s kind in world l iterature. Of course, to appreciate the beauty of such a scene one requires a keen, yet tender sens i t iv i ty towards l i f e in general, and part icularly towards non-human l i fe. Kojuro, the old hunter of the tale, is one such sensit ive man. Although he k i l l s bears for his livelihood, Kojuro, unlike the two hunters from Tokyo in "The Restaurant of Many Orders," does not enjoy k i l l i ng them at a l l . Rough and uncouth, but good-natured, Kojuro is one of 2 3 The fact that Matasaburo came from Hokkaido, the northern island, is suggestive in this connection. 124 the bears—he understands the bears' language and the bears seem to l ike h im—rather than one of the shrewd human beings in town. One January day on a snowy h i l l - top surrounded wi th chestnut trees and snow-capped high mountain peaks, Kojuro runs into a huge bear that attacks him l ike a black storm. His gun fa i l s , and the bear knocks him down in one mighty blow. The next moment, a great noise filled Kjuro's head and everything about him went white. Then, far off in the distance, he heard a voice saying, "Ah, Kojuro, I didn't mean to kill you." "This is death," thought Kojuro. All about him he could see light twinkling ceaselessly like blue stars. "Those are the signs that I'm dead," he thought, "the fires you see when you die. Forgive me, bears." As for what he felt from then on, I have no idea. It W8S the evening of the third day following. A moon hung in the sky like a great ball of ice. The snow was a bright bluish white, and the water gave off a phosphorescent glow. The Pleiades and Orion's belt twinkled now green, now orange, 8s though they were breathing. On the plateau on top of the mountain, surrounded by chestnut trees and snowy peaks, many great black shapes were gathered in a ring, each casting its own black shadow, each prostrate in the snow like a Muslim at prayer, never moving. And there at the highest point one might have seen, by the light of the snow and the moon, Kojuro's corpse set in a kneeling position. One might even have imagined that on Kojuro's dead, frozen face one could see a chill smile as though he were still alive. And Orion's belt moved to the center of the heavens, it tilted still further to the west, yet the great black shapes stayed quite still, as though they had turned to stone.24 Bester, Winds from Afar, p. 37. 125 From such examples, it is clear that, for Kenji, chestnut trees held considerable personal symbolic value. Certainly, they play a central role in his mandala scenes. 2 5 In the above mandala scene from "The Bears of Mt. Nametoko," KojGro's myst ic smi le can be compared to the serene smile of the Cosmic Buddha. If this scene, w i th old Kojuro's smile at i t s center, is an expression of the serene harmony of the universe, one aspect of cosmic innocence, the stormy scenes of "The Fourth Day," w i th the crackling laughter of the Snow Boy resounding throughout the tale, would be an expression of the dynamic aspect of cosmic innocence. The Snow Boy's laughter is, one might say, the comico-cosmic laughter of "chaosmos" (chaos + cosmos). His laughter is comic or playful in the sense that, unlike the serious Old Snow Woman (an adult) for whom snowing is a grave duty, the Snow Boy regards snowing as part of his play. For him, snow can be cotton candy, and he can save the child 's l i fe , laughing and disobeying the Old Snow Woman's command. His laughter is cosmic, for it can e l i c i t the response of the universe w i th the fa l l ing snow flakes. Af ter the chaotic snowstorm, the Snow Boy again laughs in the rosy morning sunlight that has restored the cosmic harmony, signifying the creation of the world. His laughter, so to 2 5 It is also interesting to note, in passing, that for the haiku poet, Basho, the chestnut tree carried Buddhist implications in that the character for chestnut (Japan. : kuri) consists of the two radicals: one for west , the other for tree , which associates the tree with the Amidist Western Paradise as well as with the Buddha's alleged enlightenment under the Boddhi tree. For further discussion on the chestnut tree symbolism in Basho, see William R. LaFleur, The Karma of Words: Buddhism and the Literary Arts in Medieval Japan (Berkely Los Angeles London: University of California Press, 1983), pp. 149-159. 126 speak, is that of the universe i t s e l f — t h e universe which in real i ty may be neither chaos (death) nor cosmos ( l i fe), but "chaosmos." The Snow Boy's laughter symbolizes or expresses the se l f - referent ia l laughter of the universe, or more exactly Kenji 's universe, which has nothing else but i t se l f to laugh at. We have already touched on this se l f - referr ing aspect in the make-up of Kenji 's universe in the previous chapter, using such analogies as the Mbbius str ip, M. C. Escher's pictures, and autophagy. We can apply the idea of self-reference to the relationships between the Snow Boy and the chi ld and between Kojuro and the bears. In the latter case, the autophagic mutual k i l l i ng of the hunter and the bears and their mutual forgiveness and worship in the tale 's last scene greatly enhances the sense of cosmic innocence and l i fe , whi le in the case of the former, the Snow Boy in the end saves his double, thus accentuating the rebirth and rejuvenation of the chi ld and the universe. In both cases we can perceive almost intuit ively that Kojuro (man) and the bears (nature or the universe), the Snow Boy (nature) and the chi ld (man) are in the relationship of 127 Interpenetration, and thus we cannot distinguish one from the other even using Russel 's d ist inct ion of logical t yp ing . 2 6 The heightened sense of l i f e and cosmic Innocence In "The Fourth Day of the Month of Daffodils" is enhanced by the "sandwiching" structure of the tale: at f i r s t we have a peaceful scene of a snow-covered plain, then the violent chaos of the bl izzard, fol lowed by the restored peace and order. Underlying this kind of l inear -cyc l ic or dlachronlc Interpretation of the time scheme of the tale Is the synchronic or cosmo-mystlc t ime scheme: time, or rather non-time, expressed In the se l f - k i l l i ng , self-saving, s e l f -referr ing cosmic laughter of the Snow Boy, who, l ike the snow, both k i l l s and protects the child. The chestnut trees and the h i l l in their ambiguous status as the center-periphery also Indicate this point. "The Fourth Day" ends w i th an ambiguous line: "The chi ld seemed to s t i r a l i t t l e . And the figure in furs came running for a l l i t was wo r t h . " 2 7 The demarcation of l i f e and death in "The Fourth Day" Is ambiguous, but i t Is perhaps this ambiguity 2 6 Referring to this "incapability of decision" involving the difference between hierarchies or the levels of logical typing, Karatani Kojin, a Japanese literary critic, writes: "Laughter, too, is fundamentally based on the inescapable paradox. Man laughs not because he is free but because he is destined to have this 'incapability of decision,' which machinery does not possess. To put it differently, it is exactly this human condition that makes man free, 8nd there is not even a necessity for us to eagerly regain our 'freedom.'" Karatani Kojin jffc^ A. . "Gengo to iu nazo" % t i ' h "Ijfe, , (An enigma called language), originally published in Chuokoron » ( T n e central review), March, 1982, and later included in his Invu to shite no  kenchiku fj^ xzjfc X. 11 J) ^ (Architecture ss a metaphor) (1983; rpt. Kodansha, 1984), p. 188. 2 7 Bester,p.164. 128 that underlies and generates the tension between l i f e and death, intensifying the sense of l i f e (or rather L i fe that subsumes both l i f e and death) a l l the more: the Snow Boy cries, "Your father is coming. You must wake up now!" "racing up the hil lock in a column of powdery s n o w " 2 8 and the child 's father, described ambiguously as "the figure in furs," comes running wi th a l l his might. 2 8 Bester, p. 164. 129 Chapter 4 The Symbolism of Death and Rebirth in "The Night of the Milky Way Railroad" In the last scene of "The Night of the Milky Way Railroad," we find Giovanni, the young hero of the tale, also running w i th a l l his might towards home, where his sick mother awaits him on the night of the Centaur Festival. If Giovanni runs energetically, i t is because he has just "returned" from a journey into the realm of death, a journey which has le f t him rejuvenated, or even reborn. Like "The Fourth Day," "The Night" is also central ly concerned wi th the issue of rebirth, and though in a more subdued and grave manner, i t , too, deals w i th the cosmic theme of what Mita Munesuke would ca l l "sonzai no matsuri " ( l it. the fest iva l of ex i s tence ) 1 —or in i t iat ion through death and rebirth. In his recent travels, Giovanni has undergone just such an in it iat ion, and thus, as he runs for home, he is, in fact, running back into sonzai no matsuri. But before analysing how Kenji develops this theme in detai l , let us f i r s t recal l the main narrative elements of "The N ighf ' 2 "Well, then, everyone, what do you think this misty, white thing is which is said to be a r iver or a trace left by f lowing mi lk? " (Z 10: 123), says 1 Mita Munesuke jf, VJ3 yfp , Miyazawa Kenii: sonzai no matsuri no naka e >X. ? a. *f3-ff\ 0)^ (Miyazawa Kenji: into the festival of existence) (Iwanami Shoten, 1984), pp. 163-206. 2 Kenji kept revising this tale almost until the last moment of his death. Here, we will use what is considered to be the tale's final form by the editors of the Kohon zenshu. with occasional references to what is considered to be the early version in the ninth volume of the Kohon zenshu. 130 Giovanni's teacher to his class In the f i r s t chapter of the tale. Giovanni thinks that he knows what "the white thing" is, but when pressed by the teacher to answer, he hesitates and cannot. Indeed he is too t ired and sleepy at school to answer any of the teacher's questions properly or to play w i th his friends, part icularly w i th Campanella, whose father, a doctor, used to be a good friend of Giovanni's father. With his father away in the North Sea and his mother sick in bed, Giovanni has to work before and after school to support the family. And because he does not play w i th his friends, they begin to ostracize him; thus when Giovanni is unable to answer his teacher's question, Zanneri, one of his classmates, sneers at him. But soon real iz ing that no one can answer his question, the teacher provides the answer himself, explaining: "If you see this misty white river through a good telescope, a big one, you'll see lots of small stars. Isn't that right, Giovanni?" . . . The teacher continued. "So, if you consider this heavenly river to be a real river, each of these small stars corresponds to the sand and the pebbles on the river's bed. And if we take it to be a huge flow of milk, then that comparison would describe it more accurately. I mean, those stars all correspond to the tiny bits of oil that float in the milk. What corresponds to the water of the river, then? Well, it is called "a vacuum," a thing which propagates light at a certain speed, and our earth and the sun are also floating in it. In other words, we are also living in the water of the Milky Way. And if we look around from within the water, just as water looks bluer the deeper the water is, so the farther or deeper the bottom of the Milky Way, the more the stars appear to be densely gathered, and thus the more that part looks misty and white. Look at this model." 131 The teacher pointed to a large double convex lens with many shining grains of sand in it. "The shape of the Milky Way is just like this. Let's say that each of these shiny grains of sand is a star that emits light by itself—like our sun. Our sun is situated in about the middle of this lens, and the earth is right next to it. Suppose that you stood in the middle of it at night and looked around yourself. Then because this side is thin, you could see only a small number of stars, whereas these sides are thick, so you would see lots of shining sands or stars and the farther ends of those sides would look hazily white. This is the theory of the Milky Way of today. As to the question of how big this lens is in reality or as to the various stars in it, we are running out of time, so we shall talk about these matters next time. Today is the festival of the Milky Way, so everyone should go out and take a good look at the sky. That's all for today. Put away your books and notebooks." (Z 10: 124-125) Chapter 2 is entit led "Printing House." Leaving his friends, who are talking about the lantern-f loating that is to take place that night, Giovanni stalks out of the school gate and into the town. He goes into the printing house where he works, and finds that even though i t is s t i l l day time, lamps are l i t and workers are chanting and counting as if singing along w i th the noises of the rotary presses, which, wi th their wheels spinning, are busily at work. Giovanni works there unti l about s ix o'clock. Then, receiving some s i lver, he drops by a bakery to buy a loaf of bread and a bag of cubed sugar and runs straight home. In Chapter 3, entit led "Home," we discover that Giovanni's mother is s ick in bed, her face covered w i th a piece of white cloth. Giovanni talks to her about his father, who, he believes, is soon to return home from a fishing expedition to the North Sea. Giovanni's classmates disagree and say that his father i s not fishing, but is actually in j a i l in the north, and i t is for this 132 reason that they so frequently tease him. Giovanni t r ies to deny this rumour, c i t ing such evidence as the specimens of giant crab or the reindeer antlers donated by Giovanni's father to the school. Giovanni then te l l s his mother about Campanella and his model train that is powered by an alcohol lamp on a c i rcu lar ra i l . Following this, he mentions the f loating of gourd lanterns on the r iver that is to take place for the fest iva l of the Milky Way. He wishes, he says, to see the lanterns on his way to fetch milk for his mother. His mother consents but warns against entering the river. Promising that he w i l l be back in an hour and a half, Giovanni goes out the dark doorway of his house. The fourth chapter is entit led, "The Night of the Centaur Festival." As he walks down a slope lined by black cypress trees towards the center of the town, Giovanni begins to imitate the movement of a locomotive. At the bottom of the slope is a lamp post, and as he passes i t , his shadow quickly c i rc les around him, once behind but now in front. Suddenly Zanneri appears and again teases him about his father. Dejected by the teasing, Giovanni passes in front of a jewel lery store and stops. There his attention is caught by many wonders: an owl-shaped clock, w i th i t s red eyes c i rc l ing round once every second; glistening jewels, shimmering br i l l i ant ly l ike stars, a l l displayed on a rotating, sea-green plate of glass; a model of a centaur, revolving s lowly on a turntable, coming steadily around towards him. Placed in the center of these is a round planisphere, decorated wi th asparagus leaves, and on the planisphere is a picture of the Milky Way, drawn l ike a hazy sash, i ts lower end blurred and indist inct as if many tiny explosions were occuring. Behind the planisphere is a telescope, glowing yel low on i t s three-legged stand, and on the farthest wa l l hang drawings of a l l the constellations, in the forms of mysterious creatures and beasts. 133 Giovanni watches these models and pictures in a state of semi-trance, wishing that he could travel on and on endlessly through the night sky w i th the centaur and the other imaginary constellation-creatures. But then, suddenly remembering the milk he is to fetch for his mother, he leaves the store and walks through the town, which, decorated wi th green f i r and oak leaves and i l luminations, looks l ike a mermaid palace under the sea. In the town children merri ly run around whist l ing the song of stars and shouting, "Centaur, send down dew drops!" whi le burning f i reworks of magnesia. Giovanni, however, total ly immersed in different matters, hurries towards the pasture at the edge of the town, where poplar trees stand t a l l , pointing up against the starry night sky. He enters the dark gate of the pasture and approaches a farm house. There he asks for the milk which was to be delivered to his house during the day. But the farm house is hushed. It is as if no one were there, and the woman, who, at Giovanni"s second ca l l , f ina l ly does come out, comes out s lowly, looking very i l l and weak. She says that she knows nothing about his milk and that no one except herself is there at the moment. She then disappears l ike a ghost, leaving the boy at a loss. Following this, Giovanni leaves the house and goes back to the town, where a group of his classmates make fun of him once more. Zanneri is among them, and Giovanni also notices his closest friend, Campanella, who, together w i th the other boys, disappears towards a bridge over the river, where they Intend to f loat their gourd lanterns. Rejected by his friends, the boy f lees to the edge of the town. There, in the early version of the work, he finds a r iver running over a vague white riverbed and a bridge w i th an iron ra i l ing crossing over it. Giovanni crosses the bridge and runs, again wi th a l l his might, towards a dark h i l l . 134 Chapter 5 Is entit led, "The P i l l a r of the Weather Wheel" or l i tera l ly , "The P i l l a r of the Heavenly Atmospheric Wheel" (Tenkirin no hashira, <r> jtlL ). As Giovanni cl imbs up a path through a grove of dark pine and Japanese oak trees, he suddenly comes upon an open space on the h i l l s summit. Wild f lowers are blooming as if they have fragrantly come out of a dream world and a bird chirps over the h i l l . Here, under the Great Bear of the North, stands the P i l l a r of the Weather Wheel. Exhausted, Giovanni throws himself onto the cold grass at the foot of the p i l l a r and cools his body, which is throbbing from the exertion of climbing. From the top of the h i l l , he can see the l ights of the town shimmering as if they were undersea palaces or the Milky Way, and he can hear faint fragments of children's songs and whist les, carried on the winds from afar that gently sway the grass and cool his sweat-soaked shirt. The sounds of a tra in also reach his ears from the faraway fields. Giovanni sees a row of bright yel low windows on the train, and imagines the passengers who are probably peeling apples, talking to each other and laughing. This makes him feel sad beyond description, and he looks up at the Milky Way. The blue Lyre's legs stretch and shrink l ike a mushroom, and the l ights of the town below become blurred into a big lump of smoke. In the next chapter, ent it led "Galaxy Station," Giovanni hears from somewhere a strange voice cal l ing, "Galaxy Station! Galaxy Station!" and suddenly a blinding explosion of light takes place before his eyes. Before he knows what has happened, Giovanni finds himself on a night train. In front of him is a t a l l child, st ick ing his head out the window. His jacket looks black as i f he had gone through water. The boy turns out to be Campanella, w i th whom Giovanni w i l l travel for the rest of the journey. Giovanni's tra in runs through a f ie ld of s i lvery pampas grass, dotted here and there w i th 135 yellow-bottomed cups of gentians. He can also see the mult i-coloured signals w i th various colours and the water of the Galaxy, which is transparent l ike hydrogen, yet g l i tter ing purple and rainbow-coloured from time to t ime depending on the angle of his view point. Excited, Giovanni br iskly shakes his head, which makes the colours in the f i e ld blink and quiver as i f they are breathing. Chapter 7 is entit led, "Northern Cross and Beach Pliocene." "Wi l l my mom forgive me?" Campanella says abruptly. "I w i l l do anything to make my mom happy. But what w i l l indeed make her happy?" Surprised by this, Giovanni shouts, "Nothing Is wrong wi th your mom, is i t ? " "I don't know, but anyone who has done something really good becomes happiest, doesn't he? So I believe that my mom w i l l forgive me," says Campanella as if he were f i rmly determined about something. Suddenly the inside of the tra in becomes bright. In the f low of the Milky Way is an island w i th a bluish white halo r i s ing up from i t , and on top of the island is serenely standing a beautiful, white cross capped wi th a clear-cut, golden aureole. The cross looks as if i t were cast in the frozen clouds of the North Pole. From in front of and behind the boys r ise the voices of prayer, "Hallelujah! Hallelujah!" Campanella's cheeks brighten l ike ripe red apples. But soon the t ra in leaves the island of the cross behind and stops at Swan Station in front of the large clock that says 11 o'clock. Getting off the train, Giovanni and Campanella go to the shore of the Milky Way, where an archeologist is excavating something w i th his assistants: "Are you on school excursion?" said the scholarly looking man to Oiovanni and Campanella, his glasses flashing. "You saw a lot of walnuts over there, didn't you? 136 They are, I'd say, about one million, two hundred thousand years old. They are very young. This area used to be a seashore about a million, two hundred thousand years ago, that is, soon after the tertiary period, and so you can dig out seashells from the ground. Just where the river flows brine water was flowing and ebbing. You mean this beast? This is called,. . . hey, don't use a pickax there. Work gently with a chisel.... This is called bosu. the ancestor of the present ox, and there were lots of these before." "Are you going to make it a specimen, sir?" "No. I need it for evidence. I mean, to us this place is made of a beautiful, thick stratum and provides us with various proofs to support the theory that this area was made about a million, two hundred thousand years ago. But to others, does this area still appear to be such a stratum? Or does it not perhaps look like winds, water or empty space or something? Got it? However,... hey, you. You can't use a shovel there, either. Don't you remember that the ribs are buried underneath?" The bachelor of science scurried away from the boys. (Z 10: 142) Giovanni and Campanella return to the train. Chapter 8 is entit led, "The Bird Catcher." "Is i t alright if I s i t down here?" says a coarse, yet gentle voice behind the boys (Z 10: 143). The owner of the voice is a red-bearded man wi th a crooked back and shabby clothes. He has bundles strung on his shoulder. He explains that he is a bird catcher who catches various birds such as cranes, geese, swans and herons on the shore of the Milky Way. These he presses for preservation, and what is strange is that when Giovanni eats some of the birds the bird catcher has given him they taste l ike chocolate or some other sweet. What is more, according to the bird catcher, the birds around the Milky Way are made of the sands of the Milky Way. Giovanni and Campanella witness the truth of 137 the bird catcher's words when he disappears suddenly and stands on the shore of the Milky Way to catch herons: "He is over there. It's very strange, isn't it? He must be about to catch birds again. I hope the birds come down before the train runs away." The moment [Giovanni] said this, herons that looked like the ones they saw a while ago came down all over the place with rasping cries from the empty, dark violet sky as if they were snow flakes. (Z 10: 147) The bird catcher catches the herons one after another and puts them in the bag. Then the birds f l i cker blue in the bag a few moments l ike glow worms, but in the end they turn vaguely white and close their eyes. Most of the birds that are not caught by the catcher land on the sands of the shore. As soon as their legs touch the sands, they melt l ike snow leaving only the outline of their shapes on the sands, and after f l icker ing bright and dark a few times they become ass imi lated into the ground. The bird catcher returns to the train in the twinkl ing of an eye. "How did you come here a l l at once from over there?" Giovanni asks. To this the bird catcher answers, "Well, I'm here because I wanted to come over here. Where on earth are you from?" (Z 10: 148) Chapter 9, the last and the longest chapter, is entit led, "Giovanni's Ticket." While the boys and the bird catcher are talking about the observatory that stands in the middle of the Milky Way, the conductor of the train comes around to examine t ickets. Both the bird catcher and Campanella produce their t ickets from their pockets w i th a matter -o f - fact a i r to show them to the conductor, but Giovanni is upset and fidgets. Finally, in his confusion, he puts his hand in the pocket of his jacket, and to his surprise he finds a post-card s ize sheet of paper folded in four. He 138 hands i t to the conductor, who scrutinizes it carefully, whi le eagerly tidying the buttons and other parts of his uniform. "Did you bring this from the third dimensional space?" asks the conductor. "I real ly don't know," answers Giovanni. "Very we l l , sir. We'll arrive at Southern Cross in the third hour." With this the conductor leaves Giovanni and Campanella. The piece of paper which was in Giovanni's pocket has black arabesque a l l over i t , and about ten strangely shaped characters are printed in the middle of the design. These characters are highly unusual, for if you look at them quietly, i t feels as if you were being sucked into them. The bird catcher, who has been watching the paper from the side, says to Giovanni, "My, this is something! This t icket w i l l even allow you to go to Heaven. No, not only to Heaven, but to any place. No wonder that you can travel anywhere on such an incomplete, fourth dimensional fantasy Railroad. Aren't you something!" Giovanni suddenly feels sorry for this bird catcher, who works so hard catching birds and who so kindly f l a t ter s Giovanni about his t icket. Giovanni thinks that he would l ike to give the bird catcher anything he has or catch birds for him, standing on the shore of the Milky Way, for 100 years. But when he looks back at the bird catcher to ask him what he wants, the bird catcher Is gone. Immediately after this, the boys smell the fragrance of apples and w i l d roses, when a l l at once there appears in front of them a bare-footed boy of about s ix w i th black hair and a red jacket. The boy looks very surprised and is trembling. Beside the boy stands a t a l l young man, holding the boy's hand f irmly. And behind the young man is a g i r l of about 12 wi th brown eyes, holding the man's arm. The young man lets the boy and the g i r l s i t beside Giovanni and Campanella, respectively. The lighthouse keeper, s i t t ing behind them, asks where they are from. The young man, who turns 139 out to be the tutor of the children, explains that their boat had coll ided w i th an iceberg and they had been drowned before they came to the sky. Upon hearing the young man's story, the lighthouse keeper offers everyone big, beautiful apples—red and gold in co lour—which he has had on his lap. The lighthouse keeper explains: Around here they also do farming, but there is a tacit understanding that most of the time plants grow by themselves, yielding good crops. Farming does not require too much effort. Usually, if you sow the seeds you choose, they quickly grow by themselves. Even rice, unlike that grown in the Pacific region, is huskless and ten times as big and smells good. However, in the place you are heading for, there is no agriculture any more. Food, whether it's an apple or a cake, does not leave any waste, so depending on the individual, it turns into various fragrances to evaporate from the person's pores. (Z 10: 155) When the passengers peel the apples that the lighthouse keeper has given them, the peels evaporate into the air before they reach the floor. A f te r this, various scenes appear and disappear one after another outside the tra in windows. These scenes include a beautiful wood of red shining f ru i t on the other side of the river, many magpies perched on the shore of the river, peacocks, and a man w i th a red hat who is signall ing w i th red and green flags to the migratory birds that cross the river. While watching these scenes and l istening to the sound of hymns that they had also heard at the beginning of their journey, Campanella and the g i r l s i t t ing next to him merr i ly converse w i th each other. Giovanni feels le f t out, and tears wel l up in his eyes, which makes the Milky Way look blurred and far away. 140 Then the train gradually turns away from the r iver and runs instead along a c l i f f . 5oon i t stops at a small station in the middle of corn f ields, in front of a clock that indicates the second hour. Within the train one can hear the New World Symphony and the passengers, a l l except Giovanni and Campanella, are peacefully asleep. Giovanni thinks that this may be the highland of Colorado. Indeed an Indian appears outside the window, dancing. This awakens the passengers. The Indian soon shoots an arrow into the sky, which brings down a crane. The Indian catches the fa l l ing bird in his arms. From here, the train goes rapidly down the highland towards the river. When the train reaches the river, the passengers witness an engineering corps who are using dynamite to build a bridge. The explosion blows water—and wi th i t many big trout and salmon—up into the air. This cheers Giovanni, who has so far been rather sulky because Campanella is so friendly w i th the g i r l . Suddenly the outside of the windows f lares up bright and red. The light comes from a crimson f i re, cal led the 5corpion*s Fire, that Is burning on the other side of the river. The story of the Scorpion's Fire, as is retold by the g i r l who heard It from her father, is as fol lows: Once upon a time in a field named Bardora there lived a scorpion. He lived on small worms and insects, but one day a weasel found him and chased after him. The scorpion ran and ran but was finally caught by the weasel and was about to be eaten, when he fell into a well. In the well, he began to drown. Thereupon he said, "Ah! How many lives have I taken so far? However, when I was about to be eaten by the weasel I desperately tried to escape, but finally ended up falling into such a situation. Ah! Nothing is reliable in this world. Why didn't I give my body to the weasel quietly? Then the weasel would have lived one day longer. Oh, God, 141 please look Into my heart. Next time please let me not waste my life in such a vain way, but please use my body for the sake of the true happiness of all beings." Then the scorpion found his body in flames, emitting beautiful crimson hues that illuminated the dark night around him. He is still burning. (Z 10: 163) As the Scorpion's Fire passes out of sight, the passengers hear sounds and noises of people and music, as if the train is nearing a town where a fest iva l or something of the sort is taking place. "Centaur, send down your dew!" suddenly cr ies the boy who has been s i t t ing beside Giovanni and has been sleeping. "Ah, yes. Tonight is the night of the Centaur Fest ival, isn't i t ? " "Yea, this must be the vi l lage of Centaur," replies Campanella immediately (Z 10: 164). The young man te l l s the boy and the g ir l to make themselves ready because the train w i l l soon arrive at Southern Cross. The train then stops in front of a shining cross w i th a pale ring of apple-flesh coloured clouds c irculat ing around i t s top, and here, the young man and his pupils, together w i th the other passengers, get off the train, leaving Campanella and Giovanni alone. Soon after their train leaves Southern Cross, the boys observe a "black hole": "Oh, that is the 'Coal Sack," the hole of the sky," said Campanella as he pointed to one part of the Milky Way, while slightly averting his eyes from that direction. Giovanni, looking in that direction, was startled. There was a great, black hole in one place in the Milky Way. However hard one might try to discern how deep the hole was or what hid in its depths, one could not see anything. The attempt only hurt one's eyes. Giovanni said, "I am no longer afraid of being in that kind of huge darkness. I'm determined to go in there, looking for the true happiness of all beings. Campanella, let's go forward on and on—the two of us, OK?" "Surely we 142 shall. Oh, how pretty the field over there is! See, all of them have gathered together there. That must be the real heaven. Look! That's my mother. She is over there!" Campanella suddenly cried, pointing to the beautiful field they could see far away outside the window. (Z 10: 167) Giovanni also looks in that direction, but the only thing that he can see there is misty whiteness. Giovanni feels unbearably sad and lonely, when he notices two e lect r ic poles standing side by side on the other side of the river. With their red crossarms extending to each other, they look as if they are arm-in-arm wi th each other. "Campanella, let ' s go forward together, shall we?" Giovanni turns around to Campanella, but Campanella is not there any more. Giovanni gets up l ike a shot and, st ick ing his body out the window, shouts w i th a l l his might and starts crying. Giovanni opens his eyes and finds himself lying in the grass on top of the h i l l , his cheeks cold w i th tears but his heart strangely hot. The town looks almost the same as i t did before he f e l l asleep a whi le ago—just a l i t t l e more heated than before—and the Milky Way also spans vaguely white across the whole sky. At the place where the sky meets the horizon i t i s part icularly hazy, and on the right are the sc int i l lat ing, beautiful red stars of the Scorpion. It seems that the entire constellation has barely moved. Suddenly remembering his mother, wait ing a l l this t ime without supper, Giovanni runs down the h i l l to the pasture at the edge of the town. He stands in front of the cowshed, where there is a man wi th large white trousers on. The man looks as if he has just returned from somewhere. Giovanni receives a bottle of milk which is s t i l l hot and comes to the crossing in the town where he had previously seen Campanella and his other classmates going to the r iver to f loat lanterns. There is a group of women huddled together, whispering to each other and looking in the direction of 143 the bridge, and one of them te l l s Giovanni that a boy f e l l into the river. Giovanni runs down the riverbed and runs into Marso, who was wi th Campanella when Giovanni lef t them. Marso informs Giovanni that Campanella jumped Into the water to save Zanneri, who f e l l In the water and was drowning. Zanneri was saved, but Campanella disappeared under the water. The townspeople, including Campanella's father, a doctor, have been searching for Campanella for some time now. At this news Giovanni is so shocked that his legs quake. Downstream, the dark r iver fu l ly ref lects the Milky Way and, as i t is, looks l ike the water less night sky. Giovanni somehow feels strongly that Campanella is no longer anywhere but at the farthest edge of the Milky Way ref lected in the river. Campanella's father, holding a watch in his hand, says f i rmly, "It's hopeless now because 45 minutes have passed since my son fe l l in." Giovanni goes running to him, wanting to te l l him that he knows in which direction Campanella has gone, but his throat chokes. Apparently thinking that Giovanni has come to greet him, Campanella's father thanks Giovanni for coming to help look for Campanella. The tale ends w i th the fol lowing passage: "Has your father returned yet?" the doctor asked Giovanni, as he held his watch firmly in his hand. "No, sir," Giovanni faintly shook his head. "Isn't it strange? I received a letter from your father the day before yesterday, in which he wrote that he was doing very well. He should have arrived around today. The boat must have been delayed, I believe. Giovanni, please come to my house with your friends tomorrow after school." With these words the doctor 144 again cast his gaze downstream where the Milky Way was reflected all over the surface of the water. Giovanni's heart was filled with so many things that he could not say 8 word; he left Campanella's father and, thinking that as soon as possible he would take the milk to his mother and let her know that his father would return, he ran along the riverbed towards the town with all his might. (Z 10: 171) As is clear from the above outline, "The Night" may be divided roughly into three parts: the prelude to Giovanni's dream (Chapters 1-5); the world of the dream (Chapters 6-9); and Giovanni's awakening (the last few pages of Chapter 9). In the introductory part, Kenji uses symbolic images in such a way that the reader, together w i th the hero, is easi ly drawn into the world of the dream. Furthermore, the images presented in this part often echo those presented in the later chapters, thus forming a microcosm to the macrocosm of the whole of the tale. The f i r s t chapter, entit led "The Afternoon Class," immediately draws our attention in that i t establishes, from the very beginning, the central images of milk and the Milky Way in both the reader's and Giovanni's minds through the teacher's question and explanation. In this chapter, many other images and elements carry symbolic implications. For instance, the space and time of the "afternoon class" are significant. The classroom is a place of in i t iat ion where Giovanni goes through such t r i a l s as the teacher's question and Zanneri's derision. Being afternoon, when the senses begin to be lul led, the time is also suitable for the init iat ion. The misty, white picture of the galaxy hung on the blackboard, together w i th Giovanni's hazy, fatigued consciousness, create an oneiric atmosphere. If we add to this Giovanni's memory of the photograph of the Milky Way that he saw w i th Campanella at the latter ' s house, we can say that the pattern of Giovanni's 145 in it iatory journey wi th Campanella that occurs in his dream of the Milky Way is already anticipated here on a microcosmic scale. In his dream, Giovanni's journey takes place outside the classroom, after he experiences such hardships as the i l lness of his mother, the absence of his father, and the ostracism of his friends. In the early version of the tale, during Giovanni's dream, a slender man w i th a ce l lo - l i ke voice teaches him of the ult imate make-up of the universe and of his mission in l i f e before al lowing Giovanni to return to this world. Can we not see a resemblance between this slender man and the teacher of the afternoon class, who, after explaining the structure of the universe to Giovanni and the other boys, sends them into the town? There Is another correspondence between the smal l - sca le in i t iat ion in the afternoon class and the large-scale in i t iat ion in Giovanni's dream: after both in it iat ions Giovanni returns to his mother. The image of returning, in turn, corresponds to the c i rcular image of the gigantic vortex of the galactic universe—the tale 's central Image. In the introductory chapters, we can see many other Images of c i rc les and cycles both large and smal l , a l l of which appear to ref lect the macrocosmlc vortex of the galaxy. These images support the theme of in i t iat ion in various ways. In the f i r s t place, they form a close relationship w i th the hero's fatigue and his lul led consciousness, which are indispensable for his sleep or trance in Chapter 5. This i s because gyrations cause dizziness and a dimming of consciousness. The f i r s t image of rotation and c i rc le in the tale appears In Chapter I in the form of the round double convex lens used as a model of the Milky Way. This model is related to dizziness not only because i t is round, but also simply because i t is a model. A model or imitat ion is a kind of mimicry, and i t i s we l l known that imitat ion and mimicry often accompany 146 fest iva ls , in which trance is a central aspect. 3 This galactic model may be a goshintai jfcf^fyty (a holy object in which a deity resides) of the Milky Way Festival. Furthermore, together w i th other model images that appear later on, i t has the effect of destroying our ordinary sense of time and space through i t s micro-macro relationship w i th the real galaxy. In other words, w i th this galactic model, and w i th the teacher's explanation, the reader as we l l as Giovanni has the i l lus ion of looking down at the Milky Way from the outside and looking up at it from the inside simultaneously. Up and down are reversed, just as in dizziness. The numbing of the senses through the images of c i rc les and revolution, which often overlap w i th the images of models, i s repeated and strengthened in the subsequent chapters. In Chapter 2, entit led "Printing House," although it is s t i l l daytime, the lights are on and many rotary presses are at work w i th their wheels spinning noisi ly, whi le the adults read and count something as if they are singing. The confusion of day and night, the spinning of the rotary presses, the voices of the people that sound like incantation or sutra reading—al l of these further numb Giovanni's senses, making him feel dizzy and sleepy. In Chapter 3, "The Home," we find the image of a model train that runs on c i rcular ra i l s , which, of course, foreshadows the Milky Way Railroad in Giovanni's dream, and Giovanni mentions his paper route: "Even now, I go circulat ing papers every morning, you know" (ima mo mai asa shinbun o mawashi ni iku yo... \ fc^N^fl %f]ffj\ £ -% \X ^ r - f t < & )- Also in the fourth chapter, "The Night of the Centaur Festival," mimes and models are related to dizziness. Going down 3 See Roger Caillois, Man. Play, and Games, trans. Meyer Barash (New York: The Free Press of Glencoe, 1961), Chapt. 7. 147 the slope of cypress trees, Giovanni mimics a locomotive, whi le his shadow, in turn, imitates the boy's movement, and as he passes the lamp post, i t quickly c i rc les around from behind until i t is in front of him. Is Giovanni's ghost-l ike shadow his double that goes on the night journey in the boy's dream while his body is fast asleep, lying on the h i l l ? Or is his shadow his only friend, conjured up out of his loneliness? Or Is i t l i te ra l l y foreshadowing Campanella's sp i r i t , who Is to journey w i th him on the Milky Way Railroad? Perhaps, i t embodies a l l of these. At the bottom of the slope, Giovanni again comes across the images of c i rc les and rotations. We have already touched on the owl-c lock w i th i t s red eyes c i rc l ing each second, the jewels displayed on a rotating plate, and the centaur model revolving on a turntable that Giovanni sees in the display window of the jewel lery store. What is notable in this scene is that, just as in the case of the galactic model in the f i r s t chapter, the author manipulates these images in such a way that the sense of space of the hero as we l l as of the reader is "confused" before he knows it. It is not a mere coincidence that the jewel lery shop is located at the bottom of the slope. Nor is i t accidental that the jewel lery table, which reminds us of the lens of the galactic model, has a deep sea green colour, and that the air in the town is "crystal clear, f lowing through the stores and the streets just l ike water. . . making the place look as if i t i s palace of mermaids." The yel low telescope, which makes things look large, and the constellation map wi th i t s images of strange ce lest ia l creatures are also effect ive in deranging our ordinary sense of space. Needless to say, the reversal of "up" and "down" is closely related to the image of rotation. If our sense of space is put out of order, i t naturally fo l lows that our sense of t ime is also confused. The fact that Giovanni forgets himself in 148 front of the jewel lery store Is suggestive. Indeed, in this tale two kinds of t ime are operating, sometimes merging wi th, and at other t imes diverging from each other: one is ordinary time, the other, extraordinary. To the former belong such elements as light, consciousness, rat ional ity and l i f e , whereas to the latter belong darkness, death, etc. We could also ca l l the former the t ime of mundane l i f e and the latter, holy time or the time of r i tual and fest ival. In the f i r s t chapter of this work, the dist incton between mundane and holy t ime is blurred. The afternoon class is the t ime when Giovanni becomes sleepy, for i t is the time when evening is approaching, but i t is also the space of mundane time. The students have to use their rat ional ity in the classroom, whi le the teacher says, "As to the various stars in i t [the model] I w i l l touch on i t in the next lesson, for we're running out of time now." In the fol lowing chapter, "The Printing House," as we have seen, fest iva l time is dominant—the order of day and night is reversed and the wheels of the rotary presses are busily spinning, but on the other hand we could say that the movable types partake of rational ity; also Giovanni leaves the house "soon after the 6 o'clock chime of the clock," and so in a sense, Giovanni has returned to the time of every-day l i fe. In the third chapter, "The House," Giovanni's s ick mother is lying in bed w i th her face covered w i th white cloth, thus evoking the atmosphere of the house of the dead or of a funeral ceremony. In other words, the t ime of the dead (or of the extraordinary and of the r itual) as opposed to that of l i f e or of the ordinary is dominant in this chapter. At the same time, however, Giovanni and his mother operate on the level of ordinary time when they talk about Giovanni's s i ster, who left the house around 3 o'clock, or about his school excursion the year before last, or about his going out on an errand for an hour and a half that night. 149 In the fourth chapter, Giovanni descends into fest iva l time, the t ime (or rather, non-time) of the unconscious. But in the f low of this fest iva l t ime Giovanni finds the jewel lery store. Interestingly enough, in the shop window, where Giovanni sees an owl clock whose eyes rotate every seconds he also finds the various models and images that hypnotize him Into the dream world. It is in front of this jewel lery store that Giovanni both fa l l s into a daydream and suddenly comes back to real i ty ("then, suddenly remembering the milk he is to fetch for his mother, he [Giovanni] leaves the store..."). The jewel lery store scene constitutes a good example of the intertwining of these two kinds of time. A f te r this scene and unti l Giovanni f a l l s asleep, dream time becomes predominant, and only rarely does ordinary time show i t se l f on the surface of the story. The images of the Great Bear and Pleiades may be hinting s l ight ly at the latter kind of time, but in fact these images are more strongly expressive of dream time. In Giovanni's dream, something quite akin to the t ime of everyday l i f e i s often mentioned in such expressions as "arr ival at exactly 11 o'clock" and "30-minute stop." But this, combined wi th Campanella's father 's words, "It's hopeless now because 45 minutes have past since my son f e l l in," uttered after Giovanni's awakening, may be a device to strengthen the impression of how the t ime covered in the dream is long or "timeless." The subtle interaction of the two types of time in this tale suggests that, underlying what is thought to be ordinary time f lows extraordinary or " t imeless " time. We could, in fact, say that ordinary t ime symbolizes extraordinary t ime in this work. The tale 's last scene, in which the boundless f low of the Milky Way merges w i th the l imited f low of the r iver 150 on earth, forming a gigantic c i rc le of heaven and earth, is a typical example of such symbolism. The interaction and conflation of t ime and space in the everyday consciousness and in the unconscious are also symbolized by the image of the Centaur. The model of the Centaur, the surreal i st ic, imaginary creature in Greek mythology, which Giovanni sees in the show window of the jewel lery shop, is an image appropriate to the context of a dream. The Centaur is, after a l l , a combination of the human (consciousness) and the beast (the unconscious), and dreams are usually born in the borderland between the conscious and the unconscious. The Centaur is therefore an apt symbol of the unity of ordinary and extraordinary time. Perhaps this is also one reason that Kenji uses "The Centaur Fest ival " and "The Milky Way Fest ival " synonymously, and that the former becomes the t i t l e of the fourth chapter. It fo l lows that if the Centaur (a man-horse hybrid) is in the sky, then mermaids (human-fish hybrids) are under the sea. Certainly the recurrent images of the depths of the sea and water we come across in the introductory chapters of this tale are related to the drownings of Campanella and the young tutor and his pupils that occur later on. But what is more interesting is the fa l l ing Image of drowning as it is superimposed on the r i s ing image of ascension. The descent into the unconscious or death is d irect ly transformed; it becomes an ascent into the spir i tual realm, or the ult imate state of consciousness or l i fe. This circular, Mobius s t r i p - l i ke ambiguity of l i f e and death or of "up" and "down" Is only one more variation on the numerous images of gyration which we have already touched upon. The interesting point here is that this c i rcular ambiguity is expressed through the seemingly casual images of the Centaur and mermaids. 151 The symbolic meanings of the Centaur are not l imited to those mentioned above. Immediately after the jewel lery store scene, there Is a scene in which some children, whist l ing the song of stars, run around shouting, "Centaur, send down dew drops!" as others play w i th the blue flames of the magnesian f i reworks in front of a power company where the atmosphere is l ike that of the palace of mermaids. Is there any relationship between the Centaur's dew and the magnesian f i reworks? What f i r s t comes to mind are the recurring images of the f loating gourd lanterns that appear before and after this scene. The blue f i re of the gourd lanterns and that of the magnesian f i re overlap, as does the r iver water and the dew of the Centaur. Furthermore, ama no gawa * ' | ( l it. heaven's r iver) or the Milky Way, insofar as It gives us the impression of lanterns f loating in heaven, is at once an Image of both f i re (stars) and water (river). The same can be said of the Centaur's dew and i t s stars (fire). We come across this fusion of f i r e and water 1n various other works by Kenji. In his poem entit led "A Daze on a H i l l " (Oka no genwaku, &-.<D 0* ), for instance, Kenji writes: "The snow on the bamboo leaves / burns down / burns down" (Z 2: 15). And in "The Fourth Day of the Month of Daffodils," as we have seen earl ier, there is a scene in which the snow boys talk about snow and the blue f i re of Cassiopeia. 4 It may be that f i re and water are not as dramatical ly opposed as they appear at f i r s t glance. Water is synthesized through the combustion of hydrogen. The children may be burning the magnesian f i reworks in order to ca l l down Centaur's dew. According to 4 Coincidence of opposites as seen in the fusion of fire and water, of course, is not the invention of Kenji alone. Other poets and writers made use of it. But this point will be treated in the next chapter when we discuss Kenji's style. 152 myth, the Centaur was born out of the union between a man and a mare in the Greek d i s t r i c t of Magnesia, where the mineral, magnesia, Is produced. This may be the reason that the dew of the Centaur is invoked by the magnesian f ireworks. Such a coincidence of opposltes as water and f i re often accompanies intoxication and dizziness. Conversely, Intoxication abolishes the dist inct ion that our bifurcating consciousness has created between the two poles. In any case, coincidence of opposltes ult imately Implies unity and harmony. Perhaps the sense of ecstasy and beauty originates here. Presumably Innocence also has Its origin In such harmony. One essential reason that children are thought to embody, or at least to be close to innocence is probably that they are In the state of unity and harmony f i r s t w i th their mothers and by extension w i th the rest of the world. We can generally say, therefore, that to the extent that man grows up and becomes independent, and thus "alienated," from his mother, he runs the r isk of becoming alienated from nature and from the universe. Al ienation is the loss of innocence. At the same time, however, alienation is the discovery of innocence, for i t is through the loss of innocence (i.e., distancing or alienating ourselves from our Innocent childhood) that we real ize for the f i r s t t ime that we possessed, or rather we were In, Innocence. This is another paradox of coincidence of opposltes; s t i l l another paradox is that through alienation we not only real ize that we were in innocence but also that we are s t i l l In innocence. This is because, in one sense, we are children of nature, or part of the universe. Restoration of innocence, therefore, seems to be crucia l ly dependent upon one"s real izat ion that man Is at once an adult Independent of nature and a chi ld dependent on nature. We are reminded here of Kenji 's 153 words about what he ca l l s "Cosmic Consciousness" in his "Notes for the Outline of Agrarian Art": "The new age is moving towards the state where the whole world becomes one consciousness, one creature. To l ive correctly and strongly means to become aware of the galaxy in one's self and to respond to this consciousness" (Z 12-A: 9) and "F irst of a l l become, together w i th others, the shining modica of the universe and be scattered throughout the l im i t le s s sky" (Z 12-A: 15). Kenji ' s entire l i f e as we l l as his l iterature, part icular ly his tales, can be interpreted as an appeal to us that we are, even as adults, the children of the universe. The abundant images of c i rc les and gyrations in "The Night" are related on the one hand to the idea of coincidence of opposites which, in turn, is related to that of innocence. In a c i rc le, the start ing point ( l i fe) is identical w i th the goal (death) and the past is none other than the future. Curves and c i rc les can also be closely associated w i th femininity and motherhood, or more exactly w i th the womb, both human and cosmic and w i th the fetus, or the egg—the sources of innocence. It is quite natural, therefore, that this tale, whose main theme is the hero's in i t iat ion into restored innocence through death (a return to the womb) and rebirth (a prospect for growth into adulthood), abounds in images of c i rc les that are connected to Giovanni's fatigue and sleepiness. As mentioned earl ier, the images of c i r c le s and those of the Centaur and of mermaids become interrelated through the idea of coincidence of opposites. Initiation, so to speak, is real ized at the meeting point between such apparently "oppositional" pairs as the ordinary and the extra-ordinary, man 154 and nature, the conscious and the unconscious and l i f e and death. 5 Initiation is a transit ion, both physical and psychic, of the in i t iate from one state to another or from one realm, e.g., this world, to another, e.g., the other world, and vice versa. In in i t iat ion, the in i t iate crosses over the boundary between the two states or realms. The trance that often accompanies in i t iat ion etymologically means to cross over (transire). Thus we come across many images of boundaries in "The Night," which is a story of init iat ion. When we examined the images of c i rc les and the Centaur we were already touching upon the issue of boundary, but in the fol lowing we shall re-examine the introductory part of the tale more spec i f ica l ly in terms of i t s images of "boundary." The school gate, through which Giovanni stalks into town in the f i r s t chapter, obviously marks the boundary between the space of in i t iat ion cal led school and the rest of the world, namely, the town. Before he f a l l s asleep, Giovanni crosses over various boundaries other than the school gate. In Chapters 2 and 3, boundary images include the entrance to the printing house, the large door inside and the three entrances to Giovanni's tenement house, one of which (the one to Giovanni's apartment) is later cal led "the dark entrance"; in Chapter 4, one finds the slope lined by cypress trees, the ta l l poplar trees at the edge of the town, the black gate of the pasture, the bridge towards which the vague figure of Campanella, who is later drowned, walks, the bridge Giovanni crosses before he cl imbs the h i l l in the early version of the tale, the h i l l of the P i l l a r of the Weather Wheel, the dark path 5 Of course, these pairs are not opposites from the viewpoint of restored innocence, which sees them as interpenetrating each other or mutually subsuming. These pairs appear to be in opposition to rationality, the principle of bifurcation and alienation. 155 surrounded by pines and oaks that Giovanni has to pass before he reaches the empty f i e ld of grass (a symbol of the unconscious?) near the hi l l top, the hi l l top i t se l f and the P i l l a r of the Weather Wheel that stands on the hi l l top under the Great Bear. These images of boundaries are related in some way or other to the death of everyday consciousness and to dizziness. Above a l l , the scene of the slope w i th the black cypress trees draws our attention. Here the Images of mime and gyrations (Giovanni's shadow and the wheels of the locomotive) touched on earl ier are naturally superimposed upon the descending image of Giovanni's going down the slope. Considering the fact that Giovanni sees Campanella, who Is to be drowned soon after this, at the bottom of the slope, the slope may be functioning as the boundary between this world and the other world. This seems to be substantiated by the fact that in Japanese saka (slope) originally meant sakai (boundary). Indeed, in the myth of Izanagi and Izanami in Records of Ancient Matters (Koj ik i . % ^ - | 6 ) , there is a slope between this world and the world of the dead, and the same is true of the Orpheus myth and of Dante's Divine Comedy. What is notable in this slope scene in "The Night" is that the Image of the slope, which indicates Giovanni's descent to the realm of dream and the unconscious, at the same time contains the image of ascent in the form of 156 the cypress trees. 6 It seems that the slope w i th the cypress t r ee s— l i ke the galact ic model, the printing house and the jewel lery store that we have already seen—also functions to confuse Giovanni's and the reader's common sense d i s t ic t ion between "up" and "down," thereby producing the same effect of dizziness that is caused by the images of gyration not only in this tale but also in other tales and poems by Kenji. (See for example, "The Fourth Day" and "Spring and Asura.") 7 In the introductory chapters of "The Night," the images of boundaries, both horizontal (the doorway, the gate, the bridge, etc.) and vert ica l (the slope, the trees, the h i l l , etc.), are combined in such a way that the hero as we l l as the reader are smoothly drawn into the oneiric realm. Among the boundary images in this work, there is one which demands particular attention. It is the P i l l a r of the Weather Wheel that stands under the Great Bear of the North. As we noted in the previous chapter, from most ancient times, and in various places of the world, a p i l la r—together w i th a tree and a h i l l — w a s believed to possess magical and divine powers as objects in which the sp i r i t of man or of a god was thought to reside or as 6 As for the symbolic meanings of the cypress trees, poplars, and other trees in this work, see Amazawa Taijiro >£.ij§,— &p , "Naze 'Kampanera no shi ni au' ka: ginga tetsudo no kanata josetsu"f5^ > , «7^'^»<'7<59 Tc- l - l f > > *>" 4k >^4$L$J^ 1iLJ5 • 7J t L (Why "[Giovanni] encounters the death of Campanella": an introduction to "The far side of the Milky Way Railroad"), in IrisawaYasuo }2t<-)<~~ and Amazawa Taiiiro. Togi "Ginoa  tetsudo novoru"towanani ka %X X^i Sfc$k^<r) c . i l Y c J ^ (What is "The Night of the Milky Way Railroad"?: a discussion) (Seidosha, 1976), pp. 66-86. 7 Note, for instance, the following passage from "Spring and Asura": "and from heaven's bowl that caves in and dazzles, / throngs of clouds like calamites extend," (Sato, Sprino and Asura. p. 1). 157 the cosmic axis that pierced through heaven, the earth and the underworld. 8 Just as this p i l l a r was believed to provide the Siberian shaman's soul w i th access to the underworld, so i t may be that, by climbing up the pi l lar, Giovanni's soul has journeyed to the world of the dead and, cl imbing down the same pi l lar, has returned from i t s journey of in i t iat ion to this world. Just what Kenji intended when he spoke of this " P i l l a r of the Weather Wheel" is not entirely clear, but according to the editor of "A Concordance to Kenji ' s Tales" (Kenji dowa goi j i ten, % 5 e . | [ ! f c l t | ? ^ $ r ),9 i t l ikely corresponds either to the j izo quruma WM.^- (the wheel of "J izo," the guardian deity of children) or to the nembutsu guruma \u j ^ - (the wheel of "nembutsu," a prayer to Amitabha Buddha). At one time, these structures were erected at various "boundaries," in such places as temples, graveyards, and vi l lage perimeters in order to commemorate dead children. They consisted of a monolithic stone slab through which, at about the height of an average arm's reach, a single hole was bored. To this hole was attached an iron wheel which could be turned. It is this type of structure which appears in "The Night," symbolizing the boundary for children between this world and the other world. 8 See, for example, Mircea Eliade, Shamanism: Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy, trans. Willard R. Trask (New York: Pantheon Books , 1964) for the pillar cult in general and Morikawa Minoru 1*1 -5F?tr , "Hashira shinko" 4% ftp (Pillarworship), inKukannoqenkei^f£\<T) /j^lltL (The archetype of space), ed. Ueda Atsushi \& , et. al. (Chikuma Shobo, 1983), pp. 77-91, for the tradition of the pillar worship in Japan. 9 Hara Shiro, ed., "Kenji dowa goi jiten," Kokubunoaku (Japanese literature), 27, No. 3 (1982), 149. 158 Above the P i l l a r of the Weather Wheel is the constel lation of the Great Bear of the North, another image r ich in symbolic value. Because the imaginary line between the alpha and beta stars of the Great Bear's shoulder points in the direction of Polaris, the Great Bear has been considered the " indicator" of the North Star, which not only symbolizes the center of the universe, but also the ult ima thule (the remotest region of the world or borderland)—the place where Giovanni's lonely wandering takes him before his sleep. The epithetic phrase "of the North" attached to the Great Bear may be suggesting the "ult ima-thule-ness" of the h i l l w i th the P i l l a r of the Weather Wheel on It. The image of the bear, as In the cases of the Centaur, the snow wolves, the Old Snow Woman w i th cat 's ears, and the Snow Boy w i th his cap of polar bear fur, also suggests the quality of the ult ima thule in the sense that i t has associations w i th the pr imit ive, bestial nature lurking in man's subconscious, the ult ima thule of man's psyche. The P i l l a r of the Weather Wheel that stands on the h i l l , a microcosmos, and under the Great Bear of the North, can be said to stand on the border between such realms as real i ty and dream, the conscious and the unconscious, and microcosm and macrocosm, whi le at the same time i t can be said to stand In the center of the universe. It is, so to speak, the cosmic navel that subsumes and unif ies these realms of opposltes. And in this sense, the symbolic meanings of the p i l l a r very much resemble those of the great chestnut tree on the elephant-shaped h i l l in "The Fourth Day." In the " P i l l a r of the Weather Wheel," if the p i l l a r i t se l f is intended to symbolize the center of the universe, the weather wheel attached to the p i l l a r may be seen as a symbol of the galactic universe which is revolving around the earth's axis, i t se l f a p i l l a r of sorts. Tenki % ^ (weather) in the expression tenklr ln ^ ^ l i te ra l l y means "heaven's atmosphere," 159 suggesting the atmospheric strata and even the Milky Way or ama no gawa (l it. heaven's river), and the wheel is one of many c i rc le Images, the greatest of these being that of the galactic universe and that of the gigantic vortex of the whole universe i t se l f implied by this galaxy. And if, as the concordance to Kenji ' s tales states, the p i l l a r has an iron wheel on i t , this wheel may be signifying the wheels of the Milky Way Railroad that Giovanni is soon to ride. As the preceding discussion has shown, whi le i t s symbolism is m u l t i -layered, the image of the weather wheel is basical ly a composite of the c i r c le image and the boundary, or center, image. Its polysemous nature stems from this combination. The c i rc le symbolizes the tota l i ty of the universe, whi le the boundary which cuts the universe in two stands for the primal duality inherent in th is "whole" universe. Indeed, "boundary" symbolizes every kind of difference and dist inct ion in this world that inevitably arises from this in i t ia l duality. "The Night" can be considered to be a work that describes or t r ies to describe the hero's psychic process of coming to terms w i th the various forces of disintegration threatening him, such as the father 's absence, his mother's i l lness, his friends ' ostracism, and the death of his close friend, as wel l as w i th death or cosmic n ih i l i ty i t se l f symbolized by the pitch black hole in the corner of the Milky Way. The attempt of Giovanni's psyche to subsume and integrate a l l these forces of disintegration, or of "experience" to use Blake's term, is nothing but an attempt to regain lost purity and innocence. Before, and even after, he enters the dreamland, Giovanni's psyche continues to vac i l late, swaying to and fro and hitt ing against the wa l l s of various alienations. We can interpret the recurrent images of the crossing of boundaries and those of 160 gyrations that cause dizziness as the efforts of Giovanni's psyche to overcome this problem of disintegration. It i s under the P i l l a r of the Weather Wheel that Giovanni's psyche shows i t s greatest vac i l lat ion in crossing over the boundary between the two realms mentioned above. It is also under this p i l l a r that Giovanni experiences the greatest sense of dizziness. When the c i ty l ights that Giovanni looks down upon appear at once to be the l ights of the palace under the sea and the stars in the night sky, and thus when the vac i l lat ion between, and reversal of, "up" and "down" almost reaches a cosmic scale, Giovanni sinks down into the subconscious of his psyche, but at the same time he f loats up into the night sky. As if corresponding to the up-and-down movements of his gaze, and as if integrating and subsuming a l l the c i rcu lar movements as wel l as vaci l lat ions, both vert ica l and hor i zonta l , 1 0 that Giovanni has repeatedly experienced since the beginning of the f i r s t chapter, the blue stars of the Lyre or the Ring Nebula " sc int i l l a te, multiplying to three or four, w i th their legs going in and out many times, and f ina l ly streching long l ike a mushroom" (Z 10: 134). Only vaguely aware of this, Giovanni descends into, or ascends towards, the dreamland. The pulsation of the Lyre is not merely mechanical but is fu l l of organic rhythm. Many of the images of c i rcular movement and of osc i l lat ion that appear before Giovanni reaches the hi l l top give us an impression of being rather negative, and sometimes mechanical, representing death as opposed to l i f e (e.g., the printing house, Giovanni's house and the pasture). The h i l l of the weather wheel p i l l a r also emits dense darkness and the 1 0 The polarity of the colours white and black, conspicuous in this tale, seems to be related to the issue of vacillation, too. 161 Image of death, but this darkness and death is, so to speak, al ive and breathing. The f lowers, blooming fragrantly, the cold dewy leaves of grass that cool Giovanni's exhausted, throbbing body, the winds that carry the faint whispers of the children's singing and the sounds of the distant night tra in to Giovanni's ears, a bird that f l i e s over the h i l l , chirping, and the Lyre whose legs stretch and sh r i nk—a l l these things palpitate and breathe wi th l i fe. The h i l l of the weather wheel p i l lar, l ike the snowy h i l l w i th the chestnut tree on top of i t in "The Fourth Day" and the plateau surrounded by chestnut trees in "The Bears of Mt. Nametoko," seems to be a kind of mandala, where l i f e and death meet and merge w i th one another, where darkness and light melt into one hazy vortex, symbolizing the galactic universe. Of the scenes and characters that Giovanni encounters on his journey on the Milky Way Railroad, most have been anticipated symbolical ly in the introductory chapters which culminate in the mandala scene on the h i l l , but the events that take place in the dream segment are of a much different quality from those registered in Giovanni's waking consciousness. They are much more deformed and surreal i s t ic , w i th the result that the dream world becomes clearly differentiated, sandwiched as i t is between the two "everyday" worlds in the introduction and conclusion to the tale. What is notable in this "sandwiching" strategy is Kenji 's subtle, perhaps intuit ive, manipulation of the distance between the two realms. As we shall soon see, Kenji ' s strategy or technical device in distancing is an inevitable correlate of his myst ic v i s i on—a vis ion based on Buddhist philosophy and modern science. In the fol lowing, we shall examine the main images in Giovanni's dream, trying to c la r i f y their subtle distancing and symbolic ef fects both in the aesthetic and thematic contexts of the tale. 162 The f i r s t important image in the dream is the name of the station which Giovanni hears repeated somewhere as Ginga Suteshon (Galactic Station). This name di f fers in kind from other station names on the Milky Way Railroad, for whi le the latter are a l l taken from the constellations in the galaxy, whereas the former is the name of the galaxy itself. This seems to indicate that Galactic Station is the start ing point as we l l as the terminus of the railroad. The name Is apt in the sense that the h i l l of the P i l l a r of the Weather Wheel is the place, the macrocosmic image of the galaxy, where Giovanni starts and ends his galactic journey. The f i r s t station that comes after the Galactic Station is Swan Station, which may be a reference to the night bird that crossed over the h i l l as Giovanni climbed it. Interestingly, many bird images recur after this. These include Eagle Station, the birds that shut off the light of the lighthouse, the swans, geese, cranes and herons that the bird catcher catches to use as ingredients for his chocolate-l ike food, the innumerable migratory birds that cross the Milky Way, the blue peacocks whose cr ies are l ike the sound of a xylophone and the crane that the Indian shoots down towards the end of Giovanni's journey. One effect of these bird images is that they help to create the atmosphere of a heavenly journey. As was the case in the introductory chapters, the image of water, along w i th i t s correlat ive images, (i.e., the sea, a boat, a river, a beach, a we l l , f i sh, and drowning) also appear during the journey. These images, combined wi th those of birds and the sky, confuse our ordinary sense of direction or spatial distinctions. The scene at Beach Pliocene is interesting in this respect. The etymology of this name is not exactly known, but it def initely overlaps w i th the image of English Beach (Igirisu kaigan) on the Kitakami River where Kenji found foss i l i sed walnuts. On Beach Pliocene in 163 the sky, too, Giovanni and Campanella f ind foss i l i sed walnuts, whi le an archeologlst is digging the ground to unearth the foss i l i sed animals cal led bosu. which are believed to have flourished more than one mi l l ion years ago. This scene also reminds us of a passage in the proem to Spring and Asura. which was quoted In Chapter 2: Perhaps, two thousand years from now, an appropriately different geology may win the time, apposite evidence may turn up from the past, everyone may think two thousand years ago colorless peacocks filled the blue sky, fresh bachelors of arts may excavate wonderful fossils from the top stratum of the atmosphere, the glittering freezing point of nitrogen, or discover the enormous footprints of an invisible mankind among the Cretaceous sandstone strata.11 Another s ignif icant point that both the passage from the proem and the excavation scene in the dream indicate to us is the re la t i v i ty of t ime and space: the heavenly archeologist, the future bachelor of arts in the proem, is digging deep down Into the ground (the Image of descent) and also into the sky (the Image of ascent) In search of the lost animals of the past. This Is symbolic of Giovanni's journey in his dream. He may appear to be moving forward towards the future on the train, but he is also travel l ing backward towards the past. Giovanni's tra in arrives f i r s t at Swan Station, where Beach Pliocene is, at 11 o'clock, and then at a small station in a corn f ie ld i ' Sato, p.7. 164 at 2 o'clock and f ina l ly at Southern Cross Station, the last station mentioned in the journey, at 3 o'clock. Giovanni wakes up from his sleep some time after the last station. Perhaps deliberately, the author does not c la r i f y whether these t imes are p. m. or a. m. If they are p.m., they give the impression that Giovanni's sleep deepens as time proceeds until midnight and gradually becomes shallow after that. If they are a.m., then this would counterbalance the former effect. By not specifying whether it is night or day, Kenji evokes the misty, ambiguous atmosphere of the borderland. The Milky Way along which Giovanni travels may be, as Nakamura Fumiaki points out, the boundary between this world and the other wor ld . 1 2 Related to the re lat iv i ty of t ime and space expressed in the excavation scene at Beach Pliocene is the image of the foss i l specimens of the animals and plants. The image of specimens has already appeared in the second chapter of the tale where Giovanni mentions the specimens of giant crabs and the reindeer antlers his father had donated to Giovanni's school. In both cases, the specimen Images function as evidence of the existence of something or someone. They are messages from the past to the present, but at the same time they are symbols of death and absence, apt Images for the dreamland that borders on the world of death. As Irisawa Yasuo and Amazawa Taijiro" argue, they may be symbolizing Giovanni's sense of loneliness and hol lowness. 1 3 Also, inasmuch as they are samples of 1 2 Nakamura Fumiaki ^ fct jz_ ^© , "Oinoa tetsudo novoru" tovoru ^^fc^kjT) Vj_sX. ("The night of the Milky Way railroad" and night) (Tojusha, 1977), p. 194, pp. 230-231. 1 3 Irisawa Yasuo and Amazawa Taij iro, Toqi "Oinoa tetsudo no yoru" to wa nam" ka. pp. 21 -22. 165 something "real," the specimen images echo, i f only remotely, model images in the tale. In Chapter 8 the bird catcher appears. The bird catcher resembles the archeologist in the previous chapter, in that he keeps the birds he catches in the form of pressed f l ower s—as specimens. This device enhances the smooth transit ion between the two chapters. Of the various possible functions of the bird catcher, two are relevant here. F i r st ly, he introduces the f i r s t food symbolism in Giovanni's dream, and secondly he becomes the object of Giovanni's sympathy and thus acts as the generator of Giovanni's f i r s t real izat ion of what his mission in l i f e might be: to str ive to achieve a world where everyone, including people l ike the good-natured, hard-working bird catcher in tattered clothing, becomes happy. The role of food in Kenji ' s l i terature as wel l as in his l i f e is significant. The fact that the birds trapped by the bird catcher a l l turn into chocolate-l ike food seems related to Kenji ' s strong sense of taboo against eating meat. As stated in Chapter 1, Kenji did not grow r ice or other grains in his f ie lds at Sakura. His extreme attitude, which we may ca l l "abhorrence," towards eating in general seems to be ref lected in his l iterature. Besides the instance of the " b i r d -chocolate," the apples that the lighthouse keeper gives to Giovanni and other passengers do not leave any waste after digestion; on the contrary, a l l the residue turns into fragrant perfume which evaporates into the air through the pores. Also the grains of r ice naturally produced in the dreamland are four or f ive t imes bigger than ordinary ones, reminding us, according to Sugaya Kikuo, more of berries than of gra in. 1 4 The images of 1 4 Suoava Kikuo yg- £ g MM. Miyazawa Kenii iosetsu ^ J £ % i £ fi? %^ (Introduction to Miyazawa Kenji) (YamatoShobo, 1980), p. 95. 166 cakes, berries and fru i t , which we have also come across in "The Fourth Day," can be connected to Kenji ' s idea of innocence and purity in at least two interrelated ways: f i r s t l y , they have a strong association wi th children and fest iva ls ; secondly, as accessary food they give a much "cleaner" impression than do other types of food, i.e., staple foods, which result ult imately in putrefaction. The Images of coldness and transparency are not unrelated to this issue. In the sense that the apples do not leave waste, they are transparent. They are, in addition, the f ru i t of the northern regions. There is more to the symbolism of the apple, but here let us turn our attention to the second function of the bird catcher. Soon after this character appears, the episode of Giovanni's " t icket " is mentioned, and then we learn of Giovanni's sympathy for the bird catcher: Suddenly without knowing why, Giovanni felt very sorry for the bird catcher who was sitting next to him. When he thought of the catcher who was enjoying the refreshing sensation of the work of catching herons, or who was rolling the birds in white cloth, or who peeked at Giovanni's ticket from the side as if surprised and hurriedly started to praise it, Giovanni felt that he would give him anything— food or anything—that he had or he would keep standing 100 years on the shore of the shining Milky Way to catch birds for the bird catcher, if it made him really happy. Thinking this way, Giovanni could not keep quiet any more. Giovanni wanted to ask the catcher, "What is it that you really want?" but he thought this to be a little too abrupt, and so, hesitating, turned around to him, but the bird catcher was not there any more. (Z 10: 150) The story of Giovanni's consideration for the bird catcher is, in turn, fol lowed by the anecdote of the shipwreck, which reminds him of someone, presumably his father, working hard in the North Sea. Once again Giovanni 167 thinks that he must find a way to make the bird catcher and other people l ike him happy, even at the cost of sacr i f ic ing his own l i fe. How to create the ideal state where everyone, or rather every sentient being, becomes happy—this Is the mission that Giovanni gradually recognizes to be the sole aim of his l i f e whi le on the Milky Way Railroad. In order to effect this awareness In the hero, the author has him go through various experiences, and the bird catcher Is the f i r s t in a series of such experiences. (His mothers i l lness and his own unhappiness arising from it in the introductory chapters have prepared us for these experiences.) While the anecdotes of the bird catcher and the shipwreck are two conspicuous and in i t i a l examples of Giovanni's in it iatory experiences, there are numerous other instances! They include the story of the scorpion that, at the moment of his death by drowning repents of his l i f e of k i l l i ng other creatures; Campanella who is drowned whi le saving the l i f e of Zanneri; and the thin-faced man in the black coat who appears in the f i r s t version of the tale to teach Giovanni of the real nature of the universe, (i.e., the philosophy of dependent-co-origination and of the dharma world of interpenetration, and his mission of his l ife). The last instance may we l l be dismissed here just as Kenji dismissed i t himself in the last version of the tale, for even without the man's somewhat overt explanation both Giovanni and the reader are able to ascertain the message of the tale through i t s subtle symbolism. Chapter 9, the last but longest chapter of the tale, presents us w i th many s ignif icant images and scenes. F irst, the " t icket " that was in Giovanni's pocket and of which he was unaware, involves interesting symbolism. It is a kind of cer t i f i ca te for Giovanni's journey of init iation. With incantatory syl lables wr i t ten on i t , i t assumes the nature of a magic 168 carpet or of a wr i t ten mandala. 1 5 The owner of this t icket is supposed to have a special power that enables him to travel to any space and time in the universe. We could even say that because the t icket i s a mandala, i t s owner becomes a Cosmic Buddha figure s i t t ing in the midst of the mandala, a symbol of the universe. At the same time, however, i t is suggested that the owner of this t icket has a special duty and mission in l i fe , and in this way, he is likened to a Bodhisattva figure. The t icket t ies in wel l w i th the central theme of the tale which has already been hinted at through references to such things as a shipwreck and the bird catcher. Also, in being a kind of mandala and talisman, i t has the same nature as the magic mist letoe in the "Fourth Day," where the child w i th the red blanket was saved because of the mistletoe. The symbolism of the t icket is linked to that of the apple which we have already mentioned. The apple image is f i r s t introduced through the tutor and his pupils, Kaoru and Tadashi; their appearance on the train is heralded by the fragrances of apples and w i l d roses. Then, after the tutor 's story of how they came upon the shipwreck, the lighthouse keeper (an appropriate character for the story of the shipwreck) passes the strange golden and crimson-coloured apples out among the passengers. He thus prefigures the image of the apple in Chapter 4, where Giovanni sees a row of bright yel low windows on the train from the hi l l top and imagines the 1 5 Some critics think that the ticket is o-mandara f ^ f^J i f (*ne mandala) or the seven syllable mantra, namu mvoho renqe kyo. j^ rj -^4/ \^ (lit. We embrace the Lotus Sutra) that the followers of the Nichiren sect chant and worship. See, for instance, Nishida Yoshiko . Miyazawa Kenii ron ^ ^ " t ^ (A treatise on Miyazawa Kenji) (Ofusha, 1981), pp. 30-80. 169 passengers peeling apples, talking to each other and laughing. According to the lighthouse keeper, in the regions towards which the passengers on the Milky Way Railroad are heading, there is no agriculture; everything grows by i t se l f , and apples and cakes do not leave any waste but evaporate into the a i r through their pores, emitt ing a lovely fragrance. Indeed, the peels of the apples that the lighthouse keeper brought evaporate into the air by the time they reach the floor. The emphasis on the fragrance and the transparency of the apples is one of many images of transparency in the tale and seems to indicate the purity and innocence in the work. The transparency of the apples is also related to the magical power of Giovanni's t icket which makes things transparent, nul l i fy ing a l l barriers and boundaries, and thereby enabling i t s owner to go anywhere he wishes. We should also note the apple's shape and co lou r . 1 6 Like many other images of c i rc les and spheres we have seen so far, including the galactic model of convex lenses, the apple image In this scene gives us another mandala image—a miniature or a symbol of the galactic universe. Combined wi th the signif icance of i t s transparency, it is an apt symbol of the 1 6 The round shape and the golden-red colours of the apples remind us of the mistletoe of "The Fourth D8y." 170 Buddhist idea of the dharma world of interpenetrat ion. 1 7 Mita Munesuke, discussing the apple symbolism in Kenji ' s l iterature, including "The Night," wr ites: 1 7 In the opening passage of his poem entitled "Aomori Elegy" (Aomori banka, -j^J^^^P^), Kenji uses an interesting apple image: Konna yamiyo no nohara no naka o iku toki wa kyakusha no mado wa minna suizokkan no mado ni naru (kawaita oenshinbashira no retsu ga sewashiku utsutte irurashii kisha wa gingakei no reirorenzu okina suiso no ringo no naka o kakete iru ringo no naka o hashitte iru keredo mo koko wa ittai doko no teishaba da makuregi o yaite kosaeta saku ga tachi (hachigatsu no yoru no shizuma no agazeru) (Z2: 154) When the train goes through the field of such a dark night, the windows of the passenger cars all become those of an aquarium. (A row of dry electric poles seems to be busily reflected on them running behind the train. The train is running through a gigantic apple of hydrogen, the crystal lens of the galaxy.) It is running through an apple. But what kind of station is this? A fence made of burnt ties is standing (The still agar of the August night.) Here we have a variation of the effect of the reversal of "up" and "down" or of "inside" and "outside," which we have seen in the various images of circles and gyrations in "The Night," particularly in that of the double convex lens of the galactic model, presented in the introductory chapters of the tale. 171 The most obvious feature of the apple is that it is round and spherical, but unlike a rubber ball that allows no entrance, it is not a closed sphere, but a sphere with holes, and these holes are not like those bored from outside as in a bowling ball, but are innate to the sphere, leading at one breath deeply into its center. The apple is in our hand as something like a model of the fourth dimensional world, where the "front" and the "back" or the inside and the outside of a closed sphere are reversible by the fact that it [the apple] induces the sinful imagination that advances straight ahead towards the secret core of being, just as it is chosen for the symbol of the "key" in the well known myth about the source of the forbidden wisdom of mankind.18 Mita's analogy of the apple's two "holes" that sink down into i t s core reminds us of the P i l l a r of the Weather Wheel and the h i l l , the symbol of the navel and axis of the galactic universe. Mita also points out a s im i la r i t y between the sinking or sucking-in nature of the apple's "holes" and Giovanni's mandala-like t icket that seems to be "sucking" in the gaze of the person who looks at i t and the s im i l a r i t y between the apple's holes and the "coal sack" in the sky, the black hole of the galaxy. 1 9 These holes are a l l the entrances or exits, as the case may be, to ikGkan or the other space. But in Kenji ' s cosmology the exit to the other space (outside) is also the entrance to this world (inside), and vice versa. The Milky Way Railroad that runs through the core of the huge apple of the galaxy at the same time runs along the circumference (the boundary) of the galaxy. As Nakamura says, the train is running along the boundary between this world of the l iv ing and the other world of the dead. Here is also the meaning of the remarks by the bird 1 8 Mita, p. 5. 1 9 Mita, p. 8. 172 catcher about Giovanni's t icket, that i t s owner can travel to any place in the universe. The above discussion of time and space is, of course, nothing but a discussion of the manipulation of distancing in both dimensions. Kenji ' s ideas on and manipulations of tempo-spatial distance are such that the reader, together w i th Giovanni, experiences a strange, but quite fresh and excit ing galactic journey throughout the tale. The depth of the apple symbolism does not end here. We should once again consider the issue of the tale 's food symbolism in terms of the apple's holes. Kenji ' s "peculiar" and even "abnormal," i.e., "marked," v iews on food both in his l i f e and in his l i terature are a natural outcome of his v iews on time and space. The apple's holes In the tale above a l l imply the interpenetration of "inside" and "outside," and thus of the subject (ego) and the object (the other). The symbolism of the apple-eating on the train, and by extension of eating in general, is that by eating (i.e., taking in) the apple, the eater is taken in (i.e., eaten) by the apple. When the eater (the "inside," the "subject," the "ego" or "I") takes in the apple (the "outside," the "object," the "other," "he," "she," or "the galaxy"), exactly the reverse Is happening. This is presumably the secret of the transparency—not only of the apples and other food—but also of human beings and various other objects In the galactic journey. On the one hand, the Image of transparency is the symbol 173 of cosmic autophagy, 2 0 which is the aporia ( l i t. impasse, hence an insolvable problem), or to use the words of the man wi th the black hat in the ear l ier version of the tale, "the chain of Plesios" (Z 9: 142) 2 1 that Giovanni must solve to real ize (rather than "achieve") the ult imate happiness, i.e., innocence, of man and the universe. But on the other hand, or rather at the same time, the image of transparency s ignif ies perhaps the only and inevitable solution of the problem of autophagic real i ty in the universe and in human existence. It is both the presentation of the Gordian knot and i t s 2 0 See the following passage from N. 0. Brown: Autophagy. The identity of the eater and what he eats; but in a reversal of the naturalistic view: the eater is changed into what he eats. We become his body, and his body is food. We become his body by becoming food. By being eaten we become food. (N. 0. Brown. Love's Body, p. 170.) For more on autophagy see notes 22 below, 15 and 21 to Chapter 2 of this dissertation. 2 1 Some critics think that this c h 8 i n comes from the "chain of Pleades" in the Book of Job (38: 31) of the Old Testament. See, for instance, Mita, p. 147, Iris8wa and Amazawa, Tooi "Qinoa  tetsudo no yoru" to wa nani ka. p. 54 and Hara Shiro.ed., "Kenji dowa goi jiten," p. 153. 174 solution at the same t i m e . 2 2 Here is also the paradox of the inversion of the apple's "holes." This paradoxical inversion of the tempo-spatial structure of the universe is also the reason that Giovanni must f i r s t " real ize" rather than "achieve" the true happiness or innocence of man and the universe. Ikukan or the realm of innocence is not out there to be str ived for, but in the "here," and the temporal ikukan or the innocence of man's paradisiacal time supposedly lost in t ime immemorial is not lost but is right in this moment cal led "now." A l l is a matter of "realization." There is no need to str ive for it; innocence is always already achieved. But again the paradox with in this paradoxical inversion is that, in order to "real ize" i t , one must f i r s t go Concerning this paradox, see the following passage from N. 0. Brown: Eating is the form of the fall. The woman gave me and I did eat. Eating is the form of sex. Copulation is oral copulation; when the Aranda ask each other, "Have you eaten?" they mean, "Have you had intercourse?" The schizophrenic girl refused to eat; the case of Simone Weil. Eating is the form of war. Human blood is the life and delightful food of the warrior. Eating is the form of redemption. Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. We must eat again of the tree of knowledge, in order to fall into innocence. (N. 0. Brown, Love's Body, o. 167. Underlining mine.) 175 through hardships as Giovanni does, which virtually means to strive to achieve the "realization." 2 3 In the scenes describing Giovanni's ticket and the apples, the nadir of the galactic journey is reached. After this, Giovanni's oneiric train gradually descends or ascends towards the earth, this world of "awakening" and "realization." The passengers get off the train one by one: f irst the bird catcher disappears right after the ticket scene; then the tutor and his pupils leave the train at the Southern Cross Station at 3 o'clock "in the morning"; 2 4 soon after Campanella suddenly disappears; and finally Giovanni himself, waking up, gets off the train. Other images also signal the approaching conclusion of the night journey. Being jealous of the intimacy of Campanella and Kaoru, the 2 3 This paradox seems to be the one that has afflicted many mystics and visionaries in one way or another and at one time or another on their way to "realization" or enlightenment. Dogen (1200-1253), the founder of the Soto sect of Zen Buddhism, as a young man is said to hsve had this doubt: "If man is said to have the dharma body and the dharma nature as he is [i.e., if he is enlightened from the very beginning], then why did the past buddhas have to practice meditation to attain enlightenment?" (ShibataDoken ^ \£7 j ^ L * ^ . Zenji Dogen no shiso -f*|_ j&jb ]^TJ <J) i o ' ^  [Zen Master Dogen's Thought] [Koronsha, 1975], p. 128.) 2 4 The text does not specify whether the time is a.m. or p.m., so here it could be p.m., but this ambiguity seems to be one of the examples of "coincidence of opposites" seen in this work. In "The Night," as has been discussed, past and future as well as "up" and "down" are often reversible. In other words, the world inside Giovanni's dream and that outside his dream are often interpenetrating and even interchangeable. Therefore, if the "3 o'clock" means 3 p.m. this can be interpreted to mean that the time in Giovanni's dream is also flowing parallel to that outside his dream. 176 drowned g i r l , Giovanni says to himself: "Campanella, I'm going now. I haven't even seen a whale" (underlining mine) (Z 10: 157). Irritated, Giovanni looks outside the window only to discover that the Milky Way has  been separated by an island. He sees a tower standing on the island, and on the tower there is a man, signaling to migratory birds to let them know when they can cross the river. Giovanni's sadness continues and his eyes: brim with tears again, making the Milky Way look as if it has gone far away in the misty white. That moment the train gradually started to divert from the river to run along on a cliff. The other side, too, as the train went down the river, gradually became high. (Underlining mine) (Z 10: 158-159) At 2 o'clock the train stops at a small nameless station in the midst of a highland planted in corn w i th dew-soaked leaves. When the train s tarts running again, i t is f i l l ed w i th the sounds of the New World Symphony. As the music we l l s up s t i l l more strongly from beyond the horizon, an Indian appears outside chasing the train. The sleeping passengers awaken. The Indian shoots down a crane and soon fa l l s far behind the train. The train then speeds down a slope from the highland towards the r iver at the bottom of the canyon. There, engineers are building a bridge across the river, and for a moment this cheers Giovanni. Then Kaoru te l l s the story of the scar let f i re of the scorpion that is drowned in the wel l . When Kaoru f inishes her story, the passengers hear various sounds of music, whist l ing, and human voices as if the train is nearing a town where a fest iva l is going on. A boy sleeping beside Giovanni suddenly wakes and shouts, "Centaur, send down your dew!" Looking outside the window he cries, "Ah, yes. Tonight Is the night of the Centaur Fest ival, isn't i t ? " "Yea, this must be the vi l lage of 177 Centaur," says Campanella. Then at Southern Cross Station the tutor and his pupils leave the train. In front of the station stands a cross which looks l ike a tree. Dazzling w i th various hues, i t s top is encircled by a ring of pale, apple-flesh-coloured clouds which shine l ike a s lowly turning halo. Some time after the train has left the station, Giovanni and Campanella witness the "coal sack of the sky" that sucks everything in, and soon after Campanella disappears, leaving Giovanni alone on the train. Giovanni hangs his upper body far out the window to shout and cry w i th a l l his might. The next moment he finds himself lying on the hi l l top under the P i l l a r of the Weather Wheel. With this quick, yet careful ly selected look at the imagery of the last part of Giovanni's galactic journey, we can see how subtly the author arranges images so that Giovanni and the reader gradually wake up from their dream. These images include those of separation, descent (from heaven to the earth), waking up, the crossing over of boundaries (the migratory birds and the bridge building), the highland (a reminder of the h i l l of the weather wheel pi l lar), the dawn of a new phase (The New World Symphony, the time being 3 o'clock) and the Centaur fest iva l in a town. The process of Giovanni's awakening is the direct reversal of his fa l l ing into sleep, so we can see many of these images overlapping w i th those presented in the prelude to his dream. Moreover, we cannot overlook the images of ascent in the awakening segment, such as the Indian shooting his arrow up into the sky, signal f i res going up into the sky and the engineers' dynamite blowing the r iver water and the f i sh up into the air. (We should also remember that before Giovanni started his galactic journey, he witnessed tiny explosion-l ike white blurs at the lower end of the Milky Way in the planisphere displayed in the jewellery.) These ascending images, combined 178 with the descending Images, seem to be a recapitulation of the scene on top of the h i l l just before Giovanni f e l l asleep, though w i th the opposite effect of shaking him Into wakefulness. These ascending images are re lat ively few and Insignificant compared w i th their counterparts, which definitely dominate the last part of the journey. We should also note that many of the awakening images mentioned above not only recal l the Images In the introductory chapters but also anticipate the coming scene—the last few pages arter Giovanni's awakening. Part icular ly s ignif icant is the cross image at the Southern Cross Station. It performs an awakening function by echoing back to the Northern Cross in the beginning of the journey as we l l as to the P i l l a r of the Weather Wheel before Giovanni's sleep. At the same time, i t anticipates what comes after his awakening. Interestingly, the cross image appears when the train reaches the bottom of the canyon slope. This slope Image overlaps w i th the cypress slope scene in Chapter 4, where Giovanni Imitates a locomotive, and wi th the scenes in the town at the bottom of the slope, paricularly w i th the cross road, where Giovanni meets and parts w i th Campanella and other classmates. It Is also at the cross road of the town that Giovanni, after coming down from the h i l l of the P i l l a r of the Weather Wheel, is f i r s t informed that a boy, i.e., Campanella, has fa l len Into the river. Like the P i l l a r of the Weather Wheel, the cross of Southern Cross Station, w i th Its cloud halo, i s another mandala Image that symbolizes the meeting and parting place of people, other sentient beings and the two realms of space and time. In other words, i t stands for, and thus teaches Giovanni, the secret real i ty of the universe—the dharma-world of interpenetration or, to 179 use Mlta 's expression, sonzal no matsuri. the fest iva l of existence, the cosmic f e s t i v a l , 2 5 or to use s t i l l another s imi le, cosmic Innocence. With the appearance of the cross image, we are informed that the tale 's great c i r c le of the galactic journey is nearlng i t s end. Soon Giovanni Is to part w i th Campanella and to wake up under the P i l l a r of the Weather Wheel, the symbol for the coincidence of opposites, for the start ing point as we l l as the goal. Giovanni's sp i r i t has travelled along the Milky Way from i t s northernmost to i t s southernmost regions. But the start ing point of his journey has turned out to be i t s terminating point. His sp i r i t returns to the origin, leaving the huge trajectory of the cosmic c irc le. While sleeping under the P i l l a r of the Weather Wheel and without moving even a step away from i t s base, Giovanni travels to the farthest end of the galactic universe. Like KojGTO of "The Bears of Mt. Nametoko," Giovanni then becomes the Cosmic Buddha figure situated at the center of the Cosmic Mandala. Towards the closing of the tale, another impressive mandala Image appears to symbolize the cosmic order, subsuming and harmonizing a l l kinds of apparently opposing elements such as l i f e and death, consciousness and the unconscious, height and depth, microcosm and macrocosm, and this world (the phenomenal) and the other world (the noumenal). We can see i t in the scene where the Milky Way, the r iver in the sky, and the r iver on earth, which has drowned Campanella, a l l merge downstream, forming a gigantic c i rc le. Giovanni thinks that Campanella, who was w i th him just a whi le ago, Is there no more but is at the farthest end of the universe. Campanella, whom Giovanni could almost ca l l his other half, Is dead and over there, whereas Giovanni himself is standing over here, alive. One 2 5 Mita.Chapt. 3. 180 exists at once here and over there. This may be the very meaning of the words, "Everyone is Campanella," which the man wi th the black hat and a ce l l o - l i ke voice said to Giovanni in the ear l ier version of the tale. Through a dream, Giovanni learns the secret meaning of these words. Is i t that the tears he is shedding at the t ime of his awakening are the dew drops of the Centaur, scooped from the r iver in heaven? The pasture which, enlivened, seems to become something else, the information about his father 's return, and his own return to his mother—everything converges towards the denouement. The goshintai of the galactic model, the microcosm, which appeared in the beginning of the tale has turned into the macrocosm that l inks the corporeal r iver on earth and the ideal r iver in heaven. The boy runs to his mother at home, carrying the milk he received from the cosmic Mother for the sake of his earthly mother in the shadow of death. The journey from mother to mother through Mother, the journey from l i f e (death) to l i f e (death) through death ( l i fe) has closed i t s c i rc le , leaving, however, a strong sense of the beginning of a new cycle, a new journey for the hero, Giovanni, and the reader. 181 Chapter 5 S t y l e and the Idea of Innocence in Kenji's T a l e s In Its widest sense, sty le refers to "the arrangement of words in a manner which at once best expresses the individuality of the author and the idea and intent in his mind." 1 Accordingly, since style encompasses such elements of a work as Its Imagery and symbolism, we may say that the preceding chapters have a l l been concerned wi th the broad Issue of style. In this chapter, however, we shall examine various other aspects of Kenji ' s s t y l e—h i s diction, sentence structure, rhythm, onomatopoeia and genre— not only in themselves, but more part icularly in terms of how they are related to the concept of innocence In Kenji ' s tales., By analysing how Kenji used such s t y l i s t i c devices to express his ideas of innocence, we hope to show how int r ins ica l l y—and how Inevitably—those ideas are welded w i th his style. In Kenji ' s l i terature, the issue of sty le and innocence is related most fundamentally to that of centre-periphery. Indeed as we have seen, innocence in Kenji ' s work is above a l l a matter of the "marginal," which, in the present context, overlaps w i th the idea of the "marked" as opposed to the "unmarked." To reiterate an earl ier argument, insofar as they do not play the central power roles that society reserves for "mature adults," children represent marginal existences; they are non- (or rather sub-) adults, and hence are "marked off" as beings not yet fu l ly human. For Kenji, however, i t Is the "marked"—or the "children" and their fe l low beings (the aged, the mentally retarded, animals, plants, water, air, rocks, e tc . )— i t is, 1 C. Hugh Holman. A Handbook to Literature (Indianapolis: The Odyssey Press, 1977), p. 514. 182 in other words, a l l those entit ies in the universe besides adult humans, w i th their manipulative intel lect, that are potentially close to innocence. In Chapters 2, 3 and 4, we examined how Kenji used ikukan as we l l as "a marked space" and various symbols as means of expressing, or rather "marking" the innocence (or the capacity for innocence) of such beings. Kenji also conveys his Ideas about Innocence through s t y l i s t i c means, "marking" his writ ings w i th various signs of "markedness." In Kenji 's prose works, perhaps the most apparent "marking" is the fact that he chose to wr i te them in the form and style of the children's story, rather than in the more popular, orthodox and hence "unmarked" style of the novel. The reasons behind this choice are significant. Of course, the most obvious reason was that the children's l i terature movement was in fu l l swing when Kenji thought seriously of pursuing a l i terary career. A deeper reason for this choice was perhaps Kenji 's intuit ive knowledge that the genre of the children's story was, along w i th poetry, best suited to the expression of his particular ideas and emotions, which were radical ly different and thus "marked off" from the prevailing intel lectual and emotional cl imate of the time. Kenji wr i tes in the advertisement for the col lect ion of his tales, The  Restaurant of Many Orders: lhatove is a place name, if we dare to locate the place, it is considered to be in the same world as the fields that Big Claus and Little Claus used to till and the land in the mirror that the girl Alice visited, located in the far north-east of Tepantar Desert and in the far east of Ivan's kingdom. Indeed, it is the Iwate prefecture of Japan as a dreamland that really exists in the mind of the author taking such forms as above. 183 There, everything is possible. One can instantly jump over the field of snow and ice to travel towards the north, riding the great wind that circles around the earth, or one can talk with ants that crawl under the red cups of flowers. There, even sins and sorrows radiate in pure, holy light. A deep grove of beech, winds and shadows, grass of meat [sic] 2 a row of electric poles that continues as far as the mysterious city, Bering—we see all of these in the really enigmatic, yet happy land. The series of tales in this collection is, indeed, 8 part of the mental sketch of the author's psyche. It takes the form of a literature aimed at those readers who are in between the end of boyhood or girlhood and mid-8dolescence. (Z 11:388) From this standpoint Kenji then enumerates four character i s t ics of his tales, the third of which reads as follows: 3) These tales are neither falsehood and fabrication nor plagiarism. Although they were given some amount of reflection and analysis, they faithfully represent what occurred in the author's imagination at particular moments. Therefore, however ridiculous or abstruse they may appear, everyone, deep In his psyche, should certainly understand them. They are unintelligible only to mean and jaded adults. (Z 11:389) The tenor of the above passages is related to Kenji ' s temperament and his world view. Certainly his v i s ionist temperament and Buddho-Pantheistic 2 One critic argues that this is the printer's typographical error. According to the critic, Kenji intended the words to be "evening primroses" instead of "grass of meat." See Kihara Yoshiki y j ^ j ^ 77 " K e n i ' memorandamu: 'mukaibi' ni tsuite no noto" *|? i £ > t 7 ^ 9 ^ rft?] "CA V\ •> i ' 0 (Memorandum on Kenji: a note on "spirit inviting fire") in Kenii kenkvu. No. 40 (1986), pp. 41-43. 184 (or animist ic) world view are far more compatible wi th the style of fantasy than w i th that of the novel. Kenji would undoubtedly have found the novel more suitable to "those mean and jaded adults," who are incorrigibly sat i s f ied w i th the v i s ib le and tangible world around themselves. As Ian Watt suggests, the r ise of the novel genre may be understood in terms of the growth of bourgeois culture in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Europe, a culture committed to industrial capital i sm as we l l as to new views of individualism and c it izenship. 3 The novel, i t has been argued, was a genre which responded to the bourgeois taste for real ism and for knowledge of the ordinary real i ty of everyday l i fe. Even though a certain degree of sentimentalism and romanticism may be tolerated or even cal led for in the novel, therefore, i t s essence is ver is imil i tude. In contrast to Kenji ' s tales, i t is a genre in which "everything is not possible." The novel is intended primari ly for adults, the "un-marked," and, if the novel speaks more to the conscious part of the adult, the children's story speaks more to the unconscious part. In this most fundamental sense Kenji 's l i terature was "marked." His style is related to innocence in various other ways as wel l . A dominant feature of his tales, for instance, is his frequent use of the Iwate dialect, known in Japanese as Iwate ben. We have already had a sampling of this dialect in the f i r s t chapter, in the grass cutter 's song sung by a tree sp i r i t in The Night of Taneyama Highland, and in the second chapter, in the words of Seisaku's tot: "0, aei aei. meru meru" (Oh, look. They're green! They're green! I can see them. I can see them!). Kenji often put Iwate ben in the mouths of both his chi ld characters as wel l as his good natured, and 3 Ian Watt, The Rise of the Novel (1957; rpt. London: Penguin Books, 1976). 185 sometimes mentally retarded, adult characters (such as Kojuro in "The Bears of Mt. Nametoko" and KenjQ in "The KenjQ Wood"). This use of dialect is said to have been one of the reasons that his works were ignored by children's story wr i te r s from Tokyo in Kenji ' s own time, but today i t str ikes us as one of the most charming aspects of his l iterature. To the eyes (or rather to the ears) of the reader who Is a non-speaker of the Iwate dialect, Kenji ' s Iwate ben sounds very fresh and attractive. The main reason for this perhaps relates to a general principle of l i terary and a r t i s t i c effect: the principle of presenting something different from what the reader is accustomed to in everyday l i fe. But this is, of course, a general argument. A more subtle secret of i t s effect seems to be in the connection between this dialect and Innocence, for both are "marked" and peripheral. Through the use of the Iwate dialect, Kenji ' s works, and especially his tales, begin to resonate w i th fresh and surprising tones. The dialect gives us an impression not only of s impl i c i ty and uncouthness but also of Innocence and purity. This Is part icularly true when the words are spoken by both children and adults: both children and "mentally retarded" adults represent marginal existences, and hence the Iwate dialect, often the target of r id icule and disdain among "standard" Japanese speakers, Is an appropriate language for them. At the same time, however, Kenji often has his chi ld characters speak a very refined Tokyo "dialect." More than that, he often gives them Western names and lets them act in quite international (often Western) settings as seen, for Instance, In "The Night of the Milky Way Railroad." This can be explained part ia l ly by Kenji ' s haikara shumi ; \ A ii 7 xj$^_ (his styl ishness or dandyism), which, In the Japan of his t ime, was more or less equivalent to modernism and Westerm'sm. But the deeper reason l ies in his 186 cosmopolitan, or rather cosmic, attitude and temperament. Along w i th his knowledge of Buddhism, his education in natural science as we l l as in European languages such as English, German and Esperanto gave him a certain cosmic cosmopolitanism. Tokyo, where he often went and stayed from one to several months, was for Kenji a quasi-West or surrogate "West." The charm of Kenji and his l i terature l ies In the fact that he does not regard Tokyo and the West In opposition to Iwate, but rather sees them as equivalent kinds of provincial locales—and this because of his transcendental or cosmic point of view. His cosmopolitanism Is based on a cosmic vision. Kenji is at once ultra-modern and ultra-pr imit ive. To quote Takamura Kotaro in his description of Kenji: "Those who have a cosmos with in themselves, are always at the center of the world, even when they are at the fringe of the world, but those who do not have a cosmos with in w i l l end up w i th a local existence, even if they l ive in the center of the wor ld. " 4 Like Giovanni in "The Night," Kenji and his l i terature are at once peripheral and central. The mixing of the refined Tokyo "dialect" and Western names w i th Iwate dialect, then, is Kenji ' s temperamental strategy for expressing his cosmic vision. Related to his use of Iwate dialect are certain syntact ic anomalies that are character ist ic in his style: Ano hito tori eoshieterundeshoka. (Is he signalling to the birds?) (Z 10: 158) 4 Quoted by Kusano Shimpei in Aporon kasetto raiburari ~f o V *y Y 7 A 7' 7") — (Apollon cassette library) (Aporon Ongaku Kogyo), VIII, KSA 2008, n. d. 187 Soshite sonokoro nara kisha wa shlnsekai k6ky5kyoku no yO nl narimashita. (And if around that time, the train resounded like the New World Symphony) (Z 10: 159) Hi ga tsuyoku teru toki wa iwa wa kawaite masshiro ni mie, tate yoko ni hashitta hibiware mo ari, okina boshi o kamutte sono ue o aruku nara. kageboshi wa kuroku ochimashitashi. mattaku mo igirisu atari no hakua no kaigan o aruite iru yona ki ga surunodeshita. (When the sunshine was strong, the bedrock dried up, looking very white, with even, criss-cross fissures in it, and if you walked on it with a big hat on, your shadow darkly fell onto it, and indeed you felt as if you were walking on the cretaceous beach somewhere around England.) (Z 9:35) The English translations, or rather glosses, in parentheses inevitably provide only a rough clue to the concepts of the original, rather than fa ithful translations of the textual nuances that arise from such s t y l i s t i c features as imagery, rhythm, diction and syntax. Speakers of Japanese who are fami l i a r w i th the Tokyo dialect w i l l intuit ively sense sl ight grammatical deviations in these quotations. The examples quoted above are a mere fract ion of Kenji ' s syntactic idiosyncrasies. His l iterature is fu l l of such pleasant deviations. But i t would be almost impossible to explain analyt ical ly exactly why his anomalous sentence structures sound quite so pleasant and refreshing to our ears, except to state that his deviant, somewhat uncouth expressions remind us of things wr i t ten or said by children or "uneducated" adults. Kenji ' s " ch i ld - l i ke " sty le disarms our sophisticated, r ig id, and rational attitude towards the world and takes us back to the realm of innocence and s impl ic i ty. By twist ing, deforming, and thus "marking" what is considered to be the "normal," "unmarked," standard syntax of the language, Kenji shows us ikukan or the other space. 188 The anomalous character of Kenji 's ch i ld - l i ke sty le is also related to other issues, such as rhythm, onomatopoeia, songs and incantation. We are frequently start led by unusual uses of onomatopoeia and songs that appear suddenly In his tales. "Matasaburo, the Wind Child," for instance, opens w i th an onomatopoeic song of the wind: odoodo cknodo ooouoo aoao Aoi kurumi mo fukitob&se Suppai karin mo fukitobase odoodo dododo dododo dodo D , , AA,, , i f , r l n i l ^ i H n An AT, r l n it,-, AT, oooooo ooooao ooaodo aoao Blow off the green walnuts! Blow off the green quinces! oododo oododo dododo dodo Tanigawa no kishi ni chiisa na A small school was standing gakko ga arimashita (Z 10: 172) by the side of a mountain stream. Or to quote the Snow Boy's greeting songs to the stars in "The Fourth Day": Kashiopiiya mo suisen ga sakidasu zo Cassiopeia, daffodils will bloom soon! omae no garasu no mizuguruma Turn, turn your glass water wheel! kikki to mawase Andoromeda azemi no hana ga mo saku zo Andromeda, thistles will bloom soon! omae no ranpu no arukoru Puff, puff the alcohol of your lamp! shushu tofukase (Z 11: 47) The sudden appearance of these songs surprises us and at the same time pleasantly excites our aesthetic sensit iv it ies. This is probably because we strongly feel the energy of nature or the universe expressing i t se l f through the words of the songs. They are strange and even s l ight ly incongruous in 189 the contexts in which they are placed. But it is this very strangeness or "Incongruity" that becomes the source of energy and the sense of l i fe that rev i ta l izes us. These "songs" sound strange to human ears because they are, in a sense, the sounds or cr ies of nature i tsel f , and as such do not make much sense to human rationality. In fact Kenji 's songs are l ike incantations, and in this connection it is s ignif icant to recal l his longstanding fascination w i th sutras. We have seen how as a small child, Kenji could chant the sutras of his family ' s rel igion fluently, apparently without knowing their meanings, and how he later became obsessed wi th the Lotus 5utra. A s ignif icant character ist ic of sutras is that, when chanted, they are intended pr imari ly for their incantatory effects, not for their discursive meanings: Kifuku noyuki wa The snow on the undulating hills akarui momo no shiru o sosogare is poured with the bright peach aozora ni tokenokoru tsuki wa and the moon that remains unmelted in the blue sky yasashiku ten ni nodo o narashi purring gently in heaven moichido sanran no hikari o nomu drinks once more the dispersed light (harasamugate boju sowaka) (parasamgate bodhi svaha) (12: 24) Machi ya hatoba no kiraraka sa sono se no nadarakana kyuryo no tokiiro wa The brilliance of the town and the port The pink of the gently-sloping hills 190 ichimen noyanagiran no hanada is that of the orchid flowers blooming all over Sawayaka na ringosei no kusachi to The fresh apple green meadow, kuromidori to todomatsu no retsu the dark green and the row of white firs (namo sadarumapufundarikasasutora) (Namo Saddharmapundarika-(12: 172) sutra) Thus, it seems that the songs and onomatopoeia in Kenji ' s l i terature have much to do wi th the incantatory effects of the sutras he chanted. 5 In this regard, Kenji 's tales come very close to nonsense, or play w i th words, which, in turn, is back-to-back wi th innocence. 6 In the above quotations from Kenji 's poems, we notice that the incantations from the Buddhist scriptures are placed in parentheses and indented so as to be "marked off" from the rest of the text. The sudden appearance of songs and onomatopoeia in his tales has an effect s imi la r to that of the sutra incantations in his poems. In both cases, they function as windows bored in his tales to reveal the other space. This kind of window in the text can also be created by imagery and diction. His use of mineral images is one outstanding example. In discussing 5 The 7-5 and 7-7 syllable patterns prevalent not only in Kenji's poems but also in some of his tales seem to be related to the issue of incantation as well. See Sugaya Kikuo, Shiteki rizumu yX'A (Poetic rhythm) (1975; rpt. Yamato Shobo, 1978), pp. 193-246; Suqava. Miyazawa Kenii iosetsu. pp. 184-207; and Ueda, pp. 215-224. 6 Refer, for example, to English nursery rhymes, and other "nonsense" songs for children such as "Zui zui zukkorobashi." Also refer to the greeting songs to the stars and the comic-cosmic laughter of the Snow Boy in "The Fourth Day." 191 "The Night" In the previous chapter we touched on the coincidence of opposites in the imagery of f i re and water. Such a coincidence of opposites as seen in the union of f i r e and water, i s not, of course, Kenji ' s invention. Other poets have made use of it. W. B. Yeats, for example, wr i te s in his poem "Vac i l lat ion" about a tree "that from i t s topmost bough / Is half a l l g l i t ter ing flame and half a l l green"; s imi lar ly, in his play At the Hawk's Well he describes a dried up spring at which an old man burns hazel leaves to make the spring we l l up again. But compared w i th Kenji ' s f i re and water imagery, that of Yeats is rather Intellectual and mechanical. Yeats' images do not express a union so much as a juxtaposition of water and fire. Be that as i t may, Kenji ' s Imagery, when placed in the context of traditional Japanese sens it iv i ty, is unique. Somehow Kenji ' s image of water is chemical and mineral rather than organic. The same can be said of his f i re images when they are connected with mineral images, such as those of the stars and of magnesia. Take, for instance, the images of f i r e and water in the noh play. Maple Leaf Hunting (Momijigari. ^ - . ^ )• Here the rainstorm, lightning, and blood of the demons are a l l prefigured and subsumed in the organic image of the crimson maple leaves coloured by the autumn rain or of the maple leaves that the beautiful demon-lady burns to warm sake for Koremochi, the warrior-hero. Kawabata's imagery of water and f i re in Snow Country is s imi lar, at least on the surface, to that of Kenji, but s t i l l the former is much closer to traditional sens i t i v i t ie s in presenting such images as a hot spring resort in the mountains, geisha, shamisen, noh chanting and maple leaves. The strange sense of "incongruity" or "gap" in Kenji ' s imagery seems to come, part ial ly, from the blending of his "pr imit ive" sens i t iv i ty wi th a knowledge of natural science and an u l t ra - sc ient i f i c Buddhist philosophy. 192 Certainly his mineral Imagery can be ascribed to his p r imi t l v i sm, whi le the cosmology of modern science and that of Buddhism are also related to mineral imagery. 7 Another possible source of this character i st ic incongruity is his conscious avoidance of sex and erot ic i sm, both in his l i f e and l iterature because sex is typical ly an "organic" matter. Kenji ' s nature imagery is somehow non-organic, a typical example of which i s seen in the tale entit led "The Diamond of Ten Powers" (JGrlki no kongOseki,  :Y ii o %J^\ fa ), in which the plants and other nature Images are a l l described through jewel lery images. But this avoidance or repression of sexual l ibido seems to have found a secret vent in his l iterature. The prose-poem entit led "Woman" quoted in Chapter 1, is one example of this. The comparison of the cherry blossoms In "The Diary of an Agricultural Student" (Aru nogakusei no nisshi, to frogs' eggs is another example. As in the fol lowing excerpts from his poems, nature often assumes an erotic female figure: Atatakaku haramite kurokumo no Nobara no yabu o wataru an A dark cloud, warmly pregnant, floats over wild rose bushes. Aruiwasarani majirai o Motomu to tsuchi o haeru ari (Z5: 10) While seeking for further intercourse, another one crawls over the ground. Sonoosoroshii kurokumo ga mata watakushi o toro to kureba When that horrible, dark cloud comes down to take me again 7 See, for instance, the frequent use of the images of gold, silver and jewels in describing the land of the buddhas in the Lotus Sutra. 193 Watakushi wa setsunaku atsuku hitori modaeru Kltakami no kakoku o Su ano amagumo to konsuru to ii mori to nohar8 o komogomo noseta sono kOseki no daichi o kou to nakaba wa tawamure ni hito ni mo yose nakaba wa ki o otte honto ni sO mo omoi aoi sanga o sanagara ni jibun jishin tokangaeta 8 sonokoto wa watashi o semeru (Z 6:311) I writhe alone feverishly distressed. That I would marry that nimbus, covering the valley of Kitakami or that I loved the deluvian plateau, bearing both the woods and the fields on it I declared to other people half jestingly and to myself half seriously, just to brace myself up. Thus the blue mountains and rivers I considered to be myself as they were Ah, that tortures me now. Thus, Kenji ' s l ibido is so dispersed throughout nature and the universe that i t often becomes cosmic and asexual. This is also working behind Kenji ' s appeal in his "Notes for the Outline of Agrarian Art": "F i r s t of a l l become, together w i th others, the shining modica of the universe and be scattered throughout the l im i t l e s s sky" (Z 12:15). To further elucidate Kenji ' s peculiar "inorganic" nature imagery in relation to his sexuality, it i s worthwhile to compare his use of images w i th that of another writer. The images of the i r i s in Kenji ' s poem, "Taneyama Highland" (Taneyama ga hara -if^M i /% ), and in Mishima Yukio's novel. The Temple of the Golden Pavil ion (Kinkakuji. ^f%\% ), provide a useful comparison. Kenji 's poem, entit led "Taneyama Highland," contains the fol lowing passages: Passing through this beautiful field on a mountain, 194 I have collected many irises that burn rich purple in the sunlight. I am indeed a greedy caliph under the hushed Turkish heaven, for I have looted as tall and as gorgeous flowers as possible. Besides, having stabbed this gentle slope of the highland a number of times to measure and record the quantity of humus and the depth of the topsoil, I am a caliph drunk with triumph. Now, holding the flowers over flowing from my bosom, I have come into this grove of low alders. Here are the cool shadows of zinc and the carpet of jasmine-coloured young ferns, while the moss 1s richly moist. Perhaps, until their petals burn out the flowers' grace will last ... A cuckoo suddenly flies over me, crying... I am now going to take in my hand each of the supple flower stalks made of wax and silk and let the beautiful twin floral envelopes sway in the sparkling south wind .. .Cuckoo! What are you so afraid of to pass over me, chirping so loudly... (Z 3: 732-733) As Onda ltsuo points out, we can detect in this passage a s l ight ly sadist ic attitude towards ir ises, a symbol of the female. 8 Besides, as is usual w i th 8 Onda ltsuo, Miyazawa Kenii ron ,1,102-104. 195 Kenji, he uses inorganic, or otherwise unusual, images for organic plants as in the "zinc shadow" and in the f lower stalks of "blue wax and silk." But on the other hand, there is no doubt that "I" in the poem is enjoying a strong sense of communion w i th nature. Furthermore, at the end of Part 1, "I" repents of what he has done to the ir ises. A somewhat s imi lar , yet essential ly different, Iris image Is seen in Mishima's Temple of the Golden Pavil ion, where Mizoguchi, the hero, steals some i r i ses for his friend, Kashlwagl: Near the Sosei, a small waterfall, half surrounded by a weir, carried the water from a lotus pond into the large Kyoko Pond. It was here that the irises grew in the greatest profusion. They were exceptionally beautiful at that time. As I approached, I heard the clusters of irises rustling in the night wind. The lofty purple petals trembled within the quiet sound of the water. It was very dark in that part of the garden: the purple of the flowers and the dark green of the leaves looked equally black. I tried to pick a few of the irises, but in the wind the flowers and the leaves managed to avoid my hands, and one of the leaves cut my finger.9 The Image of the Irises in this passage resembles that of the wax and s i lk stems of the i r i ses in Kenji ' s poem in the sense that both give us the Impression of precision-made, a r t i f i c i a l f lowers. In both cases the sexual connotation is rather obvious. But the resemblances between the two end there. Unlike Kenji ' s i r ises, those of Mishima are placed In the traditional Japanese aesthetic atmosphere, but strangely, they f a i l to give the reader 9 Mishima Yukio ^ - ^ j ^ ^->^J i The Temple of the Oolden Pavilion, trans. Ivan Morris (New York: AlfredA. Knopf, 1968), p. 141. 196 the sat is fy ing organic sensation that he usually receives from tanka and other tradit ional Japanese l i terary works. One reason for this seems to l ie in Mlshima's style, which is by no means r ig id or s t i l ted, but Is, in a word, extremely neat, refined and orderly. Even when he describes the rust l ing and the trembling of the f lowers, he does i t in an orderly fashion. The l i f e and energy of the wind, of the Irises and of the night are thwarted from freely expressing themselves. In this, we can detect a sense of frustration, unrest and hatred against l i f e and the world. Thus Mlshima's i r i ses rustle and tremble w i th uneasiness, and their cutting blades of leaves "attack" Mizoguchi, the misogynist. Mizoguchi later on witnesses his friend, Kashiwagl, another misogynist, arranging the f lowers, cutting the stems w i th scissors, and st ick ing them on a f lower holder (a kenzan or "a mountain of swords"), a l l w i th sadist ic coolness and accuracy: The movement of Kashiwagi's hands could only be described as magnificent. One small decision followed another, and the effects of contrast and symmetry converged with infallible artistry. Nature's plants were brought vividly under the sway of an artificial order and made to conform to an established melody. The flowers and leaves, which had formerly existed as they were, had now been transformed into flowers and leaves as they ought to be. The cattails and the irises were no longer individual, anonymous plants belonging to their respective species, but had become terse, direct manifestations of what might be called the essence of the irises and the cattails. Yet there was something cruel about the movement of his hands. They behaved as though they had some unpleasant, gloomy privilege in relation to the plants. Perhaps it was because of this that each time I [Mizoguchi] heard the 197 sound of the scissors and saw the stem of one of the flowers being cut, I had the impression that I could detect the dripping of blood.10 Shortly after this, Kashiwagi has a f ierce fight w i th a war widow, his mistress and f lower arrangement teacher, who tears down the f lowers he has arranged. The i r i s image in Mishima indicates a strong fear and hatred of the feminine and of l i f e in general on the part of the male characters discussed. Kenji, too, occasionally wr i tes poems that have a s l ight ly misogynist flavour, as seen, for example, in the prose-poem entit led "Woman" quoted in Chapter 1, but this can be explained as a natural and "normal" result of his ascetic l i f e and sexual abstinence. Even so, he also wr i tes some works that eulogize the simple, yet "healthy" beauty of vi l lage g i r l s and young wives, such as "A Vi l lage G i r l " (Mura musume, ) and "Ladies of the Highland" (Kogen shukujo, Hj^ fa i-fcl.-ty' ). He even parodies himself in various humorous poems that describe his "love af fa i r " w i th nature. The above passage from "Taneyama Highland" is one example of this, and the fol lowing excerpt from "Ippongi Plain" (Ippongi no, — J ) is another: Watakushi wa mori ya nohara no koibito I am the beloved of the woods and fields, yoshi no aida o gasagasa ike ba When I make my way through the reeds tsutsumashiku orareta midoriiro no green messages, coyly folded, tsushin wa itsuka poketto ni haitte irushi slip into my pockets. hayashi no kurai tokoro o aruite iru to When I walk in a shady forest mikazukigata no kuchibiru no ato de crescent-shaped lipmarks 1 0 Mishima, p. 145. 198 hij i ya zubon ga ippai ni naru cover my elbows and trousers.11 (Z 2: 212) Unlike Mishima's nature imagery, which is precise but a r t i f i c i a l and dead, Kenji ' s use of unconventional nature imagery strangely enhances the sense of l i fe. The f issures created in the texture of Kenji ' s l i terature do not ja r our senses, but on the contrary create a pleasant tension between death and l i fe , between the other space and this world. What is more, we feel that, in Kenji 's l i terature as in Escher's pictures, the two realms are not set as far apart from one another as in Mishima's work. Indeed, the f issure between the two realms in Kenji ' s s ty le is more apparent than real; one turns into the other before the reader even real izes i t , just as "this side" of the Mobius s t r ip turns out to be the "other side" before one is aware of it. Pampas grass suddenly turns into flames of s i lver, and the leaves of an alder tree become an iron mirror cracked into a thousand pieces, dazzling in the sett ing sun, as in the cl imax scene of "The F i r s t Deer Dance": Now the sun had reached the middle branches of the alder tree and was shining with a slightly yellowish light. The deers' dance grew slower and slower. They began nodding to each other busily, and soon drew themselves up in a line facing the sun, standing perfectly straight as though they were worshipping it. Kaju watched in a dream, forgetful of everything else. Suddenly, the deer at the right-hand end of the line began to sing in a high, thin voice. See the setting sun decline, Blazing out behind the leaves That delicately shine " Ueda, p. 198. 199 Oreen upon the alder tree. Kaju shut his eyes and shivered all over at the sound of the voice, which was like a crystal flute. Now the second deer from the right suddenly leaped up and, twisting his body to and fro, ran in and out between the others, bowing his head time and time again to the sun till finally he came back to his own place, stopped quite still, and began to sing. Now the sun's behind its back, See the lesfy alder tree Likeafn] [iron] mirror crack And shatter in a ml 11 ion lights. Kaju caught his breath and himself bowed low to the sun in its glory, and to the alder tree. The third deer from the right began to sing now, bowing and raising his head busily all the while. Homeward though the sun may go, Down beyond the alder tree, See the grass aglow, Dazzling white across the plain. It was true--the pampas grass was all ablaze, like a sea of white fire. Long and black the shadow lies On the shimmering pampas grass Where against the skies Straight and tall the alder grows. 200 Now the fifth deer hung his head low and started singing In a voice that was hardly more than a mutter. See, the sun Is sinking low In the shimmering pampas grass. Ants now homeward go Through the moss upon the plain. Now all the deer were hanging their heads. But suddenly the sixth deer raised his head proudly and sang: Shy white flower, content to pass Your days unnoticed in the tall And shimmering pampas grass— You are dearest of them all I Then all the deer together gBve a short, sharp call like the cry of a flute, leaped up in the air, and began to dash round and round in a ring. A cold wind came whistling from the north. The alder tree sparkled 8S though it really were a broken [iron] mirror. Its leaves actually seemed to tinkle as they brushed against each other, and the plumes of the pampas grass seemed to be whirling round and round with the deer.12 These l ines depict what Kenji ca l l s lhatove or "dreamland Iwate." Compare this wi th the fol lowing passage from Mishima"s The Decay of the Angel (Tennin gosui, ^ A i i f ^ ), the last volume of his tetralogy The Sea of  Fe r t i l i t y (Hojono umi, ^ J p J L Q ) $ f ) , where Toru, the young hero, and his 12Bester,pp. 132-136. 201 fiancee, Tomoko, are s i t t ing by the side of a pond in a tradit ional Japanese garden: There were autumn cicadas in the evening groves, and the roar of the subway came through the calls of the birds. A yellow leaf dangled from a spider web on a branch far out over the swamp, catching a divine light each time it revolved. It was as if a tiny revolving door were floating in the heavens. We gazed at it in silence. I [Toru] was asking what world would be opening beyond the dark gold each time it turned. Perhaps, as it revolved in the busy wind, it would give me a glimpse of the bustle in some miniature street beyond, shining through some tiny city in the air. 1 3 Mishima's hero, TOTu, t r ies to see the other world behind and beyond a leaf, a revolving door to the different realm. This indicates how alienated he is from this world. But ironical ly the more ToTu detests this world In favour of the other world, the more the latter eludes his grasp. This Is comprehensible If we assume that the universe has, as we have noted In the previous chapters, a Mobius s t r i p - l i ke or a Klein bot t le - l i ke tw i s t built Into it, and thus £hjs_ side, or the inside, is no other than the other side, or the outside. Just as Mizoguchi in The Temple of the Golden Pavil ion wanted to be both inside and outside the temple, and just as Noboru, the precocious boy, In another of Mishima's novellas, The Sai lor Who Fel l From Grace With  the 5ea(Gogo no elkQ, if i^L^H^^fO, desires to be both inside and outside his room at once, ToTu Inevitably vac i l lates between both worlds without the ab i l i ty to belong to either of t hem—wi th the catastrophic 1 3 Mishima Yukio, The Decay of the Angel. trans. Edward Q. Seidensticker (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1974), pp. 150-151. 202 impulse to annihilate the entire universe, as seen in the quasi-Buddhistic ending of the tetralogy. In Kenji 's l iterature, too, we sense a strong tone of d issat i s fact ion wi th this world as i t is. And sometimes his heroes escape from this world to the other world in the form of stars or birds, but the overall tendency of Kenji 's heroes is to return to this world to change it into the other world, or rather to real ize the other world in this world. We can c i te two Japanese wr i ter s for comparison in order to c lar i fy the point in quest ion—Kenji ' s view of the distance or relation between this world and the other world. Kawabata Yasunari's sens i t iv i ty towards the other world seems to l ie somewhere between that of Mishima and Kenji. For instance, in the chapter "Wings of the Locust" of his The Sound of the  Mountain (Yama no oto, iU 6) % ), Shingo, the old hero, is watching butterf l ies f l i t t i n g behind the bush clovers in his garden: There were butterflies beyond. Shingo could see them flickering past gaps in the leaves, more than one butterfly, surely. He waited to see whether they would alight on the bush clover or come out from behind it. They went on fluttering through the leaves, however. He began to feel that there was some sort of special little world apart over behind the shrubbery. The butterfly wings beyond the leaves of bush clover seemed to him extraordinarily beautiful. He thought of the stars he had seen through the trees on the hilltop, that night a month earlier, when the moon had been nearly full. 1 4 1 4 Kawabata Yasunari. The Sound of the Mountain, trans. Edward 6. Seidensticker (New York: 6.P. Putnam's Sons, 1981), p. 29. 203 As Shingo watches the butterf l ies, they f ly up from behind the bush, and from an unexpected direction, another butterfly f l i e s across the garden, barely touching the t ip of the bush. Immediately after this passage fol low Shlngo's words to Yasuko, his wife: "This morning I had two dreams about dead people," 1 5 and he goes on to describe his dreams about a cabinet-maker and his friend Aida, both of whom have been dead for some time. The cabinet-maker had s ix daughters, and Shingo has sexual intercourse w i th one of them in his dream. At f i r s t glance, this sudden sh i f t from the butterf l ies to the dreams appears to be an I l logical jump from one topic to another, but, as some c r i t i c s have pointed out , 1 6 this kind of seemingly i l log ica l sh i f t is not unrelated to the technique of association in Renga poetry. Indeed, upon closer examination, we find nothing part icular ly i l log ica l about it. Shlngo's dream about the dead people and about his sexual encounter w i th the g i r l are thematlcally connected w i th the butterf ly scene: both scenes contribute to the other-world theme of the novel. The aging Shingo's fear of death and his desire to be united w i th Yasuko's beautiful s i s ter In the distant world of the dead are symbolical ly expressed through these scenes. One might say that Kawabata's crypt ic style, usually consisting of short sentences, is, Itself, l ike bush clovers and pampas grass w i th many gaps among the leaves and stems, through which one can glimpse the hidden world behind. 1 5 Kawabata, p. 30. 1 6 See, for instance, Kinya Tsuruta, Kawabata Yasunari no aeiiutsu: iunsui to kyusai )») Ac <P f$cJfr{ ^fr ( T n e a r t i s t r Y o f kawabata Yasunari: purity and salvation) (Meiji Shoin, 1981), p. 173. 204 Like Mishima and Kenji, Kawabata was deeply attracted by the other world. However, he treats "nature" rather dif ferently from both of these authors; Kawabata*s nature is not a r t i f i c i a l in the way that Mishima's is, and neither does i t assume that quality of other worldl iness or explosive joy that characterizes Kenji 's nature. On the contrary, Kawabata calmly tr ies to see a different world behind and beyond nature, a world which is total ly organic and steeped in traditional Japanese sens i t i v i t ie s such as yQgen and mono no aware. Even this tendency becomes subdued at times, as in the image of the red maple leaves that Shingo and his son ShQIchi see on the train towards the end of the story or in the famous ending of the novel where the image of the trout at dinner suggests the poss ib i l i ty of Shingo's peaceful merger w i th nature. If one pushes Kawabata's nature to i t s logical end, one approaches the "nature" character ist ic of Shiga Naoya's work. Compare the fol lowing passage from Shiga's short story, "At Klnosaki" (Klnosakl nlte, w i th the above quotations from Kenji, Mishima, and Kawabata. The hero of the story is recuperating at Kinosaki, a spa, from the injury he received from a streetcar accident. One evening he takes a walk outside the town: There was a large mulberry tree beside the road. A leaf on one branch that protruded out over the road from the far side fluttered rhythmically back and forth. There was no wind, everything except the stream was sunk in silence, only that one leaf fluttered on. I thought it odd. I was a Htle afraid even, but I was curious. I went down and looked at it for a time. A breeze came up. The leaf 205 stopped moving. I saw what was happening, and it came to me that I had known all this before.17 Though the image of the leaf evoked here is s im i la r to that of Mishima's in The Decay of the Angel. the hero of "At Kinosaki" is not at a l l interested in knowing the other world that may be concealed behind the f lutter ing leaf. To him, a leaf is simply a leaf. It does not stand for anything ideal or abstract, nor is i t steeped in the traditional emotion usually associated wi th nature as is often the case w i th Kawabata's bush clover and pampas grass. And certainly, Shiga's leaf does not assume the flaming and dazzling other-worldl iness of Kenji ' s alder leaves and pampas grass. In fact, Shiga's images are so "concrete" that we feel as though we are actually feeling or touching the part icular thing being described by him. Immediately after the mulberry leaf scene quoted above is the fol lowing passage: It began to get dark. No matter how f8r I went there were still corners ahead. I decided to go back. I looked down at the stream. On a rock that sloped up perhaps a yard square from the water at the far bank there was a small dark object. A water lizard. It was still wet, a good color. It was quite still, its head facing down the incline as it looked into the stream.... I wanted to startle the lizard into the water. I could see in my mind how it would run, clumsily twisting its body. Still crouched by the stream, I took up a stone the size of a small ball and threw it. I was not especially aiming at the lizard. My aim is so bad that I could not have hit it had I tried, and it never occurred to me that I might. The stone slapped against the rxk and fell into the water. As it hit, the lizard seemed to jump five inches or so to the side. Its tail curled high in the air. I wondered what had happened. I did 1 7 Shiga Naoya, At Kinosaki. trans. Edward 6. Seidensticker in Modern Japanese Literature: an  Anthology, ed. Donald Keene (New York: Grove Press, 1956), p.276. 206 not think at first that the rock had struck home. The curved tail began quietly to fall back down of its own weight. The toes of the projecting front feet, braced against the slope with knee joints cut, turned under and the lizard fell forward, its strength gone. Its tail lay flat against the rock. It did not move. It was dead.18 In this passage, besides the accurate and concrete descripton of the l izard, what draws our attention is the apt use of onomatopoeia (represented by the verb "slapped" in the translation). The onomatopoeic sound " ko t su .^v " mimicking the sound of the stone hitt ing the rock, is exactly the sound that we would hear in such a circumstance. It i s a sound of everyday-l ife, and it does not conceal anything transcendent. One who notes the relat ive frequency w i th which these novelists employ onomatopoeia sees that, whi le Mishima uses i t very rarely and Kawabata somewhat more (though s t i l l sparingly), Shiga employs i t rather frequently. Even when Kawabata does away w i th onomatopoeia, he achieves in his imagery the sort of concreteness or down-to-earthedness that typ i f ies Shiga. This i s evident, for example, in The Sound of the Mountain where Kikuko "apparently could not hear him [Shingo] over the sound of the dishes." 1 9 Kenji ' s onomatopoeia, in contrast, does not exactly mimic the sounds we would hear in daily l i fe, but rather it is somehow "marked off," and in this way it gives us an impression of coming from the other space, ikukan. But considering that i t represents sounds from that other space, i t is nevertheless very accurate, concrete and v i v i d — f u l l of l i fe - fo rce; it seems to reactivate our sense of l i fe. As has been suggested a number of times, 1 8 Shiga, pp. 276-277. 1 9 Kawabata, p. 276. Compare this with the mysterious sound of the mountain that Shingo hears in the beginning of the novel. 207 this is probably because, in spite of our "rationality," we s t i l l feel the other space, the "primitive" space of the universe, which, according to modern astronomy, 1s s t i l l rapidly expanding following the cosmic explosion that took place at the creation of the universe, and which is also predicted to shrink to its original state after reaching its maximum expansion. The marginal or "marked" nature of Kenji's style seems to originate in his strong sensitivity to this explosive expansion, as well as to a possible contraction, of the universe. His centrifugal and centripetal style allows us to experience the thri l ls of those who have become one of those innumerable modica, scattering and dispersing throughout the entire universe. Kenji's reader feels at times as if he were on a cosmic merry-go-round or roller coaster in some gigantic playground—in this case, the entire universe. Compared with his dynamic, centrifugal style, both Shiga's and Kawabata's styles are rather quiet and centripetal. Both Shiga's and Kawabata's heroes often experience unity with the universe, but that unity is usually achieved through a quiet merger. Indeed, in metaphorical terms, they typically tend to achieve unity through some form of contraction—they shrink into tiny particles (which correspond to sperm) and retreat into a tiny corner of the universe (which may be likened to the womb). In contrast, in Kenji's literature, the main metaphor is explosion and dispersal. This difference becomes more apparent if we consider some further examples from Shiga and Kawabata. Seeing a dead bee among industrious living bees, the hero of "At Kinosaki," for instance, feels: The industrious living bees gave so completely a sense of life. The other beside them, rolled over with its legs under it, still in the same spot whenever I looked at it, morning, noon, night--how completely it gave a sense of death. For three 208 days it lay there. It gave me a feeling of utter quietness. Of loneliness. It was lonely to see the dead body left there on the cold tile in the evening when the rest had gone inside. And at the same time it was tranquil, soothing. In the night a fierce rain fell The body of the dead bee was gone.... It was likely somewhere covered with mud, unmoving, its legs still tight beneath it, its feelers still flat against its head. Probably it was lying quiet until a change in the world outside would move it again. Or perhaps ants were pulling it off. Even so, how quiet it must be—before only working and working, no longer moving now. I felt a certain nearness to that quiet.20 Kensaku, another of Shiga's heroes, in A Dark Night's Passing (Anya koro, ^i^J^Pt), unites himself w i th the universe in the form of a poppy seed, a metaphor for a sperm implanting i tse l f in the womb of the universe: He felt his exhaustion turn into a strange state of rapture. He could feel his mind and his body both gradually merging into this great nature that surrounded him. It was not nature that was visible to the eyes; rather, it was like a limitless body of air that wrapped itself around him, this tiny creature no larger than a poppy seed. To be gently drawn into it, and there be restored, was a pleasure beyond the power of words to describe. The sensation was a little like that of the moment when, tired and without a single worry, one was about to fall into a deep sleep.21 S imi lar ly, at the end of The Sound of the Mountain Kawabata's Shingo compares himself to a small female trout that goes down the r iver to the sea to die after laying her eggs upstream. Kawabata, however, is a l i t t l e 2 0 Shiga, pp. 273-274. 2 1 Shiga Naoya, A Dark Night's Passing, trans. Edwin McClellan (Tokyo, New York and San Francisco: Kodansha International, 19 80), p. 400. 209 closer to Kenji than 5higa in that he shows, as we have seen, a predilection for transcendence and cosmic sensitivity. The symbolic meaning of Shinshu" and the dreams in The Sound of the Mountain is a good example of t h i s . 2 2 Moreover, in the eucharistic last supper scene of this work, Shingo, in comparing himself to a fa l l ing trout, can be said to offer his body to be eaten symbolical ly by the rest of his family. This seems to resemble closely the cosmic autophagy motif in Kenji 's l iterature. A s t i l l further example of Kawabata's transcendent, cosmic sens i t iv i ty is the last scene of Snow Country where Shimamura, the hero, and the Milky Way interpenetrate in a manner symbolic of sexual union. We can see a close a f f in i ty between this and Kenji ' s remarks in his "Notes for the Outline of Agrarian Art": A new age lies in the direction where the world becomes one consciousness, one life. To live correctly and strongly means to become conscious of the Oalaxy in oneself and to respond to it. (Z 12-A: 9) Furthermore, as Tsuruta argues, we can see Shimamura osc i l late, vert ica l ly between the earth and heaven and horizontally between Komako, the heroine, and h imsel f . 2 3 At least on the theoretical level, Kawabata's world view that everything is u lt imately one and the same (banbutsu ichinyo, ft — £ Q ) largely overlaps w i th that of Kenji. 2 2 As for the analysis of the symbolism of Shinshu and the dreams of this work, see Kinya Tsuruta, Kawabata Yasunari no aeiiustsu. DP. 136-195. 2 3 For further discussion on this issue, see Kinya Tsuruta, "The Flow Dynamics in Snow  Country." MonumentaNioponica. 26, No. 3-4(1971), 267-285. 210 Of the three wr i te r s compared here, Mishima may come closest to Kenji In his impulse to transcend this world. Even w i th the sketchy examination of Mishima's style given here, one clearly senses his a f f in i ty for the transcendent, but in the f inal analysis, Mishima seems to fa i l in his attempt at transcendence. By negating this imperfect world, he inevitably negates the other world because the structure of the universe is presumably such that the two worlds cannot be separated. Mishima's heroes vac i l late between the centrifugal impulse for transcendence and the centripetal desire for immanence and f ina l ly end up w i th the annihilation of both worlds. This denouement is expressed in the images of violence and destruction prevalent everywhere In his works (and In his chosen way of death). Kenji ' s sty le also expresses "vacil lation." Or more exactly, his sty le i t se l f vibrates, ref lect ing the rhythmic diastole and systole In the l i f e of nature and the universe. Sometimes It captures the l i f e of a tiny ant that goes among pebbles under a flower; at other times it r ides the wind up into the strata of the atmosphere to c i rc le the galactic universe. In the above-quoted opening passage from "MatasaburG, the Wind Child," the reader's viewpoint which, drawn by the tempestual song of the wind has expanded outwardly, suddenly contracts. This is fol lowed by the centripetal scene of the small school in a valley wi th a tiny tennis court and a spring. This s t y l i s t i c "vac i l lat ion" is also present in other impressive scenes from the tales we have analysed or br ief ly noted in the previous chapters: i t is evident in the centrifugal image of the bl izzard and the centripetal image of the quiet plain w i th the chi ld buried in the snow and covered w i th the red blanket in "The Fourth Day"; in Giovanni's journey on the Milky Way Railroad; in the smal l galactic model in "The Night"; and in the concentric mandala 211 scene of the universe w i th the body of Kojuro at i t s center in "The Bears of Mt. Nametoko." Through the above examination of Kenji ' s s ty le in i t s relat ion to innocence, we can conclude that what makes Kenji ' s s ty le unique is the dynamic and rhythmic manner in which it seems almost to osc i l la te in accord w i th the vibrations of nature and the universe. Both Kawabata and Shiga sometimes capture the rhythm of the universe, but in a more subdued, down-to-earth manner. This can be said, more or less, of most modern Japanese writers. Mishima is perhaps one of the few except ions—for though he was, l ike Kawabata, influenced by tradit ional Japanese aesthetics, he seems, unlike Kawabata, to have harbored ambivalent feelings towards them. However, in his hatred of l i f e and his impulse to destroy the whole world, including h imse l f—that is, in his thoroughly necrophilic inc l inat ion , 2 4 his sty le diametrical ly opposes Kenji 's, which is essential ly biophil ic and bubbles w i th the innocent joys and sorrows of the world. This vivacious sty le rests upon various signs of "markedness" such as his use of the Iwate dialect, of songs and onomatopoeia and of sc ient i f i c , and most particularly, mineral imagery. 2 4 Kawabata, too, sometimes shows this inclination, but usually his necrophilia enhances the sense of life. 212 Conclusion In the New Testament there is a famous passage: Then were there brought unto him little children, that he should put his hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. And he laid his hands on them, and departed thence. (Matthew 19: 13-15, 1611 King James Version) Kenji would have agreed wholeheartedly w i th this view of the " l i t t l e children," for l ike Jesus, he associated children, both metaphorically and l i tera l ly , w i th the realm of innocence. For Kenji, the word " ch i ld - l i ke " carried w i th i t images of s impl ic i ty, of integration and of the fresh, uncorrupt and energetic joys of l i fe. Indeed, it seems that "chi ld- l ikeness" was the one essential ingredient in Kenji 's ideal realm of innocence and supreme happiness, and it was this ideal state that he tr ied to real ize in this and in his imaginative world. His l i f e was a constant struggle between his strong predilection for innocence and the sordid real i ty of the adult world (experience), which Kenji recognized both in the world and with in himself. The f i r s t major confrontation between innocence and experience can be seen in his conf l ic t w i th his father concerning the family religion. The Shin sect of Buddhism, w i th i t s emphasis on the dark, depraved (i.e., experienced) aspects of the world and the human psyche, did not completely sat i s fy the young Kenji. Thus to balance the pessimism of Shinran, he embraced the Nichiren sect and i t s bright, opt imist ic teachings about the Cosmic Buddha and cosmic joy. Other tensions between Kenji 's ideal and the real worlds can be seen in 213 various conceptual dichotomies which characterized his thought: country vs. c ity, the earth vs. the universe, the conscious (this world) vs. the unconscious (the other world or ikukan). science vs. rel igion, l i f e ("reality") vs. l i terature or art (imaginary world), and l i fe vs. death. We can observe a l l of these opposites not only in Kenji 's l i f e but also in his l iterature. For a better understanding of how these dichotomies operated in Kenji 's l i fe , we can consider the center-periphery opposition, which is synonymous here w i th the "unmarked-marked" opposition. The signif icance of this conceptual dichotomy in Kenji 's l i f e is evidenced by his frequent vaci l lat ions between Iwate (the periphery) and Tokyo (the center); his academic training 1n so i l science that eventually extended his awareness outwards to the entire universe; his consciousness in dally l i f e which often journeyed to the unconscious, the realm of his fantasies and visions; his attempts to unite science (theory) and religion (practice); his devotion to art and l i terature which was largely Ignored by his father and by the l i terary c i rc les In Tokyo; and f ina l ly his l i f e as opposed to his death as we l l as the deaths of other "Innocent" l iving things sacr i f iced for his l ife. In these Interrelated pairs of opposites, primal innocence would usually be placed on the side of the periphery or the "marked." What is notable in Kenji as we l l as in other wr i te r s w i th a myst ica l vis ion, however, Is that the oppositional terms of these pairs do not stay in r ig id opposition. Rather they are easily transformed in such a way that the center-periphery relation is reversed before one knows It. We could in fact say that they Interpenetrate one another just as " th is " side of the MOblus str ip Interpenetrates the "other" side. For Kenji the periphery or the "marked" realm Is often superimposed on the center, the "unmarked," ordinary world. This is why in Kenji 's thought, science Is ult imately 214 religion, daily labour becomes art, iwate absorbs the culture of Tokyo to be sublimated into Ihatove, the dreamland Iwate, this world is the other world, and l i f e is death—as symbolized In Kenji 's " r i t ua l i s t i c " death after the annual Shinto fest iva l of the good harvest. It i s quite natural, therefore, that Kenji ' s l i f e (practice) paralleled his Ideas (theory) so closely. Herein l ies, we could say, the s incer ity and innocence In Kenji ' s l i fe. Kenji 's s incer ity and Innocence are s im i la r to the s incer ity and innocence of "children" and "pr imit ive" people, who do not have a s t r i c t sense of the demarcation between this world and the other world, and thus tend to see the surrounding world as embodying sp i r i t s and l ives s imi la r to their own. To these people this world is perhaps no other than an emanation of the other, myst ical realm, which Kenji would ca l l ikukan. As we have seen, in Kenji the boundary between this world (the conscious) and the other world (the unconscious) ult imately becomes transparent so that communication between the two realms is freely carr ied out. Given his view of the other world, it is not surprising that Kenji found i t rather d i f f i cu l t to function in the world of rat ional ity, adults, and experience. In th is sense, he was not unlike the Innocent inhabitants of ikukan which he described In his tales: the animals, monsters, children, and good-natured men l ike Yamaotoko, KojOTO and KenjQ. The points of view in many of Kenji ' s tales, as examined in Chapter 2, are often set in the other space, from which this world of human adults is observed. Though this viewpoint exists, It Is not r ig idly fixed. The paradoxical relationship between Seisaku and his child, mentioned in Chapter 2, is one example of the f lex ib le interpenetration of innocence and experience. "The Fourth Day of the Month of Daffodils," analysed in Chapter 3, is another instance. In the lat ter case, the alteration and mixing of point of view 215 between the Snow Boy and the human child and various images of ambiguity culminate in the cosmic black-white vortex of the bl izzard, indicating a possible merger and pivotal reversal of positions between this world (the center) and the other world (the periphery). This pivotal reversal, we might say, is also the outstanding character ist ic of Kenji ' s symbolism, which he used to express his Ideas of ikukan. the abode of innocence. More exactly, however, as we have observed above, IkQkan alone, as cut off from and opposed to this world, is not the realm of innocence, but rather in Kenji innocence arises on the border between ikQkan and this world. The abode of innocence is at the margin or the ult ima thule of th is world, and this margin is also the center or the pivotal point of the entire universe because the "entirety" of the universe, whether the universe is psychic or physical, is secured only by putting this world and the other world together. Another point we should reiterate here Is that the borderland between this world and the other world Is l ike the boundary between the "two sides" of the Mflblus strip. Just as we feel giddy thinking about the "absurd" tw i s t built into the MObius str ip, we feel s l ightly dizzy reading such tales as "The Fourth Day" and "The Night of the Milky Way Railroad." The symbolism of the latter, examined In Chapter 4, i s a particularly good example of a l i terary expression of the paradoxical relationship between this world and the other world—between "th is " side and the "other" side of the MOblus strip. In this work, images of spatio-temporal borders such as gates, slopes, trees, h i l l s , r ivers, bridges, day-night, clocks and the hero's separation from his parents and friends are combined and merged, in a Mobius-str ip- l ike way, w i th images of the center such as the galactic model, the P i l l a r of the Weather 216 Wheel, the h i l l , the Polar Star, the cross, the apple and the hero's reunion w i th his parents. At the close of the work, Giovanni, the hero, is even "reunited" wi th Campanella by real iz ing that everyone, including himself, is Campanella. Indeed, in this tale the boundary and center are the locus of unity as we l l as of separation—at once spatial and temporal. When the locus is viewed as a boundary, a sense of separation and alienation results, whereas when i t is considered as the center, the sense of unity and eternity is realized. Through his galactic journey Giovanni is in it iated, both on the conscious and unconscious levels, into the secret paradox of the universe—the paradox of the center and the periphery. Innocence is perhaps the attitude of one who accepts this paradox and l ives accordingly—as Giovanni is determined to do at the end of the tale. Kenji 's l i terary sty le is an inevitable outcome of this attitude and world view. Compared w i th the styles of his contemporaries in Japan, who chiefly wrote and deviated with in the confines of the tradit ional s t y l i s t i c framework, Kenji ' s s ty le is unorthodox in many way s— i n i t s use of the Iwate dialect, of songs (often nonsensical) and onomatopoeia and of sc ient i f i c , and especially, mineral terms and images. These elements, subsumed in the sty le of the children's story, generate the bubbling joys and sorrows of the world on a cosmic scale. To use somewhat exaggerated words, in Kenji ' s tales it is as if the entire universe were laughing and crying in primordial joy and sorrow at i t s creation. This kind of cosmic sens i t iv i ty Is what is missing in other modern Japanese wr i ter s , and it is presumably this kind of centrifugal-centripetal cosmic rhythm that makes Kenji ' s s ty le unique and "peripheral" in the stream of modern Japanese literature. 217 In conjunction w i th the peripheral nature of Kenji ' s style, we should note that although Kenji wrote in the style of the children's story, many of his tales are not easi ly appreciated by children. The themes, mot i f s and imagery of these tales are deceptively simple, yet often unintel l ig ible to children; inasmuch as they are close to a non-se l f - ref lect ive state, children are, so to speak, in a state of what might be cal led primary Innocence, just as the sky, the mountains, the rivers, the animals in nature are in innocence, and thus they are not aware of their own innocence. Many of Kenji ' s tales are innocence i t se l f , and it requires the sophisticated sens i t i v i t ie s of adults, who have lost their "innocence," to appreciate their s ignif icance and beauty. The style of Kenji ' s tales, therefore, can be said to be doubly peripheral, f i r s t l y , In Its use of the above-mentioned elements such as the Iwate dialect, songs and mineral imagery that, put together, constitute his "children's story" style, and secondly, in i t s "un lnte l l i g lb l l l ty " to children to whom Kenji ' s tales are seemingly addressed. Ironically Kenji ' s l i terature, spec i f ica l ly his tales, tends to be "peripheralized" both In relation to adults ' and to children's worlds, wi th the result that It alienates both children and adults. This "peripheral" quality provides us w i th another perspective from which to consider the Issues of Innocence and center-periphery in Kenji ' s wo rk—th i s is the perspective of autophagy. The self-devouring nature of the world (or l i f e l iv ing on l i fe) was one of the central themes in Kenji ' s l iterature, and this may be one reason that It was somewhat unintel l ig ible to both chi ld and adult readers in Kenji 's day. Children are generally unconscious of this kind of se l f - re f lect ive, se l f - re ferent ia l issue, whi le 218 "unmarked" adults are oblivious to i t , or rather, as Alan Watts suggests, 1 they try to evade and peripheralize it to the extent that i t becomes non-existent in their c i v i l i zed, anthropocentric world. At the same time, the very fact that this autophagic state is "peripheralized" by both children and "unmarked" adults indicates a close relationship between the issue of autophagy and that of innocence. Children are unaware of the autophagic state because they are themselves in such a state, or very close to it. The mother-child relationship (nurture-nurtured) can be interpreted as a relationship based on autophagy, 2 yet it can also be a symbol of a fe l ic i tous union and innocence. This autophagic relationship continues, in the form of an autophagic relationship between man and nature, even after children grow up into adults and allegedly become independent of their mothers. However, "unmarked" adults in daily, c i v i l i zed society are blind or oblivious to this re lat ionsh ip—for Kenji, a sign, or rather perhaps the fundamental cause, of the state of experience or alienation. Many of Kenji ' s tales explore this paradoxical problem of the relationship between innocence and "autophagy" and express i t through l iterary images. Thus we encounter many mandala-like images in Kenji ' s tales; for instance, in the last scenes of "The Bears of Mt. Nametoko," of "The Fourth Day of the Month of Daffodils" and of "The Night of the Milky Way 1 See footnote 15 to Chapter 2 of this dissertation. 2 The Indian myths of Kali and Durga, the dark goddesses that devour human beings, their own creation, can be seen in light of the autophagic relationship between mother and child. See also Erich Neumann, The Oreat Mother: An Analysis of the Archetype, trans. Ralph Manheim (1963; rpt. Princeton: Princeton University, 1974). 219 Railroad." The sense of intense joy and sorrow evoked in these scenes perhaps arises from the fundamental paradox of autophagy and innocence which Kenji presumably intuits as an inherent characteristic of the universe. Indeed, for him the cosmic autophagy or the self-negation of the universe may be the fundamental source of all the separations and alienations in the world, which, in turn, may be said to be the cause of all human sorrow. On the other hand, it may be this same state of autophagy that generates the sense of joyful communion and "atonement" in the interpenetration between not only man and man but also between man and the universe. To use the analogy of the Mobius strip once more, this paradoxical relationship between sorrow and innocence is like the "two sides" of the strip, with sorrow constantly turning into joyful innocence. Or, as in Kenji's metaphor, the interaction between innocence and sorrow is represented by the karmic AC lamp of the self. 3 Following Makoto Ueda's interpretation of Kenji's AC lamp in his proem to Spring and Asura. we could say that a vacuum, or "emptiness" in the Buddhist sense, underlies this interaction. 4 Also we could interpret this emptiness in terms of the boundary of the cosmic Mobius strip, the boundary being the locus or the 3 See also the following passage from Kenji's poem, "Suzuya Plain" (Suzuya heigen, ^ J f - J & )•• The green spikes of timothy are merrily swaying. Even so, "merrily swaying," just like Solemn Mass or the circle of cloud, is not in opposition to griefs and sorrows. (Z 2:178) 4 Ueda, pp. 186-187. 220 source of innocence and sorrow, and in this sense, being replete w i th existent ial poss ib i l i t ies. Thus, i t may be that we adults are constantly stepping off (i.e., "sinning" or "missing") the mark or boundary between the "two sides" of the autophagic Mobius s t r ip of the universe to fa l l Into the state of experience, whi le at the same time constantly retaining the potential i ty of being "redeemed" to the state of innocence. In other words, we constantly step off the boundary onto the very same boundary of the cosmic Mobius s t r ip (i.e., we step off and do not step off at the same time), without, however, real iz ing i t most of the time. Jesus ' words quoted at the beginning of this conclusion may be interpreted from this paradoxical vantage point of "s in" and "redemption." To become l ike children in Jesus ' sense may be to real ize that we adults are constantly stepping off the boundary of "primary or pr imordial " innocence into another state of Innocence or restored innocence. It is also from such a perspective that we can understand the idea of fe l l x culpa (happy fa l l ) and N. 0. Brown's words: "Eating is the form of the f a l l . . . . Eating is the form of redemption We must eat again of the tree of knowledge, in order to fa l l into innocence." 5 This kind of interpretation of "s in" (experience) and "redemption" (Innocence) can shed light on s t i l l another example, this t ime an old Japanese folk song: Asobi o sen to ya For sport and play umareken I think that we are born; tawamure sen to ya For jesting and laughter 5 Brown, p. 167. 221 umareken I doubt not we are born. asobu kodomo no For when I hear koe kike ba The voice of children at their play, waga mi sae koso My limbs, even my yurugarure Stiff limbs, are stirred.6 Presumably, i t was towards this kind of s ta te—the state of innocence—based on the "innocent" play of cosmic autophagy 7 that Kenji strove both in his l i terature and in his l i fe. The charm of his l i terature, speci f ica l ly his tales, may be said to l ie in the successful expression of this vision. He may not have seen his ideal real ized in the larger world, but no one can deny the unwavering s incerity wi th which he strove towards i t ; 6 Emperor Goshirakawa ?«J % L .ed..Rvoiin hisho ^iffkjfyft (A collection of Japanese ballads and songs) revised and annotated by Konishi Jin'ichi >h & -— (Asahi Shinbunsha, 1962), p. 35. The translation of the poem quoted here is by Arthur Waley. The 7-5 syllable pattern in this poem is typically used in imavo. folk songs popular in the mid-and late Heian period. Interestingly, in his later years, Kenji often used the 7-5 syllable pattern for his poems written in classical Japanese. He actually mentions imavo in the outline for his projected essay on four-couplet poems in classical Japanese. For more on the relationship between imayj) and Kenji's poems, see Ueda, pp. 221-224. 7 Mita Munesuke would call this state sonzai no matsuri or the festival of existence, while Umehara Takeshi would call it sei no shukusai Afc J) Tfi^ ^  or the festival of life. See Mita, Chapter 3 and Umehara Takeshi, "Shura no sekai o koete" \ ^ &) l!£-^r£ XX (Beyond the world of Asura), Miyazawa Kenii kenkvu. ed. Kusano Shimpei (Chikuma Shobo, 1969), p. 30. 222 thus we have to conclude that he did indeed l ive his own l i f e according to this ideal. 223 APPENDIX I THE MOBIUS STRIP © M . C. Fscher Heirs c/o Cordon Art--Baarn—Hol land 224 APPENDIX II THE KLEIN BOTTLE APPENDIX III M. C. ESCHER: OTHER WORLD 225 226 APPENDIX IV M. C. ESCHER: WATERFALL © M . C. Escher Heirs c/o Cordon Art—Baarn--Hol land 227 Selected Bibliography Miyazawa Kenji • Bunko ban Miyazawa Kenji zenshu 5 0 t ltiL% t£^i% t& & (Complete works of Miyazawa Kenji: pocketbook edition). Vol. VIL ChikumaShobo, 1985. 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