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Enchi Fumiko : a study in the self-expression of women Sodekawa, Hiromi 1988

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ENCHI FUMIKO: A STUDY IN THE SELF-EXPRESSION OF WOMEN by HIROMI SODEKAWA B.A., Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, 1980 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN THE REQUIREMENTS MASTER PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF FOR THE DEGREE OF OF ARTS i n THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES DEPARTMENT OF ASIAN STUDIES We Accept t h i s thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA A p r i l 1988 ©Hirorai Sodekawa, 1988 In p resen t ing this thesis in partial f u l f i lmen t o f t he r e q u i r e m e n t s fo r an advanced d e g r e e at t h e Univers i ty o f Brit ish C o l u m b i a , I agree tha t t h e Library shall make it f reely available f o r re ference and s tudy . I fu r ther agree that pe rmiss ion f o r ex tens ive c o p y i n g o f th is thesis f o r scholar ly pu rposes may b e g r a n t e d by the head o f m y d e p a r t m e n t o r by his o r her representat ives. It is u n d e r s t o o d that c o p y i n g o r p u b l i c a t i o n o f th is thesis fo r f inancial gain shall n o t b e a l l o w e d w i t h o u t m y w r i t t e n pe rm iss ion . D e p a r t m e n t o f jr^Sf/JU/x The Univers i ty o f Brit ish C o l u m b i a Vancouver , Canada Pa te J*rP. /9r?t DE-6 (2/88) Abstract This thesis examines four major works of Enchi Furaiko i n terras of themes, s t y l e , and plot development. In these works, Enchi created three "types" of female characters: the vengeful woman, the lovable woman, and the e l d e r l y woman facing death and aging. She attempted to show how i t was possible for these women, a l l repressed by a society, to release themselves from suppression to express t h e i r hidden, r e a l selves. In exploring these issues, Enchi drew heavily on her knowledge of the Japanese c l a s s i c s , especially The Tale of Genji and late Edo f i c t i o n (including Kabuki), creating a l i t e r a r y world i n which the c l a s s i c a l and the modern, the past and the present were conflated. Unable to express t h e i r true selves within the constraints of a repressive s o c i a l order, her characters seek self-expression and Eros through the intervention of mediumistic, s p i r i t u a l , and supernatural forces. In Enchi's works, when the characters released s p i r i t s united with t h e i r Eros, they r e a l i z e d t h e i r essential femininity. An analysis of four of Enchi's major works c l a r i f i e s these themes and Enchi's l i t e r a r y world. Chapter One examines The Waiting Years, the work which established Enchi's reputation as a powerful n o v e l i s t . Though marred by a lack of realism i n the supportive characters, The Waiting Years succeeds i n portraying a "vengeful woman" who expresses her essential femininity through revenge. A well-controlled, repressive s t y l e , influenced by that of The Tale of Genji and late Edo f i c t i o n , reinforces the theme of revenge and repression. In contrast to th i s vengeful woman, Tale of the Mediums, which i s analysed i n Chapter Two, deals with the "lovable woman." This type of woman uses her s p i r i t force to express her suppressed love. This chapter attempts to explain how Enchi employs complicated s t y l i s t i c devices and a plot i n which h i s t o r i c a l facts and f i c t i o n , present and past, and i l l u s i o n and r e a l i t y are conflated, i n order to describe an idea l love. Tale of the Mediums, which can be c a l l e d Enchi's work of Heian l i t e r a t u r e , creates a highly sophisticated and even a s l i g h t l y a r t i f i c i a l l i t e r a r y world. Chapter Three focuses on the novel, Wandering Souls, which i s part of the larger t r i l o g y also c a l l e d Wandering Souls. In t h i s work, the heroine i s neither a vengeful nor a loving woman. Although she i s involved with men, love, and sex, she i s forced to face the r e a l i t i e s of aging, death, fear and loneliness. These harsh r e a l i t i e s force her to release her hidden s e l f from the forces of socia l suppression and from the b a r r i e r of her public s e l f . Her self-expression takes place through the fusion of r e a l i t y and i l l u s i o n , i n a world associated with that portrayed i n The Tale of Genji. The Mist i n Karuizawa, Enchi's most mature work, i s the subject of Chapter Four. A l l of Enchi's major concerns are brought into focus i n t h i s work. Using an imaginary c l a s s i c a l work as the center of the novel, Enchi develops two additional narrative l i n e s to create a sophisticated, layered p l o t . The heroine i s an el d e r l y woman facing aging, death, fear and loneliness, and her s e l f - l i b e r a t i o n takes place i n an i l l u s i o n a l world created through reference to the Japanese c l a s s i c s . In t h i s work an ancient high priestess symbolizes the essential q u a l i t y of femininity, the unity of s p i r i t force and Eros, and through a supernatural re l a t i o n s h i p with t h i s priestess, the novel's protagonist also r e a l i z e s her essential femininity and l i f e force. This thesis, through the four works that are examined, can be considered an attempt to shed l i g h t on the question how Enchi's women characters express t h e i r hidden, r e a l selves; i t also attempts to assess Enchi's place as a modern Japanese writer. - i i i -Table of Contents Introduction 1 Chapter One The Waiting Years . 15 Chapter Two Tale of the Mediums 42 Chapter Three Wandering Souls 69 Chapter Four The Mist i n Karuizawa 96 Conclusion 124 Notes .128 Bibliography 129 - i v -Acknowledgeraents I wish to express ray sincere gratitude to ray supervisor, Dr. Kinya Tsuruta, f o r h i s generous guidance and encouragement. I am also indebted to Professor Takahito Moraokawa who gave me many useful suggestions, and to Kim Adams and Ann Pr i c e , whose e d i t o r i a l assistance was invaluable. -v-Introduction To l i v e , I have to write. The pain of w r i t i n g , l i k e that of a heavily-laden horse climbing sorrowfully^ up a slope without making a sound, seems to prove that I am a l i v e . (238) (translation mine) This view of w r i t i n g was expressed by the heroine of The Mist i n Karuizawa (Saimu f£U, 1975-76), but i t also describes the way i n which the author, Enchi Fumiko ( F l i l f i X - F j 1905-86), regarded w r i t i n g . For Enchi, who dedicated her l i f e to w r i t i n g , l i f e and art were intimately linked, but as the above quotation indicates, her career was by no means smooth or easy. Enchi's f u l l talent developed i n her l a t e r l i f e . I t was only i n 1957, at age f i f t y - t w o , that she f i n a l l y established her p o s i t i o n as a writer. That year, she won the Noma l i t e r a r y p r i z e — o n e of the most prestigious i n Japan—for her novel, The Waiting Years (Onnazaka ^C^, 1949-57). From that time on u n t i l her death i n 1986, she produced a series of high-quality short s t o r i e s and novels, f o r which she won several additional awards. C r i t i c s generally regard Enchi as one of the most important modern Japanese wri t e r s . In p a r t i c u l a r , her modern Japanese tr a n s l a t i o n of The Tale of Genji (Genji raonogatari ^ . R ^ f l l , eleventh century) by Murasaki Shikibu (970's-early 1000's) contributed greatly to the Japanese l i t e r a r y world. Despite her fame i n Japan, Enchi Fumiko remains largely unknown to Western readers. Only three of her numerous works have been translated into English, and as yet almost no i n t e r p r e t a t i o n or analysis of her writings e x i s t s i n Western languages. Thus, a biographical sketch may be help f u l to acquaint Western readers with the general events of Enchi's l i f e and work. - 1 -I t i s possible to i d e n t i f y f i v e main conditions of her l i f e which most s i g n i f i c a n t l y affected her writing career: her father's influence; her educational background, esp e c i a l l y the influence of the Japanese c l a s s i c s ; her b r i e f leaning as a dramatist toward communism; her unhappy experience i n marriage and love; and her delicate health. Together these f i v e elements exerted a tremendous impact on Enchi the write r , and while discussing her biography, I w i l l refer to each. Enchi Fumiko was born i n 1905. Her father, Ueda Kazutoshi, earned the epithet "Patriarch of Modern Language Studies" i n Japan. He studied l i n g u i s t i c s i n Germany and returned to Tokyo Imperial University to establ i s h the d i s c i p l i n e of Japanese l i n g u i s t i c s based on modern Western c r i t i c a l theories and methodologies. Fumiko was deeply loved and morally supported by her great father and i n fact seems to have developed something of an "Electra complex," which she probably retained f o r most of her l i f e . Enchi encountered the Japanese c l a s s i c s at an unusually early age, i n her preschool days. She was frequently taken to the Kabuki theatre by her parents and enjoyed hearing her paternal grandmother t e l l various s t o r i e s from eighteenth-century Edo f i c t i o n . With t h i s basic knowledge of the Japanese c l a s s i c s , she started to read The Tale of Genji when she was only ten. Extremely d i f f i c u l t f o r Japanese readers of any age, t h i s work would be a daunting challenge f o r a ten-year-old. But through these ea r l y experiences, Enchi absorbed the Japanese c l a s s i c s and c u l t i v a t e d a precocious s e n s i t i v i t y and i n t e l l i g e n c e . During her high school days, she was captivated by the romanticism of Edgar A l l a n Poe, Oscar Wilde, Nagai Kafu (1879-1959) and Tanizaki Jun'ichiro (1886-1965). In 1922, a f a t e f u l exposure to theater art through a lecture delivered by dramatist Osanai Kaoru (1881-1928) plunged her into Ibsen, Strindberg, Hauptmann, and contemporary Japanese - 2 -playwrights. When she was seventeen, Fumiko became d i s i l l u s i o n e d with the prescribed education at her women's high school, and a f t e r four years she quit the school, one year short of graduation. Her father was steeped i n Westernized l i b e r a l thought, so he permitted her withdrawal and engaged a B r i t i s h missionary and several prominent college professors to tutor her i n English, French, and the Japanized Chinese c a l l e d Karabun. She continued the lessons u n t i l her marriage at age twenty-five. In t h i s way, Enchi was able to become a modern author who synthesized the s e l f -acknowledged influences of past and present as well as Eastern and Western l i t e r a t u r e . In 1925, when she was twenty years old, she made her l i t e r a r y debut with a play, Hometown (Furusato 1926), which won f i r s t prize i n a contest sponsored by the drama magazine, Kabuki ( ^ ^ f j ^ ) . Following the publication of several more works, her play, A Busy Night i n Late Spring (Banshun soya Bfe#i§-$£j 1928), was staged i n 1928 at the prestigious T s u k i j i L i t t l e Theater. After she became a n o v e l i s t , Enchi's early t r a i n i n g as a dramatist continued to condition her wr i t i n g , influencing such elements as the dialogue and the settings of her novels. Before her marriage, Enchi was attracted to communism, which fascinated many Japanese i n t e l l e c t u a l s at the time. In fact, A Busy Night i n Late Spring, which dealt with a contrast between a conservative a r t i s t and an i d e a l i s t i c s o c i a l i s t , was published i n a prol e t a r i a n l i t e r a r y magazine, Women's Art (Nyonin geijutsu itKzczffi) - However, because her father was wise enough not to object strongly to her i n c l i n a t i o n toward the communist movement, she did not become deeply involved. Her father perceived that she was not e s s e n t i a l l y a s o c i a l a c t i v i s t , and t h i s i n s i g h t proved correct. Through her l i f e , although she touched on c e r t a i n s o c i a l problems i n her works, Enchi's main interest was always directed toward the inner workings of human beings. After her marriage, she gradually - 3 -d r i f t e d away from the communist movement. Fumiko married newspaperman Enchi Yoshimatsu i n 1930. Their married l i f e was never happy, although they had one daughter and were never divorced. Some of Enchi's best and most r e a l i s t i c works describe the s t i f l i n g atmosphere of a home i n which a career-oriented couple lead separate l i v e s under the same roof without any r e a l intimacy. We can see t h i s e s p e c i a l l y i n the t r i l o g y , What Robs the Vermilion (Ake wo ubaumono 1955-56), The Wounded Wing (Kizu am tsubasa j ^ ^ g , 1960) and The Rainbow and Ashura ( N i j i to shura &I<J;||£fi, 1965-67), which contain many autobiographical elements. This t r i l o g y won the Tanizaki Jun'ichiro Prize i n 1969. I t i s probably true to say that Enchi never loved any man as a l i v i n g human being. Her "Electra complex" was strong, and the f i c t i t i o u s worlds of such works as The Tale of Genji and of Kabuki theatre were deeply i n s t i l l e d i n her; as a r e s u l t , she sought lovers that were not " r e a l man," but great or heroic just l i k e her father or her f i c t i o n a l heroes. Before her marriage, she was b r i e f l y infatuated with the dramatist, Osanai, but nothing came of i t . Before and a f t e r her marriage, she had an a f f a i r with a communist w r i t e r , but her passion was i n s u f f i c i e n t to make her leave her husband. I t seems that a f t e r t h i s a f f a i r ended, Enchi never again found a man she could love. Considering that love i s usually of central importance to most writers, i n t h e i r careers as well as i n t h e i r personal l i v e s , Enchi*s case i s quite unusual. Her unhappy marriage and dispassionate love, caused by and at the same time generating a longing for romantic love, played a v i t a l r o l e i n her growth as a n o v e l i s t . As with t h e i r creator, most of Enchi's heroines are too timid to pursue love a c t i v e l y and instead long secretly f o r a time when they can express t h e i r passions f u l l y . A fter her marriage and the b i r t h of her daughter, Enchi wrote only a few plays. Her fame as a dramatist gradually declined, and she herself - 4 -became increasingly interested i n becoming a n o v e l i s t . Since Enchi saw drama as deeply connected to Marxism, d r i f t i n g away from communism meant d r i f t i n g away from drama. She began to f i n d dramatic conventions too con s t r i c t i n g to express the new v i s i o n of l i f e she gained through her unsuccessful marriage. At the same time, the popularity of theatre started to decline i n Japan a f t e r Osanai's death. She started to write novels as a member of the l i t e r a r y magazine, The Daily Calendar (Nichireki 0 H ) > i n 1935. But, because of t h e i r heavy, i n t e l l e c t u a l s t y l e , her early novels were not well received. The years between about 1937 and 1953 brought Enchi misfortune i n her health, f i n a n c i a l s i t u a t i o n and career. In 1937, her father died. In 1938, she suffered from mastitis and Had to have a breast s u r g i c a l l y removed. During the war, she l o s t her house and most of her fortune, including a substantial l i b r a r y . In 1946, at age forty-one, she suffered from uterine cancer and hovered on the brink of death for four months, af t e r a hysterectomy, an operation which deepened her sense of her impaired femininity. From then on, t h i s anxiety over her femininity was ref l e c t e d i n her works, quite often as a half-mocking self-image revealed through her heroines, one of whom said, for example, "I am no longer a woman. Just a weird monster, neither male nor female" (368) 1. But eventually Enchi r e a l i z e d that women were s t i l l women even though they might have l o s t c e r t a i n physical female a t t r i b u t e s . In f a c t , she discovered a woman's passion might become even stronger i n such a si t u a t i o n , though that passion would no longer emerge i n a healthy way, but rather with a ce r t a i n pathological energy. This physical misfortune forced her to think deeply about the issues of women's l i v e s and led her to explore new themes as a writ e r . In her subsequent works, descriptions of sex became increasingly audacious. For about f i v e or s i x years a f t e r the operation, she experienced - 5 -writer's block and wrote only l i g h t stories for g i r l s to bring i n some money. She continued to write novels, but these were continually rejected by publishing companies. Compared with her easy and successful debut as a dramatist, Enchi the novelist remained i n a slump for a long time. But she did not give up. In 1954, at age forty-nine, she was awarded the Women' Writers Pri z e for a short story, "Poor Days" ("Hiraojii t s u k i h i " Z> h H ) . After that, with her work on The Waiting Years, her talent bloomed. This i s probably because even i f she had experienced "poor days" as a writer, she maintained pride and confidence i n her writing a b i l i t y , as well as i n the l i t e r a r y i n t e l l i g e n c e she had acquired and cu l t i v a t e d over such a long period of time. I t was, I would argue, the above-mentioned f i v e elements—her father's influence, her love for the Japanese c l a s s i c s , her b r i e f leaning as a dramatist toward communism, her unhappy - experience i n marriage and love, and her delicate health—which interacted to produce the novelist Enchi Fumiko. During her l i f e , Enchi produced over t h i r t y - f i v e novels, more than one hundred and f i f t y short s t o r i e s , and a ten-volume t r a n s l a t i o n of The Tale of Genji. In her e a r l i e s t works, such as "Poor Days" and The Waiting  Years, Enchi dealt with suppressed or oppressed women, who s t o i c a l l y endured t h e i r painful l i v e s . In her next group of novels, she generally created mysterious women, who re a l i z e d t h e i r hidden, re a l selves by employing t h e i r mediumistic a b i l i t i e s . Such works include "Enchantress" ("Y6" 1956), "Love i n Two Lives: The Remnant" ("Nisei no en: shui" — t t © H fnit , 1957), Masks (Onnamen tcM, 1958), The Orange Blossoms (Hanachirusato jtWiM, 1957-60), Tale of the Mediums (Namamiko monogatari t£ £ £ $Jf§, 1959-65), and A Variation of Komachi (Komachi henso / J\fflr^fg , 1965). Most of the works from t h i s period r e f l e c t her knowledge of and i n c l i n a t i o n toward the Japanese c l a s s i c s , e s p e c i a l l y The Tale of Genji and Edo f i c t i o n or Kabuki. - 6 -Enchi's t h i r d group of novels includes such works as the t r i l o g y , Wandering Souls, (Yukon $fi&, 1969-70), The Mist i n Karuizawa (Sairau ?£fg, 1976), and Chrysanthemum C h i l d (Kikujido M&M, 1982-83). In these, Enchi dealt with characters facing aging, death, loneliness and fear, mainly e l d e r l y women struggling to express t h e i r femininity by using t h e i r supernatural powers. I l l u s i o n , dream and an atmosphere of enchantment often run through these works. The influence of the Japanese c l a s s i c s i s s t i l l evident, but i t i s more subtly assimilated than i n her previous works. In the following essay I w i l l focus on four of Enchi's major works: The Waiting Years, Tale of the Mediums, the t r i l o g y Wandering Souls and The Mist i n Karuizawa. These I think not*only demonstrate Enchi's central concerns as a writer , but insofar as they span the entire period of her career, they reveal the development of her st y l e and wr i t i n g a b i l i t y . They are, i n addition, among her best known and well written wroks. What then are Enchi's concerns i n these works? According to the well-known art h i s t o r i a n , John Berger, because of t h e i r s o c i o l o g i c a l and h i s t o r i c a l experiences, women have come to understand themselves as women i n terms of two constituent yet always d i s t i n c t elements: they see themselves at one and the same time as "the surveyor" and "the surveyed," or i n other words, as subject and object simultaneously (415-16). I t seems that Enchi has the same dichotomized view of women, though she does not e x p l i c i t l y use the terms surveyor and surveyed. She i s concerned with a number of conceptual poles as they relate to women's selves: n a t u r a l -s o c i a l , inner-outer, subjective-objective, private-public, and r e a l s e l f -disguised s e l f . Enchi believes that women possess a true s e l f , which i s natural, inner, subjective, private and r e a l . That s e l f i s innate and independent of the opinions of others, so men have no access to i t . However, the other s e l f — t h a t which i s s o c i a l , outer, objective, - 7 -public and d i s g u i s e d — i s acquired and dependent upon how i t appears to others and ultimately to men. Probably because Enchi was herself a repressed woman, her primary concern was with the f i r s t of these, with the woman's rea l s e l f , which i s usually hidden, or suppressed by society. In her works she t r i e s to cast l i g h t upon t h i s suppressed female s e l f i n various ways. She i s es p e c i a l l y interested i n what happens when, for any number of reasons, the inner s e l f becomes released from suppression and takes on the character of a kind of pathological " s p i r i t force" which acts without r e s t r a i n t , sometimes taking s p i r i t u a l possession of others. In other words, Enchi's main theme i s how the re a l s e l f of a repressed woman comes to a t t a i n l i b e r a t i o n . At the time of release, the hidden, r e a l s e l f , so long suppressed, acquires a twisted, d r a s t i c power, so much so that society i s l i k e l y to perceive i t as dangerous. Therefore, the repressed woman's s e l f which Enchi deals with i s regarded by many c r i t i c s as a form of e v i l karma or obsession always latent within woman—a view colored by Buddhist teaching. Enchi's reputation as an author with an expert a b i l i t y to depict t h i s e v i l feminine karma or latent obsession i s s o l i d l y established. However, she has often claimed that rather than some pot e n t i a l e v i l l u rking only within women, i t i s a hidden part of the inner world of a l l human beings that she i s attempting to write about. I t i s true that Enchi deals with the private obsessions of both men and women, and she does not evaluate those obsessions as good or e v i l . However, she believes that these obsessions are p a r t i c u l a r l y c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of women because women have been p a r t i c u l a r l y suppressed by society. By focusing on the suppressed s e l f of the female, Enchi explores c e r t a i n fundamental issues, such as the very meaning of what i t i s to be female, male and human. How then does Enchi understand t h i s hidden force which for her constitutes essential femininity? In one word, I would argue that she - 8 -sees t h i s power as a kind of " s p i r i t f o r c e " — a force of f r u s t r a t i o n , unresponsive to the i n t e l l e c t , to morals or common sense, and a force over which the woman has no control. When the private s e l f has been thoroughly suppressed and i t s desire f o r self-expression reaches i t s peak, t h i s s p i r i t force i s awakened and stimulated to take concrete action i n the external world. Quite often t h i s action takes on a sexual character. At th i s stage, the woman's s p i r i t force and her Eros are united; by expressing her inner s e l f , she recovers her whole s e l f and becomes integrated. This state i s associated with that of s p i r i t possession as experienced by a s p i r i t u a l medium. Thus, the figure of the medium fascinates Enchi. As long as we l i v e i n t h i s world, she believes, we t r y to control our own inner selves, but sometimes we lose control and i n t h i s sense each person possesses a potential s p i r i t force. The phenomenon of s p i r i t possession i n Japan has been peculiar to woman since ancient times. According to Nakayama Taro, t h i s i s because women usually had a more sensitive and h y s t e r i c a l d i s p o s i t i o n than men, and so had more raediumistic p o t e n t i a l . I t was f e l t that a medium who served a god should be a woman, since she was supposed to marry him. Further, from medieval times on, f o r the p r a c t i c a l reason that job opportunities for women were extremely l i m i t e d , serving a god as a medium was one of the rare jobs f o r women (72-73). Therefore, i n Japan, the job of medium has been reserved for women. I t i s here, e s p e c i a l l y i n the unity of Eros and s p i r i t force found i n the medium, that Enchi sees the essential q u a l i t y of femininity. And i n the end, Enchi considers the medium who represents t h i s femininity as a source of l i f e , which men cannot defeat. What led her to formulate t h i s idea? The clue to t h i s seems to l i e i n Enchi's "An Account of the Shrine i n the F i e l d s " (Nonoraiyaki IT 1^3) i n which she presents her unconventional i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the Rokujo lady - 9 -i n The Tale of Genji through the eyes of the heroine of Masks (Onnamen J£C®> 1958). The Rokujo lady i s the b e a u t i f u l , i n t e l l i g e n t , and sophisticated widow of a former crown prince. She becomes Genji's paramour as a re s u l t of his strenuous courting. She i s very elegant and d i g n i f i e d on the surface and also has high self-esteem and a strong inner s e l f . Because of her jealousy, her s p i r i t takes leave of her body to attack and f i n a l l y k i l l Genji's wife, Aoi. Even a f t e r the Rokujo lady's death, her s p i r i t plays an important role i n the events leading up to the decision of Genji's l a t e r wife, the Third Princess, to become a nun. Therefore, the Rokujo lady i s generally considered to be a jealous, v i n d i c t i v e woman. Commentators see i n her a c l a s s i c i l l u s t r a t i o n of the e v i l karma c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of a l l womankind. However, Genji i s tolerant and forgiving of her behavior, and indeed seems to have p a r t i c u l a r regard for women of strong character such as the Rokujo lady. Enchi defines the Rokujo lady as a female archetype, one who i s the object of man's eternal fear, i n contrast to the archetype of the woman who i s the object of man's eternal love, represented by Fujitsubo, Genji's mother-in-law, and Murasaki, Genji's most beloved consort. Fujitsubo and Murasaki are "women who dissolve t h e i r whole beings i n the anguish of forgiving men, and thereby create an image of eternal love and beauty i n the hearts of the men they love" (52) 2. Enchi believes that the Rokujo lady "possess[es] a s p i r i t of such l i v e l y i n t e n s i t y that she [is] incapable of surrendering i t f u l l y to any man" (50). Inhibited by an a r i s t o c r a t i c upbringing, she "turns unconsciously to s p i r i t possession as the only available outlet f o r her strong w i l l " (51). Because Enchi herself i s a repressed woman, she i s more interested i n the suppressed female s e l f and i t s revelation i n the Rokujo lady. The state of such a female s e l f , when i t i s released from repression to become a s p i r i t u a l presence, i s the state of unity between s p i r i t and Eros. And t h i s condition i s associated with that of a - 1 0 -s p i r i t u a l medium i n the state of possession. I think that Enchi finds t h i s type of strong female inner s e l f inaccessible to men, and thus she uses the Rokujo type and s p i r i t mediums often. Therefore, an understanding of the Rokujo lady and the s p i r i t mediums or shamanesses provides a key to unlock the secrets of Enchi's works. My thesis w i l l attempt, by means of textual i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , to examine how Enchi's protagonists express t h e i r r e a l selves and a t t a i n release or l i b e r a t i o n from suppression. For t h i s purpose, I w i l l analyze each work i n terras of four major elements: characters, s t y l e , structure, and the influence of the Japanese c l a s s i c s . I w i l l also discuss the influence of the Western languages and l i t e r a t u r e s on Enchi's w r i t i n g . The influence of the Japanese c l a s s i c s i s strongly related to Enchi's main theme of feminine release, and so i s p a r t i c u l a r l y important i n understanding her works. In p a r t i c u l a r , Edo f i c t i o n , including Kabuki and The Tale of Genji, affected her at a fundamental l e v e l . In the Edo period (1603-1868), especially i n the l a t e r years, there arose a culture of grotesque decadance, dense sensuality and masochism i n the confined world of the Japanese f e u d a l i s t i c society. Strong emotions, suddenly released from repression and often accompanied by bloody images, were often expressed i n Edo f i c t i o n and Kabuki. We can f i n d s i m i l a r tendencies i n Enchi's works, espe c i a l l y i n her e a r l i e r writings. This s t y l i s t i c tendency I w i l l r e f e r to as the Edo-fiction grotesque or masochism. What of the influence of The Tale of Genji? Judging from the fact that Enchi translated i t into modern Japanese, we can e a s i l y imagine how much t h i s work fascinated her. She borrows some c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the female characters and of the protagonist, Genji, and some s i m i l a r p l o t s , techniques and s t y l e i n her own works. Most s i g n i f i c a n t i s the Rokujo lady, who gives Enchi an insight into the essential q u a l i t y of femininity, the unity of s p i r i t and Eros. As has been mentioned, Enchi establishes two archetypes of women: the woman to be loved by men, and the woman to be feared by men. In The Waiting Years, the heroine i s a fearsome woman, and i n Tale of the Mediums, the heroine i s lovable. This black and white dichotomy i s , of course, based on a male point of view, even though Enchi's purpose i s to write about an independent female s e l f . In Wandering Souls and i n The Mist i n Karuizawa, however, the heroines are neither vengeful nor lovable women, and I would argue that i n these works Enchi moves toward a more balanced depiction of women as human beings. In her l a t e r works, the l i b e r a t i o n of Enchi's heroines i s connected with the Rokujo lady's form of self-expression, her soul's wandering o f f , and the Heian court world. Enchi seems to conceive a fantasy world, or even a source of salvation i n the l i t e r a r y world of The Tale of Genji. She seems to have a desire to escape from her i n c l i n a t i o n toward Edo culture even though emotionally rooted i n i t . Therefore, i n her l a t e r works, the Edo-fiction s t y l e tapers o f f , while her i n c l i n a t i o n toward Genji continues. In her l a s t two works, women's inner selves are expressed by the fusion of unconsciousness and consciousness, and the fusion of i l l u s i o n and r e a l i t y . Through the heroines of those works, readers are led to the other world, which i s related to the Heian court era. In contrast to the great influence of the Japanese c l a s s i c s , Western languages and l i t e r a t u r e s did not greatly a f f e c t Enchi, although some c r i t i c s point out the Western influences i n her works. Indeed, Enchi often uses foreign loan words, c i t e s foreign authors' words and poems, mentions names of the protagonists of Western novels, touches on Western a r t s , and so on. Esp e c i a l l y i n her l a t e r works, such as Wandering Souls and The Mist i n Karuizawa, i n which a fusion between i l l u s i o n and r e a l i t y takes place, she employs Western references as one element to express the co n f l a t i o n of East and West. However, these a l l u s i o n s are b a s i c a l l y - 1 2 -decorative. The influence of the West remains s u p e r f i c i a l i n her works. As for Enchi's characterization, since she i s fascinated with the f i c t i t i o u s worlds of Edo f i c t i o n , or Kabuki and The Tale of Genji, her characters are based on prototypical characters drawn from other f i c t i o n a l works. As a r e s u l t , except f o r a few heroines who seem to be p a r t i a l l y i d e n t i f i e d with the author, they do not possess a strong sense of r e a l i t y as human beings. In other words, Enchi creates her l i t e r a r y f i c t i o n on top of other f i c t i o n s , and t h i s i s why her l i t e r a r y world i s more or less a r t i f i c i a l . This a r t i f i c i a l q u a l i t y i s also related to the fact that there are not many scenes from nature i n her works. Even though she describes natural scenes, quite often nature functions merely as a backdrop. This may have something to do with the urban environment she was brought up i n . However, i n her l a t e r works, there are more natural scenes, and Enchi's way of dealing with them becomes a b i t more "natural." Since she has a great deal of knowledge about Japanese c l a s s i c s , Enchi's vocabulary i s r i c h . In general, her s t y l e i s well-controlled and rather firm, for she often uses Chinese loan words and phrases which give to her w r i t i n g a q u a l i t y of r e s t r a i n t and an academic a i r . To balance t h i s , she also occasionally uses c o l l o q u i a l vocabulary. Once i n a while she i n j e c t s daring and sensual expressions i n the midst of a well-mannered s t y l e , which function to shock the reader. Kamei Hideo c a l l s t h i s tendency "discordant aesthetics" or hacho no b i (®£|lJ<Z)jli) (154). However, i n her l a t e r works, her use of discordant aesthetics decreases, as does the predominance of Ed o - f i c t i o n s t y l e . Her narrative structures usually tend to be complicated, because she t r i e s to construct her l i t e r a r y world i n a sophisticated way. For example, i n some works such as "Love i n Two Lives: The Remnant," she employs the Japanese c l a s s i c s and presents them i n modern t r a n s l a t i o n to create her l i t e r a r y world. Now, l e t us explore t h i s world of fused modern and c l a s s i c a l - 1 3 -l i t e r a t u r e s , a world f u l l of raysteriousness and sensuality, i n which the r e a l s e l f of the female i s l i b e r a t e d . - 1 4 -Chapter One Enchi's f i r s t major novel was The Waiting Years (Onnazaka tc.$i), written between 1949 and 1957. The story opens with a scene i n which the protagonist, Shirakawa Tomo, at the age of t h i r t y , has arrived i n Tokyo to procure a concubine f o r her husband, Yukitorao. From t h i s beginning i t i s not d i f f i c u l t to imagine that the heroine's l i f e w i l l be neither happy nor easy. The novel covers a period of approximately t h i r t y - f i v e years, from the early M e i j i period (around 1885) when the c i v i l r i g h t s movement was at i t s peak through the mid-Taisho period (around 1920). In those days the patriarchal family system had not yet been abolished, and although the practice was o f f i c i a l l y i l l e g a l , t r a d i t i o n permitted the keeping of concubines. Yukitorao i s a successful o f f i c e r of the government. At home he i s an absolute monarch and yet a t t r a c t i v e to women. Tomo i s a t y p i c a l M e i j i woman, who endures the despotism of the male-dominated order and devotes herself to husband and family. Even the humiliating job of finding a concubine f o r her husband she sees as part of her duty as a good wife. Needless to say, Tomo becomes jealous of the be a u t i f u l fifteen-year-old g i r l , Suga, whom she procures. But at the same time she fe e l s g u i l t y about Suga, for i t i s Tomo who buys her as a sexual slave f o r a man of over f o r t y years. With Suga established as her husband's concubine, Tomo i s forced to l i v e out her days l i k e a widow under h i s roof. At f i r s t , Yukitomo i s pleased with Suga, but he i s not f u l l y s a t i s f i e d with only one concubine. When the family moves to Tokyo where Yukitomo has been appointed Superintendent of the Metropolitan Po l i c e Force, t h e i r sixteen-year-old maid, Yurai, becomes h i s second concubine. After he makes a fortune and r e a l i z e s that he w i l l no longer be powerful i n the new age of the c i v i l r i g h t s movement, he r e t i r e s into private l i f e at h i s mansion i n - 1 5 -the Shinagawa district of Tokyo, where he initiates an i l l i c i t relationship with his eldest son's wife, Miya. The son himself, Michimasa, is rather half-witted—another sorrow and burden for his mother, who begins to seek salvation in the Shin sect of Buddhism. In the meantime, Torao marries Yurai off to her nephew, and Yukitomo's love, Miya, dies at a young age. Things do not end here, however, for a family maid bears Tomo's grandson's child before the heroine finally falls i l l one winter day. When she realizes that death is approaching soon, Tomo leaves Yukitorao a will and a dramatic message, both of which express her anguish and the resentment she has felt against him for over forty years. From the preceding summary, it is clear that Tomo's life is one of pain and endurance. But what type of woman is Torao? Does she possess a spirit force, and i f so, how does she express it? In order to analyze Tomo's character in detail, it is possible to divide her life into three stages, based on the psychological changes she experiences. The first stage includes her married life before Suga's arrival. The second stage covers the period from Suga's appearance to Miya's marriage. The third stage extends from the i l l i c i t relationship between Miya and Yukitorao until Tomo's death. Born into a low-ranking samurai family in central Kyushu, a stronghold of Confucian morality and male dominance, Tomo is strongly influenced by her environment and acquires little formal education. At the age of fourteen she marries Yukitomo and goes off to live in Northeastern Honshu, an area whose deep snow gives it a confined atmosphere which further influences and restricts Tomo's character. Naturally she lives by the strict Confucian conduct which gives "first importance in everything to husband and family . . ." (14—15)3. This makes her look old before her time. Her gaze is heavy, and her speech and manner have a certain formality: - 1 6 -. . . the eyes, narrow beneath the f u l l , drooping eyelids, had an almost frustrated look, as though the l i d s were being used to screen o f f a whole v a r i e t y of emotions that might have found expression there. (10) Her face i s l i k e a Noh mask under which a l l her emotions are hidden. Although she does not yet r e a l i z e i t , Tomo's l i f e w i t h i n the pat r i a r c h a l family system keeps her r e a l s e l f suppressed. She clothes herself i n the public s e l f and i n her duties, but knows that, l i k e most women of the south, she has an intense passion within herself. She loves Yukitomo with a f i e r c e sensuality. "Tormented by the one-sided love that [gives] and [gives] with no reward," she longs "to have her husband understand through and through the innermost desires and emotions of her heart" (28). Tomo's hidden force and passion are p a r t i c u l a r l y well i l l u s t r a t e d i n one scene from the novel. One summer night, while Yukitomo and Tomo are sleeping, a snake crawls i n t o t h e i r bedroom. Both awaken with a s t a r t to f i n d the snake curled on Yukitomo's chest. But i t i s Tomo who grabs the snake away and f l i n g s i t into the garden. In doing so, she expresses a deep c o n f l i c t between her hidden desires and her sense of duty, a c o n f l i c t which i s normally shut away from sight, and unacknowledged even by Tomo's conscious s e l f . The snake can be interpreted as a symbol of Tomo's hidden desires: sexuality, passion, defiance and "anti-order," and i n her subconscious mind Tomo i s frightened by a power of such violence, with the potential to destroy her ordered, public existence. In order to protect her husband, she has to throw the snake—her hidden desires—away. The snake possesses other symbolic meanings as we l l . As i n the legend of the "Snake Wife," the snake constitutes a t r a d i t i o n a l symbol of the id e a l wife i n Japan. In t h i s story a man saves a snake from a group of children who are b u l l y i n g i t . To repay the man's kindness, the snake changes i t s e l f into a woman, comes to the man's house, and offers herself to him as a devoted wife, w i l l i n g to love t h e i r c h i l d at the price of - 1 7 -s e l f - s a c r i f i c e . To display such dedication requires a strong w i l l as well as a profound sense of attachment, based upon the conviction that one should never forget even one single kindness from others. The cha r a c t e r i s t i c s of the snake i n t h i s legend are not unlike those of Tomo. Both dedicate themselves to t h e i r husbands and to family l i f e , and both s a c r i f i c e t h e i r own desires to do so. Along with t h i s symbolic meaning, the snake i s also widely seen as a symbol of wisdom and as the source of an almost e v i l l i f e f o r c e — a n i n t e r p r e t a t i o n which, as Jung pointed out, i s common to many cultures i n the world (Kiraura 103). Furthermore, i n Japan the tenacious personality of the snake has long been understood as a good omen. When a harmless snake inhabited a house, the Japanese t r a d i t i o n a l l y believed that i t was a guardian god of the family, come to guard the house. This image of the snake i s also i d e n t i f i e d with the figure of Tomo, who eventually becomes l i k e "a family ghost" to sustain her family nearly single-handedly. The snake i s also an animal with strong t i e s to the earth, f o r usually i t does not show i t s e l f i n the sunlight, and i n t h i s way i t i s suggestive of Tomo's introverted character. And because of i t s association with the earth, the snake refers to the womb and the tomb, or i n other words to l i f e and death, reminding us of the idea of karma and transmigration. I t thus seems associated with Tomo's l a t e r i n c l i n a t i o n toward Buddhism. From t h i s , i t i s clear that Tomo's personality i s very snake-like. In f a c t , i n one scene, she fee l s as i f she were a great snake "rearing i t s hooded head" (48) to stare at her husband and Suga. Most importantly, from the time of the snake incident, Yukitomo finds " i t d i f f i c u l t to see [Tomo] as an object of desire" (19). Yukitomo not only understands Tomo's dedication to duty, but uses t h i s knowledge to control her, thereby making her l i f e increasingly t r a g i c . Although her l i f e to t h i s point may be marred by her husband's - 1 8 -"self-indulgence where women [are] concerned" (14), her inner world i s s t i l l stable. In other words, she is not aware of any conflict between her inner desires and social duties, because her dedication to her husband and the family name i s reinforced by her acceptance of Confucian ideals. In general, such moral codes determine people's behavior to a great extent, so that their morals are quite often i n opposition to their more passionate emotions and desires. However, in Tomo's case, u n t i l Suga arrives, her moral code i s s t i l l compatible with her desires, because, at least on the conscious level, what she wants to do i s also what she has to do. She can be said to be happy in the sense that she i s not aware of any self-deception. She is able to devote " a l l the love and wisdom of which she [is] capable" (15) to her husband and the whole household. However, when Suga appears, Tomo's integrated world begins to f a l l apart. During this second stage, she begins to suffer from a s p l i t self. The reason for this fracture i s rooted i n the fact that i t i s Tomo who chooses Suga. Yukitomo's false democracy in requesting that Tomo help find him a concubine as part of her marital duty i s more ruthless than any command, for once his wife agrees to act, she must take some responsibility for her decision. She becomes an accessory to her husband's moral crime. She s t i l l loves him; as she says, the love i s " s t i l l stronger than [the] creed [to serve her husband]" (28), and she has no choice but to obey him. Confucian morality serves to reinforce her actions, as does her debased self-esteem as a wife. The centrality of Confucian morality i n her personality i s obvious i n her very name, which i s written with the character tomo (jfe) meaning similar group; friend; order; morality. It i s also interesting to note that the sound tomo i s part of the name Yukitomo. Thus we see that Tomo i s an accomplice to and part of Yukitorao, helping him preserve feudalistic morality. However, i t i s this business that causes her to start distrusting and hating her - 1 9 -husband, and to begin saving money secretly. Tomo comes "to see his nature at a step removed" (51.). She is "gradually acquiring the a b i l i t y to view him dispassionately, as another human being" (52). This new tendency runs counter to Confucian morality, giving her a sense that she herself has descended to the level of a shameful woman. She cannot help doubting the va l i d i t y of this traditional morality. Tomo's awareness of her real self i s growing. Just as Tomo's feelings toward Yukitomo are divided i n two, so are her feelings toward Suga. The heroine feels herself to be both the victim and the perpetrator of her husband's moral crime. Tomo's jealousy for her r i v a l , Suga, and her feeling of distrust for her husband are related, for both cause her to question her received moral code and to be more independent and self-reliant i n her thinking. At the same time, Torao also suffers from pangs of conscience over complicity i n a moral crime. Tomo feels both guilt and compassion toward Suga. The patriarchal principle produces the moral crime, and causes the heroine to experience feelings of guilt , which in turn deepen her doubts about Confucian ethics. Even though Tomo has such contradictory feelings, she i s "constitutionally incapable of letting her actions follow the natural dictates of her instincts" (52). She does not try to change the situation in a practical, r e a l i s t i c way, by leaving her husband, for example. She i s forced to turn her frustration against herself, becoming a se l f -destructive person who realizes herself only through painful endurance and repression of her emotional and physical desires. Tomo, who does not have a sexual l i f e , turns into a l i v i n g "family ghost" with no physical substance. This repression forces her to l i v e an a r t i f i c i a l l i f e as family manager. She becomes a proxy executor of the male principle which keeps the patriarchal family system alive. From around this time, male and female roles i n the Shirakawa household become reversed. Et6 Jun says - 2 0 -that Tomo, a woman who o r i g i n a l l y belongs to Eros, ac t u a l l y comes to sustain the f i c t i o n of "the family" ("Kaisetsu" i n Onnazaka 215-216). Another c r i t i c , Ogasawara Yoshiko points out that her tragedy i s exacerbated by her i n v o l u n t a r i l y acquired a b i l i t y to c r i t i c i z e the male p r i n c i p l e that she performs (42). Her inner world has been s p l i t i n t o so many parts that a l l she can do i s endure the r e a l i t y of her circumstances. Even her appearance i s changing: To her household Tomo presented a more energetic front than ever. . . . Far from fading into the background because of Shirakawa's infatuation f o r Suga, she seemed to counter Suga's growing beauty with such a sense of authority i n her back and shoulders as she sat motionless i n her room. . . . Something forbidding emanated from her as she sat there without speaking, something that spumed a l l l i e s and deception and inspired more fear than did Shirakawa himself. (52-53) Thus we are not surprised when the a r r i v a l of Yukitorao's second concubine, Yumi, has l i t t l e e ffect on Tomo. Indeed, her presence only c l a r i f i e s Tomo's p o s i t i o n as manager of the house. To be a wife i n the samurai class of f e u d a l i s t i c Japan was to be a slave to one's husband's sexual desires as well as to one's household duties, while the value and status of women i n the lower classes, such as among farmers, manufacturing laborers and merchants, was i n some ways much greater because of the recognition they received for t h e i r labor. The Shirakawas are descended from the samurai class. In The Waiting Years Suga and Yumi become Yukitomo's sexual slaves, whereas Tomo becomes the household slave. Too badly hurt f o r any hope of r e c o n c i l i a t i o n with her husband, Tomo sees no p o s s i b i l i t y that they might recover a re a l wife and husband r e l a t i o n s h i p . She begins to lose her tender feelings for him. The t h i r d stage of Tomo's l i f e begins with the marriage of her h a l f -witted son, Michiraasa, to the seductive Miya. Bound to her husband by her moral code, she would not have allowed herself to be attracted to another man, but i r o n i c a l l y , i t i s the sexually starved Tomo who i s f i r s t - 2 1 -attracted to Miya's feminine q u a l i t i e s , to her "enveloping softness, free from a l l sharp angles" (93). Contrary to Tomo's expectations, the womanizer, Yukitomo, and Miya, a prostitute figure, begin to have an a f f a i r . A brown s t a i n on Miya's b r i d a l o u t f i t from the pawnshop foreshadows t h i s d i r t y spot i n her marriage, besides r a i s i n g doubts about her v i r g i n i t y . The fact that her red b r i d a l o u t f i t i s three or four inches shorter i n the sleeve than the white s i l k under-kimono i s also symbolic of future discord i n her marriage. When Tomo discovers t h i s immoral rela t i o n s h i p , she becomes a woman moved by "a seething indignation" and "a f i e r c e wrath that stands up to Yukitomo, the ungovernable male" (105). Her repressed s e l f i s about to explode. Even then, however, she i s a f r a i d to hurt the family reputation and thus cause harm to her favorite grandson, Takao, so she has no choice but to sustain the Shirakawa family with a "constant, tense determination not to be outdone" (121). Tomo's circumstances worsen progressively. Within her suppressed environment she does what she can to protect the concubines from her husband, for they are also victims of the pa t r i a r c h a l family system. She displays a growing empathy toward Suga, whose beauty i s beginning to fade, and arranges a marriage for Yurai, who has never had much favor from Yukitomo. Although Tomo's love f o r her husband has begun to wane, she cannot bring herself to hate and despise him completely. This i s because of her formulated morality that "a man's morals [are] judged s o l e l y by h i s public behavior while a woman [is] expected to be f a i t h f u l " (166). Yukitomo at least carries out h i s s o c i a l r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s and r e a l i z e s that "his own p o s i t i o n depend[s] on others and on society at large" (146). In comparison with Miya, whom Tomo sees as only "a female of the species with no more shame than a cat or a dog" (166), and Michimasa, who i s excessively self-centered and l i v e s out his useless l i f e i n a kind of - 2 2 -premature retirement without performing any worthwhile s o c i a l r o l e , Yukitorao looks less disgusting. Having examined the basic character of Miya, l e t us now look at Michiraasa: Michimasa was c l o s e - f i s t e d , gluttonous and snappish with the servants. . . . [W]henever he opened h i s mouth to speak he invariably inspired a sense of disgust as though he gave off some foul odor. His mere presence was enough to cast an ugly p a l l over those about him. (87) Enchi's descriptions of Michimasa are implacably harsh. The fact that he i s Tomo's own son brings much g r i e f to the protagonist, for she cannot break t h i s t i e , no matter what happens. Although Tomo can f i g h t the immoral Yukitomo with morality and a "deep-seated, i c y w i l l " (75), her w i l l power and the b e l i e f that parents should love t h e i r children do not overcome her disdain for Michiraasa. She finds i n her mind "the unwillingness to suffer fools gladly" (86), so she cannot give Michimasa unconditional love. Tomo t r u l y stumbles over her morals at t h i s point. Michimasa i s a symbol of Tomo's ultimate g r i e f . This type of "ugly" man appears often i n Enchi's works, such as i n the short story "Poor Days" ("Hiraojii t s u k i h i " [ > f c L ' l ^ B , 1953), the t r i l o g y What Robs the Vermillion (Ake wo ubauraono fc&i^-o 1955-68) and so on. In addition to t h i s burden, Tomo feel s even sadder when she notices that her grandson, Takao, keeps away from her because she has put a stop to h i s f l e e t i n g a f f a i r with h i s s t e p s i s t e r , Ruriko. Toward the end, Torao turns to r e l i g i o n to a t t a i n salvation. F a i t h , i n general, i s a recourse f o r people who suffer from many things i n t h i s world and so seek release or salvation. I t i s a natural and straightforward way to express one's desire for salvation. Tomo, however, does not seem suited to r e l i g i o n , for she f e e l s a strong energy for worldly l i f e and a powerful i n t e r n a l w i l l through having had to endure a harsh s i t u a t i o n . Nevertheless there are several reasons why r e l i g i o n - 2 3 -a t t r a c t s her. F i r s t l y , the Shin f a i t h provides her with strength to endure an unhappy r e a l i t y by teaching salvation through reliance on the Buddha or tarikihongan ( f t J Z ^ J ^ ^ ) . Secondly, the r e a l i t y surrounding Tomo becomes a l i v i n g h e l l , and f i n a l l y , her son Michimasa deprives her of a l l hope. Despite a l l t h i s , the Shin f a i t h does not provide Tomo with any r e a l i s t i c solution. In f a c t , the only r e a l solution to her problems may l i e i n her o u t l i v i n g her husband. This would mean release from the binding pa t r i a r c h a l family system, and a chance to recapture her s e l f . But fate i s not so kind to her. Before f a l l i n g f a t a l l y i l l , she staggers up a slope, r e f l e c t i n g upon her whole l i f e : Her world was a precarious place, a place where one groped one's way through the gloom; where everything one's hand touched was c o l o r l e s s , hard, and cold; where the darkness seemed to stretch endlessly ahead. Yet at the end of i t a l l a brighter world surely lay waiting. . . . She must not despair, she must walk on; unless she climbed and went on climbing she would never reach the top of the h i l l . . . . She looked up, and saw the gently sloping road stretching up f a r away from her. She thought she had covered three-quarters of the way, but i t was s t i l l scarcely a h a l f . (190) The o r i g i n a l Japanese t i t l e of The Waiting Years i s Onnazaka ( ;£C#K), which means the "slope" of womankind. This "slope" may be interpreted i n two ways; i n chronological terras, Tomo i s at the end of her l i f e and hence her "slope" i s declining. Psychologically, the long, gentle slope i n the above scene represents an i n c l i n e . I t symbolizes Tomo's entire l i f e , the long years she has spent "waiting" for a brighter world. But her hopes come to nothing. Instead, i t i s only approaching death that w i l l set Tomo free. In her w i l l , she utters not a single word of complaint or reproach, but apologizes f o r not having trusted her husband f u l l y , because she has saved money secretly f o r her daughter and son i n case they have to leave the Shirakawa household. Her words, "So you forgive me? I am so g r a t e f u l " (201), are more f o r c e f u l than any outright accusation could ever -24-be. She also leaves Yukitomo a deadly i r o n i c message: "I want no funeral. T e l l him . . . to take ray body out to the sea at Shinagawa and heave ( V ) h) i t i n the water" (Onnazaka 122)*. The novel ends with a description of the effe c t Tomo's word have on her husband: "His body had suffered the f u l l force of the emotions that h i s wife struggled to repress f o r for t y years past. The shock was enough to s p l i t h i s arrogant ego i n two" (203). Tomo's cold words, "heave i t i n the water" represent a dramatic culmination of a l l the tensions i n t h i s novel. With these words, the story comes f u l l c i r c l e , for the feelings she has kept pent up throughout the novel are f u l l y expressed i n t h i s scene. Here, a l l i s revealed, and we f e e l the f u l l force of Enchi's c a r e f u l l y constructed plot and dramatization. In considering the meaning of Tomo's message, a number of interpretations a r i s e . F i r s t l y , i t expresses the f e e l i n g of seething indignation that she has kept repressed for f o r t y years. I t i s an expression of her revenge. Okuno Takeo suggests that that revenge i s based on a form of s p i r i t possession and hence cannot be expressed concretely through actions i n the rea l world (115). Tomo feels that a f t e r her death, her s p i r i t may want to look back at the Shirakawa household from the sea at Shinagawa with a f i e r c e anger; t h e i r mansion, which i s symbolic of Tomo's unhappiness, stands beside the Shinagawa sea. Her self-esteem i s restored by her strong refusal to be taken care of by anyone or anything even a f t e r her death. Although she has believed i n the Shin f a i t h f o r a time, she rejects the salvation of the Buddha as she l i e s dying. Secondly, t h i s message may also express her deep regret at having s i l e n t l y endured so many years of hurt and repression. I t gives voice as well to her sense of r e l i e f at being on the verge of release from a l l the burdens and cares of her unhappy l i f e . This i s why she employs the word "heave" "with a kind of pleasure" (202). She no longer has to liv e an a r t i f i c i a l l i f e and gains pleasure from the knowledge that without her the Shirakawa household, and i t s patriarchal family system, w i l l collapse. Finally, her message may be a twisted expression of her love for Yukitomo which has sunk to the bottom of her heart. During the course of the novel Torao changes from a woman who patiently trusts her husband and believes in his love into a woman who looks down on hira and i s able to c r i t i c i z e hira objectively. However, her anger and hatred can also be seen as expressions of her attachment and her deep feelings of commitment toward Yukitomo. Indeed, throughout the novel, we have seen that Tomo's feelings of love and hatred are delicately interwined, one shading easily into the other. Her love for Yukitomo* i s a strong emotion that always revives no matter how hard she tries to k i l l i t . Because the object of her revenge i s also the object of her love, her revenge can never be complete. In her fi n a l message, Tomo's real self i s released from i t s suppression. Toyoko relays her message to Yukitomo "as though Tomo's s p i r i t had taken possession of her" (203). Torao, a l i v i n g "family ghost," l i t e r a l l y becomes a " s p i r i t " presence. As a s p i r i t in possession of Toyoko, Torao shows an abundant l i f e force, and perhaps even some eroticism. "Her eyes were alive and shining with excitement. Their gaze brimmed with feelings of such intensity that they were scarcely recognizable as the placid, leaden-hued eyes . . . " (202). Released from a l l ties i n this world, Tomo becomes a spiritual embodiment of essential femininity. At this point l e t us return to the earlier question of what type of woman Tomo i s . As noted, she i s clearly an "oppressed woman" who endures a terrible situation with an iron-will. In other words, her real self i s thoroughly repressed by her social self. Even i n the end when she f i n a l l y - 2 6 -releases her r e a l s e l f from i t s suppression, her e s s e n t i a l l y repressed condition can be seen from the fact that she relays her message i n d i r e c t l y through others and that i t contains no straightforward accusation. However, her strong s e l f makes men a f r a i d of her—she i s the type of woman who i s the object of man's eternal fear, the Rokujo type. Tomo has a s p i r i t force, but i t i s rather weak when compared with those of Enchi's l a t e r heroines, because her method of self-expression i s too i n d i r e c t and passive to bring about the changes she desires. Because of the weakness of her s p i r i t force, her eroticism i s not powerful even i n the end, so that she only has a mild power of a t t r a c t i o n to men. Nevertheless, i n the character of Tomo, Enchi f i r m l y establishes a prototype of the repressed woman who attains a powerful force of " s p i r i t . " I f Tomo i s a model of the woman to be feared by men, then what type of women are the others i n the Shirakawa household? Although the heavy weight of Tomo's presence makes them appear somewhat weak, an important role i s played by each other female character. Together they create the confined and closed world of the Shirakawas. As for Yukitomo's f i r s t concubine, Suga, through the course of the novel, she changes from an innocent and beautiful g i r l reminiscent of a famed courtesan of old to a gloomy and depressed middle-aged woman always troubled by hemorrhoids. Her extraordinary beauty and f r a g i l i t y are a t t r a c t i v e to men. However, i f her hemorrhoids can be seen to symbolize Suga's character and her s i t u a t i o n i n the Shirakawa household, her l i f e there cannot be c a l l e d happy. Generally speaking, hemorrhoids do not produce the dra s t i c pain of an acute disease, but rather e n t a i l endemic, persistent pain, which undermines slowly and s t e a d i l y (Yamazaki 178). Treatment for hemorrhoids i s usually temporary and incomplete as we see i n Suga's case. Without surgery, the sufferer continues to experience constant d u l l pain, and i s l i k e l y to f e e l chronic discomfort. C e r t a i n l y , Suga's existence within the repressive regime of the Shirakawa household was governed by such chronic malaise, for i n that environment she was passive and subdued, forced to repress her true s p i r i t . Recovering from her hemorrhoidal condition, i . e . her condition of chronic suffering, would s i g n i f y her a b i l i t y to escape the Shirakawa environment and l i v e a free l i f e . But there i s no cure fo r Suga. The one man who could save her from t h i s s i t u a t i o n i s Konno, toward whom she i s favorably diposed. However, just as the Chinese herbal in f u s i o n he gives her as medication does not have a strong effect on her condition, so he offers only temporary salvation f o r her. Moreover, because of her passive character she cannot take any concrete action to be released from her fat e . She, l i k e Tomo, i s a fundamentally repressed woman. Thus, Suga continues to suffer from hemorrhoids, remaining as gloomy and depressed as ever. What role does Suga play i n the Shirakawa household? As Mishima Yukio points out, her presence serves to multiply Tomo's tragedy ("Kaisetsu" 230). As we have seen e a r l i e r , t h i s i s because i t was Tomo's duty to choose her as a concubine for her husband. In p r a c t i c a l terras, Torao sees i n Suga's subdued and timid s p i r i t "an id e a l type for the second woman" (27). Since her p o s i t i o n i s s o c i a l l y unacceptable, the concubine e x i s t s i n the mistress' "shadow," for according to Confucian ethics she i s not only the husband's, but also the wife's servant, and i n Suga^ Torao finds a woman suitable to be her own "shadow." From the beginning Tomo might have predicted that her relationship with Suga would become one of interdependence, f o r i n such arrangements the wife i s dependent upon the concubine f o r the s t a b i l i t y of her s o c i a l p o s i t i o n and vice versa. Torao and Suga are two sides of a coin, and they are also shadows of each other (Endo 17). They both play supporting roles, the wife acting as the household manager, but a c t u a l l y a passive-aggressive slave shouldering the burden of public appearances, and the concubine serving the p a t r i a r c h a l - 2 8 -master as a sexual slave, a completely passive woman carrying the private burden of f i l l i n g the void which e x i s t s between husband and wife, a void which must be f i l l e d i n order f o r the family to keep up the appearance of normality. Both cooperate to support the Shirakawa household, both endure s i l e n t l y the same fate from t h e i r d ifferent positions. This shared condition and the s i m i l a r experience of repression bind the two women even more cl o s e l y , creating a deeper relationship. In short, i t may be said that Tomo's private s e l f i s embodied i n Suga, a woman to be loved by Yukitomo. In one scene, i n which Tomo i s looking a f t e r Suga a f t e r a hemorrhoidal attack, t h e i r r e lationship and the feelings they have toward one another are evident (153-154). Tomo, fe e l i n g "ashamed and s o i l e d " to see blood coming from Suga's body, cannot help hating her. But at the same time, Tomo i s overtaken by "an indescribable sense of p i t y " f o r the other woman. On the other hand, Suga has complex feelings about her pos i t i o n : as a concubine she i s sexually superior to her mistress, while i n f e r i o r to her s o c i a l l y . However, i t i s important to take note of the fact that a f t e r Miya's appearance, Suga's p o s i t i o n becomes less stable, causing her to r e l y more and more on Tomo, who "seem[s] to have l o s t [her] customary watchfulness and to be f i l l e d with motherly a f f e c t i o n " (153). Their shared fate and increasing interdependence are shown i n the following descriptions: "Tomo put[s] her arms around Suga's shoulders as she [stands] swaying on her feet. Clinging together, the two women [stagger] along the corridor . . . " (153). Tomo sees that Suga's ultimate d e s t i n i t y i s "to grow gradually older while leading the concubine's l i f e that she loathe[s], sharing with a woman [Tomo] whose presence [makes] her uneasy the care of one man, Yukitomo" (129). This i s not only Tomo's observation, but also her desire. Therefore, Tomo opposes Yukitomo's suggestion that Suga marry - 2 9 -Konno, and she puts an end to Suga's love for Konno. Torao w i l l not allow Suga to leave the Shirakawa household and be happy, f o r she i s indispensable to the Shirakawas and to Torao. I f t h i s i s true of Suga, then what can be said of Yukitorao's second concubine, Yumi? She has a "boyish face, [a] swarthy complexion and [a] t a l l clean-limbed look" (70). "[T]he body [is] strong and f l e x i b l e l i k e young bamboo. . . . The amber, somewhat coarse-textured skin too [has] a touch of masculinity . . ." (71). Her personality i s also easy-going, of an almost masculine nature. Yumi provides a stark contrast to Suga. She finds less favor i n Yukitomo's eyes, for she i s the type of woman who, although a t t r a c t i v e to men, cannot r e t a i n t h e i r affections forever. Thus her presence has l i t t l e e f f e c t upon either Suga's p o s i t i o n or Tomo's. In fact she only strengthens Tomo's posi t i o n as manager. Her simple and clear-cut personality and healthy beauty are not e a s i l y pushed into the shadows. For these very reasons she i s too incongruous to f i t into the Shirakawa household well enough to be i t s permanent slave and thus i s the only woman entering i t s confines to be released and allowed to st a r t a new l i f e with a husband and a baby. Unlike Suga, whose beauty fades, and Miya and Torao who die, Yumi i s set free from the bonds of the pa t r i a r c h a l family. We now turn to the fourth woman i n Yukitorao's l i f e , h i s daughter-in-law and lover, Miya. As her name suggests (Miya (M-^ D means a beautiful night or a beautiful woman at night), she i s a sexually immoral type of woman—a pros t i t u t e of sorts. Her " i n g r a t i a t i n g femininity" and "enveloping softness, free of a l l sharp angles" (93) are a t t r a c t i v e to everyone, even to Torao and Suga. Miya i s the type of woman who i s not only immediately a t t r a c t i v e to men, but who can r e t a i n t h e i r a f f e c t i o n s . Although looked down upon by Tomo and Suga f o r her complete lack of morals, Miya can be said to be a woman f a i t h f u l to her own passionate - 3 0 -desires. Of a l l the Shirakawa women, she i s the freest from male-imposed Confucian morality. Her f e r t i l i t y also shows that she i s a "natural" female. Unlike Tomo and Suga, she rejects the s t r i c t u r e s of an a r t i f i c i a l s o c i a l world and suffers no i d e n t i t y c o n f l i c t . Even i n such a warped s i t u a t i o n her natural s e l f i s at least compatible with her s o c i a l s e l f . However, i s she completely free from the a r t i f i c i a l world of the "family," and from the often p a i n f u l female desire to at t r a c t man? No, she i s not, f o r she dies young during her eighth pregnancy, f e e l i n g g u i l t y about the secret that one of her children i s Yukitomo's. Even Miya l i e s so that she might r e t a i n h i s favor. She contributes to the Shirakawa household by leaving numerous offspring. The fact that she dies "youthful and a t t r a c t i v e " (172) without getting old suggests that she i s a symbol of procreation. But her naturalness i s i n the end buried by a premature death, destroyed by the s t i f l i n g a r t i f i c i a l i t y of the Shirakawa household. Thus Enchi casts these three women, who are a l l Fujitsubo types, ( i . e . women to be loved by men) i n supportive r o l e s . However, they also carry c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of Genji's other women. For example, i n the morning a f t e r Suga's f i r s t sexual union with Yukitorao, she refuses to get up from her bed, and her hair and forehead are drenched i n perspiration. These descriptions are exactly the same as those of Murasaki—Genji's beloved c o n s o r t — a f t e r her unexpected nuptial night with Genji. Yumi shares c e r t a i n likenesses with Tamakazura, who despite Genji's courting, marries another man and becomes Genji's adopted daughter. And Miya i s l i k e Oborozukiyo with whom Genji's a f f a i r causes h i s temporary seclusion from court l i f e . F i n a l l y , we can f i n d another i n t e r e s t i n g p a r a l l e l between The Waiting Years and The Tale of Genji. Each of the four main women l i v i n g i n Genji's mansion possesses her own seasonal image, although one of thera i s not h i s paramour and the Rokujo lady l i v e s elsewhere. Enchi employs t h i s - 3 1 -idea, in order to clarify and decorate the image of each woman in The Waiting Years. Winter is a symbol for Tomo—her slow and heavy movements are "melancholy and monotonous yet powerful as the waves on a wintry sea in their silent suggestions of the body and the voice . . ." (75). Her emotion seems to be frozen in "the deep snow that buri [es] the northeastern districts . . . " (75). It is on a snowy winter day toward the end that she climbs the slope before falling i l l . And it is also on a "night of s t i l l , penetrating cold . . . " (201) at the end of February that she dies. Of all the scenes described in the novel, only these two scenes are set in winter. Tomo dies just before spring which is a symbol of life and hope. Her entire life has been one long winter. If Torao is a woman of the winter, Suga is a woman of the autumn. When she comes to the Shirakawas in late summer, she is quite bright in her youth. But once Yukitorao actually starts to have a physical relationship with her that autumn, she becomes more and more melancholic and gloomy. Suga's figure is overlaid with images of autumnal decline. It is also symbolic that her room faces the back garden where pale pink sazanka, an autumn flower, is in bloom. After Tomo's death she will probably replace Tomo. It seems that her future will be winter. Yumi is a woman of the summer. Her boyish looks and dark skin, and her lively and non-shadowy character call up images of a sunny summer day. Her marriage, which symbolizes her new life, is held during the Japanese rainy season—summer. The rain symbolically washes away her past. Miya, whose entourage makes its way below an umbrella of "full-blooming cherry tress" (82 ) "in the evening haze of high spring" (81 ) on her wedding day, is a woman of the spring. Her appearance, her fertility and her free, natural and unrestrained way of living, all remind us of spring when the joy of life is full in bloom. That she dies young in the summer is also symbolic, for Miya accomplishes her female duty of giving - 3 2 -b i r t h i n the spring. Thus each of the four women i s associated with one of four seasons. Another s i m i l a r i t y shared by the four women l i v i n g i n Genji*s mansion and those i n the Shirakawa household i s t h e i r lack of major c o n f l i c t s . Enchi often deals with harmonious relationships between women a l l committed to the same man, for example, i n The Orange Blossoms (Hanachirusato jtWiM, 1957-60). As suggested by the fact that t h i s i s also the t i t l e of a chapter i n The Tale of Genji, The Orange Blossoms can be interpreted as a v a r i a t i o n of Genji. In Genji, the Rokujo lady arrives from the outside, and breaks t h i s harmony, but i n The Waiting Years Tomo helps sustain i t , though she i s a Rokujo type. Thus there e x i s t shadows of Genji*s women behind the women of the Shirakawa household. I f the four women b a s i c a l l y correspond to Genji's women, then Yukitomo i s the Genji type of man. . In the role of what i s apparently that of absolute r u l e r over h i s household, Yukitomo seems to decide the destinies of his women. Whether or not t h i s i s a c t u a l l y true w i l l be clear through analyzing h i s character. Yukitomo i s t y p i c a l of men of the M e i j i era when f e u d a l i s t i c values s t i l l governed society. In public he i s a successful o f f i c e r and at home he i s a pat r i a r c h a l d i c t a t o r . The new morality which advocated monogamy would judge him morally g u i l t y . However, Confucian morality, which permitted polygamy, would consider him conscientious f o r adopting h i s concubines to give them legal status and for going so f a r as to marry one of them o f f (Mulhern 29). However, whether he i s judged good or bad, he i s a t t r a c t i v e to women. Yukitomo i s "a middle-aged gentleman of a neat and unassuming appearance . . ." (31). He has a chaste and aloof a i r about him "as though he were quite i n d i f f e r e n t to the other sex" (67). This makes him look cool and d i g n i f i e d . Although he finds " p a r t i c u l a r stimulus i n an i l l i c i t a f f a i r " (113), the fact that he i s a womanizer who knows how to handle women - 3 3 -implies that he has some power of a t t r a c t i o n to women. And also the fact that there i s l i t t l e overt c o n f l i c t between h i s women, a l l of whom, at least for a time, gain pleasure from being loved by him, i l l u s t r a t e s both his power and h i s charm. Enchi c l e a r l y t r i e s to es t a b l i s h Yukitorao as a Genji type who combines the above-mentioned power and charm. However, i t i s doubtful whether many readers f i n d him t r u l y a t t r a c t i v e . Except f o r the few scenes detailed below, we are not well informed of what goes on i n h i s mind. In other words, Yukitomo has l i t t l e r e a l i t y as a human being. For t h i s reason his sudden display of humanity at the novel's close may leave readers somewhat puzzled. Moreover, since he i s meant to fascinate women, i t i s a p i t y that Enchi did not imbue his character with a greater sense of realism. Despite a l l t h i s , Yukitorao s t i l l s t r i k e s us as the most a t t r a c t i v e and powerful man i n t h i s novel, though t h i s may be due to the general unattractiveness of the other male characters. There i s one scene i n which Yukitorao looks unusually human. One day Yukitorao happens to meet a c i v i l r ights a c t i v i s t whose group he had clamped down on f i e r c e l y several years before and whom he presumed long dead. This man's comment, "Your reign w i l l soon be over," (76) only aggravates Yukitorao's fear and worry about the coming age which beats down his arrogance. That night, he c a l l s Tomo to his room: [H]e was sick at heart and would gladly have put aside the s t i f f n e s s i n which he normally encased himself and talked to her e a s i l y and f a m i l i a r l y , as they had when they were young. . . . He wanted to place h i s daunted s p i r i t i n Tomo's protective arms. The emotion he f e l t now was one that he could not possibly divulge to Suga or Yumi, whom he petted as one would care f o r g o l d f i s h or a caged b i r d . (75-78) Here, Yukitomo suffers from the loneliness that sweeps over him " l i k e a c h i l l , dark wind" (79), making him appear human. When he i s hurt either emotionally or p h y s i c a l l y , Yukitomo, who knows Tomo's strength, goes to - 3 4 -her. He makes ardent love to Tomo for the l a s t time a f t e r he k i l l s a p o l i t i c a l a c t i v i s t i n the l i n e of duty and comes home wounded. He looks for the shadow of h i s mother i n Tomo, whom i n fact "he was merely imposing a maternal image on . . ." (78). Only at such times does he look vulnerable and human. This fact indicates that without Tomo, the presence of Yukitomo amounts to almost nothing. Indeed, h i s name suggests t h i s . The f i r s t character yuki (flf) means to go. The second tomo (7x) means fr i e n d or company. The l a t t e r also has the same sound as h i s wife's name, Tomo. Thus we can see that h i s name implies a close connection with, even a dependence upon, Torao. In other words, without h i s wife, he cannot "go" or e x i s t . In the end, even though Yukitomo appears to have great power i n determining the fate of the women i n his*household, i t i s i n fact Torao who performs the more important r o l e . Tomo chooses Suga. Torao selects a husband for Yurai. She i s attracted to Miya f i r s t . Above a l l , Torao p a r t l y determines her own destiny. Therefore, the reason for Yukitomo's shock upon hearing Tomo's message i s that besides r e a l i z i n g her true feelings, he has been awakened to the fact that things w i l l never be the same a f t e r her death. He has heard echoes of warnings of the imminent collapse of his household and the p a t r i a r c h a l family system that has supported i t . Yukitomo i s Enchi's f a v o r i t e type of man, and she continued to develop t h i s type of character i n her l a t e r works. Enchi's s t y l e seems to indicate that i t i s Torao rather than her husband who controls the other household members. Although the story i s apparently t o l d by a t h i r d person narrator whom we n a t u r a l l y expect to describe everything o b j e c t i v e l y , i t i s often t o l d from Tomo's point of view. In general, the world that Tomo cannot penetrate, for example, the inner world of the other characters, i s not w e l l - i l l u s t r a t e d . Kamei Hideo sees t h i s as a p e c u l i a r i t y of the author, who seldom grants her supporting characters, p a r t i c u l a r l y males, either autonomy or enough self-awareness to confront t h e i r aniraa, while allowing the heroine's consciousness to dominate and even absorb that of the other characters (133). Thus Tomo's presence i s dominant i n the s t y l e . The fact of Tomo's repressed and introverted character i s also evident i n the novel's s t y l e . F i r s t l y , there e x i s t numerous unsignaled i n t e r i o r monologues which show that her personality i s not open. Secondly, these i n t e r i o r monologues are injected among descriptive narratives explaining her behavior (Mulhern 15). These show the ambiguity of the narrator and Tomo, so Tomo's s u b j e c t i v i t y i s squeezed into objective descriptions. Toward the end of the novel as Torao staggers up the slope, an i n t e r i o r monologue i s sandwiched between descriptive narratives. According to John Bester"s t r a n s l a t i o n , "Her world was a precarious place. . . . She must not despair, she must walk on . . ." (190). However, rather than using t h i r d person pronouns throughout the novel, Enchi often uses the word jibun, which means oneself, i n reference to Tomo. Depending upon the context, t h i s word can mean " I " or "she." Those sentences i n the above example are no doubt unsignaled i n t e r i o r monologues: "My world i s a precarious place. . . . I must not despair, I must walk on . . ." (Onnazaka 115). Therefore, we can see Tomo's introverted character more e a s i l y i n the o r i g i n a l text. As we have seen, the t h i r d person narrative i s c r i t i c a l of Tomo, but not of the other characters. For example, although Yukitomo should be c r i t i c i z e d by the new morality, he i s never c r i t i c i z e d by the narrative. Tomo i s c r i t i c a l with herself from the beginning to the end. This repressive s t y l e creates a tension and a l i f e force, and i s one of the attractions of t h i s work. The repressive q u a l i t y i n Enchi's s t y l e i s also found i n her selec t i o n of words. Hasegawa Izurai says that Enchi's w r i t i n g s t y l e i s unusually firm for a woman wr i t e r , and once i n a while we can see some -36-incongruity i n the flow of the words, but t h i s disharmony gives a force to her wr i t i n g (180). Her o v e r a l l s t y l e i n t h i s work i s well-controlled, formal, sophisticated, and repressive, for she often uses Chinese loan words and phrases which have a cer t a i n heaviness about them. They suggest a formality, a squareness and modesty, or more concretely speaking Tomo's strong-mindedness and formulated morality. Such words and expressions tend to give Enchi's s t y l e a bookish, academic q u a l i t y . However, i n order to compensate for t h i s , Enchi also uses easy, c o l l o q u i a l words and expressions. Since she commonly employs audacious and even vulgar expressions, Okuno Takeo says that private and i n d e l i c a t e a c t i v i t i e s are suddenly revealed for a moment, and then covered over again i n a w e l l -mannered s t y l e (103-104). Karaei Hideo c a l l s t h i s "discordant aesthetics" or hacho no b i (flSfll©!^ ) (154). Let us look at a few random examples: MBit < < tifr%x_Tfa<DmiZZ>ni£ Ltz0 L ciZtSigLgWC L#>T§ W c c (Qnnazaka 40) At t h i s , the mother[Suga's]'s l a s t shreds of s e l f - c o n t r o l had vanished and she had prostrated herself before Tomo. Hearing the clumsy, h a l t i n g words with which she sobbed out her thanks, Tomo had had to f i g h t back the b i t t e r tears that came welling up. (64) (Qnnazaka 41) I t [Suga's innocent smile] was a smile without substance, as i f she were being drawn uncoraprehendingly down into some unknown darkness. Again a creeping horror down Kin's back made her look at Suga i n t e n t l y . (65) When we encounter such expressions one af t e r another, we unconsciously f e e l a c e r t a i n mystery, danger and fear—words that describe the heroine w e l l , though the force of t h i s does not come out i n English t r a n s l a t i o n . Such at t r i b u t e s of Tomo are associated with one of Enchi's common s t y l i s t i c c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s : the Edo-fiction grotesque or sensuality. Describing Enchi !s peculiar i n c l i n a t i o n toward Edo (1603-1868) f i c t i o n — mainly K a b u k i — i n her works, Chieko Mulhern says: "Along with the inc i d e n t - r i c h dramatic plot and the t h e a t r i c a l contrasts. . . , Enchi displays another trademark of Edo f i c t i o n , a gothic fascination with the grotesque i n a l l t h e i r graphic d e t a i l " (20). This can also be c a l l e d a masochistic aesthetic. Tomo i s impressed with the play, The Ghost of Yotsuya (Tokaido yotsuya kaidan MMMV^Q&Wi, 1825) by Tsuruya Nanboku (1755-1829), an Edo horror story i n which a woman whose looks have been ruined by poison avenges herself on her betrayer husband and h i s lover. Tomo, who compares herself to the heroine, watches the play with a choking sense of pain, spellbound by i t s grotesque scenes. She i s attracted by the grotesque sensuality of suppressed passion and emotions i n t h i s play, which she herself also subconsciously possesses. Several scenes containing bloody images also appear i n the novel, which are further expressions of Enchi's taste f o r Edo f i c t i o n . We have already looked at the scenes i n which Yukitomo i s wounded and Suga's bleeding hemorrhoids leave a red t r a i l behind her. Less v i v i d , but equally s t r i k i n g i s a scene i n which the madly jealous Tomo feel s "as though her very f l e s h and blood were being devoured by maggots" (35). This s t y l e , which brings out Tomo's masochistic l i f e force i n a confined frame, sustains Enchi's theme of an "oppressed" woman who i s to be feared. On the other hand, another dominant aesthetic c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of Enchi's w r i t i n g , which I w i l l c a l l "declining beauty" i s found i n Tomo, i n the novel as a whole, and also not su r p r i s i n g l y i n The Tale of Genji. When Miya, who once had a soft plump body, i s on her deathbed, she looks youthful and a t t r a c t i v e again because her face i s emaciated from tuberclosis. Tomo too looks somewhat l i v e l y on her deathbed with her eyes a l i v e and shining with excitement. And Kayo, who loses the peachy - 3 8 -f u l l n e s s i n her cheeks a f t e r she gives b i r t h , has the weariness about her eyes which "[gives] her g i r l i s h body a new womanly appeal and pathos" (183). These descriptions remind us of the evanescent Murasaki i n Genji, whose death i s approaching, and of the f r a g i l e appearance of the pregnant Akashi Lady. Thus Enchi's appreciation for the beauty of the grotesque and of decline appears i n her s t y l e . In order to better understand Enchi's thematic concerns, i t may be helpful to consider her reasons f o r writing a novel l i k e The Waiting Years. Most s i g n i f i c a n t i s the h i s t o r i c a l context of the work. This novel was o r i g i n a l l y published i n seven parts over an eight year period from 1949 to 1957. The author has said that during the war she started to think about the plot of a story based upon her grandmother's r e a l experience, but i n a c t u a l i t y she d i d not begin to write u n t i l a f t e r the war. The new Japanese consitution which guaranteed c i t i z e n s ' universal freedom and equality had already been promulgated, and the pa t r i a r c h a l family system based upon Confucian ethics was disbanded a f t e r the war. Women were set free from the t i e s of the "family." The l i v e l y and free atmosphere of the new age may have been one of the conditions f o r the b i r t h of t h i s work, f o r i n such an atmosphere Enchi was able to distance herself from and thus write a n a l y t i c a l l y about the confrontation between women and the patr i a r c h a l family system which had subjugated them i n the previous era. I t was not u n t i l the new age that Enchi began to write about women of the previous age beginning to become aware of themselves and growing as human beings. On the other hand, the fact that she already had an idea f o r t h i s story during the war, when nobody knew what kind of society might develop next, indicates that she wanted to write about the essence of "women" i n general as opposed to women of a p a r t i c u l a r age. Indeed, Tomo i s governed by a formulated h i s t o r i c a l morality, but also has free w i l l , i n other - 3 9 -words, a rea l s e l f which any human being of any age might possess. Her own strong w i l l makes her accept and endure her ruthless fate. S t r i c t l y speaking, her w i l l has nothing to do with any age. The Waiting Years does not deal only with the tragedy of a woman who has been passively suppressed by the f e u d a l i s t i c system. This i s why the work can be said to deal with universal themes which transcend time or h i s t o r i c a l context. What Enchi seems to be suggesting i s that excessively repressive regimes are dangerous because they produce a frustrated, i r r a t i o n a l urge for release. Moreover, Enchi seems to harbor a certain deep-seated d i s t r u s t f o r "freedom" and "equality" as uncertain and vain i d e a l s . I am of t h i s opinion because Enchi sets the novel between the early M e i j i period (around 1885) which was the l a s t vigorous year of the c i v i l r i g h t s movement and the mid-Taisho (around 1920). Though immature, the c i v i l r i g h t s movement demanded universal rights of freedom and equality i n i t s f i g h t against the government. However, i t unfortunately lacked any proper perspective on the s o c i a l status of women. In fa c t , Tomo's l i f e becomes even worse af t e r Yukitomo's retirement, which symbolizes the end of f e u d a l i s t i c ideas and i n s t i t u t i o n s . As hi s t o r y has proven, the establishment of the parliamentary system demanded by c i v i l r i g h t s a c t i v i s t s does not lead necessarily to an expansion of other c i v i l r i g h t s . Nevertheless, i t i s obvious that Enchi did have expectations of the postwar era because i n w r i t i n g t h i s novel, she attempts to clear up a l l the resentments, grudges and sorrow experienced by women of the past i n order to welcome i n the new age. Isoda Koichi c a l l s The Waiting Years a requiem for the dead Utopian "family" (188). Having fin i s h e d t h i s requiem i n The Waiting Years, Enchi goes on i n her l a t e r works to focus on women with strong selves who are neither loved by men nor conditioned by any pa r t i c u l a r age. F i n a l l y , l e t us examine the author's personal s i t u a t i o n at the time - 4 0 -of w r i t i n g i n order to further elucidate her reasons for creating such a novel. As detailed i n the Introduction, the war years and those following the war brought Enchi misfortune i n her health, f i n a n c i a l s i t u a t i o n and career. She suffered from uterine cancer as well as from f i n a n c i a l burdens. She experienced writer's block and had no choice but to write only l i g h t s t o r i e s for g i r l s . However, she did not give up, but l i k e Torao, pressed on with her l i t e r a r y ambitions. In fact, i t i s not d i f f i c u l t to see the author speaking through Tomo as she struggles up the slope: "I must not despair, I must walk on . . ." (Onnazaka 115). Enchi herself has said that the s p i r i t s of the M e i j i women i n c i t e d her to take up her pen and t e l l t h e i r story (Uso makoto shichijuyonen 112-113). However, there i s l i t t l e doubt that i t was Enchi's v i t a l i t y and love of wr i t i n g which not only sustained her to write The Waiting Years, but also gave t h i s work i t s powerful l i f e force. With t h i s novel Enchi f i r m l y established herself as a writ e r . She also created a model of a female type who, feared by men, expresses her hidden, r e a l s e l f , i n the form of a s p i r i t force. We w i l l observe how th i s type of woman develops i n analyzing Enchi's l a t e r works. - 4 1 -Chapter Two Before analyzing Tale of the Mediums (Naraamiko monogatari ;£ CffijWi, 1959-1965) i n t h i s chapter, i t i s important to look b r i e f l y at Masks (Chinamen ^ C^) 1958), an essential key i n any examination of Enchi's female characters. The model of the woman to be feared by men, f i r s t presented i n Torao of The Waiting Years, i s further developed i n the character of Togano Mieko, the protagonist of Masks. Although Torao possessed a s p i r i t force, which for Enchi i s an essential q u a l i t y of femininity, that force was weak, with the r e s u l t that her eroticism, deeply t i e d to t h i s s p i r i t force, was barely developed. However, i n Mieko we see the complete unity of s p i r i t force and Eros, i n other words, the f u l l y r e a l i z e d female. Mieko's basic character i s described i n the a r t i c l e , "An Account of the Shrine i n the F i e l d s " ("Nonomiyaki" Iff ^ ? ' i n B ) which, as mentioned i n the Introduction, i s Enchi's view of the Rokujo lady as conveyed through Mieko. This heroine i s indisputably i d e n t i f i e d as a contemporary reincarnation of the Rokujo lady, i n h e r i t i n g her predecessor's s p i r i t u a l force from "a stream of blood flowing on and on, unbroken, from generation to generation" (57) 5. As such, Mieko, a woman feared by men, i s also a s p i r i t u a l woman who r e a l i z e s her hidden, r e a l desires by using her s p i r i t force. In order to express her re a l s e l f , she manipulates the people around her as i f she i s taking s p i r i t u a l possession of them. She does not command them i n an e x p l i c i t way. Compared with Torao, who only subconsciously possesses Rokujo c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , Mieko embodies the Rokujo lady i n a much more pronounced way. Since Tomo's s p i r i t force was rather weak, her way of expressing her repressed s e l f was r e l a t i v e l y i n d i r e c t and s t i l l underdeveloped. Her revenge was on the whole i n e f f e c t u a l and incomplete i n the sense that from - 4 2 -i t she did not gain anything tangible which could make her happy. Above a l l , she was a moralist. In contrast, Mieko's method of self-expression brings about the re s u l t s she desires. The revenge Mieko takes against her husband i s not incomplete and abstract, but more s a t i s f a c t o r y , concrete and threatening. She does not f e e l g u i l t y about her immoral conduct. In comparison with Tomo, Mieko possesses a more enigmatic s p i r i t nature, and her mysteriousness and the impression she gives of "even greater obscurity and elusiveness" (91) are what make her a t t r a c t i v e and e r o t i c . The enigmatic cloak i n which she wraps herself hides her emotions so well that i t i s as i f she were wearing a Noh mask, as the t i t l e suggests. Behind t h i s " e r o t i c " cloak lurks her e v i l i n t r i g u e , which she c a r r i e s out according to plan. Mieko's revenge takes an i n t e r e s t i n g form. "A woman's love i s quick to turn into a passion f o r revenge—an obsession that becomes an endless r i v e r of blood flowing on from generation to generation" (127). In order to avenge herself on her dead husband who betrayed and tormented her by having a mistress when they were young, Mieko supplants his lineage with children who are not t h e i r s , but rather the c h i l d r e n of Mieko and her lover. Their children are the twins, the retarded daughter, Harume, and Yasuko's dead husband, Akio. Mieko t r i e s to transmit her bloodline to further generations. She has her daughter-in-law, Yasuko, seduce the infatuated Ibuki who, i n h i s euphoria, does not notice that Yasuko switches places with Harume a few times while they are i n bed. Harume eventually becomes pregnant and gives b i r t h to a baby. Although Harume loses her l i f e i n c h i l d b i r t h , Mieko gains a grandchild who i s the l i v i n g symbol of her love and revenge. Thus her plot i s c a r r i e d out. Commenting on Mieko's revenge, Ogasawara Yoshiko argues that any triumph of the maternal over the paternal l i n e i s relevant only i n the context of the p a t r i a r c h a l family system (60). Since t h i s system had - 4 3 -already been abolished by the time Masks was written, Ogasawara seems to deny the v a l i d i t y of Mieko's v i c t o r y , claiming that i t has come too l a t e . Nevertheless, Mieko i s not a figure of any p a r t i c u l a r age, for her character i s described as that of a s p i r i t u a l woman who does not possess the psychology of a r e a l i s t i c person l i v i n g i n the modern world. I t seems that the author's intention i s to create a woman unbounded by time, by dissol v i n g the d i s t i n c t i o n s between the modern and ancient worlds. Moreover, the women characters, with Mieko at the center, are too dominant to argue any kind of male predominance i n t h i s work. In addition, there i s the author's discussion about the revenge of women i n The Wounded Wing (Kizu aru tsubasa m^-Slt? I960), which indicates that Mieko's revenge does have some u n i v e r s a l i t y : I t i s only the mother who can be ce r t a i n that the c h i l d she bears i s her own; the father, who has no way of p o s i t i v e l y i d e n t i f y i n g his o f f s p r i n g , can only take h i s wife's word. In th i s sense, the most ruthless revenge a woman can take against her husband i s to make love to another man. . . . Her revenge f u l l y takes on i t s e v i l implications when her husband holds the other man's c h i l d , believing i t to be his own. (223) (translation mine) Therefore, i t cannot be denied that Mieko has gained a kind of v i c t o r y , even i f i t i s dark, gloomy and c l a s s i c a l l y passive-aggressive. Thus the theme of revenge dealt with i n The Waiting Years and other s t o r i e s such as the short story, "Enchantress" ("Y6" 1956), i s f u l l y developed i n t h i s work. Enchi creates i n Masks a mysterious and f e a r f u l woman, who possesses clearer c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the s p i r i t type, of whom Torao was an embryo. Most s i g n i f i c a n t i s that Enchi c l a r i f i e s the meaning of the Rokujo lady i n t h i s work. Moreover, i n Masks Enchi f i r m l y establishes her own l i t e r a r y world based on a knowledge of and i n c l i n a t i o n toward the Japanese c l a s s i c s . I t i s obvious that both the characters and the plot of Masks are influenced by The Tale of Genji and Edo f i c t i o n . For example, Yasuko's switching places with Harurae reminds us of a si m i l a r - 4 4 -s i t u a t i o n involving Utsuserai and her s i s t e r i n Genji. Mieko i s a reincarnation of the Rokujo lady, but she i s also associated with Genji's a f f a i r with Fujitsubo, f o r both women bear t h e i r lover's children, a secret known only to t h e i r f a i t h f u l old servants (Yoshida, Gendai bungaku to koten 291). In addition, the Edo taste for the grotesque i s evident throughout the story. For example, "Harume as she was now, with a c h i l d ' s mind and woman's body, was as unsettling a sight as a face without a nose or a hand without fingers" (74) so that she becomes l i k e a w i l d animal during her monthly period and "[o]nce Yasuko [has] been the v i c t i m , receiving a b i t e on her l i t t l e finger so savage that i t [has] drawn blood" (72). Another example i s Yasuko's dream of her husband who died accidentally i n the deep snow on a mountain. In t h i s dream, while looking for h i s body by thrusting a rod down into the snow, she "stab[s] Akio with the rod: [she] stab[s] his dead face straight i n the eyes" (63). Enchi had already written a short story "Love i n Two Lives: The Remnant" ("Nisei no en: shui" H t S ^ H ?aia> 1957), i n which she presented her modern t r a n s l a t i o n of "Love i n Two Lives" ("Nisei no en" Z l t i : © ! ! ) i n Tales of Spring Rain (Harusame monogatari #M^5f§ 5 1808?) by Ueda Akinari (1734-1809), and used t h i s Edo f i c t i o n outright as a base to create her l i t e r a r y world. Enchi wrote also The Orange Blossoms (Hanachirusato VcT&M-i 1957), which i s considered an apparent v a r i a t i o n of Genji. Therefore, Masks i s along the same l i n e s as these works. Although the presence of the c l a s s i c s i n t h i s work i s not as e x p l i c i t , we can see c l e a r l y the t r a i t s of both Genji and Edo f i c t i o n i n t h i s work and Enchi's method of drawing upon these c l a s s i c s . From the above-mentioned discussion, although some commentators c r i t i c i z e Masks on such points as i t s unnaturally complicated p l o t , the hackneyed dialogue of i t s male characters and the characters' lack of r e a l i s t i c psychological depth, there i s no doubt that t h i s work i s a very important step in Enchi's l i t e r a r y career. At this point one question arises: where does Enchi, who treats the revenge theme f u l l y i n Masks, go next? In order to answer this question, the last scene of Masks may be suggestive: The crying of the baby [Harume and Ibuki's] f i l l e d her ears. In that moment the masks dropped from her[Mieko's] grasp as i f struck by an invisible hand. In a trance she reached out and covered the face on the mask with her hand, while her right arm, as i f suddenly paralyzed, hung frozen, immobile, i n space. (141) Mieko's attempt to cover the mask with one hand suggests that she i s trying to cover up the e v i l she has done, for the mask knows everything i n her mind. Her right arm hanging i n space seems to symbolize her state of lethargy. And these actions are brought about by the crying of the baby, a symbol of l i f e . A l l this points to Mieko's empty feeling, and i t can be identified with the author's. Perhaps in the end Enchi f e l t that she had reached a dead-end in her treatment of the theme of female revenge. That this assumption may be correct i s suggested by the fact that i n her next work, Tale of the Mediums, Enchi drastically alters her course. This work is a historical f i c t i o n about a noble lady's tragic l i f e i n a court of Heian Japan (794-1191). It i s unique among Enchi's works, for i t deals with an ideal love, and i t s protagonist i s a "perfect" woman as the object of man's eternal love. We do not see in the heroine's character any of the jealousy, resentment or revenge typical of a woman obsessed with an e v i l karma or obsession, which previously had been Enchi's main concern. By exploring the unexpressed self of a woman feared by men, Enchi discovered that a s p i r i t force united with Eros was an essentially feminine quality. What the author considers as an essential element of femininity i n a woman who i s loved by men w i l l be clear from an analysis of Tale of the Mediums. For the purpose of this analysis, i t may be helpful f i r s t to present a synopsis of the story and i t s h i s t o r i c a l background. Tale of the Mediums opens with the marriage of Teishi (975-1000), the daughter of Fujiwara Michitaka (953-995), to Emperor Ic h i j o (980-1011). At that time, Teishi i s a b e a u t i f u l , bright sixteen-year-old, f i v e years older than the emperor. Following h i s death, the Regent Kaneie (929-990) i s succeeded by his eldest son, Michitaka, under whose rule the family reaches i t s peak of prosperity. The power structure i n tenth-and eleventh-century Japan was such that, while r e t a i n i n g the formal d i g n i t y of the emperor's position, the Regents created a system under which power was held exclusively by the Fujiwara family. In f a c t , "the establishment of Fujiwara power was brought about through intermarriage with the Imperial family u n t i l i t was almost impossible to d i s t i n g u i s h between the two . . ." (Kato, A History of Japanese Li t e r a t u r e — T h e F i r s t Thousand  Years 141). The firm t i e between the two families created s t a b i l i t y i n the Fujiwara monopoly. However, even among the Fujiwara clan, power struggles were natural. Michitaka's youngest brother, Michinaga (966-1027), a great and ambitious p o l i t i c i a n , secretly aims f o r power. Michinaga believes that he has to seize power before Empress Teishi gives b i r t h to a Crown Prince and Michitaka's family l i n e secures the po s i t i o n of Regent. Since the Regent secured power through a maternal r e l a t i o n to the emperor, a marriage making possible the b i r t h of a Crown Prince was a very important p o l i t i c a l issue within the Fujiwara clan. Michinaga perceives that the biggest obstacle to h i s ambition w i l l be the strong t i e between the emperor and the empress. He plots to destroy t h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p and have h i s daughter, Shoshi (988-1074), marry Emperor I c h i j o . Although Shoshi i s s t i l l too young to marry, Michinaga t r i e s to c u l t i v a t e and re f i n e her on the model of Teishi to a t t r a c t the emperor. In order to spy on T e i s h i , Michinaga sends the unsuspecting Kureha to serve as her attendant. - 4 7 -After Michitaka's premature young death, Michinaga e a s i l y obtains power with the cooperation of the emperor's mother. Employing various strategies one a f t e r another, he succeeds i n ruining Teishi's brothers' chances to regain power. Nevertheless, after Teishi's family s t a r t s to decline, her i n t e l l i g e n c e and graceful beauty shine a l l the more b r i l l i a n t l y i n the dark uneasiness surrounding her, so that Emperor I c h i j o , as a mature man, comes to love her even more deeply. Although Teishi gives b i r t h to a princess and the f i r s t prince, who could have been a Crown Prince i f Michitaka's family had been i n power, i t i s already too l a t e for her family to restore i t s past prosperity. Around the time Teishi gave b i r t h to the prince, Shoshi, the twelve-year-old, enters the court as the emperor's second empress. However, because the emperor continues to favor Teishi above a l l the other court ladies, Michinaga i s again forced to resort to manipulating two s i s t e r s , Ayame and Kureha, as f a l s e s p i r i t u a l mediums, to tear I c h i j o and Teishi apart for good. Kureha, who admires her mistress, Te i s h i , at f i r s t becomes furious to r e a l i z e that she i s being used for p o l i t i c a l ends. However, l a t e r she attempts to betray Teishi because of an intense jealousy when her own lover, Yukikuni, who i s an o f f i c e r of the metropolitan p o l i c e , f a l l s hopelessly i n love with T e i s h i . Despite a l l h i s cautious p l o t s , Michinaga i s never able to r u i n the emperor and empress' relat i o n s h i p , which f i n a l l y comes to an end only at the time of Teishi's death a f t e r the delivery of her t h i r d c h i l d . She dies young but peacefully, wrapped i n the love of I c h i j o . From the above summary, i t i s clear that the a r i s t o c r a t i c beauty, T e i s h i , leads an evanescent and unfortunate l i f e , and yet one which i s f u l l of love. In order to understand her more f u l l y , i t i s h e l p f u l to look at three elements of her character: her beauty, her i n t e l l i g e n c e , and her method of expressing her r e a l s e l f . Teishi i s f l a w l e s s l y elegant and b e a u t i f u l , as well as bright and wise, from the beginning to the end. For example: As for waka poetry, calligraphy, koto or biwa, she i s so talented at whatever she does that even men who excel i n these arts cannot outshine her. Needless to say, neither i s she a show o f f , but rather looks indescribably elegant and graceful as i f the f i r s t cherry blossoms of the year give o f f the scent of plum blossoms. . . . [H]er face, hands, neck and feet, every part of her i s slender, smooth and gentle. Her appearance i s inexplicably b e a u t i f u l . The supple movements of her body, l i k e the branches of a willow, capture p a i n f u l l y the heart of the young emperor. (123) 6 While she suffers from the t r a g i c decline of her family, she remains a modest and dignfied empress, supported by the love of I c h i j o . Or rather, misfortune causes her to p o l i s h her generosity and femininity even further. This flawless figure reminds us of Fujitsubo or Murasaki i n Genji. Indeed Enchi's descriptions of Teishi are often l i k e the descriptions of Fujitsubo or Murasaki. For example, both Teishi and Fujitsubo, who i s Genji's mother-in-law and eternal love, are so "beloved and pretty or l o v e l y " or natsukashu, rotageni ( ^ o ^ L 5 N h O tzlf'{£) that as for the former, " i t i s reasonable that Emperor I c h i j o makes l i g h t of any of the other l a d i e s " (135), and as for the l a t t e r , "there [is] no one else quite l i k e her" (Murasaki Shikibu v o l . 1 212-213, trans. Seidensticker 98). The depictions of the emperor's boundless a f f e c t i o n for Fujitsubo i s also s i m i l a r to the Emperor I c h i j o ' s love for T e i s h i . Murasaki, Genji's beloved consort, i s also a flawless beauty, and an archetype to be loved by men. Besides t h i s , I c h i j o ' s worry and g r i e f over Teishi's sickness and death i s exactly o v e r l a i d with Genji's worry and sorrow over Murasaki's sickness and death. Fujitsubo or Murasaki, archetypes of women e t e r n a l l y loved by men, i s applied to Teishi i n a d i r e c t way. By using such a technique to create T e i s h i , Enchi probably expected readers to associate Teishi with Fujitsubo or Murasaki. In t h i s -49-sense, Teishi's figure lacks r e a l i t y as a l i v i n g person. Unlike Fujitsubo and Murasaki, however, Teishi i s not from a f i r s t ranking family so that she has an opportunity to acquire an unusual education i n the f a i r l y free atmosphere of her family; she learns Japanized Chinese c a l l e d Kambun, which was considered essential only for men i n those days. With t h i s exceptional education, she becomes a mistress of the modern and bright salon where her talented brothers, Korechika and Takaie, and a lady-in-waiting, Sei Shonagon (965?-?), who described the glory of the empress i n The P i l l o w Book of Sei Shonagon (Makura no soshi fct^-p, 1002?), gather to exchange witty and sophisticated conversation. This free atmosphere i s very a t t r a c t i v e to the young Emperor I c h i j o , though h i s mother and her side of the family c r i t i c i z e t h i s as a "too modern" "lack of sublime d i g n i t y " (132). Since Teishi possesses such aesthetic charm, though she i s but a non-p o l i t i c a l empress who t r u s t s only i n the love of the emperor, the Michinaga facti o n , including the emperor's mother, i s a f r a i d that she may manipulate the emperor i n order to restore her family to power. Toward the end, Michinaga's p l o t , i n which Kureha i s to impersonate the l i v i n g ghost of Teishi and utter e v i l words of reproach to Shoshi and I c h i j o , comes to f a i l u r e . Teishi's true l i v i n g s p i r i t , instead of Kureha's f a l s e one, takes over i n Kureha to clear up the apprehension and any doubt i n Emperor Ic h i j o ' s mind. At t h i s point, T e i s h i , who has seemed to accept passively her tragic d e s t i n i t y , expresses her hidden, r e a l s e l f : "I beg you to l i s t e n to what I am saying. I love you, ray l o r d , but not having seen Fujitsubo's [Shoshi's] face u n t i l today, I was not able to v i s i t you. None of the s p i r i t s that has v i s i t e d you claiming to be mine are r e a l . This i s the f i r s t time that I have wandered i n t h i s place and I s h a l l never return. My l o r d , I am thinking l o v i n g l y of you from morning t i l l night, but I have never even dreamed of cursing the young Empress Fujitsubo. No matter how much she prospers, I l i v e submerged i n a private b l i s s unknown to others. I f e e l secure i n believing that you understand t h i s . Please, do not f r e t about me " (204-205)^ Q _ Teishi's true character and values are c l a r i f i e d here. It i s not hatred and a sense of competition against Michinaga and Shoshi, but her earnest love for the emperor that gives her s p i r i t the a b i l i t y to leave her body. Love, instead of an ev i l attachment, releases her real self from social suppression. Indeed, Teishi i s a woman f u l l of love. She i s a woman to be eternally loved by men, a woman who has a "source of charm that draws out the soul of every single man at f i r s t glance" (173). However, she possesses the same strong self as do those women who are to be feared by men. Her real self i s intense enough to lead to a victory "the female principle" (Eto, "Kaisetsu" i n Enchi Fumiko shu 414), which i s composed of the "Eros and love" Teishi represents, over "the male principle," which symbolizes the "power" Michinaga has gained. Yukikuni's whisper confirms this: "She [Teishi] alone [is] strong enough not to be woven into the fabric of the Regent Michinaga's p o l i t i c s " (211). Thus she certainly conveys her intention to the man she loves through s p i r i t communication. She i s also a spiritual woman, but not the same as Torao i n The Waiting Years and Mieko in Masks. In Teishi, Enchi creates a new type of spiritual woman. She does not suffer from a conflict between her natural and her social selves. Her self i s not torn i n half. She realizes her self with satisfaction. The woman Enchi creates here i s a complex and aesthetic combination of s p i r i t force and Eros which i s one characteristic of the spi r i t u a l medium. Thus Enchi discovers such a fusion i n a woman to be loved by men as well as a woman to be feared by men. In other words, the fusion of s p i r i t force and Eros can be said to be the essential component of femininity i n Enchi's thought. Having examined the character of Teishi, a woman loved by men, and one who possesses her strong self through her s p i r i t force, one might wonder whether this novel describes the type of woman to be feared by men. - 5 1 -Kureha appears to be her mistress' opposite, although her v i n d i c t i v e character i s not as powerful as that of many of Enchi's heroines. At the same time, she has the po t e n t i a l to be the type of woman loved by men, as her relationship with Yukikuni indicates. Kureha i s not completely feared by men. But she c e r t a i n l y has a v i n d i c t i v e and obsessive personality. F i r s t of a l l , she almost f a l l s i n love with her mistress, T e i s h i , f o r she conceives "a strong admiration almost l i k e a homosexual love for the extraordinary beauty of her mistress, who i s provided with clean elegance and eroticism" (133). Because of her attachment to T e i s h i , Kureha finds i t d i f f i c u l t at f i r s t to forgive her s i s t e r , Ayame, for using her to drive Teishi into d i f f i c u l t y . However, t h i s strong attachment e a s i l y turns into a v i n d i c t i v e jealousy, when Kureha senses that her lover, Yukikuni, i s strongly attracted to T e i s h i . Kureha suffers from complex feelings of admiration, jealousy and resentment toward T e i s h i , as well as love and hatred for Yukikuni. Like Torao i n The Waiting Years, she i s compared to a snake. However, the author describes t h i s snake as "small and white" (180), which gives us an image of weakness and innocence rather than powerful tenacity. As t h i s suggests, her e v i l attachment i s not intense enough to allow her to express her suppressed emotion through s p i r i t a c t i v i t y . Instead, she must resort to physical measures, but, as discussed, her attempt to betray her mistress ends i n f a i l u r e . Despite the f a i l u r e of her intended betrayal, the author has Kureha commit suicide i n the end, as i f her actions deserve severe punishment. Thus Kureha's presence i s subordinate to Teishi's. I t seems that the world of t h i s novel i s pervaded by Teishi's eros and love which cause her presence to be so dominant as to prevent the co-presence of a woman even half feared by men. Although the author states i n the introduction that the heroine i s a medium, i n d i c a t i n g Kureha, she does not make t h i s woman the main protagonist. Considering that i n her previous works Enchi gave the main role to women who possessed an e v i l obsession and expressed i t through t h e i r s p i r i t forces, we can observe that the author's way of dealing with v i n d i c t i v e women l i k e Kureha has changed i n t h i s novel. I t i s not the medium, Kureha, but rather Teishi who employs a s p i r i t force to express her inmost s e l f and the love she fe e l s . In t h i s novel, the rea l s e l f of a woman loved by men i s more powerful i n i t s expression than that of the woman feared by men. The author diminishes the value of the Kureha type of woman, probably because Enchi finds less significance i n t h i s type a f t e r having worked out the theme of revenge i n her previous works. However, Kureha's role i s also important, because she interferes with Teishi's destiny, and makes her presence a l l the more outstanding. In addition, i t i s important that Kureha appears as a s p i r i t u a l medium. Her mother used to be a medium serving i n the noted temple, Kasuga Myojin, so that Kureha as well as her s i s t e r , Ayame, have inherited the s p i r i t force from t h e i r mother. Tale of the Mediums i s the f i r s t work i n which Enchi deals e x p l i c i t l y with a medium. In her previous works Enchi uses the medium only as a metaphor. As Mishima Yukio notes, a f t e r Masks, Enchi's theme becomes increasingly c l e a r i n Tale of the Mediums, and that theme i s the union of sensuality and mysteriousness presented through the medium of Japanese c l a s s i c s (396); consequently, Enchi's interest i n s p i r i t u a l i t y , which she believes represents an essential element of femininity, becomes more obvious i n t h i s work. In the above analysis, the function of the female p r i n c i p l e i n Enchi's work was c l a r i f i e d . However, i n order to understand t h i s p r i n c i p l e better, one must also examine the male p r i n c i p l e i n the novel. Michinaga i s the symbol of t h i s p r i n c i p l e . As discussed, he i s a great Machiavellian, but he i s described as "a man of character and dig n i t y who also possesses a tenderness which a t t r a c t s women and children" (210). He also possesses a well-cultured i n t e l l i g e n c e and a sensitive understanding of human emotions. These t r a i t s are i l l u s t r a t e d i n a scene i n which Michinaga happens to overhear a duet i n which the emperor plays the f l u t e and the empress the koto: Were Michinaga an u n c i v i l i z e d man with no understanding of music, he most l i k e l y would have f e l t no emotion upon hearing them perform. Unfortunately for the royal couple, however, the harmony of t h e i r performance c l e a r l y bespoke the supreme happiness of t h e i r love to the musically accomplished Michinaga, who i s s k i l l f u l at f l u t e and koto. (190-191) As a r e s u l t , the more Michinaga r e a l i z e s the depth of the emperor and empress's love, the more seriously he feels that he has to take further steps to break t h e i r t i e . Another scene i l l u s t r a t e s h i s human c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s equally w e l l . Although i n those days the emperor was not allowed to come i n contact with the dead because i t was thought that he must avoid being contaminated by death, Michinaga secretly takes Emperor I c h i j o to see Teishi r i g h t a f t e r she dies, "holding on h i s lap the almost unconscious emperor" (208). Michinaga's quick decisions and decisive acts are conspicuous and shining, even i n the scene where the emperor, who i s expected to play a central r o l e , deeply grieves over Teishi's death. Even though Michinaga's acts might be the expressions of the confidence he feel s as a man i n power, he looks merciful as well as powerful. He knows the ruthlessness of p o l i t i c s , and he i s f a i t h f u l to i t s p r i n c i p l e . He i s not a self-deceptive man, but rather s t e a d i l y r e a l i z e s h i s s e l f i n t h i s world. Therefore, though he cannot defeat T e i s h i , Michinaga, who establishes autocratic power as he plans, may be said to be the winner from the point of view of the male p r i n c i p l e . Such c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s Michinaga possesses remind us of Genji. I t i s i n fact said that Genji i s p a r t l y modeled on Michinaga, so that i t i s not surprising that Enchi creates Michinaga as a Genji type of man. She already created another Genji type, Yukitorao, i n The Waiting Years. - 5 4 -Michinaga i s a more f u l l y developed figure than the l a t t e r . Enchi makes Michinaga's humanity and s e n s i t i v i t y deeper and more a t t r a c t i v e than Yukitomo's. Neither of them, however, i s c r i t i c i z e d by the narrative, no matter what they have done. Michinaga, as well as Yukitomo, i s the author's fav o r i t e man. Indeed Michinaga i n p a r t i c u l a r i s the id e a l type of man for Enchi. This kind of enthusiastic admiration for Michinaga i s also given by such writers as Sei Shonagon, Murasaki Shikibu and Akazome Emon (eleventh century), who i s said to have written a eulogy on Michinaga i n A Tale of Flowering Fortunes (Eiga monogatari ^ # ^ f § , 1030?). H i s t o r i c a l fact also makes hira shine b r i l l i a n t l y . During the Heian period, Japan was i s o l a t e d from the Asian mainland so that "the a r i s t o c r a t i c r u l i n g class fused elements of foreign and native culture and created an i n t e r n a l l y coherent, independent, i n d i v i d u a l i s t i c c u l t u r a l system" which i s c a l l e d "Heian Court Culture" (Kato, A History of Japanese Li t e r a t u r e — T h e F i r s t Thousand Years 139). One of the peaks of Japanese c i v i l i z a t i o n , t h i s culture, which gave b i r t h to The Tale of Genji, saw i t s own zenith during the glorious days of Michinaga's r u l e . This man's s a t i s f a c t i o n with things i s well i l l u s t r a t e d by a waka poem he composed i n which he described the world i n terms of a f u l l moon as seeming to belong to himself alone. Enchi's Michinaga i n Tale of the Mediums i s described along the same l i n e s as characters depicted i n the past. Nevertheless, t h i s i s i n fact contrary to Enchi's o r i g i n a l intent. Enchi gives us an i n t e r e s t i n g explanation that the intent of the " o r i g i n a l " Tale of the Mediums—supposed to have been written by someone i n the past but i n fact a f i c t i o n a l work invented also by Enchi—may be s i m i l a r to Enchi's actual Tale of the Meidums: I t would be ray guess that, motivated by both a knowledge of Heian h i s t o r y and some sympathy for the defeated, the author of the o r i g i n a l Tale of the Mediums employed actual parts of A Tale  of Flowering Fortunes in-order to depict i t s unwritten side. . . . [R]ather than being a eulogy on Michinaga's family, the o r i g i n a l work takes a completely d i f f e r e n t d i r e c t i o n and attempts to describe the contrast between the despotism of the v i c t o r hidden by h i s prosperity and the misfortune of the defeated who, i n t h e i r attempts to r e s i s t fate, only hasten t h e i r decline. (118) This i n i t i a l purpose i s obviously not accomplished. Despite the intent to i l l u s t r a t e the v i c t o r ' s despotism, Michinaga's image i s far from that of a despot even i n the scene i n which he plays a main r o l e , such as that of the emperor's v i s i t to Teishi's deathbed. Conversely, Michinaga's power and charm appear even more c l e a r l y . With the obvious exception of T e i s h i , the defeated family of Michitaka are not described well enough for the readers to f e e l sympathy f o r them. As for Kureha and Yukikuni, who may also be considered defeated, the author does not express t h e i r psychologies well enough f o r them to emerge as main characters. As a re s u l t , the structure of t h i s work functions i n such a way that the more at t r a c t i v e Michinaga i s , the more powerful the male p r i n c i p l e i s . In the end t h i s makes the v i c t o r y of the female p r i n c i p l e more glorious. I t i s quite i r o n i c that Michinaga, the idea l man, and Te i s h i , the ideal woman, are not ideal partners. Perhaps Enchi's realism did not allow such a combination. The id e a l woman's partner i s a puppet emperor under Michinaga's control. From a public viewpoint, the marriage of an emperor has but one purpose: procreation of the Imperial l i n e . Although Emperor I c h i j o has to entrust t h i s "public" aspect of h i s l i f e to Michinagaj he does h i s best not to allow him to control h i s "private" emotional world with T e i s h i . However, even t h i s attitude of I c h i j o appears to arise not from an independent w i l l , but rather from a fasci n a t i o n with h i s wife's attractiveness. Although the emperor's fine character and good appearance are described along with his growth, i t i s hi s o l d e r - s i s t e r - l i k e Teishi who leads him in t o the world of Eros. The fact that I c h i j o , who loves to be wrapped with Teishi's long and abundant shining h a i r , which was an important component of beauty i n the Heian times, seems to symbolize that he cannot be apart from her beauty and love. Kamei Hideo suggests that i n an ideal love between man and woman, one partner's feelings are the same as the other's, and i n t h i s work the man's psychology i s overtaken by the woman's emotion (144). Her charm and anxiety take possession of him; i n t h e i r love, female sexual obsession manipulates male action. Therefore, the apprehension and doubt which the Michinaga f a c t i o n has conceived might be reasonable i n t h i s sense. Emperor I c h i j o i s deprived of h i s independence by both Michinaga and T e i s h i . He possesses only a divine dignity and dependent emotions. As fa r as the male p r i n c i p l e goes, Emperor I c h i j o i s defeated by Michinaga. In other words, he plays only a secondary role to make the v i c t o r of t h i s p r i n c i p l e , Michinaga, shine more b r i l l i a n t l y . F i n a l l y , one must consider the other three male losers, Teishi's two brothers and Kureha's lover, Yukikuni. Contrary to the purpose of the o r i g i n a l work, Enchi only gives Korechika and Takaie supportive r o l e s , not describing t h e i r psychologies well enough to give them strong presences i n the novel. Indeed, descriptions of these men are nothing more than interpretations based on h i s t o r i c a l events. For example: . . . [Hjaving been brought up i n a r i s i n g family and thus given special status by society, even the bright youth Takaie developed an arrogance which denied him the consideration to calmly allow misfortune to follow i t s course i n such troubled times and protect themselves from t h e i r misfortune. (159) In these descriptions, i t i s true that the author shows some sympathy and understanding for these characters, following her intent, but she i s also c r i t i c a l of them. "Like drowning men sinking deeper" (159), they cause "the Kazan'in incident" and as a r e s u l t , are deprived of t h e i r bureaucratic ranks and relegated to i n f e r i o r positions i n distant provinces. Korechika and Takaie are not nearly as a t t r a c t i v e l y portrayed as Michinaga, and they are defeated. They are also treated as secondary - 5 7 -characters. I f t h i s i s true of Korechika and Takaie, then what can be said of the other loser, Yukikuni? Michinaga also seems to manipulate his relationship with Kureha. Upon r e a l i z i n g how Michinaga has used his love for Teishi for p o l i t i c a l ends, Yukikuni flees to the Eastern provinces where Michinaga and the Fujiwara clan can have no influence over hira. Although Karaei Hideo points out that Yukikuni and Kureha's love described i n a modern n o v e l i s t i c s t y l e i s incongruous with that of the emperor and empress i n pseudo-Heian w r i t i n g such as A Tale of Flowering Fortunes (145), Yukikuni has an important r o l e . He makes Michinaga's presence more dominant as f a r as the male p r i n c i p l e goes. At the same time, he presents the readers with his view of Teishi and Michinaga. In the l a s t scene, f o r example, the author has Yukikuni say that even i f he gains glory i n t h i s world, Michinaga cannot overcome death, and that happiness cannot be judged s u p e r f i c i a l l y , for the seemingly unfortunate Teishi i s blessed with a perfect love while the seemingly fortunate Shoshi unhappily outlives both her husband, I c h i j o , and t h e i r children. Through an analysis of the characters, we see that i n the world of t h i s novel the female p r i n c i p l e — T e i s h i ' s love and eros connected with a supernatural power—is dominant over the male p r i n c i p l e . In order to express the theme of ideal love, Enchi employs a complicated s t y l e and structure. The introduction of t h i s work i s f u l l of mystery. The father of " I , " Dr. Ueda Kazutoshi i s given a great number of books by Dr. B a s i l Chamberlain. " I " believes that i n h i s l i b r a r y there existed a book e n t i t l e d Tale of the Mediums—The Remnant of A Tale of Flowering Fortunes--(Namamiko monogatari—Eiga monogatari s h u i — ^ i ^ - j r ^ j f i f ^^ffiW^aM) which i s supposed to have been written by someone i n the past, but " I " does not know where i t has gone now. " I " wants to write her own Tale of  the Mediums based on t h i s o r i g i n a l text which i s supposed to e x i s t only i n - 5 8 -memory. However, there has never existed such an o r i g i n a l novel; rather t h i s i s a figment invented by Enchi. But t h i s s i t u a t i o n does not sound very unnatural, because Dr. Ueda and Dr. Chamberlain and h i s l i b r a r y a c t u a l l y existed. " I " also says that 11. . . [w]ere the o r i g i n a l Tale of the Mediums to show up somewhere and be compared with mine, my version would be found to contain many mistakes" (118). As mentioned, the author's purpose i n wr i t i n g the novel i s explained i n t h i s introduction. With such an explanation, Enchi c l e a r l y t r i e s to convince readers of the existence of the o r i g i n a l Tale of the Mediums. This cautious tone of voice continues u n t i l the end: . . . Ayarae was speechless before Yukikuni and closed her eyes, and the next morning she joined her group again and went to wander toward Kouzuke. The o r i g i n a l Tale of the Mediums ends with t h i s sentence. Upon investigation I f i n d an error i n the dates quoted i n the o r i g i n a l , for the fourth year of Manju when i t claims Michinaga died was a c t u a l l y during the reign of the Goichijo Emperor. However, because of i t s f i c t i o n a l nature, i t i s also possible that the author deliberately reversed h i s t o r y as a means of expressing allegory. (214) Thus, while readers may be a b i t suspicious of the presence of the o r i g i n a l work, they are led into a double f i c t i t i o u s world. Enchi constructs one work of f i c t i o n on top of another f i c t i o n . Tale of the Mediums i s composed of several parts: excerpts from the assumed o r i g i n a l and i t s modern l i t e r a l t r a n s l a t i o n and synopsis, quotations from A Tale of Flowering Fortunes and i t s summary, quotations from The P i l l o w Book by Sei Shonagon and i t s modern l i t e r a l t r a n s l a t i o n , a summary of The Great Mirror (Okagami eleventh century), and Enchi's interpretations and comments on h i s t o r i c a l events and characters. As we can see from the above quotation, t h i s i s l i k e a patchwork of various s t y l e s . In order to analyze the meaning of such s t y l i s t i c techniques, one might f i r s t consider the reasons Enchi set her story i n the past. Writing - 5 9 -about almost s u r r e a l i s t i c and idea l love probably requires a setting outside the present. As a wri t e r who had been concerned with woman's e v i l side, Enchi may have hesitated i n portraying an idea l love i n a r e a l i s t i c way, by employing the setting of the contemporary world. Needless to say, Enchi's love for Japanese c l a s s i c s also has something to do with t h i s . However, she s t i l l desired to present modern readers with an ideal love. To portray an idea l world, she could not set i t i n the r e a l world, for the " i d e a l " i s opposed to the " r e a l . " In addition, Enchi has said that i t i s d i f f i c u l t f o r a well-balanced, perfect woman to be the heroine of a novel, r e f e r r i n g to Murasaki, who i s associated with T e i s h i (Genjimonogatari  shiken 183). So, she needed a t o t a l l y d i f f e r e n t s e t t i n g to create a perfect woman. The unusual setting of t h i s work i s based upon h i s t o r i c a l events. In general, by employing c e r t a i n h i s t o r i c a l events and characters, writers can e a s i l y create distance both temporally and s p a t i a l l y while at the same time imparting a sense of r e a l i t y to what they describe. Enchi takes advantage of t h i s device i n her novel, although the h i s t o r i c a l setting i s used only as a means for the author to convey her theme e f f e c t i v e l y . This method i s the opposite of that of Mori Ogai (1862-1922) who " t r i e s to be as f a i t h f u l as possible to h i s t o r i c a l facts and avoids setting a central theme for t h i s purpose," and i s rather close to that of Akutagawa Ryunosuke (1892-1927) who "simply borrows h i s t o r i c a l background i n order to describe a modern theme . . . " (Yoshida, Akutagawa Ryunosuke 71). This i s why Enchi's characters possess an o r i g i n a l i t y apart from hi s t o r y . For example, the figure of Teishi created by Enchi i s not p i t i f u l . This characterization contrasts with the image of Teishi created by many h i s t o r i c a l documents and c l a s s i c s , which depict her and her brothers as the t r a g i c losers i n a p o l i t i c a l struggle. Enchi's Teishi i s also d i f f e r e n t from that of Sei Shonagon, who focuses only on the glory of the -60-empress and on her prosperous and admirable l i f e i n The Pi l l o w Book of Sei Shonagon. Enchi manages to provide the empress with a sense of r e a l i t y , describing her and her family's poor s i t u a t i o n . Thus Enchi's Teishi i s created as an indispensable figure to convey the author's theme. Enchi also writes other h i s t o r i c a l f i c t i o n s such as Women's Sash (Onna obi ttfrw, 1961-62) and The Account of Princess Sen (Senhime shunjuki : r f $ B # f M 2 » 1964-65). Neither of these i s f a i t h f u l to h i s t o r i c a l f a c t , although neither i s as s t y l i s t i c a l l y complicated as Tale of the Mediums, so that Enchi's general c h a r a c t e r i s t i c method of dealing with h i s t o r i c a l f i c t i o n becomes clea r . Why then did Enchi choose the Heian period? Along with her f a m i l i a r i t y with the era, we cannot discdunt her fascination with The Tale of Genji whose author, Murasaki Shikibu, p a r t i a l l y modelled Genji on Michinaga and act u a l l y served Teishi's r i v a l , Shoshi Empress, as lad y - i n -waiting. Further, the period of Japanese h i s t o r y when Murasaki Shikibu wrote t h i s novel might have reminded Enchi of the prosperity of Michinaga's time, for Japan by then had recovered from the damage caused by the war and started to acquire even greater prosperity than before the war. The Heian court described i n The Tale of Genji i s an elegant and sophisticated world, and i t seems to be a fantasy world to Enchi. In order to describe an idea l love, the Heian court must have seemed an idea l s i t u a t i o n f o r her. Moreover, even i f we do not consider the matter of the theme, Enchi also might have desired to write a Heian c o u r t - l i k e l i t e r a r y work. I t i s not d i f f i c u l t to imagine that Enchi would have wanted to employ Heian l i t e r a t u r e as a base at t h i s time, a f t e r she had written "Love i n Two Lives: The Remnant" based upon an Edo f i c t i o n . Of equal importance i s also the fact that the s p i r i t u a l medium's trade reached the height of i t s prosperity and started to sink to mere p r o s t i t u t i o n during the Heian period (Nakayama 492). In fact, during the Heian period people - 6 1 -tended to be superstitious and took the threat of revengeful s p i r i t s quite seriously. This tendency was p a r t i c u l a r l y strong during the years that the Regency system was gradually being established (Naoe 75-77). Fascinated by such things, Enchi must have been keen to write a novel set i n a period during which s p i r i t u a l mediums played an active and important role i n the l i f e of the Court. In Masks, she discusses the p r a c t i c a l functions of such mediums i n the Heian era: . . . [C]ases of human manipulation involving raediumistic a c t s — cases, i n other words, i n which s p i r i t possession took place to serve some strategic purpose—must have been quite common. . . . [I]t would have been quite possible to bribe one of them to say whatever one l i k e d , making her into a false medium of, i f you w i l l , a demagogue. (77) As t h i s quotation suggests, Enchi concretely develops t h i s plot i n Tale of the Mediums, for Ayame and Kureha are manipulated by Michinaga. There i s another explanation about the medium i n Masks: Shamanesses do tend to go from being s t r i c t l y mediums into being prostitutes as w e l l . The state of i n s p i r a t i o n i t s e l f i s intensely physical, heightening a person's sensuality to the furthest degree (unlike i n t e l l e c t u a l labor, which diminishes s e x u a l i t y ) , so that the body of a medium i n a trance comes to seem the very incarnation of sex. (77) A s i m i l a r explanation e x i s t s i n Tale of the Mediums (126). Thus, the significance of the medium i n Enchi's works i s more c l e a r l y confirmed i n t h i s work than i n any previous one. F i n a l l y , l e t us consider her purpose i n basing Tale of the Mediums upon a patchwork-like combination of a non-existent o r i g i n a l and several actual works of the past, and her own interpretations and comments, rather than simply creating her own story. This method allows her to interrupt temporal and s p a t i a l flow as she desires i n order to further stimulate the readers' imagination, so that she can avoid the incessant, overly detailed realism common i n certain works of h i s t o r i c a l f i c t i o n (Takenishi, "Namamiko monogatari ron" 167). For example, we come across the following - 6 2 -scene in which Michinaga's mistress, Shosho, reports to him what she has learned of the emperor and the empress' sex l i f e through Kureha: ". . . but Koben [Kureha] must have been too embarassed to talk about i t . " "No, actually not. At f i r s t only a vague smile hung about her l i p s , but before long she suddenly burst out talking i n a clear tone." (134) Although from the viewpoint of the flow of the story, i t would be natural for this conversation to continue and the readers to learn along with Michinaga the details and then to observe his reactions, the author decides to end the discussion here and resume i t i n a different style: At this point the original Tale of the Mediums suddenly changes tone, avoiding any direct mention of Ichijo and Teishi's sex l i f e . Koben's [Kureha's] report i s replaced by a detailed discussion on such topics as the facts that the aristocracy married early i n those days and that young men were in i t i a t e d into sex by older woman. Nonetheless, there i s no doubt that Michinaga gleaned a lot about the royal couple's sexual a c t i v i t y through this explanation. He was particularly t h r i l l e d and satisfied with the knowledge that when in bed Teishi's voice, generally subdued and quiet like water hidden by the grasses, became animated and merry like a nightingale quivering with a l l i t s might. (135) Thus the author interrupts the flow of the story with her own comments and interpretations. This s t y l i s t i c technique of clearcut transfer not only allows readers to participate i n the creation of the author's f i c t i o n a l world, but i s also more imaginative, romantic and erotic than any direct explanation would be. Particularly i n the above scene, the description which focuses on only Teishi's voice stimulates readers' imagination more effectively, so that this scene becomes more erotic and sensual. Moreover, since the narrative i s not omniscient, this patchwork-like style i s also appropriate i n dealing with Michinaga's intrigue, making i t more mysterious. Furthermore, the interpretations and analysis of the h i s t o r i c a l facts, which Enchi seems to have seen from an objective point of view, give this f i c t i o n more r e a l i t y than i t s supposed linear story. -63-Thus Enchi's devices are cautiously established to the extent that they might look a b i t too complicated and a r t i f i c i a l , leading the readers to the world of Heian Kyoto. Such a s h i f t and transfer of styles reminds one of the "discordant aesthetics" seen i n The Waiting Years, i n which easy c o l l o q u i a l words and expressions are integrated with sophisticated formal speech. However, i n Tale of the Mediums we f i n d few such words or expressions. Enchi avoids using straightforward expressions to describe Teishi i n bed, and s i m i l a r l y , i n the following scene, i n which I c h i j o and Teishi are reunited a f t e r one and a h a l f year's separation brought about by her brothers' relegation to lower positions, the language i s subdued: [A]s he gazed upon Teishi's face shining i n the candlelight, the emperor's breast was a l l at once flooded with thoughts of the past and present, his s e n s i b i l i t y and reasons faded away l i k e l i g h t snow. Teishi's s k i n which shone l i k e white s i l k was so smooth that she seemed to s l i p through h i s ti g h t embrace. Wrapping himself around her, he spent a l l the night disheveled and i n tears. (179) This scene could be more dramatic, but Enchi's careful word selection i s s t i l l as controlled and elegant as ever. Quite often i n her other works Enchi uses e x p l i c i t language to express the eroticism, whereas i n Tale of the Mediums she achieves the same end perhaps i n more e f f e c t i v e l y subtle and shaded language. Her language, combined with her s h i f t i n g s t y l i s t i c technique, provides the readers with more room to imagine the e r o t i c . This kind of language i s suitable to express Teishi's love and eros. Just as Teishi i s elegant, sophisticated, d i g n i f i e d , but not suppressed, so i t i s with the s t y l e . Given Enchi's well-known reputation for audacious and straightforward expressions i n describing sexual scenes, t h i s work i s rather exceptional. In order to c l a r i f y t h i s , i t may be helpful to present some comparative examples. We f i n d the following description i n "Love i n Two Lives: The Remnant": -64-. . . [U]rider h i s masculine chest, I writhed and panted l i k e a puppy, and I was soon withered and paralyzed with the pleasure of sensuality as i f my body and heart were fading away. These sensations returned to ray body, were not mere memories. My womb sounded audibly. (340) (translation mine) Or i n The Mysterious Tale of Deer Island (Shishijima Kidan fMMffiW, 1%3) we come across the following description of one woman's surprise as she watched another woman swimming i n the sea: Eiko's breasts were pushed up by the sea water which shrank t h e i r fleshy swell while the sunken navel formed a charming l i t t l e dimple on her wave-washed abdomen. Among the s o f t , gentle hairs of a reddish hue that swayed l i k e seaweed below, l i p s , reminiscent of the meat of a beautiful s h e l l f i s h , loosened and closed with the strong movement of her thighs. . . . (370) (translation mine) This passage caused a sensation when the work was published. We f i n d no such e x p l i c i t l y sexual descriptions i n Tale of the Mediums. Thus, while the author does not employ her c h a r a c t e r i s t i c language, she succeeds i n expressing a subtle and yet more effec t i v e eroticism i n Tale of the Mediums. This eroticism i s related to the "declining" beauty which we saw i n The Waiting Years. For example: Because of years of pain and g r i e f , and because of the fatigue of giving b i r t h to the two children, she [Teishi] was emaciated and sometimes looked evanescent to the extent that she was empty inside of layers of kimono and her abundant dark h a i r . However, a noble c l a r i t y which no one could take from her m e r c i f u l l y remained i n the incomparable beauty of her white and transparent heart, l i k e the r e f l e c t i o n of the moon on the snow during a harsh winter. (185) There are several s i m i l a r descriptions of T e i s h i , who becomes p r e t t i e r and more delicate as she grows thinner and thinner. The mere fact that Enchi chooses to deal with a f r a g i l e heroine l i k e T eishi c l e a r l y shows her taste for the concept of "decline." Even Teishi's r i v a l , Shoshi, i s described i n terms of decline when she i s s i c k and a f f l i c t e d by an e v i l s p i r i t . The emperor who v i s i t s her, gazes i n sorrow upon the "face which has become - 6 5 -thinner and smaller" (203). Another s t y l i s t i c tendency often found i n Enchi's works, her taste for E do-fiction grotesque and b r u t a l i t y , i s not as dominant i n Tale of the Mediums as i t i s i n The Waiting Years and i n Masks, f o r Teishi's straightforward, flawless beauty i s conspicuous throughout the novel, and the elegant, refined Heian court i s i n general incompatible with the grotesque and b r u t a l i t y . However, we can f i n d a few descriptions expressing a kind of grotesque, as i n the scene following the b i g f i r e i n Teishi's place when Kureha appears before Yukikuni, who unconsciously l e f t her crying for help i n the conflagration: "He [finds] Koben [Kureha], the l e f t shoulder of her kimono burned brown and the hair disheveled as thoughshe were a ghost, looking q u i e t l y down at him l i k e a spider" (174). Another example i s found i n the description of a possessed woman acting as a medium: "a monk with a vermilion flushed face chanting a sutra i n a loud voice as he v i o l e n t l y beats with h i s prayer beads a woman attendant who has gone mad and i s v i o l e n t l y disarranging her h a i r " (153). Thus Enchi's aesthetic i n c l i n a t i o n toward decline i s apparently shown, while her taste for Edo f i c t i o n grotesque becomes less pronounced i n t h i s work. This s t y l e , which brings out Teishi's beauty, sustains Enchi's theme of the ideal woman loved by men. Enchi's increasing i n c l i n a t i o n toward the Ge n j i - l i k e world and her decreasing dependence on Edo-fiction grotesque i n her s t y l e continues i n her l a t e r works. The relationship between Genji-type l i t e r a t u r e and Edo f i c t i o n i n Enchi's works w i l l be discussed i n the analysis of her l a t e r works. In order to understand f u l l y the theme of Tale of the Mediums, i t i s necessary to look at the po s i t i o n of t h i s novel i n Enchi's works. As mentioned e a r l i e r , t h i s work i s unique for Enchi. The figure of Teishi she creates i s an unexpectedly peaceful character for readers who have been f a m i l i a r with such women as Tomo i n The Waiting Years and Mieko i n -66-Masks. In those works Enchi paid attention to the unexpressed inner darkness of women, which may be c a l l e d her e v i l karma or obsession. As a means of expressing a woman's repressed s e l f , she i s also interested i n possessed and s p i r i t u a l mediums. Upon reading Tale of the Mediums, we fi n d that Enchi's purpose as a writer i s not always to write only about the dark side of women, about such emotions as jealousy, revenge, resentment and so on, f o r needless to say, these are not women's sole a t t r i b u t e s . In order to describe the qua l i t y of female e v i l , the author also has to present the bright and good side of women. Such a motif may have existed i n Enchi's mind longer, for Enchi herself says l a t e r on that "I do not think that women's e v i l karma or attachment drive a woman forever" (Geppo 13 i n v o l . 11 of Enchi Fumiko zenshu 4). In addition to t h i s , i n Tale of the Mediums Enchi explores a new type of f e m i n i n i t y — a woman to be loved by men as opposed to a woman to be feared by men. By wr i t i n g about t h i s female type, she confirms that the unity of s p i r i t and Eros i s the essential feature of femininity i n her thought. However, Enchi apparently was not w i l l i n g to set the Teishi type of woman up as the heroine i n her previous works. Only i n Tale of the Mediums i s Enchi at l a s t ready to write about t h i s type. I t i s not d i f f i c u l t to imagine that since Enchi had written only about women to be feared by men, she had already expressed her own hatred or resentment i n her works and f e l t that she had only created a p a r t i a l , one-sided picture of women. After she had expressed those hateful emotions and her thoughts concerning these and developed more confidence as a writer , she was ready to write about another type of woman and explore the issue of what consituted femininity i n a more balanced, rounded way. This confidence may have led her to write Tale of the Mediums, for which she won the Women Writers Pri z e i n 1966. Add i t i o n a l l y , i t i s important to note that such s o c i a l issues as -67-those presented i n The Waiting Years seem to gradually disappear from the surface of her work while she wrote Masks and Tale of the Mediums. Though they e x i s t i n d i f f e r e n t settings, both Mieko and Teishi are unbounded by any s p e c i f i c time. They are depicted as examples of essential femininity through Enchi's method of d i s s o l v i n g the modern and o l d worlds. Enchi's interest gradually goes deeper and deeper into the inner world of women and i t s revelation, as we w i l l see i n the following chapter. - 6 8 -Chapter Three The protagonists i n Enchi's previous works expressed t h e i r real selves by using t h e i r s p i r i t forces. They were drawn i n terras of either revenge or idea l love, as women to be feared by men or women who were loved by men. They possessed what Enchi saw as the essential element of femininity, the unity of the s p i r i t force with Eros. However, i n the t r i l o g y , Wandering Souls (Yukon 1969-70): The Foxes' Glow (Kitsunebi WX, 1969); Wandering Souls (Yukon W$>, 1970); The Voice of the Snake (Hebi no koe 1970), the heroines can be c l a s s i f i e d according to neither of these two categories. They are neither vengeful women nor loving women, f o r they are no longer s t r i c t l y defined i n r e l a t i o n to men. While they are involved with men, love and sex, they are women forced to face the r e a l i t i e s of aging, death, fear and loneliness. These harsh r e a l i t i e s force them to release t h e i r hidden selves from the forces of s o c i a l suppression or from the b a r r i e r of t h e i r public selves. They search for love and v i t a l i t y as women and human beings. In a l l three books of the t r i l o g y , there i s a common character: a female writer of over s i x t y years old, who "has been strongly attached to wri t i n g whether i t i s good or bad" (261) 7. She leaves home, where she has l i v e d with a daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren for ten years, and finds a separate apartment i n order to devote herself to w r i t i n g . I n t e r e s t i n g l y t h i s s i t u a t i o n p a r a l l e l s Enchi's actual p o s i t i o n at the time. How does Enchi express the true, hidden desires of her female protagonist i n t h i s t r i l o g y ? Does t h i s protagonist represent Enchi's view of essential femininity? In order to consider these questions, the second work of the t r i l o g y , Wandering Souls i s p a r t i c u l a r l y s i g n i f i c a n t , f o r t h i s work i s most e x p l i c i t i n t r e a t i n g the question of what consitutes - 6 9 -"femininity." Enchi chose to name the entire t r i l o g y a f t e r t h i s work since she f e l t that Wandering Souls expressed the theme running through a l l three works (390). However, since the heroine of each story expresses her s e l f i n a s l i g h t l y d i f f e r e n t manner, i t may be h e l p f u l f i r s t to look at the general narrative of the t r i l o g y , summarizing each story. The Foxes' Glow opens with the death of three acquaintances of the protagonist, Shio. For Shio, the idea of death i s becoming increasingly f a m i l i a r . She has already reached such an old age that she i s not at a l l affected or excited by a phone c a l l from a stranger, who wants to introduce a man to her. U n t i l now she has always been "waiting to be taken away by a strong wind," and "starving for the danger to be captured by such a s w i f t , strong and unfamiliar thing" (283). But Shio has never been passionate enough to pursue any sort of active course to r e a l i z e her hidden desires. Even when she was i n love with a successful and noted s c i e n t i s t , Hayami, ten years e a r l i e r , she as usual did nothing to encourage the relationship. At f i r s t she wanted him to marry her daughter, Tomie, but i n fact Shio herself was strongly attracted to him, and he to her. In the end, Kengo, a friend of Hayami's, married Tomie, and Hayami went to the United States and married there. After that, Shio developed a strong relationship with Kengo. She trusted and f e l t close to hira, but she also f e l t that h i s core was closed o f f and that he did not l e t others i n e a s i l y . These feelings were s i m i l a r to those that she had had for her father. However, when Shio receives news of Hayami's return to Japan, i t causes disturbances i n her inner world. She thinks that "compared with the i n f i n i t e extent of time and space" (279), a human's l i f e may be only a moment. "Is i t necessary to impose a restrained, narrow framework on our l i v e s ? " (279) she wonders. "Taking actions as we wish may be proof of the fact that we are a l i v e . . ." (279). One day, Shio's reason becomes unbalanced. On her wall hangs an ukiyoe [a woodblock print] by Ando Hiroshige (1797-1858), "One Hundred Views of Famous Places i n Edo: Gathering of Foxes at the Nettle Tree i n O j i on New Year's Eve" ("Meisho Edo hyakkei: O j i shozoku enoki—Omisoka no kitsune b i " ^sWxtLP^M. H i ^ s s E ^ f l J<MB<D$['X) • Suddenly, the white foxes i n t h i s p r i n t , supplely dancing around the ne t t l e tree l i k e "graceful nude women," " [ f a l l ] down on Shio without a sound" (281). Another time, i n a three-sided mirror, she sees a v i s i o n of herself at seventeen or eighteen, looking at her present s e l f . The older Shio sees her unchanged s e l f i n the youthful image. As such, her rea l s e l f i s revealed, with time and space mysteriously conflated. Around t h i s time, she impulsively * buys an expensive sapphire r i n g when she i s out with Kengo one day. As i f with Kengo's help, she i s tryin g to confine her desires to the obscure "pale blue" l i g h t s of the ri n g , which represent the evanescent glow before her death. Her v i s i t to a nursery school for orphans, which shows the r e a l i t y of society, tends to discourage her fantasizing. In the end, she does not see Hayami, and confirms that "a violent thing which i s about to blow up i s s t i l l a l i v e i n hersel f " (295). This "violent thing" does not f i n d an outlet i n r e a l i t y , but i t i s expressed i n an enchanting dream she has one night, i n which Shio, Kengo and Hayami are dancing together around the big tree with the er o t i c white foxes pictured i n the painting on her w a l l . The l a s t scene of The Foxes' Glow i s connected to the f i r s t scene of Wandering Souls, i n that the second story begins with a morning dream of the heroine, Suo, on the day of the F e s t i v a l of Aoi. In t h i s dream, Suo hears the voice of a mysterious woman. The woman appears once i n a while, t a l k i n g to Suo from the "other realm." She represents Suo's r e a l s e l f and re a l i z e s Suo's hidden desires. Although Suo cannot control t h i s woman's acts, she appears i n a day-dream of Suo's son-in-law, Kingo, whom Suo loves, and seduces hira into a state of e r o t i c ecstasy. This woman also appears to Mikuriya, Suo's former lover, and has an a f f a i r with him. Although a l l t h i s occurs i n a dream or an i l l u s i o n , Suo has the sensation that her soul has l e f t her body, and that her partner Kingo, and perhaps Mikuriya too, experiences an a f f a i r with Suo as i f i t were r e a l . As th i s story opens on the day of the Aoi F e s t i v a l , i t i s clear that behind Suo and the "other woman" there e x i s t s the shadow of the Rokujo lady, and that behind Kingo and Mikuriya there i s the shadow of Genji. This i s indeed the universe of "wandering souls." The characterization of Suo, her daughter, son-in-law and former lover, as well as t h e i r s i t u a t i o n s , relationships and mutual feelings are si m i l a r to those i n the f i r s t work. However, while the heroine trusts her son-in-law i n The Foxes' Glow, the heroine i n Wandering Souls loves hira. Suo i s aware of her love f o r Kingo, although t h i s f e e l i n g does not cause any confrontation with her daughter. Perhaps the s h i f t i n the heroines' emotions i s related to a s l i g h t difference i n t h e i r methods of s e l f -expression. Even i n r e a l i t y , Suo pursues her desires more a c t i v e l y than does Shio, for Suo agrees to meet her former lover, whereas Shio does not. In The Foxes* Glow the hidden s e l f of the heroine i s not allowed a substantial form through which to express i t s e l f , whereas i n Wandering Souls i t i s provided with such a vehicle through the "other woman." Her presence i s neither concrete nor abstract, but she i s a substantial e n t i t y to Suo. This woman symbolizes the heroine's i n t r i n s i c sexuality and femininity. Thus, Suo's r e a l s e l f i s r e a l i z e d i n the world of i l l u s i o n . How does the protagonist i n the t h i r d work, The Voice of the Snake, express her r e a l s e l f ? The work opens with a scene from a story which Shiga i s w r i t i n g . In the story, an entire family—husband, wife and t h e i r two c h i l d r e n — a r e committing suicide; recently the husband caused serious i n j u r y to an eighteen-year-old g i r l i n a t r a f f i c accident, and the family cannot raise the money to compensate the vi c t i m . After the family's suicide, the victim's mother, who has been leading a quiet l i f e with her daughter, f i g h t s with the w e l l - o f f r e l a t i v e s of the dead family i n order to get compensation. However, i t i s impossible f o r her to c o l l e c t any money from the r i c h r e l a t i v e s . The hopeless mother, who cannot afford medical treatment for her daughter, i s driven into a desperate state: The indignation, resentment, hatred and sorrow i n one human body are f i e r c e l y writhing and turning into a condensed lump and furthermore into an unusual power. During t h i s transformation, the mother suddenly f l i n g s off her e l d e r l y woman's clothes. (362) The mother, who i s not even allowed to k i l l h e r s e l f , lures a young man into an a f f a i r , using an unexpectedly supernatural power, i n an e f f o r t to overcome despair and death. The young man i s "trapped i n the s p e l l of the half-possessed, aged woman" (363). In the process, the woman regains the sexuality which she l o s t over ten years ago. In The Voice of the Snake, the e l d e r l y woman i n Shiga's story begins to come a l i v e inside Shiga. The uncanny eros of the e l d e r l y woman becomes Shiga's. The "other realm" i s r e a l i z e d here, transcending time and space. Unlike the woman i n her story, Shiga leads a f i n a n c i a l l y stable l i f e and does not have any s i g n i f i c a n t problems on the surface. Her circumstances seem to be more or less s i m i l a r to those of the heroines' i n the f i r s t two works. However, Shiga's inner s e l f i s often driven to take action, for she faces the r e a l i t y of aging and death. The fact that she has recently had a car accident and has been affected with angina casts a shadow i n her mind. Her inner s e l f i s starved by what the author c a l l s "luxurious poverty": " I do not need anything now. I wonder what w i l l become of t h i s unendurable f e e l i n g , which now f i l l s my body and mind" (368). Because of her mental hunger, Shiga becomes aware of her love f o r her son-in-law. In The Voice of the Snake, Shiga perceives that a cord, which connected the heroines and t h e i r daughters i n The Foxes' Glow and - 7 3 -Wandering Souls, i s severed. This perception deepens her loneliness. However, Shiga's soul does not leave her body to overtake her lover with a supernatural power. Rather, Shiga i s caught up i n the f i c t i t i o u s world she creates, with "one ha l f of her heart contracted by the pressure of death, and the other ha l f s t i r r i n g with the excitement of sexuality" (369). In another story, Shiga deals again with the forced double suicide of an eighty-year-old mother and her sixty-year-old daughter. The daughter i s too exhausted i n l i f e to support herself and take care of her si c k , bedridden mother. In the past, the b e a u t i f u l mother had had a physical relationship with the husband of her f r a g i l e , less a t t r a c t i v e daughter. This past continues to haunt them s t i l l . The peaceful death mask of the mother i s contrasted with the demonic mask of the daughter. Shiga's love for her son-in-law and the broken t i e with her daughter are r e f l e c t e d i n t h i s p l o t , and t h i s i s how Shiga expresses herself. Through wr i t i n g about t h e i r deaths, Shiga becomes i d e n t i f i e d with her characters. Writing releases her "wandering soul." Quite often she finds herself i n the "other realm," transcending r e a l i t y . In one instance, she enters the world of a woodblock p r i n t on her w a l l , t a l k i n g and dancing with the g i r l s i n the p r i n t , and another time she goes back to the days of her early, happy motherhood, when holding her l i t t l e daughter i n her arras, she looked at the gentle moonlight. Suddenly coming back to r e a l i t y , however, she finds herself s i t t i n g at her desk, alone i n the darkness. As the loneliness grows deeper, the mysteriousness and the i l l u s i o n a l forces i n the work become more powerful. Indeed, The Voice of the Snake i s the most mysterious of a l l three books i n the t r i l o g y . However, no matter how deep Shiga's loneliness i s , she can do nothing to combat i t i n r e a l i t y . She returns to w r i t i n g , through which she r e a l i z e s her hidden, r e a l s e l f , for she i s a woman who "has been strongly attached to w r i t i n g whether i t i s good or bad" (261). - 7 4 -\ From the preceding summary, the theme of this trilogy is clear. What compels souls to "wander" is the profound loneliness which is experienced by aging women who confront death. This is different from the evil attachment or the earnest love for a man, which awakened the spirit forces of the heroines in Enchi's previous works. In this trilogy, the utter loneliness of death, which nobody can share, provokes an impulse toward Eros, or life, in women. In order to analyze this theme in detail, it is useful to focus on Wandering Souls. What kind of woman is the heroine, Suo? Her basic character is displayed in the secret taste she has for kimono. She tends "to avoid making things conspicuous no matter what they are" (306). She prefers high quality, plain-looking and quiet kimono, but her underkimono are bright and colorful—with showy designs and vivid reds and yellows flashing amongst light green-colored leaves. From the outside, all that is visible is the occasional glimpse of light blue showing beneath the outer kimono. The bright undergarments are not to be seen by anyone. Suo's taste clearly represents her own condition, for "although her body is heavy and sinks deeply, her mind functions freely and without limits, remaining young and brilliant" (307). Moreover, "she always needs a person to talk to. The older she becomes, the larger her desire becomes to have a partner" (328). As she realizes, however, "her actual body is too old to alleviate her loneliness and dissatisfaction . . . " (328). As is indicated by a fortune she draws at a shrine, which promises her "small luck," nothing is likely to change the course of her life. As we have seen, Suo is introverted in nature and has been repressed in her life. She is too timid to take determined action, but she longs for romantic love. Once she has put on the familiar cloak of her public self, she cannot take it off, but in her old age she is deeply aware of the discrepancy between her inner and outer selves. Since she perceives - 7 5 -the deep loneliness inherent i n aging and death, the "other woman," who has shut herself up i n the depths of Suo's psychology, resurfaces i n her consciousness. This constitutes the phenomenon of "wandering souls." In Enchi's previous works, when the heroine's desire to express her rea l s e l f reached i t s peak, her s o u l — h e r s p i r i t force—was awakened and l e f t her body. In contrast to t h i s , however, Suo's soul i s perpetually poised to leave her body, for she i s immersed i n the loneliness of d a i l y l i f e , and her desire for self-expression i s constantly at i t s peak. This "other woman" shows up once i n a while, and when Suo's desire f o r self-expression i s strongest, the s p i r i t force enables the "other woman" to j o i n the man Suo loves so that her eros i s united with her s p i r i t force. Like Enchi's other female characters, Suo i s a s p i r i t u a l woman, but while she possesses the essential element of femininity, she i s neither a woman to be feared by men, nor a woman to be loved by men, since she no longer confronts men i n any rea l sense. However, as the Aoi F e s t i v a l i n Kyoto i n the opening scene suggests, she does share some ch a r a c t e r i s t i c s with the Rokujo lady. At t h i s point, i t may be helpful to c l a r i f y how the Aoi F e s t i v a l relates to the Rokujo lady. In The Tale of Genji there i s a well-known episode i n which Genji's paramour, the Rokujo lady, and Genji's wife, Aoi, compete to see the F e s t i v a l . The Rokujo lady's carriages, which look p l a i n at f i r s t glance, compete with Aoi's elegant procession of carriages i n order to gain a place from which to watch the F e s t i v a l . However, because of Aoi's authority, the Rokujo lady's carriages are pushed aside, and she i s u t t e r l y defeated. The Rokujo lady, who, as a lady of prominence, has high self-esteem, i s completely hurt and miserable. From that time on, she continues to hold a grudge, though i t i s deeply buried i n her subconscious. In the end, as a l i v i n g ghost, her s p i r i t takes leave of her body to attack and f i n a l l y k i l l Aoi. Unlike the Rokujo lady, whose "wandering soul " i s born from the - 7 6 -jealousy she feels toward Genji's wife, Su6's inner self is not troubled by jealousy or resentment, so her soul does not leave her body to take possession of another woman. Suo's spirit comes simply from her strong attachment to life and from her relationships with the men she loves. It is not at all harmful. However, in both women, "the soul of one so lost in sad thoughts [goes] wandering off by itself" (trans. Seidensticker, The Tale of Genji 167). It is againt this background that we must understand Suo's visit to the Aoi Festival. She enjoys the traditional festival so much that she is "swallowed up in the aesthetic world which the ancient order created one thousand years ago" (303). She imagines the shining figure of Genji on one of the horses in the procession, thus evoking the fictitious world of Heian Kyoto. This fusing of space and time, reality and dream prepares us for the appearance of Suo's "other woman." From her snow white body, the woman emits "a flowery brilliance reminiscent of twilight" (320). This description parallels Suo's condition, and corresponds to her declining, but s t i l l beautiful image. The "other woman" appears six times in the story, and a consideration of each appearance will help to clarify her significance in the work. She first appears on the cloudy day of the Aoi Festival in Kyoto, as a voice in Suo's morning dream. She talks about the men, Mikuriya and Kingo, in whom Suo seems to be interested, and also talks of Suo's concern with masochistic themes, such as torture, women slaves, and martyrdom. Suo, she says, likes the men she loves to wear some sort of "a crown"—of social performance, success, fame, or heroism. On the next day of the Festival, it is drizzling. While Suo is walking along the Mitarashi River in the Kami-Gamo Shrine, the "other woman" appears again against the background of the "koto's dull, quiet and uncertain sound that were heard on the Festival yesterday" (315). Suo holds a reddish purple umbrella, - 7 7 -whereas the woman holds a pale purple umbrella. Their faces are i n v i s i b l e i n the hazy l i g h t . They t a l k about Suo's way of l i v i n g , which i s described as a kind of stoicism. Suo believes i n t e l l e c t u a l l y that "we should not be ashamed to f a l l i n love with a man even i f he i s our son's age" (316), but she lacks the conviction to r e a l i z e her ideas through action. Because of t h i s , the "other woman" murmurs to Suo, "May I substitute f o r you?" (316) During h i s t r a i n journey from Kyoto to Tokyo, i n Atami, Kingo has an e r o t i c dream. Suo appears i n hi s dream as the young woman that she once was, resembling her daughter, Tome. In h i s dream, he has an a f f a i r with her, experiencing i t as i f i t were r e a l . This "Suo" i s , i n fa c t , the "other woman." As Suo watches the woman's ecstasy i n her fantasy, she experiences every sensation v i v i d l y , knowing that the event i s a c t u a l l y taking place i n the "other realm." The fourth appearance of the "other woman" takes place i n Karuizawa. Suo goes out with her friends to see a r u i n where foxes l i v e . In the thunder and r a i n , she hears the quiet, d u l l sounds of a koto. Suo then hears the woman's voice, and i t reports to her that a man, for whom Suo has subconsciously been waiting, has come back from somewhere. On the way back from Karuizawa to Tokyo, Suo i s i n the car, with Kingo d r i v i n g . I t i s r a i n i n g heavily. Amid the muffled sounds of the koto, the woman again speaks to Suo. The woman confirms that Suo loves Mikuriya as well as Kingo, and wants to see Mikuriya, who has just come back from the United States with quite a name. F i n a l l y , i n Tokyo, Suo's soul wanders o f f to see Mikuriya, while she i s at home and i n a state of drunkenness. She i s aware that the woman experiences sexual ecstasy with Mikuriya. Although the narrative does not explain how she knows, Suo i s c e r t a i n that Mikuriya also has the sensation that he has been a l l u r e d into a fantasy i n the "other realm" by her soul. From the preceding, i t i s clear that t h i s "other woman" undoubtedly - 7 8 -symbolizes Suo's re a l s e l f . She informs Suo of what Suo wants to know subconsciously, a r t i c u l a t e s Suo's hidden desires, and acts as a substitute for Suo i n the "other realm." However, the woman acts as a separate physical e n t i t y from Suo, so Suo cannot control her as she l i k e s . Their relationship i s i l l u s t r a t e d well i n the colors of t h e i r umbrellas: "reddish purple" as opposed to "pale purple." Suo often prefers a b l u i s h color or purplish color i n her kimono and obi, and she i s es p e c i a l l y attracted to purple. In Japanese, the name Suo (jjjfc^) l i t e r a l l y refers to the reddish purple color, which was the favor i t e color of Heian court l a d i e s . The color suo i s also associated with what we c a l l "forbidden colors," deep red and deep purple, which only c e r t a i n high ranking people of the Heian court were allowed to wear (McCullough, Notes i n Tales of Ise 228). Fujitsubo and the Rokujo lady were two women who could wear these forbidden colors. Therefore, Suo's taste for purple can be understood as a reference to those ancient times, suggesting her association with the Heian court ladi e s . Generally speaking, red symbolizes the l i f e force, and purple, which i s a black or b l u i s h red, can be interpreted as a symbol of a "ripened" l i f e force (Tsuruta 233). Because of the contrast between black and red, purple can also symbolize disharmony or c o n f l i c t . In general t h i s color symbolism applies to Suo. She i s a woman of " r i p e " age, and her inner world i s f u l l of l i f e force, but i t s only means of expression i s through a rather pathological o u t l e t , which causes disharmony between her mind and body. On the other hand, the "other woman" i s presented i n shades of "pale purple", which suggests the shadow of purple, or, i n other words, the shadow of Suo. After t h i s woman appears i n Kingo's dream wearing a "greyish purple" kimono, they take a bath together. The color of the bathroom i s "lavender," which may also symbolize the "other woman," for the bathroom i t s e l f represents the space of Suo's fantasy. This fantasy transcends both time and space. The woman's appearance i s accompanied by the r a i n and by the sound of the koto. Not including the times when she joins the men, she appears on a cloudy morning which looks l i k e r a i n , on a d r i z z l i n g day, on a rainy day during a thunder storm, and during a night of heavy r a i n . Rain mystifies things, making everything muted and obscure. I t gives an i l l u s i o n a l and mysterious atmosphere to those scenes i n which the woman appears, and functions to announce her presence. The weather i s not mentioned when she meets the men, probably because Enchi intended to draw readers into the i l l u s i o n a l world without a l e r t i n g them to the fact that i t was a l l , i n fa c t , a dream. Instead, the narrative flows smoothly, and readers f i n d themselves i n a dream world without noticing any s h i f t . This technique also applies to the koto, which was f i r s t played i n the Aoi F e s t i v a l , and which also s i g n i f i e s the woman's appearance. By drawing t h i s association between the woman and the koto, Enchi creates the impression that she comes from ancient times, and thus i s able to achieve a transcendence of time. The f e s t i v a l i t s e l f may be a symbol of a transcendent i l l u s i o n i n the midst of r e a l i t y . One question remains, and that i s why the woman and the sound of koto do not appear at the end of the story, while the r a i n f a l l s , making a d u l l and uncertain sound. Perhaps Suo, who met Mikuriya both i n her dream and i n r e a l i t y , no longer harbours a desperate longing to see him, and i s l e f t with only her lonesome r e a l i t y . The places where the "other woman" appears also suggest the transcendence of space. Tokyo seems to symbolize r e a l i t y and the outer s e l f to Suo, for Tokyo i s a l i v i n g and working place f o r her. In contrast, Kyoto, Karuizawa and the roads to and from Tokyo symbolize the "other realm," for i t i s i n those places that the "other woman" usually appears. The only exception i s her l a s t appearance which occurs i n Tokyo. In general, people can escape from everyday r e a l i t y , fantasize, and become -80-r e v i t a l i z e d on journeys, so that these places are appropriate locations for the other world. In p a r t i c u l a r , Kyoto i s a t o u r i s t c i t y , removed from everyday l i f e , where older t r a d i t i o n s s t i l l l i v e i n the modern world. I t i s the setting of The Tale of Genji. Karuizawa, too, a famous summer resort, i s remote from the stresses of d a i l y l i f e . In Karuizawa, there are many foxes, which are t r a d i t i o n a l l y believed to take possession of people and to turn into beautiful women to bewitch men. Foxes are suggestive of raediumistic elements, as i n the f i r s t work where they appeared to a l l u r e the heroine. I t i s s i g n i f i c a n t that when the "other woman" meets with Mikuriya, i t occurs i n Tokyo. In that meeting, Suo's hidden desires are so strongly f e l t that even i n Tokyo, the world of r e a l i t y , her soul can wander o f f . Here r e a l i t y and i l l u s i o n are fused. Just before t h i s scene, the drunken Suo expresses her rea l s e l f to Kingo i n an unusually open way. This also suggests that the d i v i s i o n between her inner and her outer selves i s dissolved even i n r e a l i t y . Just as the other woman represents Suo's re a l s e l f , so i t i s with her daughter, Tome. Tome, who "cannot be reached by c i v i l i z a t i o n or a r t i f i c i a l i t y " (313), n a t u r a l l y i n j e c t s into her surroundings a "wild and untamed atmosphere" (313). Kingo loves her pr i m i t i v e character. Despi-te some trouble at the time of t h e i r marriage, Tome and Kingo work well as a couple. Without embarassment, Tome shows up naked i n front of Suo and Kingo, or she reveals to her mother that she has a good sexual rel a t i o n s h i p with her husband. She does not hide her r e a l emotions, she i s not a "shadowy" woman. However, even though Suo has a strong t r u s t i n and love for Kingo, Tome does not display any twisted jealousy toward Suo and does not disturb the close relationship between her mother and her husband. She i s inherently incapable of any devious emotions or p l o t s . Tome i s , i n t h i s sense, an open and "natural" woman, and as such i s quite opposite to Suo, who exemplifies the repressed, " s o c i a l i z e d " woman. - 8 1 -Suo r e a l i z e s that she i s s t i l l connected to Tome by "an umbilical cord" (314), so she feels no jealousy toward Tome eith e r . Suo reveals her ve i l e d s e l f only to Kingo, f e e l i n g as i f "the naked man, Kingo, comes to her through Tome" (314). At the same time, Suo "smiles to see that her u n f u l f i l l e d desires are awakened and f l o u r i s h i n g i n her through Tome's physical union with Kingo" (314). This i s why Suo once expected that whether they married or not, Tome would have a physical relationship with Mikuriya, f o r Suo's own desires would be f u l f i l l e d through Tome. The fact that i n Kingo's day-dream the young Suo, who i s a symbol of her r e a l s e l f , looks very much l i k e Tome i s suggestive of Suo and her daughter's inseparable re l a t i o n s h i p . Therefore, Tome i s a l i v i n g symbol of Suo's re a l s e l f , along with the u n r e a l i s t i c "other woman." Tome, whose psychology i s not well described, does not have much r e a l i t y as a human being, but t h i s i s because she represents Suo's hidden, r e a l s e l f — w h i c h i s an abstract substance. That i s , Suo, the "other woman" and Tome become one e n t i t y . The s i t u a t i o n i n which a mother and daughter are attracted to one man i s a favor i t e of Enchi's, and t h i s s i t u a t i o n was, as discussed, dealt with again i n the t h i r d work of the t r i l o g y . I t also occurs i n "Two-generation Mistresses" (Aisho nidai i5icZlft, 1952) and The Genealogy of Love (Aijo no k e i f u M^^rhMy 1960-61) to c i t e just two examples. I f Tome maintains an untamed naturalness, Yoshie i s characterized by an unsophisticated openness, which also seems related to the naturalness within her. She appears twice i n the story, i n Kyoto and i n Karuizawa. She seems to be quite an e l d e r l y woman because she already has grandchildren, but her kimono, which she wears loosely, are bright pink, or of gaudy design, i n contrast to the more restrained kimono which Suo wears. She has a round, f a t face and b i g , round shoulders. She looks "open and loose everywhere i n her body" (304). She loves men openly and - 8 2 -straightforwardly. She i s not eroti c or mysterious, but rather unsophisticated and even funny. In Yoshie's openness there i s something of Tome. Yoshie also has ce r t a i n points i n common with the "other woman" i n that her figure does not s t r i k e us as r e a l ; she appears i n Kyoto and Karuizawa, which represent the "other world," and "she seems to be bewitched by a fox" (305). However, she has nothing i n common with the repressed character, Suo. This i s why when Suo t a l k s to Yoshie, she feel s as i f she were hearing about "food, clothing and shelter of a cer t a i n race i n which the manners and customs are d i f f e r e n t " (305). This difference makes Suo's repressed character a l l the more conspicuous. In order to elucidate further the characters of these four women that appear i n Wandering Souls, i t i s hel p f u l to r e c a l l the four women i n The Waiting Years: Tomo, Suga, Yumi and Miya, each of whom symbolizes one season of the year. I t i s not d i f f i c u l t to see the s i m i l a r i t i e s between Suo and Torao; the "other woman" and Suga; Tome and Yumi; and Yoshie and Miya, although the four women of Wandering Souls are not attracted to one man. Suo i s old and at the end of her l i f e , and i n th i s sense may be associated with the l a s t season, winter. The "other woman," who i s a middle-aged woman ten years younger than Suo and emits the "flowery b r i l l i a n c e reminiscent of t w i l i g h t " (320), i s a woman of autumn. The interdependent relationship of the two women reminds us of that between Tomo and Suga, who are l i k e "two sides of a coin." Just as Suga embodied Tomo's private s e l f , so the "other woman" embodies Suo's. As for Tome, her character i s unlike that of Yumi, but her "non-shadowy" character corresponds to summer. Yoshie's character makes Suo think of "drinking sake and the enjoyment of viewing the cherry blossom i n a spring f i e l d " (307). Yoshie's willingness to provide men with favors and services are reminiscent of Miya, and while Miya i s more e r o t i c than Yoshie, both have ce r t a i n p r o s t i t u t e - l i k e c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s . Thus, Yoshie i s a woman of - 8 3 -spring. Despite these s i m i l a r i t i e s between the four women i n Wandering Souls and those i n The Waiting Years, there i s a s i g n i f i c a n t difference between the two works. For the women i n Wandering Souls are fa r more li b e r a t e d than i n the e a r l i e r work. F i r s t , the women of Wandering Souls possess seasonal images, but i t does not follow that they also carry obvious t r a i t s of Genji's women as i n The Waiting Years. The women of Wandering Souls are lib e r a t e d from the apparent, direct influence of Genji's female characters. Moreover, Suo possesses a language to express her re a l s e l f i n the conversation of the "other woman." She i s not hampered by any moral system such as Confucianism, so that she i s less r e s t r i c t e d than Tomo. The "other woman" acts as f r e e l y as possible, i n contrast to Suga. The freedom of Tome, who cannot be reached by c i v i l i z a t i o n , i s much more extensive than that of Yumi, who was f i n a l l y released from being a concubine. Miya, who appeared free from any formulated morality and remained f a i t h f u l to her desires, died young, while Yoshie survives into old age. Miya was despised by Tomo, as someone l i k e a female of the cat or dog species, but Suo i s not c r i t i c a l of Yoshie, for she thinks that her own character "may be more disagreeable than Yoshie's, which i s open and unsophisticated" (307). Thus, i n comparison with the women of The Waiting Years, those of Wandering Souls are r e l a t i v e l y free from suppression. Enchi's evaluation of the "natural" woman has also changed. In The Waiting Years and Masks, Miya and Harume, who bore children, represented the "natural" female, but both died young, which suggests that i n the universe created by Enchi such naturalness i s impossible. However, by the time Enchi wrote Wandering Souls, she had begun to value the naturalness of women, f o r neither Tome nor Yoshie, who symbolize naturalness, are c r i t i c i z e d by the narrative or by Suo. Instead, they are accepted as they are. By dealing with the problems of aging and death, which represent the most natural of human events, Enchi had apparently come to terms with nature. Along with an analysis of the women i n Wandering Souls, i t i s also s i g n i f i c a n t to consider Enchi's portrayal of men i n the work. What kind of man does Suo, aware of aging and death, f i n d a t t r a c t i v e ? Kingo i s a p h y s i c i s t , but his s c i e n t i f i c contributions, unlike those of h i s f r i e n d , Mikuriya, a t t r a c t l i t t l e attention. However, he pursues h i s work ste a d i l y , as an excellent i f obscure s c i e n t i s t . Kingo does not push other people aside to show off h i s t a l e n t s , and gives frank opinions, even when th i s may be materially disadvantageous. He goes h i s own way and therefore does not f e e l jealous of Mikuriya's Success; rather he respects and values his f r i e n d highly. His attitude toward l i f e often i r r i t a t e s Suo and Tome, but Suo cannot help but r e a l i z e that she respects and loves hira. Suo unexpectedly reveals her hidden, r e a l s e l f i n h i s presence, and he seems to understand her. Kingo even helps her to meet Mikuriya. When she becomes drunk because of her nervousness about having talked to Mikuriya on the phone, he also takes care of her, " f e e l i n g a strange eroticism" within her; she looks to him l i k e an ageless, "naive l i t t l e g i r l " (341). Kingo i s a fa t h e r l y figure to Suo and i s not at a l l a womanizer. The close r e l a t i o n s h i p between Suo and Kingo does not cause any trouble i n the family, because he i s deeply i n love with Tome's prim i t i v e personality, which i s e s s e n t i a l l y compatible with his nature. However, since he and Suo seem unusually close, people are puzzled by t h e i r intimacy. For example, Kingo often uses the second person "you" to address Suo, which i s highly unusual i n Japanese culture, i n which the son-in-law would be expected to address her with the more formal "mother." E a s i l y dismissing t h e i r uncommon show of intimacy, Kingo says that the family i s a "crazy t r i b e . " The preceding descriptions of Kingo show that he i s most c e r t a i n l y - 8 5 -not a Genji type of male. He represents a type which i s another of Enchi's f a v o r i t e s . The Kingo type, usually a serious, sincere s c i e n t i s t or a doctor also appears i n The Awakening of the Autumn (Aki no mezame £J(©26£*#), 1957-58) and i n I am Passionate, Too (Watashi mo moeteiru ftfelUl^, 1959). In contrast to Kingo, Mikuriya i s a successful, acclaimed p h y s i c i s t . His contributions are known worldwide. He shines with t h i s worldly fame, which for Suo adds to hi s attractiveness. Although he i s over twenty years younger than she, Mikuriya apparently knew how to handle women very well even ten years ago. And the fact that he found a husband for Tome, whom he might have married himself, indicates his patron-like character. The news of his return to Japan creates i n s t a b i l i t y i n Suo's inner s e l f , and her soul joins him i n the dream world. However, i n contrast to Suo's high expectation of hira, t h e i r actual meeting i s not p a r t i c u l a r l y animated. "Wearing glasses framed i n black," which he did not used to wear, "he looks very small and dark l i k e an Arabic boy" (347). To Suo he looks l i k e a d i f f e r e n t man, and the word "Arabic" suggests how estranged she feels from him. Mikuriya i s "too healthy" (345) f o r her. His reddish black pipe, which i s mentioned often, seems to suggest his "overly healthy" state, f o r "reddish black" may symbolize an overly matured l i f e force. Suo's f e e l i n g of al i e n a t i o n from hira i s associated with parting, end, lo s s , and even the death of her love. The "black, dark" color i s also suggestive of t h i s , for black often symbolizes death, an association which i s strengthened by the fact that the f i r s t work of the t r i l o g y s t a r t s with a scene of "black mourning." Suo feels "indescribably l o s t " (349) to see hi s r e a l figure. However, at the same time, she feel s s a t i s f i e d with the Mikuriya she met i n her i l l u s i o n a l world. His "reddish black" pipe, which appears both i n her i l l u s i o n and i n r e a l i t y , may indicate that the object of Suo's love l i v e s i n the "other realm," which i s expressed by the "redness," whereas i t dies, that i s , becomes "black" i n the rea l world. P a r t l y a creation of Suo's imagination, Mikuriya lacks r e a l i t y , and h i s psychology i s not c l e a r l y described. He embodies the t r a i t s of Genji, and as such i s a l i v i n g symbol of the kind of man Suo i s longing f o r . Suo's ide a l man i s Genji, from the beginning of the story to the end. The f i r s t scene started with the F e s t i v a l of Aoi, i n which Suo saw Genji amidst the bright l i g h t s of the f e s t i v a l . In the l a s t scene as w e l l , she imagines some b r i l l i a n t l i g h t s , which refer to the image of the "shining" prince, Genji, whose epithet, Hikaru, i s written with the character for hikaru > meaning "to shine." In th i s work, the heroine a r t i c u l a t e s that Genji i s her id e a l man, though i n Enchi's previous works we saw only a trace of Genji i n the men that attracted the heroines. Mikuriya i s a Genji figure even i f a more r e a l i s t i c version of that type, and Kingo i s more of a fath e r l y type. Thus Enchi's lovable men are of two types: one i s the Genji type, who i s successful, admirable and sexy, and the other i s a father figure, who i s sincere and trustworthy. Both types are disposed to take care of women ph y s i c a l l y and emotionally. Although Suo can be seen as a repressed and introverted woman, she has found an o u t l e t — t h e other realm—through which she can express her re a l s e l f and hence, unlike many of Enchi's other protagonists, she cannot be understood as a completely repressed woman. This fact i s r e f l e c t e d i n the s t y l e of the work. The story i s t o l d by a t h i r d person narrator, but i t i s often t o l d through the protagonists's point of view. We s t i l l f i n d Suo's i n t e r i o r monologues here and there (319, 323 e t c . ) , as was the case with Tomo's monologues i n The Waiting Years. Unlike Torao, however, Suo has conversations with the "other woman." In t h e i r dialogues, Suo's psychology i s unveiled quite openly. This suggests that the heroine of Wandering Souls i s less repressed. Just as the s t y l e r e f l e c t s the fact that Suo's character has become a l i t t l e more released, the other characters are also somewhat released from the heroine's power of perception, though Suo's perception does dominate and hence control the other characters whenever the story i s t o l d through her point of view. I t i s worth noticing that i n Wandering Souls, Enchi allows Kingo to have h i s own autonomy or self-awareness once i n a while, which i s quite d i f f e r e n t from what occurs i n The Waiting Years. In his day-dream, Kingo releases his subconscious desires. Kingo cannot help but admit that "being captured by a strange i l l u s i o n " (342), once i n a while he i s sexually attracted to Suo. He views her as an ageless, helpless woman, "her emotions looking very youthful l i k e those of an innocent g i r l " (342). Thus Kingo has s u f f i c i e n t autonomy to see the heroine. Such a q u a l i t y of openness and release i s found also i n numerous dialogues within the work. In the dialogues, Enchi cannot use the same heavy, i n t e l l e c t u a l vocabulary that characterizes the narrative, so that t h e i r s t y l e appears simpler. Her language s t a r t s to lose i t s formality. At the same time, one does not f i n d any straightforward, vulgar expressions i n the story, ei t h e r . Therefore, the "discordant beauty" of Enchi's language i s not as e x p l i c i t as before. Moreover, the s h i f t i n g of styles which takes place i n Tale of the Mediums does not occur, so that there i s not the same q u a l i t y of discord i n the s t y l e . Although Suo's expressions often continue to be r h e t o r i c a l , as Kingo points out, what dominates i n the work i s a r e l a t i v e l y p l a i n , easy and c o l l o q u i a l vocabulary. Of her s t y l e , Enchi herself says that i t "wears heavy make-up" (Okuno 139), but i n Wandering Souls, i t i s as i f she begins to take off the heavy make-up, and reveals glimpses of her true face. Corresponding to t h i s s t y l i s t i c change i s a s l i g h t increase i n Enchi's descriptions of nature. In general, she does not pay much attention to nature. Her l i t e r a r y world i s u s u a l l y drawn i n terms of - 8 8 -other f i c t i o n s or Kabuki and car r i e s an a r t i f i c i a l q u a l i t y . Perhaps t h i s also has something to do with the influence of the urban environment i n which Enchi was born and raised. Even when she describes natural scenes, nature often functions merely as a setting, just as i n the theatre. However, i n Wandering Souls, Enchi describes several natural scenes of Kyoto and Karuizawa. Just as Enchi comes increasingly to accept the "natural" woman, so she pays more attention to nature. The fact that she confines her descriptions of natural scenes only to the fantasy worlds of Kyoto and Karuizawa suggests that nature i s functioning as the condition for producing the protagonist's fantasies. Aging and death both imply a decline i n l i f e , and thus we can see Enchi's aesthetic of "declining beauty" i n Suo and i n the "other woman," who i s described as a beauty i n " t w i l i g h t . " Suo has about her both a "loneliness and floweriness, and seems l i k e an aged woman who plays with d o l l s " (327). Although her physical appearance and strength are ine v i t a b l y declining, her inner world i s i n flower—she "innocently enjoys beautiful kimono or i s dreamily i n love with someone as i f she were i n her girlhood days . . . " (328). Suo i s often described as "very youthful l i k e an innocent g i r l " (342), and "as i f she has returned to a peevish c h i l d " (343). Kingo feels a strange eroticism to see Suo drunk, which "makes her look naive l i k e a l i t t l e g i r l " (341). As for the "other woman," her body i s described as "supple" (318) and "unresistably soft l i k e a mollusk" (345) when she has sexual encounters with Kingo and Mikuriya i n the dream world. As discussed, i n Su6's "purple"-colored images we can see the beauty of aging, or what might be c a l l e d the aesthetic of "dec l i n i n g " beauty. What, then becomes of the Edo-fiction s t y l e c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of Enchi's work, i n Wandering Souls? In a dialogue with the "other woman," Suo says that "people can see suffocation and misery i n a suppressed place, but - 8 9 -they are ignorant of the joy and ecstasy which otherwise would not be possible" ( 3 0 2 ) . Suo shows an interest i n masochistic ideas such as torture, martyrdom, and women slaves. Moreover, i n another scene i n which she i s with Kingo, Suo brings up the topic of adultery; they say that i n the West, "a man who sleeps with someone's wife was k i l l e d i n bed, but the woman who was with him was l e f t alone i n the sea of the blood" ( 3 1 0 ) . On the other hand, " i n Japan, a man and a woman were p i l e d up together and cut into four pieces" ( 3 1 0 ) . Suo's concern with masochism or the grotesque can be glimpsed here. In the above scenes, however, i t appears only as a topic of conversation. Edo-fiction expressions are not seen i n the other scenes. Therefore, one could argue that the force of Edo f i c t i o n motifs has weakened i n Wandering Souls. This i s related to the fact that the forces of repression have also weakened, for Edo f i c t i o n or Kabuki, born out of a suppressed f e u d a l i s t i c society, deals p r i m a r i l y with repressed human emotions. Such a dirainishraent of the repressive q u a l i t i e s i n Enchi's s t y l e f a c i l i a t e s the fusion of r e a l i t y and i l l u s i o n i n Wandering Souls. In order to sustain t h i s fusion, other oppositions also become blurred. F i r s t of a l l , Enchi's two categories of women—the woman to be loved by men and the woman to be feared by men—simply disappear. The fact that the aged woman, Suo, often looks l i k e a cute l i t t l e g i r l , suggests that age and youth are not t r u l y d i s t i n c t . The normal and the abnormal also tend to shade into one another, f o r while Suo, who Kingo refers to as the boss of a "crazy t r i b e , " may represent the abnormal, she i s also leading an ordinary, normal l i f e . In some characters, even the d i s t i n c t i o n between existence and non-existence i s ambiguous. The "other woman" i s both existent and non-existent. Mikuriya and Yoshie have l i t t l e sense of r e a l i t y ; they are h a l f r e a l and h a l f unreal. Moreover, the past and the present are conflated. While Suo watches the Aoi F e s t i v a l i n modern -90-times, she i s absorbed in the ancient times of Heian Japan. She sees the f i c t i t i o u s figure of Genji i n the context of modern rea l i t y . Kingo and Mikuriya, both committed scientists of the modern world, are the objects of love for Suo, who i s at the same time preoccupied by Genji, a f i c t i t i o u s figure from the past. The ancient aesthetics of order displayed i n the Aoi Festival i s compared to the disorder of the students' p o l i t i c a l demonstration, which seeks to destroy the formulated order. As for the fusion of space, i n the end, Tokyo, the symbol of reality, becomes the place where re a l i t y and i l l u s i o n are fused, where Suo's wandering soul meets her former lover. The reference to things Western such as the stories of adultry, the apostate Julien, Julien Sorel of Stendhal's The Red and Black (who i s compared to Genji), and Gide's Gertrude of The Pastoral Symphony, while they be primarily decorative, might also suggest the fusion of East and West. Such fusions are strengthened by the structure of the trilogy, for the three sequential stories create a layered, three-tiered progression. Common settings and certain differences among the three works help to produce an i l l u s i o n a l world. The technique i s different from that employed in another of Enchi's tri l o g i e s , What Robs the Vermilion (Ake wo ubaumono ffe&^o 1955-68), i n which the growth of the same heroine i s described in a linear fashion, following the stages of her l i f e . In Wandering Souls, certain motifs recur: the relationships of the heroine with her family are similar i n a l l three, while the motif of foxes and the scene i n which the heroines see themselves i n a three-sided mirror occur only i n the f i r s t and the second. In general, foxes are believed to take possession of people, alluring them into an i l l u s i o n a l world. However, in the f i r s t work, the foxes are only present i n an ukiyoe, whereas i n the second, they are l i v i n g , though they do not actually appear i n the scenes. The images reflected i n the mirrors represent the heroines' real selves, - 9 1 -and they show changing stages i n the l i v e s of women. In the f i r s t work the heroine discovered her r e a l s e l f i n the image of a seventeen or eighteen-year-old g i r l . The second heroine at f i r s t saw her image i n the mirror, fragmenting l i k e the colored pieces inside a kaleidoscope, but i n the end what she saw was the wrinkled face of an aged woman. Moreover, the names of the characters i n the f i r s t and second works correspond clo s e l y : the heroine, Shio-Suo; her daughter, Tomie-Tome; and her son-in-law, Kengo-Kingo. Probably because the t i e between mother and daughter i s severed i n the t h i r d work, t h i s kind of p a r a l l e l i s m does not continue i n the t h i r d book, except i n the case of heroine's name: Shiga. The ukiyoe which Shio sees and the p r i n t s on Shiga's walls also t i e the f i r s t and the t h i r d work together. Both artworks, which the a r t i s t s created l a t e i n t h e i r l i v e s , function to a l l u r e the heroines into the "other realm." But the ukiyoe i s by the Edo a r t i s t , Ando Hiroshige, whereas the p r i n t s i n the t h i r d are by a modern Japanese a r t i s t , F u j i t a Tsuguharu (1886-1968), who established a new fashion, through synthesizing the s t y l e of Japanese painting and that of the Western o i l painting. In the f i r s t book, while the fusion of r e a l i t y and fantasy occurs i n time, that i s i n the past and the present, i n the t h i r d work fusion also occurs i n the dimension of space, between East and the West, for the g i r l s i n the p r i n t s r e c i t e a poem of William Blake i n English. In the f i r s t work, George Sand and V i r g i n i a Wolfe are mentioned, i n the second work, Western culture i s brought up as a topic of conversation, and i n the t h i r d the d i s t i n c t i o n between East and West i s further dissolved. Therefore, the fusion of r e a l i t y and i l l u s i o n i s most f u l l y achieved i n the t h i r d work, and the l i n e s between the r e a l and the f i c t i o n a l — b o t h because of s t y l i s t i c and thematic b l u r r i n g — a r e most d i f f i c u l t to d i s t i n g u i s h . In t h i s way, the t r i l o g y leads progressively to the other realm. This fusion i s sustained most e f f e c t i v e l y by the conflation of modern and c l a s s i c a l motifs. Enchi acknowledges that "the motif of the Rokujo lady i s r e f l e c t e d throughout the t r i l o g y " (Uso makoto shichijuyonen 148). In Wandering Souls, the other realm grows out of the heroine's perception of the profound e x i s t e n t i a l loneliness inherent i n human l i f e and not from the jealousy of a Rokujo-type woman, but s t i l l the Rokujo's "wandering soul" i s retained i n the work. At t h i s point, i t may be useful to discuss the r e l a t i o n s h i p between Enchi's works and the Japanese c l a s s i c a l works. I t i s already well known that Enchi's works are influenced by Edo f i c t i o n or Kabuki and The Tale of Genji. As for The Waiting Years and Masks, we can see clear traces of both influences i n the characters and plots. In Tale of the Mediums, Edo * f i c t i o n s t y l e was diminished, f o r t h i s was Enchi's attempt to create a work based on Heian court l i t e r a t u r e . When i t comes to Wandering Souls, as discussed, l i t t l e remains of Enchi's taste f o r Edo f i c t i o n . On the other hand, the influence of Genji i s evident through the story. However, compared with Enchi's previous works, Wandering Souls i s influenced by Genji i n a d i f f e r e n t way. While some male characters possess Genji's t r a i t s , female characters do not receive obvious, d i r e c t influence from the women of Genji. However, the motif of the "wandering o f f " of the Rokujo lady i s retained at the centre of the story. "Wandering o f f " i s a symbol of female l i b e r a t i o n from s o c i a l suppression and the public s e l f . In other words, the l i b e r a t i o n of the female r e a l s e l f , which i s i n fact a r e a l i z a t i o n of the woman's fantasy connected with Eros, i s strongly related to The Tale of Genji. This suggests that while s t i l l attracted to Edo f i c t i o n , by the l a t e 1960's Enchi was moving away from i t , seeking a fantasy and dream, or even salvation i n the l i t e r a r y world of The Tale of Genji. Enchi f e l t f a m i l i a r with Edo culture both emotionally and temporally, f o r she was born i n the M e i j i era and raised i n Tokyo—which was c a l l e d Edo before the M e i j i era. - 9 3 -She heard various st o r i e s of Edo f i c t i o n and often watched Kabuki plays. However, Edo f i c t i o n , which was born out of the f e u d a l i s t i c suppressed society, dealt with brutal themes such as the grotesque, masochism, decadence, dense sensuality and disorder. In t h i s sense i t may be c a l l e d "unhealthy." Perhaps Enchi, whose s e n s i t i v i t y was rooted i n t h i s culture, desired at the same time to overcome i t s influence. Therefore, she became greatly concerned with The Tale of Genji and i t s author Murasaki Shikibu, who Enchi sensed possessed a s e n s i t i v i t y s i m i l a r to her own, including an i n c l i n a t i o n toward the decadence. For Enchi, The Tale of Genji represented the most ide a l work, one which as a w r i t e r , she continually t r i e d to equal. That t h i s assumption may be true i s suggested by the fact that when Enchi wrote Wandering Souls, she was also t r a n s l a t i n g Genji into modern Japanese; her dedication to t h i s work was so intense that she almost l o s t her eyesight while working on i t . When Enchi began to write Wandering Souls i n 1969, human progress, es p e c i a l l y i n science and industry, seemed to hold out i n f i n i t e promise; t h i s was a time when economic growth was expanding r a p i d l y i n Japan; the previous year the United States succeeded i n landing a rocket on the moon. At the time, "people could have sexual a f f a i r s as i f they were having tea together" (307). Nevertheless, Enchi's heroine i n Wandering Souls believes that even i n the modern world, i n which new orders may be a r i s i n g , "that strange woman . . . keeps walking and wandering endlessly, entering i n t o the insides of men and searching f o r t h e i r substantial e n t i t i e s the way only a woman can do" (351). This confirms Enchi's thoughts about the timeless q u a l i t y of femininity, which i n essence she sees as the unity of Eros and s p i r i t . Enchi said once that: I claim no clear understanding of e x i s t e n t i a l i s m or mysticism, but I have come to c u l t i v a t e a hypothesis that there e x i s t s another me and another object of my love i n a realm apart from the one which t h i s body of mine inhabits. (390) Wandering Souls i s a l i t e r a r y expression of t h i s idea. Enchi was awarded the Japanese l i t e r a r y p r i z e f o r t h i s work i n 1972. - 9 5 -Chapter Four In The Mist i n Karuizawa (Saimu jjgfg, 1975-76), Enchi deals with the same theme as i n the t r i l o g y , Wandering Souls: how women who face aging, death, fear and loneliness express t h e i r inner selves. The protagonist i n The Mist i n Karuizawa also possesses what Enchi sees as the essential element of femininity, that i s , the unity of s p i r i t force and Eros. But she i s neither a vengeful nor a loving woman, as are the protagonists of Wandering Souls. In The Mist i n Karuizawa, the heroine's concern and f a m i l i a r i t y with death deepen, and her true s e l f i s not expressed merely through the "wandering o f f " of her soul. Both her mind and body t r a v e l back and f o r t h between r e a l i t y and i l l u s i o n . In the end, while possessed by the "other woman," she i s led to take action i n r e a l i t y . What a l l u r e s her into the "other realm" i s not jealousy, love or attachment to the past, but a genuine impulse toward Eros. While the heroines i n Wandering  Souls were s t i l l longing for a psychological attachment through love, the heroine of The Mist i n Karuizawa fee l s l i t t l e of such longing. Though she subconsciously loves a man with whom she has an a f f a i r , she i s not aware of her psychological bond. Perhaps because she i s so deeply immersed i n her e x i s t e n t i a l loneliness, she fe e l s the need for a strong physical union with others. In order to express t h i s theme i n The Mist i n Karuizawa, Enchi uses her favor i t e method of "inventing a work of c l a s s i c a l l i t e r a t u r e " as a basis to develop the story. Using an imaginary c l a s s i c a l work as the center of the novel, Enchi develops two other narrative l i n e s , one the story of a mysterious woman l i v i n g i n Karuizawa and her lovers, and the other the story of the heroine, Tsutsumi Sano, and her lover. The story begins i n Karuizawa, i n the cottage of the heroine, a sixty-nine-year-old writer. She has just received the s c r o l l painting c a l l e d "Picture Story of the High Priestess of the Kamo Shrine" ("Karao -96-s a i i n e-kotoba" > from Kawaraha Yukiko, a mysterious e l d e r l y woman l i v i n g i n Karuizawa. The s c r o l l i s a eulogy on the high priestess and depicts the o f f i c i a l events of the Kamo Shrine, but su r p r i s i n g l y i t also shows the sexual encounters of the high priestess and her valet. The s c r o l l , on the cover of which " c o n f i d e n t i a l " i s written i n blood, has been transmitted from woman to woman within the family of p r i e s t s at the Kumano Shrine. Born into the p r i e s t l y family of Kamo, Yukiko received the s c r o l l from her mother. The high priestess i n the s c r o l l seems to symbolize a mediumistic power, which Yukiko has inherited. Through a demonic enchantment, numerous men have become infatuated with her. But most of the men associated with Yukiko die unnaturally i n the end. When Yukiko, who does not have a c h i l d , r e a l i z e s her approaching death, she wants to give the s c r o l l away to Sano. Her eyesight weak, Sano t r i e s to read the tin y scrawl of the s c r o l l ' s c l a s s i c a l text, and resolves to investigate i t s background and o r i g i n . After Yukiko's death, her servant i n v i t e s Sano and her secretary, Katsuko, to Yukiko's cottage. Sano gradually begins to fe e l possessed by Yukiko and eventually by the high priestess as w e l l . Sano displays her newly acquired seductive powers, but at the same time she seems to grow senil e . Traveling back and f o r t h between r e a l i t y and i l l u s i o n , one day i n Karuizawa, Sano at l a s t has a physical r e l a t i o n s h i p with her nephew-in-law, Yasuo. Immediately a f t e r t h i s , she burns the s c r o l l . Thus a l l the men and women who have any r e l a t i o n to Yukiko and the s c r o l l r e f l e c t the eros of the high priestess and her vale t . In The Mist i n Karuizawa, Enchi re l a t e s the stor i e s of those men and women i n the three main s t o r i e s . Before analyzing these narratives, i t i s necessary to have a general understanding of the actual high priestess system, which continued i n Japan from the early Heian period (794-1191) through the early Karaakura period (1192-1333). According to the custom of the period, each time a new emperor assumed the throne, one of the young v i r g i n princesses of the Imperial family was appointed the high priestess of the Ise Shrine and another became the high priestess of the Kamo Shrine (Nakamura 113). These women would seclude themselves i n a palace on the o u t s k i r t s of Kyoto. The palace was a place of p u r i f i c a t i o n , and there the chosen women practiced a u s t e r i t i e s for a c e r t a i n period, i n order to serve the gods of Ise and Kamo. Ancient people believed they could obtain b l i s s and protection from the gods by o f f e r i n g them the v i r g i n i t y of noble g i r l s . Therefore, the v i r g i n i t y ( i . e . purity) of the high priestesses was viewed as highly s i g n i f i c a n t . According to the s c r o l l painting i n Enchi's story, however, despite such a sacred, p u r i f i e d q u a l i t y of the high p r i e s t e s s , there also existed at Kamo Shrine secret r i t u a l s c a l l e d the "awakening souls." In order to awaken the high priestess's unconscious soul, her valet performed sexual r i t u a l s with her. This was not motivated by t h e i r physical desires, but was meant to r e v i t a l i z e and p u r i f y the high priestess. This r i t u a l originated long ago when a group of robbers burst into the palace of the high priestess, and attacked her. In order to resurrect the ha l f dead, f a i n t priestess, the god of Kamo took possession of one of the v i r g i n male attendents and led hira to perform a certain r i t u a l , which involved having intercourse with her. From that time on, the same r i t u a l took place several times a year, whenever the high priestess required p u r i f i c a t i o n , and i t continued u n t i l she grew aged and grey. However, during the r i t u a l , the high priestess herself would f a l l i n t o a state of suspended consciousness, so that she d i d not recognize the presence of the va l e t . He functioned only as a medium of the god of Kamo. He was not usually allowed to u t t e r a word or even to glance at such a high-ranking, d i g n i f i e d lady. However, since the valet was an ordinary man, he suffered jealousy toward a powerful, a t t r a c t i v e a r i s t o c r a t who also loved the - 9 8 -priestess. The valet maintained h i s passionate and sad love f o r the priestess a l l h i s l i f e . Feeling uncontrollable longing for her even af t e r he resigned from h i s vocation, he could not help but write about h is ecs t a t i c experiences. His strong attachment to the high priestess was shown i n one episode of Tales of Ise (Ise monogatari ^ P f ^ ^ f l i , 9007-950?) by Ariwara no Narihira (825-880), which the valet c i t e d i n his notes. The valet strongly i d e n t i f i e d with Narihira i n the episode, who was seeing o f f a carriage of the empress, h i s former lover, and r e f l e c t i n g on the woman whom he could no longer reach. In the end, the val e t f e l t himself to be an "empty sake pot" (305) 8, and so aft e r hearing of the high priestess's death, he committed suicide. His nephew, moved by the notes h i s uncle had written, used them as the basis to paint the series of black and white pictures which comprised the "Kamo Shrine" s c r o l l subsequently given to Sano.-Since the figure of the high priestess i n the "Picture Story of the Kamo Shrine" i s drawn from the descriptions of her admiring v a l e t , she appears as a woman of great charm. She has beauty, natural talent as the mistress of her salon, and a strong mediumistic a b i l i t y as a fortune t e l l e r . Her beauty and charm do not decline i n her o l d age. She i s "not infected with the ugliness of aging. . . . Her face looks c l e a r and pretty as i f she were a young l i t t l e g i r l " (303). When the high priestess i s younger, "her breasts are l i k e the buds of the lotus flower beginning to bloom," but l a t e r on they "look white and shrunken, l i k e raoonflowers before the dawn" (297). Enchi avoids vulgar and dir e c t depictions to describe the priestess's eroticism. But the painting, which readers cannot see, produces an a i r of eroticism, further enhanced by the use of ancient words. Readers are not c l e a r l y informed of the incident of the robbers, who probably attacked and raped the high priestess, because the descriptions of that p a r t i c u l a r scene are blurred i n the text of the -99-s c r o l l . Rather, the eroticism of the s c r o l l ' s text i s subtle: . . . [H]ow could one possibly leave such a sacred, d i g n i f i e d and unworldly lady, dead? While blowing my breath into the princess with a l l my strength, and pouring the male l i f e i n to her, I pray that God may save t h i s princess. I hold t i g h t her seemingly dead body, and blows my breath into her l i p s (omission), and my body also gets entangled with her i c y skin, and I f e e l as i f I am going into death. In the omitted part, t h e i r intercourse i s described i n d e t a i l , with the words of medieval days. (289) This subtle eroticism i s expressed i n various s t y l e s . The text of the s c r o l l i s composed of c l a s s i c a l words, supposedly written by the valet and the painter. To supplement the information provided i n the s c r o l l , Sano explains the system of the high priestess and s c r o l l paintings i n general, and adds a summary of some parts of the text and interpretations. Moreover, the narrative t o l d i n the "Picture Story" intersects with the other two main stories of Yukiko and Sano. This narrative technique, involving patch-work s t y l i s t i c s h i f t s , works well to draw readers into the i l l u s i o n a l world of the past. I t was also employed i n Tale of the Mediums, but the setting of t h i s work was complicated to the extent that i t seemed a b i t too fabricated and a r t i f i c i a l . In The Mist i n Karuizawa, the i n s e r t i o n of a c l a s s i c a l work i s accomplished more smoothly. In order to understand the high priestess better, i t i s useful to look at the known h i s t o r i c a l facts as recorded i n the "Account of the High Priestess of the Kamo Shrine" ("Kamo s a i i n - k i , " M^irfEnstH) i n Gunsho r u i j u (f?#||fiE, 1779-1822) by Hanawa Hokiichi (1746-1821). Judging from the o f f i c i a l h i s t o r y , the high priestess of the s c r o l l i s probably the Imperial Princess Senshi (964-1035), who occupied the po s i t i o n of high priestess f o r an unusually long time, over the reigns of f i v e emperors. During the prosperous times of the Heian court, the palace of the high priestess became a highly c u l t i v a t e d , s o c i a l salon, though her palace was detached from the Kyoto court. While Senshi (964-1035) was high -100-priestess, she managed to make the salon p a r t i c u l a r l y prosperous, and equal i n popularity to the salons of Empress Teishi (975-1000) and Empress Shoshi (988-1074) (Nakaraura 114). Senshi was c a l l e d the Great High Priestess. In the l i v e l y atmosphere of her salon, numerous love a f f a i r s between court men and ladies-in-waiting bloomed, and even Kaneie (929-990) and the powerful Michinaga (966-1027) are said to have had a f f a i r s with Senshi. Thus, despite the fact that the palace was supposed to be a highly d i s c i p l i n e d place, i n a c t u a l i t y , courtiers were very free i n t h e i r thinking about sex. Enchi refers to t h i s sexual freedom where she discusses an episode from Tales of Ise i n Masks: . . . Ariwara no Na r i h i r a v i s i t s h i s younger cousin the high priestess of Ise and exchanges a vow of love with her. The fact that of her own accord she goes into Narihira's bedchamber at night, despite her supposed chastity, i s i n t e r e s t i n g because i t shows that she took a shamaness's view of sex, as something i n t r i n s i c a l l y s i n l e s s . (77) Similar explanations can be found i n Tale of the Mediums (126). In t h i s context, the descriptions of the "awakening souls" r i t u a l i n the s c r o l l look convincing, for they are a part of the sacred and worldly prosperity of the high priestess. The high priestess i s described as an admirable woman. She too possesses the essential element of femininity, the unity of s p i r i t force with Eros. Therefore, whether she has a f f a i r s with men i n a c t u a l i t y or not, by u n i t i n g with a god of Kamo she can express her r e a l s e l f . The high priestess may also be a symbol of freedom, because she i s released from love, or i n other words from e v i l attachment. For as f a r as we know, the high priestess only allows her powerful a r i s t o c r a t i c s u i t o r to see her naked body. However, she i s not simply the type of woman who i s loved by men. In Enchi's view, she i s also a symbol of the l i f e source: What i s a high priestess? What i s a medium? In the end, i t i s probably s i m i l a r to the idea of the " o r i g i n a l mother" i n Chinese philosophy. I t i s deeply rooted i n the earth and - 1 0 1 -creates a l l nature, and i t i s the source of l i f e which makes a l l nature l i v e . A f t e r a l l , perhaps men cannot conquer. . . . ( 3 6 6 ) The meaning of the high p r i e s t e s s , as the l i f e source which men cannot "defeat," i s further c l a r i f i e d , when she i s compared with Teishi i n Tale of the Mediums, who defeats the male p r i n c i p l e with the female p r i n c i p l e , with love and Eros. The fact that the valet commits suicide seems to suggest that the high priestess does not simply symbolize l i f e , but that there also e x i s t s an element of death within her, an issue to which I w i l l return l a t e r . Thus, the high priestess i s a symbolic, archetypal woman, who possesses few t r u l y "human" t r a i t s . Since the text of the s c r o l l i s based upon the valet's one-sided observations, we do not have any access to her psychology as a l i v i n g woman. This makes her a l l the more unreal. Thus i n The Mist i n Karuizawa, Enchi. c l a r i f i e s the meaning of the high priestess and mediums, and uses those figures to express her notion of essential femininity. Enchi's use of the high priestess i s no surprise, considering the great interest she had i n mediums throughout her career. The high priestess may be regarded as the supreme medium or i n other words as an archetypal, representative medium. Enchi used mediums i n Tale of the Mediums, and the heroine i n Wandering Souls attended the Aoi F e s t i v a l — w h i c h i s also c a l l e d the Kamo F e s t i v a l — a n d walked i n the Kamo Shrine, thinking about the p u r i f i c a t i o n of the high priestess. These events seem to function as an underplot to the "Picture Story of the High Priestess of the Kamo Shrine" i n The Mist i n Karuizawa. In addition, the motif of the high priestess reminds us of an episode concerning the Rokujo lady. When the Rokujo lady's daughter i s appointed the high priestess of Ise Shrine, the Rokujo lady goes with her to a detached palace, i n order to resolve her long unstable r e l a t i o n s h i p with Genji. The Rokujo lady takes her courtly salon along to the new palace. Thus the shadow of the Rokujo lady e x i s t s behind the story of the high - 102-priestess i n The Mist i n Karuizawa. Furthermore, we can find another episode in Genji i n which he tries to win the high priestess of Kamo, then Princess Asagao, desiring to make her his o f f i c i a l wife. With her s t i f f resolve not to accept his proposal, Genji's hopes are disappointed. Enchi interprets Genji's sudden courting of Asagao by explaining that after the deaths of Fujitsubo and the Rokujo lady, he could not find any other supreme, dignified ladies besides Asagao (Genji monogatari shiken, 32-33). That i s , Enchi herself values the status of the priestess highly. It seems natural for Enchi, who has always paid attention to Fujitsubo and the Rokujo lady i n her works, to at last employ the high priestess. The s c r o l l painting, which evokes the entire history of the high priestess, functions to set i n motion other plot developments i n The Mist in Karuizawa. Yukiko, the present possesser of the s c r o l l , i s a reincarnation of the high priestess. We can see obvious simi l a r i t i e s between the high priestess and Yukiko. Yukiko's ancestor was related to the Imperial family, and she was born into the pri e s t l y family of the Kamo Shrine. She i s provided with mediumistic a b i l i t y . Therefore, when she has a physical relationship with a man, she feels herself transformed into "a spider or starfish," and becomes "another entity, while she remains s t i l l herself" (242). Her body seems controlled by someone else, so the concept of love, as well as the sense of morality and responsibility, do not mean anything to her. Therefore, even a Genji-type male—Duke K a t s u r a i — i s not particularly attractive to her. She has affair s with numerous men. She i s physically captivating and simply bewitching to men. She looks "as i f every button i s undone" (253), though she does not look sloppy. Her beauty i s "lethargic" and " i d i o t i c " (241). Her body i s supple "as i f i t does not have muscles and bones" (254) and i n this way i t parallels the body of the high priestess, for "the valet [did] not know where her bones [were]" (289). Her way of talking i s "slow and rather - 1 0 3 -s t i c k y l i k e sweets" and "her big opened eyes do not give o f f any strong l i g h t " (241). Such beauty i s related to her raediuraistic q u a l i t y , which represents the unity of a s p i r i t force with Eros. She constitutes essential femininity. With t h i s femininity, she lures men one a f t e r another into an e c s t a t i c i l l u s i o n a l world. And once a man enters into t h i s "other realm" with her, he cannot escape except through death. Let us look at her relationships with men i n d e t a i l . Along with a husband who has no i n t e r e s t i n her l i f e , Yukiko also has a lover, Eckerman, who was a German Nazi o f f i c e r just before the end of World War I I . After the Nazi collapse, however, Yukiko refuses his proposal to return with him to Europe where he w i l l be granted p o l i t i c a l asylum. In the end, a f t e r he t r i e s and f a i l s to k i l l her, he shoots himself i n her bedroom. While having an a f f a i r with Eckerman, Yukiko also has another a f f a i r with the prime minister, Duke Katsurai. He i s the f i r s t man to discover Yukiko*s mediuraistic a b i l i t y , for he i s also of noble b i r t h and has inherited the a r i s t o c r a t i c blood of an ancestor who had a close relationship with s p i r i t u a l mediums. Katsurai f e e l s "as i f he were possessed by a god when he i s united with her" (246). However, being i d e n t i f i e d as a war c r i m i n a l , he commits suicide by taking a drug. Around that time, K a j i t a Shuko, who i s a drama c r i t i c , becomes one of her lovers. In the end, he dies unnaturally i n the sea. A f t e r the war, Yukiko's cottage i n Karuizawa becomes a s o c i a l salon f o r the GHQ [General Headquarters of the United States], and an American c i v i l i a n , Macintosh, becomes her lover. But he i s murdered i n Holland by a Japanese man c a l l e d Shinoda, who studies i n I t a l y and also has an a f f a i r with Yukiko. Sano's nephew-in-law, Yasuo, who i s a diplomat, i s seduced by Yukiko i n I t a l y , though they do not have an a f f a i r . F i n a l l y , there i s the servant Kariya, who has been "serving" Yukiko since he was sixteen or seventeen, remaining f a i t h f u l a l l throughout her a f f a i r s with d i f f e r e n t men. -104-Yukiko captivates a l l the men she meets. She i s the reincarnation of the high p r i e s t e s s , but Yukiko's l i f e i s freer than the high priestess', for the l a t t e r ' s l i f e i s b a s i c a l l y r e s t r i c t e d by her r o l e as a priestess. Yukiko i s a symbol of freedom, for she i s released from her outer s e l f , s o c i a l suppressions, love, attachment, r e s p o n s i b i l i t y and so on. In t h i s sense, she may be understood as a "natural" woman, who i s detached from society. Although Yukiko t a l k s about her experiences almost obje c t i v e l y , she does not express a psychology, or rather one could say that she seems not to possess such a thing. She i s an i l l u s i o n a l symbol. Moreover, although a l l men f a l l under her enchanting power, they are neither deprived of t h e i r own psychologies and autonomies, nor controlled by her perceptions. Most of her lovers are provided with opportunities to r e f l e c t upon t h e i r experiences with Yukiko and to express t h e i r psychologies, though t h e i r self-revelations are not s u f f i c i e n t f o r readers to understand each character w e l l . As her character i s described from the multiple points of view of her male lovers, her mysterious figure i s gradually c l a r i f i e d . Like the high priestess, she i s also a symbol of l i f e force. A l l the men involved with her, except her husband, experience great pleasure with her. In other words, she brings them l i f e force. However, the fact that most of them die unnaturally, or die mentally suggests that Yukiko's power i s ambiguous and double-edged. She can also be a symbol of death. The fact that Yukiko does not have a c h i l d makes us doubt her motherly q u a l i t y , f o r the high priestess s i g n i f i e s "the o r i g i n a l mother" (366). So, the symbolic meaning of Yukiko does not simply conform to the idea of a l i f e source, or the o r i g i n a l mother. As discussed, when we consider the suicide of the valet, the l i f e source which the priestess was supposed to possess i s also put into question. Moreover, Yukiko herself dies i n the end. Her taste for purple, which i s shown i n her dyed, pale purple h a i r , her purple gown, and the purple c l o t h she uses to - 1 0 5 -wrap the scroll, is suggestive of her "ripened, excessive" life force, which might eventually cause death. For, as we discussed in Chapter Three, purple is a blackish and bluish red, and red usually symbolizes the life force. That is, the source of life can imply death as well. Death and life are united in Yukiko as well as in the high priestess. Yukiko fuses such fundamentally dualistic concepts, so that she may function to dissolve the apparent distinctions between things at various levels. Let us look at further examples of her ability to fuse apparent dualities. Yukiko possesses the characteristics of both a vengeful woman and a lovable woman. She is able to give any man supreme bliss as well as supreme misfortune. She can be either a goddess or a demon. She takes men to the "other realm." She functions as a medium or a messenger connecting illusion and reality, whereas the high priestess represents only the illusional past world. In other words, Yukiko's presence is also the fusing of reality and illusion. Yukiko does not possess the motivations or psychology of a real person living in the modern world and in that sense has little reality. However, she cannot escape from the reality of death, so she is not a completely illusional figure. Thus, her existence is half illusional and half real. Yukiko is also a medium linking the past and the present. Her taste for purple can be understood as a reference to the court of Heian Kyoto, for purple is associated with the "forbidden colors." Her figure transcends time and space. There is one scene that symbolically illustrates this. Yukiko sings a popular ancient song called iraayo, which was written in the Heian court era, while unsteadily playing the guitar. Since this kind of song is supposed to be accompanied with a biwa or koto, we can see here a type of fusion. In this scene, Yukiko looks "like an old Western doll, wearing a long Western gown" (334). The past and the present, the East and the West, and the human and non-human make an "unusual harmony" (334). We can -106-see other conflations as well, which support the main intertwining of illusion with reality and past with present. Yukiko, who is already over seventy years old, nevertheless exhibits youth. . . . [A]1though she gives an impression of an aged woman in her staggering walk and in her hair dyed pale purple, her face looks young, plump and healthily colored, as if she forgot to age, and her big eyes with double eyelids look clear like an innocent little girl. (240) Her wrinkled neck is compared to the "head of an old chicken" (241). She retains a childlike beauty in an old appearance, and that beauty corresponds to that of the high priestess. Moreover, Yukiko, who becomes hysterical and unbalanced once in a while because of a weak heart or some other physical ailment, leads an ordinary life. Here, abnormality and normality are dissolved into one. While she looks like a simple-minded beauty, Sano is surprised at her sharp mind. Stupidity and brightness are also merged. Judging from Yukiko's functions in the work, she can be interpreted as the same kind of woman as the "other woman" in Wandering Souls. However, in comparison with the "other woman," who does not have a completely individual entity as a human being, Yukiko is an independent living entity with a name. Therefore, Yukiko exhibits a certain component of Tome in Wandering Souls, who keeps a primitive naturalness and freedom, and is a living symbol of the heroine's real self along with the unrealistic "other woman." Moreover, Yoshie's dedication to men and her impression that "she looks loose everywhere in her body" correspond to the image of Yukiko, who "looks as if every button is undone" (253). Thus, Yukiko possesses the characteristics of the "other woman", Tome and Yoshie. It is possible to imagine that she may also express Sano's hidden self, a point which I will later discuss. Yukiko's function as an agent of fusion is also evident in her experiences with her lovers. The relationship of Yukiko and Kariya can be -107-i d e n t i f i e d with that of the high priestess and her valet i n the s c r o l l painting. Yukiko and Kariya appear as "one e n t i t y within two, as i f they are a good puppeteer and h i s puppet" (240). I t i s only Kariya who can handle Yukiko, who i s l i k e an o l d feeble Western d o l l . He understands her and accepts h i s seemingly humiliated s i t u a t i o n , just as the valet did. The figure of Kariya, who copies the text of s c r o l l i n h i s own handwriting, i s overlaid with the valet's figure, who wrote about h i s experience, and Kariya, who talks to Sano about Yukiko a f t e r her death, also reminds us of the valet who l e f t h i s secret notes to h i s nephew. Kariya's l i f e a f t e r Yukiko's death i s not explained by the narrative, but since he agrees with Shinoda's plan to set f i r e to Yukiko's cottage i n Karuizawa, one can assume that h is l a t e r l i f e was s i m i l a r l y empty to the valet's. Kariya l i v e s with Yukiko and mentally dies with her. Thus just as Yukiko i s a reincarnation of the high p r i e s t e s s , Kariya i s a reincarnation of the vale t . His figure i s also o v e r l a i d with that of a past character, Fujiwara no Teika (1162-1241). Kariya sings a popular ancient song c a l l e d "The Vine of Teika" ("Teika kazura" J&tVSj) • This song i s about a man's obsession with a female: Teika's attachment to the Imperial Princess S h i k i s h i (7-1201) turns into the vine, which gets entangled with the grave of the Princess to prevent her soul from departing and reaching the heaven. Thus, the d i s t i n c t i o n between the past and present i s dissolved i n Kariya. However, Enchi provides him with more r e a l i t y than she does the va l e t . Kariya's peaceful appearance after Yukiko's death i s d i f f e r e n t from the valet's obvious despair, and i s more convincing. Moreover, Kariya seems more r e a l i s t i c when we consider that he i s described as s i m i l a r i n appearance to O f f i c e r Onoda. At the time when Enchi was wri t i n g t h i s work i n 1974, Onoda had been just discovered i n the jungles of the Lubang Island i n the Ph i l i p p i n e s , h i s story causing a sensation i n -108-Japan. He had hidden himself i n the jungle, observing military rules even after the war had been over for about thirty years. Since Kariya may be said to have been away from r e a l i t y for around thirty years serving Yukiko, the parallelism extends not only to their looks, but also to their situations and mentalities. Both have been detached from r e a l i t y and later become "reattached." Since Kariya possesses an a i r of reality, he functions to support Yukiko, who creates an i l l u s i o n a l world i n the midst of Kariya's rea l i t y . If Kariya i s identified with the valet, the other men, who a l l die i n the end, can also be said to represent the death of the valet. They help to dissolve the distinction between i l l u s i o n and rea l i t y , and past and present. Duke Katsurai, who discovered Yukiko's subconscious mediumistic a b i l i t y , related her to the high priestess i n the s c r o l l . Yukiko's relationship with Katsurai, who i s of noble birth and holds considerable power, reminds us of the relationships of Senshi and her aristocratic lovers, such as Michinaga. Moreover, interestingly, Kajita Shuko relates the fun of Kabuki to the pleasure of an a f f a i r with Yukiko. He talks of Kabuki's charm, saying that i n Kabuki "to be beautiful and interesting becomes ter r i f y i n g , " and Kabuki "transforms i l l u s i o n into re a l i t y through a s p e l l " (229). The terrifying pleasure of Kabuki i s identified with the pleasure he receives from Yukiko. The attraction of Kabuki's spell and i t s " i d i o t i c beauty" (232) are also attractive characteristics of Yukiko. Both can create the "other realm" i n r e a l i t y . Therefore, Sano, who i s also attracted to Kabuki, has the potential to be bewitched by something te r r i f y i n g l y interesting besides Kabuki, which w i l l be c l a r i f i e d later. Shinoda, another of Yukiko's lovers, has wandered in foreign, war-torn countries such as Vietnam and Iran after k i l l i n g Yukiko's lover, Macintosh, i n Holland. Since k i l l i n g Macintosh out of jealousy, Shinoda -109-f e e l s he has l o s t an important part of himself. In t h i s sense, he i s also mentally dead. I t i s Shinoda who burns down Yukiko's cottage a f t e r her death, for her cottage i s l i k e "a shrine dedicated to Kawahara Yukiko" (366). Shinoda, who i s interested i n Zoroastrianism, considers her a goddess or demon, and worships her. This idea i s connected to the high priestess' r e l i g i o u s q u a l i t y . F i n a l l y , l e t us consider one more el d e r l y man, Sugaya, who i s Yukiko's cousin, and not her lover. One summer day i n h i s youth, during a thunder shower, he held the naked body of Yukiko, as she stood i n the bathroom. Since t h i s scene i s i d e n t i f i e d with a picture i n the s c r o l l , Sugaya also helps to fuse the worlds of Yukiko and of the high priestess. Compared with these Japanese men, the Western men involved with Yukiko do not play important roles i n the story. They are employed not as ordinary men, but as "exoti c " men, i n order to display how i r r e s i s t a b l y a t t r a c t i v e Yukiko i s to any man of any n a t i o n a l i t y . Therefore, the Western men help Yukiko to dissolve the d i s t i n c t i o n between East and West. I f Yukiko i s a symbol of freedom and the fusing of death and l i f e , and a medium l i n k i n g i l l u s i o n and r e a l i t y as well as past and present, Sano i n i t i a l l y symbolizes the repressed woman l i v i n g i n the world of r e a l i t y . In the development of the story, Yukiko gradually takes possession of Sano, and Sano begins to transcend time and space. She i s a sixty-nine-year-old writer. Reflecting on her whole l i f e on the f i f t e e n t h of September, which i s a day of celebration f o r the e l d e r l y i n Japan, she regards herself as "an inconspicuous heroine i n an unsuccessful drama" (217). Her physical s e l f , which has been " l i k e a storehouse of various diseases" (220), i s becoming older and weaker. She has diabetes, a heart disease and gallstones, and above a l l her eyesight i s t e r r i b l y weak because of the loss of sight i n one eye from a detached r e t i n a . And a l l her teeth are f a l s e . For the l a s t few years, she has been unable to escape from the idea of death. She often sees herself as "the same as a b i r d or a s q u i r r e l " (237), and as "a vacant shadow which i s not distinguished from the others" (238). The themes of fusion or compatibility as opposed to contradiction or confrontation often come to f i l l her mind, though the contradictions i n her mind, which encourage her to write, are proof of her v i t a l i t y . Although she knows how to make herself look young by wearing a wig and sunglasses and try i n g on Western clothes which she has never worn before, she cannot deny the fact of her aging. In regard to love: The concept of love was an i l l u s i o n which had always captured Sano i n her l i f e . But she could not grasp i t s true f i g u r e , which a c t u a l l y has no substance—just l i k e an uncertain shadow that an insane person would follow about. . . . I f love needs a partner, Sano has already given i t up. (218) Given the deep loneliness of her l i f e at t h i s point, what Sano probably needs most i s love. But, she yearns for a pr i m i t i v e love, one connected only with sex. Despite her aging, she s t i l l once i n a while perceives "something l i k e an angel leaping i n her mind" (220). Compared with Suo i n Wandering Souls, Sano's mental and physical state shows that the aging of the heroine has gone one step further. In the previous work, the protagonist suffered from the discrepancy between her active mind and her lethargic body. However, the protagonist of The  Mist i n Karuizawa does not sense such a discrepancy. Her unconscious mind s t i l l wants love, but her body and conscious mind become t o t a l l y l e t h a r g i c . Unlike Suo, who loves her son-in-law, h i s f r i e n d and Genji, Sano does not love any man, not at least at the conscious l e v e l . Nevertheless, the s c r o l l painting "Picture Story of the High P r i e s t e s s " stimulates her hidden, subconscious desires. When she sees the painting of the secret r i t u a l , she feels that "some part of her body arises audibly" (265). Sano, who f i r s t t r i e s to adhere to the d i s c i p l i n e that the s c r o l l i s "to be transmitted only from one woman to another," - 1 1 1 -already has a sense of complicity with Yukiko. In the end, i t i s with the help of Kariya's notes and her secretary Katsuko that she reads the entire s c r o l l , and breaks with the t r a d i t i o n a l d i s c i p l i n e . During t h i s process, Sano i s gradually being l e d to the i l l u s i o n a l mysterious world to transcend r e a l i t y . Sano's transformation i s f i r s t shown i n her dreams or i l l u s i o n s . After Sano learns about the f i r e at Yukiko's cottage, she has a dream which i s suggestive of t h i s change, i n which she i s waiting for her cue to appear on a "stage" at the burning cottage. Sano feels as i f she i s an actress. However, Katsuko re s t r a i n s her from going onto the "stage." As discussed, Kabuki and Yukiko's world correspond to each other. The "stage" of t h i s dream can be seen to *be a stage of the " t e r r i f y i n g l y i n t e r e s t i n g " Kabuki. Sano i s about to enter that world. Despite Katsuko's warning, she i s being lured into the "other world" i n which a f i r e i s burning. In general f i r e symbolizes l i f e force, passion, and danger, none of which Sano possesses i n her l i f e . She becomes obsessed with the " f i r e " which i g n i t e s her hidden desires. After that, Sano's i l l u s i o n a l e r o t i c dreams occur once i n a while. One day, before going to the Omizutori ceremony i n Nara, Sano has an e r o t i c dream i n a Kyoto hotel: . . . [W]hile l y i n g on the bed, Sano i s untying the knot of her obi age [bustle sash]. Someone's hands work s k i l l f u l l y to untie the obi, and the kimono s l i p s down from her shoulders Sano wonders i f t h i s i s Katsuko, but no. I t i s sure that a man draws close to her and i s removing the kimono from her body. She does not know who i t i s , but t h i s i s pleasant. She does not show any resistance, and wiggles and twists herself. . . . (383) Next morning, Sano finds herself under the i l l u s i o n that she had a sexual a f f a i r while sleeping. She does not have any sense of having been raped, but she does not f e e l any sexual pleasure, ei t h e r . I t seems to be an inevitable incident. While watching the Omizutori i n the T o d a i j i Temple, i n which p r i e s t s carrying torches run on the stone s t a i r s of the Nigatsudo, Sano hears the uncertain voice of Yukiko: "You can see the - 1 1 2 -f i r e . . . " and "I am within you, a l l the time from now on" (391). Sano feel s t h i s voice as "a raysteriouness which i s not distinguishable as either i l l u s i o n or r e a l i t y " (391). Sano's i l l u s i o n a l world i s entangled with r e a l i t y more and more. While she l i e s down on a bed, she feels that: [H]er heart i s beating unsteadily, her breasts seem to suddenly swell, and she hears a cry from her vagina which c a l l s for something. The sense that her inside seems to wait f o r or absorb something makes i t cry, and makes her body wiggle with e r o t i c movements as i f the body i s not hers while i t i s hers. . . . [T]he bodies of men p i l e up on her, and they are being taken into her i n s i d e , as i f they are responding to the cry of her vagina. (395) She experiences a strange intercourse, which produces "a tenacious and sweet sensuality, which she has never before experienced i n her l i f e " (395). However, she does not consider these dreams as completely i l l u s i o n a l , f o r her reasonable consciousness always coexists during these i l l u s i o n s . For example, while looking at herself i n the mirror, she smiles at herself, saying, "We s h a l l l i v e together with you, s h a l l we? I t i s fun to have an a f f a i r with a man, whatever age we are at" (395). Immediately a f t e r t h i s , she returns to r e a l i t y and sees only an ugly, aged woman's nude body i n the mirror. Therefore, when Sano regains her reason i n r e a l i t y , she i s aware that an inexplicable monster l i v e s and expands i n her mind and body. Moreover, when she r e a l i z e s that she i s sexually attracted by young K a j i t a whom she does not f e e l i n love with, she i s a f r a i d that she may be developing a kind of s e n i l i t y or insanity. She often feels dizzy, her eyesight becomes weaker and weaker, and she forgets things very e a s i l y . A doctor warns her that she i s i n a serious state of diabetes, l i k e l y to r e s u l t i n a coma. Sano i n fact does not figure out that her condition i s due to her physical s e n i l i t y or to Yukiko's possession. Her a b i l i t y of s e l f - a n a l y s i s , which i s imperative to wr i t e r s , becomes weaker. Sano f e e l s the l i f e force when she f i g h t s the strange monster i n order to r e t a i n her introverted, dispassionate charater. Along with such a transformation taking place within Sano, her appearance i s also changing. Sano's face becomes tender and c h i l d l i k e , as i f "there i s a c h i l d i n an e l d e r l y woman" (387), and also once i n a while she displays "strangely e r o t i c eyes" (373) or "hot and watery e r o t i c eyes" (385). Katsuko finds that Sano has "a supple body as i f there are no muscles" (353), and "her back shines white and smooth" (387). Such ch a r a c t e r i s t i c s are associated with Yukiko and the high priestess. In a c t u a l i t y she comes to resemble Yukiko, which surprises Shinoda. This transformation at t r a c t s young K a j i t a . While watching the Omizutori, he supports Sano's shoulders from behind. He helps her to z i p up her clothes i n the back. However, Katsuko notices that Sano's physical condition i s becoming worse. Sano's fusing of r e a l i t y and i l l u s i o n reaches a climax i n a t r i p to Karuizawa. Sano f i n a l l y takes concrete action to r e a l i z e her hidden s e l f i n r e a l i t y , though Karuizawa may be a symbol of the i l l u s i o n a l "other world." On the highway to Karuizawa, there i s a t h i c k mist, which may be understood as a drape to mark the passage onto the mysterious stage. The next morning, Sano and Yasuo go on a drive and walk i n the f i e l d s of Karuizawa on a beautiful day. The mountain spring i s overpowering, with i t s leaping force of nature. Such an exploding natural force probably prompts Sano to f e e l free. The scene i n which Sano takes hold of Yasuo's b e l t from behind, "descending the slope" of the f i e l d with him, suggests that they are going back to t h e i r young days, when they found each other a t t r a c t i v e and kissed each other l i g h t l y i n a thunderstorm i n Karuizawa. "Descending the slope" may also mean going back to her l i f e , f o r Sano regards w r i t i n g , which i s i n fact l i f e i t s e l f to her, as "going up a h i l l with pain." The scene i n which Sano i s c a r r i e d by Yasuo and crosses over a small r i v e r , may symbolize crossing the b a r r i e r of s o c i a l suppression and her outer s e l f , for a f t e r t h i s they k i s s each other passionately, as i f compensating for t h e i r unsatisfactory k i s s over twenty years ago. That night, i t thunders and rains heavily. The e l e c t r i c power i s out. Only the flame of the candle i s l i t f o r a few hours. Early the next morning, Sano sets f i r e to the s c r o l l painting, with disarranged grey hai r but wide, bewitching eyes, which Yasuo thinks look l i k e Yukiko*s. Although the narrative does not explain c l e a r l y what occurred between Sano and Yasuo that night, t h e i r kisses and the "flame" of the candle i n the storm suggest that they had a sexual encounter. Sano, who i s possessed by Yukiko, at l a s t takes action here i n Karuizawa, which can be compared to a Kabuki theatre. The spring, the cottage, storm, e l e c t r i c f a i l u r e and flame, a l l function as a set t i n g for a drama. Perhaps, Sano performs her dream role as an actress. However, th i s i s not her re a l figure, so she has to sever t h i s i l l u s i o n from herself by burning the s c r o l l , and then she comes back to r e a l i t y . Thus, Sano becomes "Yukiko-ized" to the extent that she acquires the a b i l i t y to seduce even the most r e a l i s t i c man, Yasuo. He i s neither a Genji type, nor a type l i k e Kingo of Wandering Souls, but he i s an ordinary man, working hard i n the world as a p r a c t i c a l diplomat. The r e a l i t i e s of aging and death cause Sano's hidden, r e a l s e l f to be released from suppression, with the power of Yukiko and the high priestess. Sano acquires freedom. She becomes a reincarnation of Yukiko and the high priestess. She i s , needless to say, neither a vengeful, nor lovable woman. She expresses her essential femininity by uni t i n g her s p i r i t force and her eros. She also fuses i l l u s i o n and r e a l i t y , as well as the past and present. In order to strengthen the conflation of past and present, Enchi employs Japanese c l a s s i c s which deal with female obsessions f o r men. In Tales of Ise, Na r i h i r a sleeps a few times with an e l d e r l y woman out of - 1 1 5 -compassion, for she longs desperately to meet a man to ease her loneliness. In a Noh play, Komachi on the Stupa (Sotoba komachi ^HP£c /]NfflD» Ono no Komachi (ninth century), who i s known as an excellent poet of waka and a woman of matchless beauty i n the Heian era, goes mad when she becomes an old beggar, thinking about her prosperous past. Moreover, Enchi mentions one episode from Stories New and Old (Kokon chomonshu T ^ T ' ^ K ^ J 1254) by Tachibana no Narisue (twelfth century), i n which an e l d e r l y v i r g i n nun chants prayers on her deathbed, but she says i n delirium, "The penis comes, the penis comes." Thus, by drawing on p a r a l l e l examples from the past, Enchi emphasizes Sano's subconscious desire for a man caused by the loneliness of her aging. As f o r the fusion of space, Tokyo, which symbolizes r e a l i t y , becomes a place of i l l u s i o n as Sano begins to make her strange transformation. In t h i s work, Karuizawa i s the symbol of the i l l u s i o n a l world. Yukiko l i v e s i n Karuizawa and a l l her lovers v i s i t her cottage there. I t i s i n Karuizawa that Sano has a physical relationship with Yasuo. As discussed i n the chapter on Wandering Souls, Karuizawa i s a noted resort area, and i t i s remote from everyday r e a l i t y . In The Mist i n Karuizawa, t h i s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of Karuizawa i s more f u l l y developed than i n Wandering Souls. Sano feels that Karuizawa i s a town l i k e "a f r i e n d , " whereas Tokyo i s l i k e a strongly t i e d "family" (216). Tokyo i s a place of r e a l i t y i n which she cannot harbor fantasies, while i n Karuizawa she can dream. However, even i n Tokyo Sano sta r t s to t r a v e l back and f o r t h between r e a l i t y and i l l u s i o n , a f t e r she becomes possessed by Yukiko. In addition to Karuizawa, Kyoto i s also a symbol of the "other world." The s c r o l l describes the Heian people i n Kyoto, and the place where Sano has her strange e r o t i c dream i s also Kyoto. In Nara, which i s another old c a p i t a l of Japan, Sano hears the voice of Yukiko. In both Kyoto and Nara Japanese tr a d i t i o n s remain a l i v e i n modern times. They are away from everday - 1 1 6 -r e a l i t y as w e l l . Therefore, they are suitable places for Sano to have a fantasy. Furthermore, foreign countries seem to function as the other world, too. As we have seen, when Yukiko goes to I t a l y , she t r i e s to seduce Yasuo, and there she has an a f f a i r with Shinoda and meets Macintosh. The fact that Sano recovers from her obsessive concern with death a f t e r t r a v e l i n g to Europe, indicates that foreign countries engender fantasy, and thus give l i f e force. Thus, while at f i r s t only Karuizawa, Kyoto, Nara and foreign countries represent the "other world," Tokyo eventually i s added to the l i s t , thereby u n i t i n g the worlds of r e a l i t y and i l l u s i o n , as well as past and present. The reference to things Western such as foreign characters and the names of foreign authors might also suggest the fusion of East and West. In considering the meaning of Sano, i t i s possible to see a pa r a l l e l i s m between her and the heroine Suo i n Wandering Souls. This i s because, as mentioned, the force that leads these two aging women to the "other realm," i s the impulse to Eros, not jealousy, love or attachment to th e i r l o s t youth. When Sano hears Yukiko's voice from somewhere, i t corresponds to the "other woman's" voice heard by Suo. The blending of childlikeness and aging i n t h e i r appearances, and the scenes where they watch themselves i n the mirror are also common. In addition, judging from the s h i f t of the heroines' names i n the t r i l o g y : Shio-Suo-Shiga, the name Sano may be seen as the fourth heroine of "wandering souls." Nevertheless, we can also see s i g n i f i c a n t differences between Suo and Sano. The "other woman" i n Wandering Souls embodied the heroine's private s e l f , and she was completely integrated with that part of Suo. Although Yukiko possesses the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the "other women," i n Wandering Souls (Tome and Yoshie), she i s provided with a f u l l y independent e n t i t y , and she does not function as a s p i r i t who r e a l i z e s Sano's private desires. Yukiko perhaps embodies the r e a l selves of a l l womankind, including Sano. -117-Even though Sano's rel a t i o n s h i p with Yasuo occurs because she i s possessed by Yukiko and the high pr i e s t e s s , she re a l i z e s her hidden, r e a l s e l f by having an actual physical r e l a t i o n s h i p with a man she l i k e s . This i s a major difference between Sano and the heroine of Wandering Souls, who re a l i z e s her desires only i n an i l l u s i o n a l way. Thus Sano i s a modern symbol of femininity, whereas the high priestess and Yukiko represent the past and i l l u s i o n . Because i t i s the ess e n t i a l element of femininity, the mediumistic q u a l i t y of Yukiko and the high priestess can be transmitted to any woman. This becomes evident when one looks at other female characters i n t h i s work. Katsuko i s an e f f i c i e n t secretary to Sano. She compares the relationship of Sano and herself to an actress and her stagehand. The relat i o n s h i p may be associated with that of Yukiko and Kariya. Always dressed i n black, she looks l i k e a t r a d i t i o n a l Japanese spy c a l l e d n i n j a , an appearance which seems appropriate to her supportive r o l e . Katsuko understands Sano, so she can c r i t i c i z e her, too. Katsuko plays an important r o l e i n seeing Sano i n an objective way. Since Katsuko i s a r e a l i s t i c , ordinary person, she i s a f r a i d that Sano i s possessed by Yukiko and changes strangely, f o r she notices that Sano and K a j i t a are p u l l e d to each other with an unusual power. However, even such a p r a c t i c a l woman as Katsuko s t a r t s to f e e l somewhat affected by the s c r o l l . This appears i n the unusually intimate way she t r i e s to keep her young lover, K a j i t a . Although Sano's grandchild, Akemi, has no d i r e c t r e l a t i o n to the s c r o l l , she possesses some medium-like c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s . Instead of Yukiko, i t i s she who appears i n Sano's dream i n the center of the f i r e at Yukiko's cottage. Moreover, according to Shinoda's experience, a g i r l who resembles Akemi appears i n the r i t u a l f i r e of Zoroastrianisra i n Iran. By including Akemi, probably Enchi intends to say that i t i s possible to f i n d a woman who has inherited the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the high priestess i n our -118-actual l i f e . Compared with the female characters, male characters are not given s i g n i f i c a n t roles i n The Mist i n Karuizawa. In general, most of the male characters are given a kind of autonomy, and they are not controlled by the women's perceptions, though t h e i r self-expression i s l i m i t e d and i n s u f f i c i e n t . They are b a s i c a l l y simple vehicles f o r the women to express t h e i r r e a l selves. Therefore, the valet and Yukiko's lovers die a f t e r t h e i r admirable women r e a l i z e t h e i r selves. Even i n the case of Yasuo and Sano, when Sano burns the s c r o l l painting, he also helps make the f i r e burn more strongly. This suggests that after Yasuo accomplishes h i s role as a vehicle f o r Sano's self-expression, he even helps to destroy a symbol of h i s a f f a i r — t h e s c r o l l . Usually a Genji or Kingo type plays quite an important role i n Enchi*s works. But i n The Mist i n Karuizawa even a Genji type, Duke Katsurai, does not mean anything s i g n i f i c a n t to his lover, Yukiko. Although Sano may s t i l l be c a l l e d a repressed and introverted woman i n keeping with Enchi's other heroines, she has released her hidden, r e a l s e l f from s o c i a l suppression and her public s e l f i n t h i s novel, through going back and f o r t h between r e a l i t y and the "other world." This i s not a simple phenomenon of "wandering souls," for her whole e n t i t y , her mind and body, go into the other realm. This fact i s r e f l e c t e d i n the s t y l e of the work. The story i s t o l d by a t h i r d person narrator, and i t i s often t o l d through the protagonist's point of view as usual, revealing her i n t e r i o r monologues, too (217-220, e t c . ) . However, Sano t a l k s to herself aloud i n the mirror as i f to another person, with straightforward expressions: " I t i s fun to have an a f f a i r with a man" (395). Since she i s close to her secretary, Katsuko, and her nephew-in-law, Yasuo, she expresses some part of her s e l f to them. Moreover, she i s described through the eyes of other characters such as Yasuo, Young K a j i t a and Shinoda. Katsuko c r i t i c i z e s Sano's pedantic nature and her concern with the s o c i a l status of men. This suggests that the heroine of The Mist i n Karuizawa i s more released from her confined self-consciousness or outer s e l f than Enchi's other heroines, and that the other characters are also more released from her perceptions. Such a q u a l i t y of release i s found also i n numerous dialogues i n Sano's story. In these, Enchi does not use heavy, i n t e l l e c t u a l vocabulary. Even Sano's expressions i n her conversations are non-r h e t o r i c a l , unlike those i n Wandering Souls. At the same time, one finds no straightforward descriptions of sex i n the story. Sano's eroticism i s a l l v e i l e d i n i l l u s i o n . Enchi i s not e x p l i c i t i n the l a s t scene i n which Sano and Yasuo have a physical re l a t i o n s h i p . She uses c l a s s i c a l words i n the Japanese o r i g i n a l text to refer to male and female sexual organs (395). However, the scene which I quoted previously i s e r o t i c enough to be e f f e c t i v e , though i t s eroticism i s not d i r e c t or vulgar. This applies equally to the s c r o l l painting and Yukiko—who i s described mainly i n terms of a supple body and an e r o t i c mood. Therefore, the "discordant beauty" of Enchi's language i s not as e x p l i c i t as before. Nevertheless, the s h i f t i n g of styles which we found i n Tale of the Mediums does occur i n the story of the "Picture Story of the High Priestess of the Kamo Shrine," though i t i s not as complicated as i n Tale of the Mediums. The combination of the three s t o r i e s may be seen as an example of discord i n s t y l e . These three plots make one l i t e r a r y world, while they often interrupt and intersect with each other. We can say that Enchi employs her method of w r i t i n g as f r e e l y as she l i k e s to create the universe of The Mist i n Karuizawa, and f o r t h i s reason The Mist i n Karuizawa may be seen as Enchi's most mature work. Related to the greater sense of maturity and release i n The Mist i n Karuizawa, Enchi shows an increasing tendency to accept things as they -120-are. We have already seen t h i s i n Enchi's treatment of characters. I t i s also related to her increasing acceptance of nature. This was evident i n Wandering Souls, but i n the story of Sano, there i s a notable increase i n natural scenes. In Enchi's previous works, nature was described only as a setting for human events, but descriptions of the natural world of Karuizawa are themselves given more attention. However, the fact that Enchi confines her descriptions of natural scenes only to the fantasy world of Karuizawa suggests that nature i s not a part of her "natural" s i t u a t i o n , but belongs to the world of fantasy. Probably because of t h i s , Yukiko, who possesses a kind of "naturalness," can be seen as a fantasy figure. Aging and death represent the most natural of human events. Both imply a decline i n l i f e . We can see Enchi's appreciation of "declining beauty" i n Sano, Yukiko and the high priestess, who are a l l facing these r e a l i t i e s . As discussed, they possess a qu a l i t y of youth despite t h e i r age. This has been one of Enchi's favorite motifs since Wandering Souls. Perhaps, t h i s i s an expression of an aesthetic of aging, related to the eroticism of aging. Enchi's taste for Edo decadence and the grotesque disappears from the surface of t h i s work. We see few grotesque descriptions. However, Sano does have a taste f o r Kabuki, which i s representative of Edo c u l t u r a l decadence. Yukiko's " i d i o t i c " beauty i s associated with the beauty of Kabuki. Therefore, her cottage i n Karuizawa can be seen as a Kabuki stage. On her stage, the men who were drowned by love died unnaturally. In t h i s sense, some kind of grotesque q u a l i t y e x i s t s . Since Kabuki was an expression of people suppressed by the f e u d a l i s t i c society of Edo, i t can be understood as an expression of the rea l s e l f of a suppressed woman. This stage i s a symbol of the "other realm." Enchi expresses her taste for Edo culture only through a form of stage i n The Mist i n Karuizawa. On t h i s Kabuki-like stage of the other world, Yukiko, who i s a reincarnation of the high priestess of the Heian court, and Sano, who i s possessed by Yukiko, express t h e i r desires. On the other hand, Enchi's i n c l i n a t i o n toward The Tale of Genji i s expressed both i n her motifs and s t y l e : the idea of a high priestess and the c l a s s i c a l work of the s c r o l l painting. So, i t i s more e x p l i c i t than her taste f o r Edo f i c t i o n . However, Enchi employs these motifs i n an elaborate way, and she does not borrow these ideas d i r e c t l y from The Tale  of Genji. Here, we can see that Enchi's r e l a t i o n s h i p with Genji becomes less pronounced. This may also be proof of her maturity as a writer. And since a motif from Edo f i c t i o n provides a stage f o r the heroine's dream to be r e a l i z e d , Edo and Heian st y l e s are dissolved into one at a fundamental l e v e l i n t h i s work. Thus Enchi's knowledge of and i n c l i n a t i o n toward the Japanese c l a s s i c s are evident i n the s t y l e of The Mist i n Karuizawa as i n her other works. In contrast to t h i s c l a s s i c a l taste, however, Enchi also expresses an interest i n the r e a l , * present-day society. Through Sano, Enchi comments on various issues: the dispassion of the young people i n Japan, the educational problems caused by the competition of the entrance examinations, students' p o l i t i c a l a c t i v i t i e s such as the t e r r o r i s t bombing of the Mitsui buildings i n 1974, the c o n f l i c t s w i t h i n the red army groups of the l e f t wing, the Vietnam war, the deportation of Solzhenitsin from the Soviet Union i n 1974, and so on. Sano fantasizes about the Utopian idea of world union. Here, we can see the influence of Enchi's past involvement i n the communist movement. However, i n f a c t , Enchi's Utopian thought, which may a c t u a l l y be anti-society, or a n t i - r e a l i t y , i s related to her i n c l i n a t i o n toward Japanese c l a s s i c s , e s p e c i a l l y The Tale of Genji, which, as we have seen, symbolize the i l l u s i o n a l , free world i n her view. Thus the element of fusing, which i s related to a diminishraent of - 1 2 2 -discordant beauty i n Enchi's s t y l e , takes place at many le v e l s . Ambiguity begins to blur the clearcut d i s t i n c t i o n s between various apparent dichotomies: a woman to be feared by men and a woman to be loved by men, aging and youth, s t u p i d i t y and i n t e l l i g e n c e , abnormality and normality, s e n i l i t y and eroticism, one's own s e l f and the other's s e l f , l i f e and death, the past and present, and r e a l i t y and i l l u s i o n . Enchi creates such a l i t e r a r y world to express the release of the r e a l female s e l f , or the attainment of freedom on the part of the woman. To do t h i s , she employs a sophisticated method of p a r a l l e l i n g the three main plots i n The Mist i n Karuizawa, which are conflated to create a layered, three-tiered high priestess figure. However, even at the end Enchi does not erase the d i s t i n c t i o n between man and woman. She does quite often treat obsessions as human, as opposed to gender s p e c i f i c problems i n her works, by r e f e r r i n g to the characters i n Japanese c l a s s i c s , such as the Rokujo lady i n The Tale of Genji, Komachi on the Stupa, Stories New and Old, Tales of Ise, The Vine of Teika, and "Love i n Two Lives" i n Harusame monogatari. But even then, Enchi values the o r i g i n a l mother—the high priestess—more, as the e n t i t y men cannot conquer. Considering that she was once a communist, shows an inte r e s t i n s o c i a l problems and creates a world i n which most d u a l i t i e s are fused, the fact that Enchi sees the gap between man and woman as a fundamental d i s t i n c t i o n i s s t r i k i n g . Enchi does not dissolve that d i s t i n c t i o n even i n her l a t e r few works. In The Mist i n Karuizawa, Enchi writes about the meaning of wr i t i n g through Sano: "To l i v e , I have to write. The pain i n w r i t i n g , l i k e that of a heavily-laden horse climbing sorrowfully up a slope without making a sound, seems to prove that I am a l i v e " (238). The figure of Torao i n The Waiting Years, who continued to climb up the slope into her o l d age, can be overlaid with Enchi. Enchi continued wr i t i n g u n t i l she died i n 1986. - 1 2 3 -Conclusion I t can be seen from the preceding analysis that Enchi dealt with suppressed women—vengeful woman, lovable woman, and el d e r l y women facing aging and death—and the release of t h e i r hidden, r e a l selves from suppression. Their s e l f - l i b e r a t i o n was more or less connected with t h e i r mediumistic a b i l i t y , which i n Enchi's view constitutes the essential q u a l i t y of femininity, the unity of s p i r i t force and Eros. Enchi developed a mysterious world i n which i l l u s i o n and r e a l i t y were fused, a world associated with The Tale of Genji. Her s t y l e was one of "heavy make-up," influenced by both The Tale of Genji and lat e Edo f i c t i o n , including Kabuki. But i n her l a t e r works, her s t y l e became l i g h t e r , as the influence of Edo f i c t i o n diminished. The fantasies, dreams, and salvations of Enchi's heroines are connected with the world of Genji. In order to create a world of conflated i l l u s i o n and r e a l i t y , related to the Heian world, her structures became sophisticated, or even a b i t over-complicated. In her f i r s t two works, The Waiting Years and Tale of the Mediums, her l i t e r a r y world was a b i t too s t a r k l y drawn, espe c i a l l y i n the heroines' characters, but i n her l a s t two works, Wandering Souls and The Mist i n Karuizawa, t h i s black-and-white s i m p l i c i t y disappears. In t h i s sense, the l a t e r works r e f l e c t r e a l i t y more c l e a r l y , though they describe i l l u s i o n a l worlds, and are more mature than her e a r l i e r works. Evaluating Enchi as a wri t e r , I think that her works are valuable mainly i n terras of therae and s t y l e . As for her themes, although Enchi t r i e s to write about the l i b e r a t i o n of the true, subjective female s e l f , the s e l f independent of the male point of view, she sees the s p i r i t u a l medium as the quintessential r e a l i z a t i o n of femininity. However, t h i s notion of the powerful s p i r i t u a l female, the " i r r a t i o n a l earth mother" i s i t s e l f based on a male point of view, a fact which Enchi seems not to have considered. However, Enchi's attempt to shed l i g h t upon the inner world of human beings, esp e c i a l l y of women, i s s t i l l worth discussing. As f o r her s t y l e , i t was greatly influenced by the Japanese c l a s s i c s , and i s , I think, superb. However, Enchi's characterization i s weak. Based upon a theory of archetypes, her view of men and women i s not p a r t i c u l a r l y i n c i s i v e , and she constructs her characters through rather formulated points of view. She deals i n types rather than i n d i v i d u a l s , and t h i s i s perhaps her greatest weakness. This i s why her characters i n general are not l i k e l y to have much r e a l i t y as human beings, but are rather vehicles for the expression of her thoughts about women, men and human beings. As a r e s u l t , her novels are i n t e r e s t i n g as novels of ideas, but not as explorations of l i f e . I t may be hel p f u l to look b r i e f l y at the c r i t i c i s m of Enchi i n Japan, i n order to understand her works better. Her reputation as the author who best deals with e v i l karma, or obsession i s s o l i d l y established. Let us f i r s t consider the commentary of harsh c r i t i c s . Itagaki Naoko c r i t i c i z e s Enchi for wanting to show o f f her knowledge, for using unnecessary foreign words and poems i n a careless way, and says her characters are r e p e t i t i v e and f a c i l e l y rendered; her "mysterious" l i t e r a r y world, she says, i s merely a copy of Heian court l i t e r a t u r e ("Enchi Fumiko" i n Kokubungaku kaishaku to kansho 72). Hasegawa Izumi also points out Enchi's incautious use of foreign loan words (181). On the other hand, Enchi's works have received numerous high evaluations. For Okuno Takeo, the importance of Enchi's works l i e s i n her fearsome female characters who are independent of men, and who are not found i n the work of other writers (105). Mishima Yukio also valued her l i t e r a r y world highly: I t [the theme] i s the union of sensuality and mysteriousness presented through the medium of Japanese c l a s s i c s . This f i e l d has an enormous pot e n t i a l which has never been touched on by the previous Japanese w r i t e r s , even Tanizaki Jun'ichiro, who also had knowledge of the Japanese c l a s s i c s , but did not develop t h i s - 1 2 5 -f i e l d . (396) (t r a n s l a t i o n mine) Thus, whether Enchi i s ranked high or low, i t i s true that she i s regarded as one' of Japan's most important writers. And Enchi, who wrote even on the day before her death, was a true writ e r , f o r whom "writing was l i v i n g . " As for her contribution to the l i t e r a r y world, I would l i k e to suggest that the significance of her l i t e r a t u r e l i e s i n the fact that her l i t e r a r y world i s a product of a fusion of modern and c l a s s i c a l l i t e r a t u r e s , with the f l a v o r of Western l i t e r a t u r e . She might be the l a s t Japanese author with such a command of the Japanese c l a s s i c s and who used i t f r e e l y i n modern l i t e r a r y works. Her t r a n s l a t i o n of The Tale of Genji i n t o modern Japanese i s a great contribution to modern Japanese l i t e r a t u r e . While t r a n s l a t i n g t h i s work for over f i v e years i n her l a t e s i x t i e s , she went through two operations f o r a detached r e t i n a . But she said that she wanted to f i n i s h the t r a n s l a t i o n by any means, even i f she l o s t her sight. This shows how strongly attached to t h i s work she was. Probably while she was working on i t , she was l i k e a s p i r i t medium, possessed with the s p i r i t of Murasaki Shikibu or the Rokujo Lady. Furthermore, i t i s said that just before she died at age eighty-one, she started to translate Genji again. Translating The Tale of Genji may have been a form of salvation f o r Enchi. Although there are also translations by Yosano Akiko, Tanizaki Jun'ichiro, and Tanabe Seiko, Enchi's t r a n s l a t i o n has a high reputation. In some parts, she adds her own interpretations to the o r i g i n a l , and those parts are expertly written so that contemporary readers can understand the world of Genji very w e l l . Unfortunately nowadays t h i s world-famous work i s not widely read i n the o r i g i n a l i n Japan, because i t i s too d i f f i c u l t and too long f o r contemporary readers. Therefore, Enchi's t r a n s l a t i o n forms a good bridge to the Japanese c l a s s i c s . In addition, Edward Seidensticker mentioned - 1 2 6 -that when he was t r a n s l a t i n g The Tale of Genji i n t o English, he used Enchi's modern tr a n s l a t i o n of t h i s work as a reference. In general, the idea of suppression or suppressed women which Enchi deals with looks incompatible with the openness of liberated Western society. Nevertheless, even i n modern Western society, i t i s impossible for us to express completely the deepest parts of our psychology. Therefore, I think Western people as well can f i n d significance i n Enchi's works, i n that her writings explore the repression experienced by people l i v i n g i n society. I hope that Enchi's works w i l l continue to be read i n both the East and the West i n the future. - 1 2 7 -Notes 1. "Miraiyoraku" i n Enchi Fumiko Zenshu (Tokyo: Shinchosha, 1977), v o l . 1. My t r a n s l a t i o n . 2. Translation of t h i s and other excerpts from Masks i s taken from J u l i e t Winters Carpenter's Masks. 3. Translation of t h i s and other excerpts from The Waiting Years are taken from John Bester's The Waiting Years. A l l quotations i n Chapter One are taken from The Waiting Years unless otherwise indicated. 4. Enchi Fumiko Zenshu (Tokyo: Shinchosha, 1977), v o l . 6. My t r a n s l a t i o n . 5. Translation of t h i s and other excerpts from Masks are taken from J u l i e t Winters Carpenter's Masks. A l l quotations u n t i l note 6 i n Chapter Two are taken from Masks unless otherwise indicated. 6. Translation of t h i s and other excerpts from Tale of the Mediums are taken from Namamiko monogatari, and a l l t r anslations are mine. A l l quotations a f t e r note 5 i n Chapter Two are taken from Namamiko monogatari unless otherwise indicated. 7. Translation of t h i s and other excerpts from Wandering Souls are taken from the t r i l o g y , Yukon, and a l l translations are mine. ATI quotations i n Chapter Three are taken from the t r i l o g y , Yukon, unless otherwise indicated. 8. Translation of t h i s and other excerpts from The Mist i n Karuizawa are taken from Sainru, and a l l translations are mine. A l l quotations i n Chapter Four are taken from Sainru unless otherwise indicated. - 1 2 8 -Bibliography Akiyaraa, Ken. "Shohyo: Enchi Fumiko cho Genji Monogatari Maki 1." Kokubungaku Kaishaku to Kansho. Tokyo: Shibundo, 1972. 190-191. mx¥ mmtmm Mb Berger, John. 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