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The evolution of Tanizaki Jun’ichirō as a narrative artist Merken, Kathleen Chisato 1979

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T H E EVOLUTION OF TANIZAKI  JUN'ICHIRO  AS A N A R R A T I V E A R T I S T  S 1  by K A T H L E E N C H I S A T O MERKEN B . A . , University of Toronto, 1959 M . A . , University of California, 1961 P h . D . , University of California, 1966  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN P A R T I A L FULFILLMENT OF T H E REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY  in T H E F A C U L T Y OF G R A D U A T E STUDIES Department of Asian Studies  We accept this thesis as conforming to the required  T H E UNIVERSITY  OF BRITISH COLUMBIA  June,  ©  standard  1979  Kathleen Chisato Merken,  1979  In  presenting  an  advanced degree  the I  Library  further  for  shall  agree  scholarly  by  his  of  this  written  thesis  in  at  University  the  make  that  thesis  freely  p u r p o s e s may  for  partial  permission  It  is  for  gain  of  of  British  0 UXUL  )°(~\  ^  of  of  Columbia,  British  Columbia  for  extensive by  the  understood  permission.  University  fulfilment  available  be g r a n t e d  financial  2075 Wesbrook P l a c e Vancouver, Canada V6T 1W5  Date  it  representatives.  Department  The  this  shall  requirements  reference copying of  Head o f  that  not  the  I  agree  and  be a l l o w e d  that  study.  this  thesis  my D e p a r t m e n t  copying or  for  or  publication  without  my  Research Supervisor:  Professor Kinya Tsuruta  ii  ABSTRACT  This thesis traces the growth of Tanizaki Jun'ichiro as a n a r r a tive artist through the three stages of his long career.  A number of  representative works are studied, with varying emphasis on narrative perspective, structure, character creation, and style, depending on the prominence.of these aspects of fiction in each work. the individual analyses is the basic question:  Underlying  how does the author  resolve the problem of rendering himself in his fiction? Chapter I,  covering the initial period (1910-1928), first deals with  a split in the author's sensibility. successful as an anti-realist,  The emerging storyteller is most  in a small number of stories with idealized,  remote settings, such as "Shisei."  In contrast, he fails when seeking  to represent himself and his immediate environment in the shi-shosetsu. Near the end of this period, with Chijin no ai , Tanizaki begins to reconcile his need for illusion with the rendering of mundane experience. Tanizaki's technical skills are in germ in this period.  The author  often demonstrates an ability to build firm structures, and to forge an elaborate style.  He also establishes a conception of characters as power-  ful psychic forces, not as pedestrian, "realistic" creations. Chapter II shows the fully mature artist, in his second period (1928-1950), which contains most of his major achievements.  The author's  continuing attachment to distant, illusory worlds is fully expressed in works drawing on Japanese tradition, such as Momoku monogatari, a romance.  He also resolves the dichotomy between the demands of the  imagination and those of external realities; he projects himself into his fiction with complete success.  He is able to represent everyday experience  iii in Tade kuu mushi and Sasameyuki, but these are not novels of bourgeois realism.  Idealization still moves below the surface, creating a  balance between  versimilitude and fantasy.  The rendering of the  characters as idealized types is explored particularly in the study of Sasameyuki. Tanizaki's enormous advances in method include an intricate  treat-  ment of narrative viewpoints, as in "Shunkinsho," a subtle approach to structure, notably in "Yoshino k u z u , " and a new style unique in its fluidity and amplitude, as in " A s h i k a r i . " Chapter III  treats the last phase of Tanizaki's writing (1951-1965),  a period of renewal and purification.  Abandoning the filter of history  and romance, he now tends to observe and record contemporary circumstance.  He also returns to the concerns of his first phase, most signifi-  cantly the shi-shosetsu, fictionalizing himself in Futen rojin n i k k i ;  in  the forceful portrayal of the protagonist of this novel Tanizaki reaches the climactic point in his characterizations. Sobriety of manner marks the writing of this phase. often appear in distilled, stylized form, most remarkably  The characters  in Kagi.  The  r i c h , full style of the second period disappears; instead, the author uses notations, as in the diary form.  often  He loses none of his skill in s t r u c -  ture, as the two contrasting novels using the diary genre show: Kagi is an obvious craftsman's triumph, Futen rojin  while  is constructed with  equal care but deceptive naturalness. It is hoped that this study, concentrating on the development of Tanizaki's techniques and of his outlook, helps to account for his singularly strong grip on the  reader.  Supervisor  iv  T A B L E OF C O N T E N T S Chapter  I  Page INTRODUCTION  1  T H E GENESIS OF T H E S T O R Y T E L L E R : FROM "SHISEI" TO MANJI, 1910-1928  5  A. B/ C. D. II  III  The author as anti-realist The author as himself: the failure of the shi-shosetsu Tales of detection, mystery and crime: demands of genre Toward synthesis: Chijin no ai and Manji  6 35 10 47  F U L L M A T U R I T Y : FROM T A P E KUU MUSHI TO SHOSHO SHICEMOTO NO H A H A , 1928-1950.  60  A.  The triumph of anti-realism  62  B.  Fantasy in everyday experience  RENEWAL AND PURIFICATION: CONCLUSION  1951-1965  109 138 185  NOTES-.  191  BIBLIOGRAPHY  200  APPENDIX  206  V  ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS  I wish to thank my s u p e r v i s o r . Professor Kinya T s u r u t a , for continual encouragement essential to the completion of this thesis, and Professors Leon Zolbrod and John Howes, who made many specific suggestions for the improvement of the text.  My thanks are also due to M r . Yim T s e , for  writing in the characters after Japanese names and titles.  THE EVOLUTION OF TANIZAKI JUN'ICHIRO AS A NARRATIVE ARTIST  Introduction  The work of Tanizaki Jun'ichiro &  >ft] " if  1  (1886-1965) gen-  erates enormous interest among his readers, but like that of so many other Japanese authors, it suffers from misdirected critical appreciation.  The  mass of writing on Tanizaki shows a strong tendency to concentrate on the man rather than the writer, and even when the critics turn to the writer, they too often deal with his position in literary history or with his general  2 themes, rather than his art.  He fares even worse than those authors who  may be profitably studied for their intellectual value, or examined through the relationship between biography and literature, such as Natsume Soseki or Mishima Yukio j? §f) \&  ^  , for the secret of his  appeal does not lie in these areas. Many commentaries on Tanizaki also dwell excessively on such aspects of the content of his writings as masochism, foot-fetishism, or the idealization of an elusive female principle.  In their totality, these studies  have a certain value, since they suggest some of the impulses which drive this novelist, in particular an intense physicality wedded to a longing for an imaginary world, but they do little to explain the value of the texts as fictional creations.  Though recent years have seen a welcome develop-  ment in Tanizaki criticism, with the publication of several articles dealing 3 with narrative techniques,  much remains to be done in the field of  textual interpretation. The situation is not surprising, for this author to whom the reader succumbs so readily is not easy to discuss.  Though Tanizaki was one of  2 the most deliberate of artists, acutely conscious of formal values, the surface of his writing does not at once yield to analysis.  Unlike authors y^"  so different from each other as Kawabata Yasunari  or Abe  , he does not make the reader aware of a maze of  Kobo i ^ . -p|5  images and symbols to explore as clues to his essence. Tanizaki's readers are captivated not only by his singular creative vitality but particularly by the narrative form it takes. Tanizaki is a storyteller of genius.  In short,  This thesis attempts to show in a  chronological perspective the making of a major narrative artist,  dealing  specifically with the process of resolution of a basic novelistic problem: the fictionalization of the author's self. We have established a rough progression in three phases in the writing career of Tanizaki, which ranged over fifty years, from 1910 to the end of his life in 1965. runs from "Shisei"  These periods are as follows:  jf']-^  -  ("Tattoo,"  4  1910) to £  Manji (The Whirlpool,  1928-30), the second period from Tade kuu mushi | | L » ^ Prefer Nettles,  the early phase  1928-29) to Shosho Shigemoto no haha $  )  i&  (Some  ) fi ffi *>  (The Mother of Captain Shigemoto, 1949-50), and the third period from 1951 to 1965. The splitting of the first and second periods between two works written concurrently in 1928 and 1929 underlines a significant change in the writing of Tanizaki at that time.  It is indisputable that the author's first  major novel, Tade kuu mushi, marks a new departure.  Critical literature  usually relates it to the author's move to the Kansai area and his return to traditional Japanese themes, but the artistic importance of the change, a maturation in technical skills, is at issue here.  The division between  periods two and three rests on a shift in the author's perspective on his own material, expressed in a reconciliation of the author's self to his  3 characters which culminates in Futen rojin nikki+ > J ; f ^ ^  tj t t j  (Diary of a Mad Old Man, 1961-62). The present study is not based on the total fictional production of Tanizaki,  a prolific writer, but on a reading of roughly three-fifths of the  prose fiction, six of the thirty-odd dramatic works, and the most important 5  of his many essays, to make up a representative sampling of his work. A n evolutionary perspective of an author would, strictly speaking, require a reading of the entirety of his work.  In defense it can be argued that  virtually all of the unread fictional works are those of the first period, a phase of generally mediocre writing.  On the other hand, all but a handful  of the fictional works of the second and third periods, which contain nearly all the masterpieces, have been read. The chronological arrangement and the overall concept of evolution do not imply a steady qualitative progression in the writing of Tanizaki with the passage of time. Tade kuu mushi.  Futen rojin nikki is no "better" a novel than  It is true that the second phase presents so remarkably  different an aspect in quality that the word "improvement" must be used to distinguish it from the first period, but from the second to the t h i r d , the shift does not lie in a change in intrinsic merit, but rather in authorial perspective. A chronological study is in order for another reason.  No one who  has read representative works by Tanizaki from various points of his career, in whatever order, can fail to notice a decided consistency in the author's view of the world.  Most critics have stressed changes in Tanizaki's atti-  tudes and in choice of subject matter, such as those which occurred after his move to the Kansai area, but others, like E. C . Seidensticker, take exception to this view:  "The most remarkable thing about Tanizaki's writ-  ing is his steadfastness to a single theme through all the decades of  n  apparent c h a n g e . . . .  Tanizaki scarcely ever talks about anything except  a masochistic w i s h . . . t o submit abjectly and absolutely to a being of lesser import than h i m s e l f . . . . observes:  11  With a slight shift of emphasis, Donald Keene  "The writings of Tanizaki J u n ' i c h i r o are apt to s u r p r i s e equally  by their exceptional d i v e r s i t y of subject and manner and by their equally exceptional consistency of t h e m e s . "  7  This thesis deals with " d i v e r s i t y o f . . . manner," in a tracing of Tanizaki's works over the three stages of his writing career.  A number  of individual works will be d i s c u s s e d , with the focus on one or more of the following aspects, depending on their pertinence to each work: tive perspective, s t r u c t u r e , character creation, and s t y l e .  narra-  Underlying  all of these are the questions relating to the author's general outlook: to what extent, and in what ways does the author succeed in fictionalizing himself?  Discussion of theme, though inevitable, will not assume primary  significance, for what matters is the tracing of the stages in the maturation of a narrative artist of the f i r s t o r d e r .  5  CHAPTER I T H E GENESIS OF T H E S T O R Y T E L L E R : FROM "SH1SEI" TO MANJI, 1910-1928  A study of narrative evolution in Tanizaki presents the reader with the task of sorting out a great mass of material from his first period, much of it of limited intrinsic value.  This extremely productive writer began his  literary career at the age of twenty-five with a brilliant short story, "Shisei" jf'j^f  ("Tattoo," 1910)  but it was not until 1928-29 that he p u b -  lished another work of outstanding quality, Tade kuu mushi, which marked the start of his flourishing as a novelist.  In this eighteen-year-period, he  turned out over half the volume of his total fictional and dramatic works, the rest being written in the years from the pivotal date of 1928 to the end of his life in 1965.  To give some idea of the extensiveness of his pro-  duction, "over half the volume" represents more than twice the number of individual works in his second and third periods combined.  Most of the  works in the first period are short stories or novellas, with a few f u l l length novels, and some thirty dramas.  There are also essays, including  a few travel journals. Why examine this early period at all, if the writing is of minor value? Without running to the extreme of attempting to rehabilitate works which do not deserve a second reading, we may observe that Tanizaki sometimes succeeds in the creation of a strong secondary character here, an arresting descriptive passage there.  Although many works may not be of the highest  calibre individually, they may often be considered in groups by affinities which can be highly suggestive, in the context of Tanizaki's entire  work.  A study of these early works tells us much about certain basic problems of the fiction writer.  How is his vision exteriorized?  Does he write more  6 or less overtly about himself, or does he set a considerable distance between himself and his materials?  In general, the author, not yet mature, fails to  the extent that he is too close to his material.  Section A of this chapter  deals with his success when he escapes into fantasy, and B discusses his failure when attempting a more representational mode of writing.  Sections  C and D show how the emerging storyteller starts to resolve this split in his sensibility.  A.  The author as anti-realist Tanizaki is clearly an anti-realist in a small number of his early works.  These are in the main far superior to the others in the autobiographical manner, in which he is hedged in by the necessity of conveying mundane, everyday circumstance;, standing of Tanizaki.  The element of fantasy is crucial to an under-  Flight from actuality is closely linked with a marked  difference in fictional treatment, for it releases the author from the need to represent himself, in the outward sense of being an aspiring writer in c o n temporary T o k y o .  This flight translates into the use of subject matter  with a strong flavor of the exotic and sometimes even the supernatural, demanding stylization of treatment. The young Tanizaki thrives in the realm of the fairy tale.  Not until  maturity does he bring his powerful imagination to bear on his daily existence.  The successes of this period indicate his demand for far-away  tings.  "Shisei" and "Kirin"  set-  ("Unicorn," 1910), are both art  stories, the former set in an idealized Edo and the latter in ancient China, and "Ningyo no nageki"  °>*%\,  ("The Lament of the Mermaid,"  1917)  is a pure fantasy, also on an art theme. Most conveniently for the purposes of our discussion, "Shisei" 61-72)  8  stands not only as Tanizaki's maiden work  9  (I,  but also as the most  7 famous and best-realized of all his early w o r k s .  It represents, moreover,  the prototypical T a n i z a k i , containing the germ of themes, situations and attitudes to recur throughout his long writing c a r e e r .  It is therefore the  ideal point of departure for an examination of narrative development in T a n i z a k i , and a detailed commentary will reveal the extent of its s i g n i f i cance. " S h i s e i " is a gaudy tale which at times s k i r t s the ludicrous but s u c ceeds brilliantly because of Tanizaki's artistic e n e r g y .  One of the great  mysteries in Tanizaki is the question of how he makes the reader submit to him, despite situations and characters which are outlandish by common standards.  In this story he sets out to seduce the reader at once..  The  introduction is of the utmost importance, since the author is about to lure us into a n e v e r - n e v e r l a n d , and to the extent that he achieves his goal, we will be disposed to accept a great deal more.  The f i r s t sentence r u n s :  It was an age when people still possessed the noble v i r t u e of frivolity and the world was not, as in our  in times, a place of painful s t r i v i n g  (I,  63).  This glamorized view of the past introduces a tale g l o r i f y i n g not only art but a r t i f i c e , the term being in no sense pejorative, since the f u r t h e r Tanizaki removes himself from the actual in this p e r i o d , the better the fictional result. The author then sets out to recreate the Edo world of his fantasies. The next two sentences are packed with references to the society of Edo, which by their v e r y presence aid in the creation of a mood of gaiety and splendor. Tonosama ya wakadanna no nodoka na kao ga kumoranu yo n i , goten jochu ya oiran no_warai no tape ga tsukinu yo ni to,_ jozetsu wo u r u ochabozu dano hokan dano to iu shokugyo g a , rippa ni sonzai shite iketa hodo,_seken ga nonbiri shite ita jibun de j t t a . Onna S a d a k u r o , onna J i r a i y a , onna Narukami, toji no shibai demo kusazoshi demo, subete utsukushii mono wa tsuwamono de a r i , minikui mono wa yowamono de atta (I, 63).  8  A literal translation, attempting to preserve the structure of the o r i g i n a l , runs as follows: So that the tranquil faces of the great lords and young nobles would not cloud o v e r , so that ladies-in-waiting and courtesans would never lack for laughter, jesters and buffoons dealt in witticisms and to the extent that they f l o u r i s h e d , it was_an age when the world was free of c a r e . Like Sadakuro, Jiraiya and Narukami — heroes become women in the dramas and picture books of the day — all the beautiful were s t r o n g ; the ugly were weak. The effect cannot be explained merely by a mass of allusions or even by the presence of terms denoting laughter, splendor and ease; it depends far more on Tanizaki's handling of rhythms.  Most of the syntactical ele-  ments in these sentences are paired, with two parallel clauses ending in yo n i , and each clause containing two nouns: jochu/oiran. dano.  tbnosama/wakadanna, goten  These are followed by another p a i r i n g :  For variation a ternary rhythm is then u s e d :  ochabozu dano/hbkan Onna Sadakuro/onna  Jiraiyai/onna Narukami, but the coupled rhythm r e t u r n s to end the passage. These rhythms, expressive of the author's warm attachment to his Edo that never was, lull the reader into acceptance.  To acknowledge this  effect on the reader is to reach the core of Tanizaki's appeal.  Everyone is  agreed that Tanizaki is an intensely physical w r i t e r , but this view centers on his subject matter.  It is equally important to realize that often, as in  the passage just c i t e d , he makes a primal appeal to physiological responses. Rhythmical prose i s , like poetry, apprehended by the  heartbeat.  11  The symmetries; of this carefully written passage — some might even call it too carefully written — are conspicuous. does he handle rhythms so well as in " S h i s e i V  Rarely in this early period In his later work, the c a -  dencescof the prose become more f l u i d and complex.  This early example  enables us to observe one way in which he makes prose mechanisms function, and to understand how the reader a b s o r b s , almost unconsciously, the shifts  9 i n meaning a l o n g w i t h t h e s o u n d .  F o r e x a m p l e , c a r r i e d a l o n g b y the  r h y t h m s i n the a b o v e p a s s a g e , t h e r e a d e r might e v e n miss the f u l l of the b a l a n c e d c l a u s e s at the e n d :  " s u b e t e u t s u k u s h i i mono wa  The  strong  weak")."  statement c o n t a i n e d i n t h i s s e n t e n c e i s s i g n i f i c a n t , f o r it t o u c h e s  on one of the c e n t r a l c o n c e r n s of " S h i s e i " a n d a c o n s t a n t one i n t h e t e r r i b l e p o w e r of b e a u t y , art.  import  tsuwamono  de a r i , m i n u k u i mono wa yowamono de atta ( " A l l the b e a u t i f u l w e r e a n d the u g l y w e r e  2/2  Tanizaki:  o r i n more s p e c i f i c t e r m s , the d o m i n a n c e of  T h e frame of r e f e r e n c e c o f the e n t i r e p a r a g r a p h i s the c o l o r f u l w o r l d  of p o p u l a r f i c t i o n a n d d r a m a , one of v i l l a i n s a n d h e r o e s . A  s e n s e of t h e s t y l i z e d a n d t h e a r t i f i c i a l c o n t i n u e s i n t o t h e n e x t s e n -  t e n c e , w h i c h d e s c r i b e s the c o n t e m p o r a r y  craze for tattooes:  to see who c o u l d be the most b e a u t i f u l , e v e r y o n e natural b o d y "  (1,  poured paint into his  t h e o t h e r on t h e p e r i p h r a s t i c  T h e s k i n i s not a b a c k g r o u n d f o r the w o r k of a r t ;  w o r k of a r t i s p o u r e d i n t o t h e b o d y .  the  In a most T a n i z a k i - l i k e m a n n e r  e x p r e s s i o n a f f e c t s the r e a d e r almost p h y s i c a l l y . paragraph,  rivalry  63).. T w o comments c o u l d b e made on t h i s s e n t e n c e ;  one a b o u t the s u p e r i o r i t y of a r t to n a t u r e , t u r n of p h r a s e .  "In  the  The final sentence in the  t y i n g off the i n t r o d u c t i o n w i t h the a u t h o r ' s comment on  gorgeous  l i n e s a n d c o l o r s d a n c i n g on b o d i e s , h i n t s at the b r i l l i a n t v i s u a l e f f e c t s which will c h a r a c t e r i z e this . s t o r y . T h e mood o n c e set a n d the r e a d e r a c q u i e s c e n t , t h e s t o r y moves i n to the p a r t i c u l a r , i n a f a r l e s s e l a b o r a t e n a r r a t i v e s t y l e m a r k i n g the f i r s t of s e v e r a l c h a n g e s of m a n n e r a n d pace i n the t a l e . a s it w e r e ,  " t h e r e was a s k i l f u l y o u n g  "Once upon a time,"  t a t t o o e r named S e i k i c h i "  (I,  63).  It is c l e a r a t once t h a t S e i k i c h i is a s y m b o l of the a r t i s t , f o r we l e a r n t h a t d o z e n s of human s k i n s become c a n v a s s e s f o r h i m , t h a t he i s d i s t i n g u i s h e d b y the o r i g i n a l i t y a n d e l e g a n c e of h i s d e s i g n s , a n d e v e n t h a t  he  10  is a former u k i y o - e painter. " S h i s e i , " however, differs from other works of fiction about art and a r t i s t s , like those of Akutagawa Ryunosu ke to be highly intellectualized.  ^f"'|^l<^r  , which tend  Seikichi is distinguished by an intense  secret pleasure derived from inflicting physical p a i n , as in the  terrifying  little scene which shows him at work on an anonymous customer.  The tat-  tooer's words alone are g i v e n , so that the one-way dialogue is a sign of his supremacy, and the reader shares in the extreme pain of the tattooing process.  This scene dramatizes the ferocity of the a r t i s t ' s w i l l , which  is ultimately to be undone through its own w o r k i n g s .  It also has a p r e -  paratory function in the plot, as it forecasts the scene in which Seikichi tattooes the heroine. His impulse to create must find expression in a living b o d y .  Sei-  k i c h i ' s long-held desire is to etch his soul into the skin of a "radiantly beautiful" woman.  His longing is not for woman in the abstract or for any  particular woman; it is an esthetic ideal he p u r s u e s .  It is not stated  that he will also derive pleasure from her p a i n , but this passage follows immediately upon the torture scene, and the connection is to be made later. In order to show the demands of the artistic conscience, the author delays the encounter of the hero with his ideal. Not until four years later does he finally catch sight of a foot which embodies the ideal. With the appearance of this foot "spilling out" from under a palanquin b l i n d , the rhythms slow from narrative to l y r i c a l . perceived through a metaphor:  The foot is f i r s t  "for him this was a jewel made of f l e s h . "  The impression of sharp contours and lustre is carried o n :  " . . . n a i l s pink  as shells on Enoshima beach, the heel like a; jewel, s k i n as lustrous as if pure water ran over it c o n s t a n t l y . "  F i n a l l y , in Seikichi's mind, it is  "a foot to feed on men's blood, to trample on men's bodies"  (j,  65).  11 T h e foot motif o f t e n a p p e a r s i n T a n i z a k i ' s no a s h i "  |)  v  \ *>  h i s l a s t major w o r k ,  ("Fumiko's Feet," Futen rojin n i k k i  w r i t i n g s , as i n " F u m i k o  1919), a n d most p r o m i n e n t l y  (1961-62).  in  F a r too much c r i t i c a l  a t t e n t i o n h a s b e e n p a i d to T a n i z a k i ' s f o o t - f e t i s h i s m , as to h i s o t h e r " c o m p l e x e s , " a n d it i s d i f f i c u l t to see w h a t a n y d i s c u s s i o n of it may c o n t r i b u t e to a n u n d e r s t a n d i n g of h i s w o r k s a s a r t i f a c t s .  In t h e c o n t e x t  t h e n a r r a t i v e p e r s p e c t i v e , mood a n d c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n s of t h i s s t o r y ,  of  the  e m p h a s i s lies n o t so much on S e i k i c h i ' s f a s c i n a t i o n w i t h t h e foot a s s u c h , b u t r a t h e r on t h e idea t h a t the p e r c e p t i o n s of an a r t i s t c a n reality.  transform  In S e i k i c h i ' s e y e s , a c c o r d i n g to t h e t e x t , a foot i s as e x p r e s s i v e  as a human  face.  Once c o n c r e t i z e d , his esthetic ideal v a n i s h e s a n d it is about a y e a r b e f o r e h e e n c o u n t e r s it a g a i n .  Emotional a n d temporal c h a n g e s a r e n o t e d  w i t h g r e a t economy i n a s i n g l e s e n t e n c e :  "Seikichi's longing turned  into  v i o l e n t l o v e ; t h a t y e a r d r e w to a c l o s e , a n d it was one m o r n i n g w h e n f i f t h y e a r was h a l f w a y i n t o s p r i n g ! ' ( I ,  65).  a p p e a r s a s the m e s s e n g e r of a g e i s h a w h o , Seikichi.  T h e o w n e r of t h e foot as i t h a p p e n s ,  is known  T h e c o i n c i d e n c e b r i n g i n g h e r i n t o the p l o t i s n o t i c e a b l e ,  the reto  but  most r e a d e r s w o u l d n o t s e r i o u s l y q u e s t i o n i t s p l a u s i b i l i t y b e c a u s e , f o r one thing,  it is t h e c o i n c i d e n c e of the f a i r y tale w h e r e a n y t h i n g may  happen,  a n d i s e v e n a p p r o p r i a t e to t h e f a r a w a y a t m o s p h e r e of t h i s s t o r y .  Even  more,  been  t h i s meeting comes a b o u t t h r o u g h n a r r a t i v e d e s t i n y , h a v i n g  p r e p a r e d b y the a c c o u n t of S e i k i c h i ' s l o n g a n d p a t i e n t s e a r c h f o r the f e c t medium f o r h i s a r t ,  a n d b y t h e d e s c r i p t i o n of the f o o t .  per-  That this  c h a r a c t e r will reappear is i n e v i t a b l e . T h i s i d e a l i s seen t h r o u g h S e i k i c h i ' s e y e s a n d n e v e r Indeed,  individualized.  S e i k i c h i h i m s e l f , l i k e almost a l l the c h a r a c t e r s of T a n i z a k i ' s  early  f i c t i o n , i s a t y p e a n d n o t " r e a l " b y the c a n o n s of t r a d i t i o n a l W e s t e r n  12 fiction, but this stylized tale hardly calls for bourgeois realism.  The  young woman is identified by profession, by speech, and finally by S e i k i c h i ' s interpretation of her face, which seems to be that of a courtesan well beyond her actual y e a r s .  The face is not d e s c r i b e d , as the faces of  Tanizaki characters seldom are — the better to preserve the ideal in the imagination — and the author suppresses her individuality even more p u r posefully by a d d i n g :  "Her beauty was born from the many dreams of  countless beautiful men and women who had lived and died for generations in this great capital where the sins and treasures of the entire country flowed"  (I,  6 6 ) . If she were too carefully p a r t i c u l a r i z e d , the effect  would destroy her mystery.  Indeed, seen by Seikichi as an ideal, she is  never even given a name in the s t o r y . appeal as the product of Edo history  This sentence generalizing her also has a unifying structural f u n c -  tion, pointing back as it does to the opening p a r a g r a p h . Immediately after Seikichi speaks to the young messenger about his long wait for h e r , and his invitation to see something in his house, a v e r y rapid sequence of events follows.  "Seikichi took the hand of the g i r l who  was preparing to leave, and afterMeading her into the second-storey room looking out onto the Sumida R i v e r , he took out two scroll paintings and rolled them out before her"  (I,  67). This transition, like the one p r e -  viously noted, compresses many elements into a single swiftly-moving sentence. The narrative slows to a description of the two scrolls and their use by Seikichi to awaken the young woman to a knowledge of her secret self.  This section has a double interest.  In the f i r s t place, the s t r i k i n g l y  mannered quality of the story is underlined by the use of works of art to b r i n g the heroine to self-awareness.  The artist is using artifacts to  aid in the creation of another, for they contain a t r u t h recognized by the  13  living woman.  Secondly, the theme of metamorphosis gains prominence.  This point is closely related to the first, since the work of the artist is that of transformation. The  scrolls section shows the young author revelling in his already  well-developed painting.  technical skills, particularly in the description of the first  The complex and even baroque sentence displaying the Chou  princess gives off a gemlike effect in keeping with the hard, bright surface of the story.  Later in his career, Tanizaki was to abandon the use  of ornate, unusual Sino-Japanese compounds, just as he abandoned sculptural values in favor of blurred light and shade effects, but this early achievement clearly fulfils its intended The  heroine's terror on viewing  cation as she gazes at the second.  purpose. the first scroll undergoes a modifi-  Now pleasure is added to fear. In  this scroll, a young woman stares with pride and joy at the corpses of her victims in a garden where birds are singing a victory song. cantly enough, the passage is entirely devoid of morbidity.  Signifi-  One sentence  furnishes a clue to an interpretation of the pleasure-pain element in Tanizaki: in spring?"  "Was it a landscape after a battle, or a view of a flower garden (I, 68). Whatsis usually considered as perverted and re-  pellent is the opposite, and it is indeed difficult to think of another writer who assumes so naturally that physical suffering may be a source of joy. As fear returns to seize the young woman, she begs Seikichi to put away the scrolls, but at his urging she comes to confess that she is i n deed like the woman represented  in one of them.  A t this point, the  author is dealing specifically with the buried impulses which anyone may harbor, and if this idea is accepted, "Shisei" cannot be dismissed as trivial or ludicrous.  14  The artist proceeds to ready his ideal canvas for a masterpiece, but the sequence.of actions is not motivated in an altogether satisfactory manner.  The vial of anesthetic which happens to be concealed in Seikichi's  bosom is a device making excessive demands on the reader's indulgence, even though he may have accepted a previous coincidence, that of the meeting of Seikichi and the young woman. The next section, dealing with the tattooing process, is strongly marked by alternations of light and shadow, so characteristic, of Tanizaki's means of visualizing decors.  F i r s t comes a phase of stillness as sunlight  strikes the r i v e r , illuminating the room, and Seikichi gazes at the now unconscious woman.  The mood of reflectiveness is then interrupted by an  exceedingly unfortunate figure of speech:  " J u s t as the people of ancient  Memphis decorated the splendid land of Egypt with pyramids and s p h i n x e s , Seikichi was to adorn a pure human skin with his love"  (I,  69). A c e r -  tain degree of preciosity is acceptable and even desirable in this tale, but the comparison fails utterly to function, as the grandiose  architectural  image isi in no way compatible with the tattooer's precise and limited art or with the quality of his love.  In this f i r s t p e r i o d , Tanizaki  frequently  makes use of lavish figurative language, whose content and expression often betray Western influence.  A s he matures, it will be seen that he  stops needing the stylistic support of figurative language, evidently c o n sidered by him as purely ornamental in this phase. Another transformation now takes place, this time in S e i k i c h i .  As  he w o r k s , his spirit melts into the tattooing liquid to seep into the skin of the young woman, so that when at last the masterpiece, the giant s p i d e r , has been completed on her b a c k , he is drained of e n e r g y . shadows remained motionless for a time. berated from the four walls of the room"  "The two  Then a low, hoarse voice r e v e r (I,  70). The impersonal mode of  15 expression suggests that this time it is Seikichi whose personality is being negated, as the climactic scene will reveal. In Seikichi's esthetic, pure beauty is not the only g o a l .  The result  of his creation is power; all men, he tells the heroine, will become her victims.  The newly created artifact is linked to another through the word  for " v i c t i m , " koyashi  / literally, "manure," written with the same  characters as for H i r y o , the title of the second scroll painting.  Hence  Seikichi has created a fearful beauty which has the power to destroy. Throughout his writing career Tanizaki shows a strong inclination to write dramatic, forceful e n d i n g s , often compressed  in time and there-  fore indicative of the care he takes in pacing the narrative flow.  In  " S h i s e i " the final paragraphs show with astonishing logic the interplay of aggressor and victim, with the creation taking over its creator. transformed woman asks Seikichi to wait for her u p s t a i r s . willed the change is s t a r t l e d . in the scroll paintings.  Then the  Even he who has  The last scene assimilates her to the women  A s she ascends the s t a i r s , her posture recalls a  detail of the f i r s t s c r o l l , in which the princess is leaning on a balustrade. The parallel is far from accidental; it exists in the minds of both c h a r a c t e r s , for Seikichi makes a specific reference to the scrolls and the heroine d e clares that he has become her f i r s t victim.  In her ears rings a c r y of  triumph ( k a c h i d o k i ) , as in the description of the second s c r o l l .  The  paintings have come to life and art has been changed into reality, but the reality in this case is itself an artifact. The triumph of the victim over her creator is now complete, and the story concludes in blazing light as the morning sun strikes the tattoo on the heroine's b a c k .  Though the spider had at f i r s t symbolized Seikichi's  supremacy, its power has been transferred to the woman.  The visual  splendor of the ending b r i n g s to mind the warm illumination of the initial  16 paragraph,  b u t it h a s b e e n i n t e n s i f i e d b y many d e g r e e s .  of t h e s t o r y a r e s a n r a n to s h i t a  t I A.  The final  ("shone d a z z l i n g l y " ) ,  o n r e f e r r i n g to the f i r s t l i n e s t h e r e a d e r is not s u r p r i s e d to f i n d c l o s e l y r e l a t e d a d j e c t i v a l e x p r e s s i o n k e n r a n na i t r e f e r s to the l i n e s a n d c o l o r s of t a t t o o e s . paragraph  The  the though  l i g h t i n g of the i n i t i a l  i s the glow of a n i m a g i n a r y Edo w h i c h at t h e e n d is s p e c i f i e d  Throughout his entire career Tanizaki  to d e s c r i b e the  structural unity.  spider  demonstrates a tendency  tie t h e e n d i n g ; of a p i e c e of f i c t i o n to the b e g i n n i n g ,  city,  and  ("radiant"),  JS]^]/A  as s a n r a n , whose v i s u a l connotations are s h a r p e r , tattoo.  words  to  i n the i n t e r e s t s of  T h e method i s sometimes w o r k e d out w i t h c r u d e s i m p l i -  e s p e c i a l l y i n the f i r s t p e r i o d , b u t t h i s i s one of the more  effective  a n d s u b t l e e x a m p l e s of i t s u s e . " S h i s e i " c o n t a i n s many f e a t u r e s of T a n i z a k i ' s stant throughout  w r i t i n g to remain c o n -  a lifetime of w r i t i n g , s u c h as the s e a r c h f o r an a b s o l u t e ,  the p o w e r of b e a u t y ,  the b l e n d i n g of p l e a s u r e a n d p a i n , the g l o r i f i c a t i o n  of a r t a n d a r t i f i c e , a n d t h e m e t a m o r p h o s i s w h i c h a n a r t i s t w o r k s on h i m self.  T h e y o u n g a u t h o r a l r e a d y s h o w s h i m s e l f c a p a b l e of t i g h t p a c i n g i n  narrative,  lavish description, a strong structural sense, and control  prose rhythms.  J u s t as i m p o r t a n t f o r t h e p u r p o s e s of t h i s s t u d y  m a r r i a g e ofi i m a g i n a t i o n a n d p h y ' s i c a l i t y so c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of better works. the f i r s t ,  over  i s the  Tanizaki's  A m o n g a l l t h e w r i t i n g s of h i s e a r l i e s t p e r i o d , " S h i s e i , "  r e p r e s e n t s the most s u c c e s s f u l a r t i s t i c e x p r e s s i o n of the  f o r f a n t a s y a n d e s c a p e to a n o t h e r  land.  A n o t h e r s h o r t s t o r y p u b l i s h e d i n 1910, p a n i o n p i e c e to " S h i s e i " t h r o u g h specifically as an a r t i s t s t o r y , its t e r r i f y i n g f o r c e . to a w o r l d of the  need  " K i r i n " (I,  73-90) i s a c o m -  its estheticism, but where  "Shisei" reads  the s t r e s s i n t h i s tale lies on b e a u t y  and  It i s a l s o a n e x p r e s s i o n of the same d e s i r e to f l e e  imagination.  Now Confucius.  the s e t t i n g i s the s t a t e of Wei i n C h i n a , i n the time of Though Tanizaki  S h i h c h i jfc  d r a w s on t h e A n a l e c t s of C o n f u c i u s a n d  (Historical Records)  his principal characters, Reiko ( L i n g - k u n g Nanshi  s|  of S s u - m a C h ' i e n  i-f,  the for  the r u l e r , a n d h i s c o n s o r t  ( N a n - t z u j , a n d f o r t h e e p i s o d e of C o n f u c i u s ' e n c o u n t e r w i t h  h i s t r e a t m e n t of t h e s e s o u r c e s i s o r i g i n a l .  A c c o r d i n g to T a n i z a k i ,  Nanshi, the i m -  mediate i n s p i r a t i o n f o r the s t o r y came f r o m the c h a r a c t e r s f o r k i r i n  (ch'i  13 l i n ) , a mythological beast.  T h i s i s a n o b v i o u s s i g n of t h e w r i t e r ' s  early infatuation with unusual and exotic w o r d s , al a s p e c t ;  p a r t i c u l a r l y in their v i s u -  in other s t o r i e s , words or p h r a s e s from Western languages in  Roman t y p e f r e q u e n t l y a p p e a r i n t h e t e x t .  And yet,  Tanizaki,  with an  a b u n d a n c e of r e s p e c t f o r the r e a d e r w h i c h i s to b e one of h i s most  endur-  i n g t r a i t s , t a k e s c a r e to e x p l a i n the a l l u s i o n — a k i r i n was a n animal w h i c h a p p e a r e d m i r a c u l o u s l y at t h e time of C o n f u c i u s ' b i r t h — i n the b o d y of t h e t e x t , e v e n t h o u g h he c o u l d h a v e e x p e c t e d many of h i s r e a d e r s i n 1910, Japan,  w i t h a k n o w l e d g e of C h i n e s e m y t h o l o g y w h i c h no l o n g e r e x i s t s i n to u n d e r s t a n d i t s s i g n i f i c a n c e .  The c e n t r a l s t r u g g l e in " K i r i n " is between V i r t u e , C o n f u c i u s , a n d B e a u t y , embodied i n N a n s h i . to C o n f u c i u s t h a t h i s v i r t u e i s on the w a n e , fulfilment dar,"  of the p r o p h e c y .  personified by  The e p i g r a p h is a w a r n i n g a n d the plot develops as a  "In t h e y e a r 493 B . C .  b y the W e s t e r n  the a g e d C o n f u c i u s comes to Wei i n the c o u r s e of h i s t r a v e l s ,  companied by several d i s c i p l e s .  A f t e r a d i s c u s s i o n with an old  calenac-  Taoist,  whose d e n i a l of l i f e C o n f u c i u s j u d g e s to b e not q u i t e i n a c c o r d a n c e w i t h t h e Way — the e p i s o d e i s a n i r o n i c p r e p a r a t i o n f o r the outcome of plot — the party  r e a c h e s the c a p i t a l c i t y , w h e r e t h e d e v a s t a t e d ,  the starving  i n h a b i t a n t s hope t h a t t h e sage will be a b l e to i n s t r u c t t h e i r v i o l e n t a n d cruel r u l e r s , Reiko and N a n s h i ,  in justice.  Eventually Confucius wins  18  Reiko over to his teachings.  Nanshi, a powerful creation, one of the  earliest of ferocious Tanizaki women characters, is enraged at losing her hold over her h u s b a n d , until now slavishly devoted to h e r , and swears to recover him from C o n f u c i u s .  Causing the sage to be brought before h e r ,  she challenges him directly with her beauty; in an elaborate and d e s c r i p tively ritualized passage she offers him many temptations.  A s in " S h i s e i , "  there is a scene of torment with a lovely s p r i n g light on the scene, but this time the sight is of living people, criminals undergoing t o r t u r e . Nanshi explains that she sometimes goes out in the streets with Reiko, and that if he should glance at a woman with a trace of compassion, Nanshi has her captured and put to t o r t u r e .  Now, she declares, she will a c -  company both Confucius and Reiko through the capital.  The narration  breaks off here and there is a pause, typographically as well as temporally marked, just before the conclusion for the sake of suspense.  The  technique is typical of Tanizaki's better-paced w o r k s . T h i s conclusion begins, with a recall of the opening: day in the year 493 B . C . by the Western c a l e n d a r . . . . "  "On a s p r i n g Now the view-  point is that of the onlookers; they see two carts on the street, one with Reiko, Nanshi and attendants, the second with C o n f u c i u s .  Confucius,  they conclude, was not equal to N a n s h i , as he looks unhappy, and N a n shi's will is no doubt to become law a g a i n .  That e v e n i n g , in fact, Nanshi  welcomes back her k i n g to her chambers; though he expresses his hatred and horror of h e r , he cannot leave h e r .  The final lines show Confucius  from the same remote perspective as the opening, leaving the city with his p a r t y , and a quotation from the A n a l e c t s :  "Not yet have I seen a  man who loved v i r t u e as much as a beautiful woman" (I,  90).  1 4  " K i n n " is not as compelling a fictional creation as " S h i s e i . " story about Beauty, it carries a heavy burden of self-conscious  As a  ornamentation.  " S h i s e i , " t h o u g h a l s o g a u d y , does not fall i n t o t h e t r i v i a l  o r t h e r i d i c u l o u s b e c a u s e of the i n n e r n a r r a t i v e c o h e r e n c e , i n g r e a t  part  a t t r i b u t a b l e to t h e a u t h o r ' s v i t a l i t y a s e x p r e s s e d t h r o u g h the p e r s p e c t i v e of S e i k i c h i .  " K i r i n " l a c k s t h i s v i t a l p a s s i o n , f o r it does not h a v e the view  p o i n t of a man in w o r s h i p of a f i e r c e i d e a l .  It f o c u s s e s i n s t e a d on t h e  female p r o t a g o n i s t N a n s h i , a n d the s t o r y must s t a n d o r f a l l o n t h e t r a y a l of t h i s c h a r a c t e r .  por-  It i s t r u e t h a t R e i k o i s t o r n b e t w e e n two f o r c e s  b u t the a c c e n t i s not on h i s i n n e r s t r u g g l e ; i n d e e d t h e s t o r y is not seen through him.  The c o n f l i c t takes place between Nanshi and C o n f u c i u s ,  and  C o n f u c i a n v i r t u e i s not a f o r c e remotely c a p a b l e of w i t h s t a n d i n g t h e f o r c e of B e a u t y ; over,  T a n i z a k i h a s t r e a t e d t h e sage a s a f i c t i o n a l s t r a w m a n .  the s h i f t s in viewpoints t h r o u g h o u t  the s t o r y ,  More-  f i r s t a n o u t s i d e view  of C o n f u c i u s a n d h i s d i s c i p l e s , t h e n the s t a n d p o i n t of t h e p e o p l e of t h e capital,  t h e n t h a t of C o n f u c i u s , a r e not i n t e g r a t e d i n s u c h a way a s to  c o n v e y t h e f u l l impact of N a n s h i on t h e two male c h a r a c t e r s . ("A  One  T a l e of S h u n k i n , "  has 1933)  to r e a l i z e how f a r T a n i z a k i h a s y e t to g o w i t h t h e r e c o n c i l i a t i o n of d i f f e r i n g p o i n t s of v i e w i n n a r r a t i o n . Yet,  t h e b u d d i n g s t o r y t e l l e r d e m o n s t r a t e s a f i r m g r a s p of s t r u c t u r e .  T h e u s e of two q u o t a t i o n s f r o m t h e A n a l e c t s to e n c i r c l e t h e b o d y of t h e tal c r e a t e s a s e n s e of c o m p l e t e n e s s .  T h e admonitory e p i g r a p h g i v e s the reade  a s t r o n g s u g g e s t i o n t h a t V i r t u e is to be d e f e a t e d , a n d t h e q u o t a t i o n a t t h e e n d i s a f u l f i l m e n t of t h e p r o p h e c y .  The s t r u c t u r e also coheres  t h r o u g h t h e r e p e t i t i o n of s e c t i o n s b e g i n n i n g "In t h e y e a r 493 B . C .  of t h e  W e s t e r n c a l e n d a r , " w i t h t h e s e c o n d m a r k i n g t h e outcome of t h e p l o t . It h a s b e e n p o i n t e d o u t t h a t t h e u s e of a n e p i g r a p h i s a n o v e l t y a t t h i s p o i n t i n the h i s t o r y of J a p a n e s e l e t t e r s , A k u t a g a w a -  being another  contemporary  T h u s the  w r i t e r of s h o r t s t o r i e s w h o d i d t h e s a m e . 1 5  young  Tanizaki is already showing signs of a willingness to experiment with technique,especially characteristic of his f i r s t and second periods. Another aspect of Tanizaki's early manner which should be stressed is the use of a florid descriptive style similar to that of certain passages in " S h i s e i , "  but surpassing it in elaboration.  The following p a r a g r a p h ,  on the people of the capital city as Confucius and his party make their entrance, will serve as an example. Kono hitobito no kao wa ui to tsukare ni yaseotoroe, ieie no kabe wa nageki to kanashimi no iro_wo tataete i t a . Kono kuni no uruwashii hana wa, kyuden no . kisaki no me wo yorokobasu tame ni u t s u s h i u e r a r e , koetaru inoko wa kisaki no shita wo tsuchikau tame ni meshiagerare, nodoka na haru no hi g a , haiiro no sabireta michi wo itazura ni terashita. Soshite, miyako no oka no ue ni wa, g o s a | no niji wo n u i d a shita kyuden g a , chi ni aita moju no gptoku n i , _ shigai no yo na michi wo miorosnite i t a . Sono k y u den no oku de uchinarasu kane_no hibiki wa, moju no usobuku yo ni kuni no shiho e todoroita ( 1 , 78). >, The faces of these people were wasted away with starvation and weariness, and the walls of the houses wore the colors of lamentation and sadness. The lovely flowers of the country had been transplanted in order to gladden the eyes of the Queen, the fatted pigs had been confiscated in order to cultivate her palate, and the tranquil spring sun shone in vain on the ash-colored streets. A n d on the hilltop in the middle of the capital, the palace threaded with the five colors of the rainbow looked down on the c o r p s e like streets like a wild beast sated with blood. The bell tolling in the depths of the palace resounded in the four corners of the realm like the roaring of a wild beast. The passage, along with the f i r s t paragraph of " S h i s e i , " is said to have been influenced by the direct translation style from Western; l a n g u 16 ages.  The comment may be v a l i d , as these sentences do translate  easily into English far more readily than the more supple prose of T a n i zaki's maturity,  because of the familiarity of the constructions.  Secondly,  we may note the prominent, even immoderate use of figurative language. whose quality is decidedly not characteristic of Japanese prose, even the  Westernized  p r o s e of the late Meiji p e r i o d w h e n " K i r i n " was c o m p o s e d .  In h i s l a t e r y e a r s ,  Tanizaki  was to look b a c k o n b o t h " S h i s e i "  and  " K i r i n " w i t h d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n , c r i t i c i z i n g h i s own r a s h n e s s i n t a c k l i n g s u c h s u b j e c t m a t t e r w i t h o u t a s u f f i c i e n t p e r i o d of r e s e a r c h .  In h i s  maturity  he w o u l d p r e f e r a s an ideal to s a t u r a t e h i m s e l f i n the s p i r i t of h i s material before attempting  to  write.17  He w o u l d s u r e l y h a v e p l a c e d a t h i r d e a r l y tale i n the same " N i n g y o no n a g e k i " IV,  185-212).  *  9  ("The  It s h o w s the y o u n g a u t h o r  s t o r i e s to a n e x t r e m e  Lament of the M e r m a i d , "  1917,  t a k i n g a s p e c t s of the o t h e r  l i m i t , i n c l u d i n g the s e l f - i n d u l g e n c e of a p p r o a c h  e m b a r r a s s e d him l a t e r . curiously enough,  category:  He r e a c h e s the e n d i n e x o t i c i s m a n d f a n t a s y ,  two which but  t h i s e x c e e d i n g l y p r e c i o u s tale c a u s e s the r e a d e r to a c -  c e p t i t s p r e m i s e s a n d i t s f a b u l o u s i n c i d e n t s much i n the same way as "Shisei." The  tale d e a l s w i t h the u n e n d i n g q u e s t f o r ideal b e a u t y .  Though  the r e a d e r may not be r e c e p t i v e to the theme if he h a s s c a n n e d the many e a r l y w o r k s of T a n i z a k i  w i t h s i m i l a r c o n c e r n s , he c a n s t i l l r e s p o n d to the  p r i m i t i v e a p p e a l of the f a i r y tale a n d the c r e a t i o n of m a r v e l s . u s e of the g e n r e a p p e a r s i n the v e r y f i r s t w o r d s , ("long,  long a g o " ) .  of the v e r b , Jester," a jester.  1911,  used by 1,  The  The  "Mukashi,  mukashi"  tale i s r e l a t e d i n the c o n v e r s a t i o n a l masu f o r m  Tanizaki  only once b e f o r e ,  in "Hokan"  ^ fV|  1 8 7 - 2 0 8 ) , w h e r e i t s a p p e a r a n c e s u i t e d a lowly  In t h i s s t o r y ,  overt  its function is d i f f e r e n t ,  ("The  character,  l e n d i n g as it does to the  n a r r a t i o n the f l a v o r of a tale i n the p r o c e s s of b e i n g t o l d . the c o l l o q u i a l s t y l e a l s o c r e a t e s g r e a t e r i n t i m a c y w i t h t h e  The  u s e of  reader.  T h e f a r - a w a y s e t t i n g is e s t a b l i s h e d a s the f i r s t s e n t e n c e c o n t i n u e s : "...when ing  the d y n a s t y  like a peony  of A i s h i n K a k u r a  in summer,  a young  ( A i s i n G i o r o ) was s t i l l  flower-  nobleman named Mo S e i - c h u ( M e n g  Shih-tao) lived in the great city of N a n k i n g " (IV,  187).  The author,  for the sake of stylistic embellishment, uses the periphrastic expression "the dynasty of A i s i n Gioro" instead of "the C h ' i n g d y n a s t y . " male protagonist thus introduced enjoys y o u t h , beauty, fortune, ligence and  talent.  The intel-  From this point the characterization takes on the  taint of the young alter egoes of the author in Tanizaki's early s h i shosetsu, with his listlessness, unsatisfied longings, and his need for greater and greater stimulation. A means of escape eventually a p p e a r s , and the reader realizes it before the hero does.  A marvellous b e i n g , a European, is introduced in  an appropriately visualized perspective.  The scene, like one in a foreign  c o u n t r y , is a crossroads brilliantly lit by lanterns and enlivened by street performances.  The strange-looking man who gradually comes into Mo's  vision from a distance is at length identified as a Dutch merchant.  Pure  fantasy is piled on exoticism as the merchant presents Mo with a being only slightly more marvellous than himself, a mermaid. the mermaid to Mo? only person for h e r .  Why has he brought  Because he has heard that the young nobleman is the If some incidents of " S h i s e i " cause the reader to  wonder about motivation, the very conception of this story abolishes the need for realistic plot logic. The merchant, having been assured that Mo, weary of earthly pleas u r e s , desires a fabulous beauty, has no doubt that he will purchase h e r , and for his p a r t . Mo feels that the transaction is predestined.  The  mermaid i s , of c o u r s e , [the figuration of B e a u t y ; the word bi^ (beauty) appears recurrently in the passage describing her cold perfection.  Mo  would like to descend to being a creature like h e r , and to take pleasure in her eternal love.  Tanizaki's rendering of this character tells us much  of his esthetic values at this time:  sculptural qualities are important.  but the accent is on the singular whiteness of the s k i n .  She turns out  to be more than a symbol of the beautiful; in more specific terms she is a symbol of Western literature and a r t .  When Mo begs the merchant to  take him to Europe, the land of wonders which produced this mermaid, the Hollander dissuades him, saying that the reality of the people of his country would be disappointing; it is far better that he remain in China with the mermaid as a constant reminder of the ideal beauty of Europe. Mo will be able to contemplate the essence of Western poetry and art in this living beauty.  The purposeful avoidance of reality in Tanizaki's  f i r s t period is nowhere better stated than in this tale. The mermaid's unhappiness in her tank shows that this ideal cannot be realized, either.  Totally in the realm of the fantastic, the tale soon  develops with the mermaid begging the hero to return her to her home in the Mediterranean, promising to show him her occult powers if she is placed in the ocean.  A s the prince agrees, she uses magic to change into  an e e l ; in obedience to her wishes he boards a steamship at Hong K o n g , en route for E n g l a n d . form of t r a v e l .  S i g n i f i c a n t l y , flight from reality takes the actual  When the ship leaves Singapore, Mo takes a jar out of  his bosom and removes the eel.  Twining several times around his wrist,  it slides into the sea, and several minutes later the mermaid a p p e a r s , only to plunge into the depths.  The story concludes with Mo still hopeful, on  the ship which is making its way towards her dwelling-place, the Mediterranean.  Tanizaki's insistence on strong endings makes it impossible to  ignore the importance of the final sentence.  Mo will surely continue to  seek the beauty of Europe. A l l three of the tales so far discussed share a marked predeliction for artifice in conception and execution.  Besides the themes on art and  24 a r t i s t s , they show in common a descriptive elaboration of setting, a c r a f t i n g of b r i l l i a n t , if not always apt, figures of speech, a purposeful treatment of characters as t y p e s . discussion at this point.  The last aspect perhaps needs brief  A s an anti-realist, Tanizaki is not concerned  with the creation of well-rounded, balanced characters according to the ideal of the traditional Western novel, in whose framework he is largely — if not completely — operating.  The question of character conception is  an important one, but it will be more fully treated in Chapter II, in the discussion of Sasameyuki #.<f) i f  (The Makioka S i s t e r s , 1943-48),  where it more properly belongs. Besides the group of three art tales which clearly belong to each other, several other short stories and novellas from the early period s u p port the contention that Tanizaki requires fantasy as an artistically  liberat-  ing force for his f i c t i o n . Most of these works draw on Japanese tradition for their material. Tanizaki's turning to tradition has often been d i s c u s s e d , but overwhelmingly in terms of the major works of his second p e r i o d .  The point at  issue here is that the young author by choosing such material must stand outside his immediate worldly concerns, just as the exotic settings and themes of the art stories forced a certain detachment upon him. The best-realized of the "traditional" works is "Otsuya goroshi"  ^Tc-flC  ("  A  Springtime C a s e , " 1915, II,  501-70),  18  a violent  novella crowded with incident, telling of the gradual degradation of Otsuya and her lover Shinnosuke. A s a piece of high-quality popular fiction whose central interest is plot manipulation, it has the elemental virtue of causing the reader to wonder what is to ihappen next.  The novella is executed in  such a manner as to give the impression of a prosified late-Edo Kabuki drama.  The comparison is inevitable for many reasons, the key being  stylization.  The events are more powerful than the c h a r a c t e r s , as in the  K a b u k i , so that the demands of situations prevail over pedestrian v e r i similitude.  The reader on one level is aware that the five murders com-  mitted by Shinnosuke are excessive for the span of a single novella, but the immediate motivations for each murder when it takes place in the plot make these acts c o n v i n c i n g .  Secondly, the situations can often be v i s u -  alized as on a stage, for example, the scenes of stabbing in the d a r k , the michiyuki-like elopement of Shinnosuke and O t s u y a , in the course of which she remarks " T h i s is like a p l a y . "  Other elements recalling the Kabuki  include the role played by a gambler c h a r a c t e r , one of Otsuya's patrons, the fact that the male protagonist is sensitive but capable of a l l , r e t a i n ing a certain innocence despite all his crimes, and a vendetta, complete with plotting and d i s g u i s e s . T h r o u g h a sequence of a great number of incidents, the author never loses sight of the central thrust of the plot, the decline of Otsuya and Shinnosuke, beginning with her virtual seduction of him and her subsequent degradation to the lowliest of g e i s h a , while she b r i n g s him down with h e r . Since the title announces the heroine's death, the outcome is not in q u e s tion but the manner of its resolution is a r r e s t i n g . novella is rapid and b r u t a l .  The conclusion of the  The impetus of the plot has carried the  couple to a not untypical Tanizaki situation:  she confesses that she is  in love with one of her patrons, A s h i z a w a , and Shinnosuke appears to withdraw spinelessly.  Otsuya tells him she will think over the situation,  but eventually she takes friight and vanishes, with Shinnosuke in p u r s u i t . The final paragraph r u n s : A t last, on a bank near the torii of Mimeguri S h r i n e , the woman was dragged from her palanquin. O t s u y a , clutching at Shinnosuke's h a n d , b e g g e d : " S h i n - s a n ,  don't kill me before I meet A s h i z a w a ! " A s he cut her down, she ran to and fro screaming " M u r d e r ! M u r d e r ! " Till her breath stopped she screamed over and over the name of her lover Ashizawa (II, 570). Thus the title is entirely accurate; the focus is on the act of murder and on the heroine, not on Shinnosuke's state of mind. "Otsuya goroshi" indicates that T a n i z a k i , despite his youthful concern with questions of A r t , perfectly realized the importance of popular fiction 1g  in the line of pure Japanese literature, ness about writing for a wide p u b l i c .  and shows no signs of s n o b b i s h The imperatives of popular taste,  as a matter of fact, result in an attention to plot control which was surely beneficial to the author at this time, lost as he was in unstructured autobiographical w r i t i n g . Equally a potboiler, but of lower technical quality than "Otsuya goroshi" is a novella published in the same y e a r , "Osai to Minosuke" ^ ^ " t c t i ^  ("Osai and M i n o s u k e , " 1 9 1 5 ,  III,  111-228).  It is  clear that when Tanizaki indulges in psychological analysis he has great difficulty narrative.  in deciding where to stop, to the detriment of the pace of the The plot is encumbered by over-analysis of r i v a l r i e s , d u p l i -  c i t y , and manipulation among the characters.  But in the last sixth of  the novella, the narration, with an increasing focus on action, rises to the level of "Otsuya g o r o s h i . "  The final sentence is memorable, with  Minosuke running desperately across the rice-fields after O s a i , his desire unabated despite her b e t r a y a l .  The theatricality of this last portion has  an impact similar to that of the other novella. This b r i n g s us to a paradox.  Some of Tanizaki's best work calls for  critical parallels with drama, for example " S h u n k i n s h o , " and many of his 20  prose works have been made into dramas and films, ally writes p l a y s , he almost invariably f a i l s .  but when he a c t u -  Tanizaki composed  27  sortie.;,thirty-one dramatic w o r k s , from Tanjo f ^ i i ZO  f<^ (The Elephant, I,  17-36)  ( B i r t h , I, 1-16) and  in 1910 to Kaomise / f j | -fe  (First P e r -  formance, X I V , 19-95J in 1933. Some of the dramas were never performed, 21  like the f i r s t two mentioned above, a n d others proved to be unactable. The best-realized work is Qkuni to Cohei C o h e i , 1922, the others.  £-&--f  V I I I , 327-350), b u t it too suffers from certain defects of In general, Tanizaki's plays bear the imprint of a prose writer  unconcerned with the basic principles of dramaturgy. Jugoya monogatari 471-503),  (Okuni a n d  -\X^A *) %A 1  The titling of  (Tale of the Harvest Moon, 1917, I V ,  with its use of a term for prose fiction, reveals a conception of  writing inimical to the stage.  Much of Shinzei Y%  ( S h i n z e i , 1911, I,  91-108) lacks dramatic s t r u c t u r e , conflict and dynamism.  A t times the  extremely detailed stage directions in some of the plays read as if the prose writer in Tanizaki were c r y i n g out to take over from the playwright. In Kyofu jidai  ^ J + ^ t f ^ ^ (Age of T e r r o r ,  directions contain brief character sketches.  1916,  I V , 1-92), the stage  In those of Jugoya monogatari  we are told as readers, not spectators, how the ronin hero makes his l i v ing.  Even worse, Tanizaki fails to solve such elementary problems as the  introduction of c h a r a c t e r s , expositions which sometimes occupy up to onet h i r d of an entire work; as in A i sureba koso ' ' ^  -\ T T U ^ \  N  \  (Because of L o v e , 1921, V I I I , 1-110) and exchanges of dialogue.  In K y o f u  jidai the characters constantly keep each other informed of onstage events, seeming to tell each other what the audience, or reader, has already h e a r d . O b v i o u s l y , prose fiction, in this period with a remote setting, is Tanizaki's natural element, as the following pair of stories show. ga saru ni natta hanashi" A.ffl]  il* - f f U - A *>t\  "Ningen  ( " T h e Story of a  Human T u r n e d into a M o n k e y , " 1918, V , 525-548) has a fantastic  content  somewhat akin to that of the fairy tales like "Ningyo no nageki" but it is in a far more modest v e i n , that of the folk tale.  The story itself is set  in a frame, with an old man narrator presented as relating a tale to his three g r a n d d a u g h t e r s , in a simple parallel of the author-reader  relation-  ship which has the result of b r i n g i n g the reader into participation with the s t o r y .  Within the frame itself the author is seen manipulating c h a r a c -  ters with s k i l l .  The three g i r l s , who are of little importance to the frame-  work and none at all to the tale, are tersely and clearly distinguished from each other from the initial page.  The tale itself, though set only some  t h i r t y years p r e v i o u s l y , in the middle of the Meiji p e r i o d , is decidedly r e mote, because of the nature of the events and the perspective of the young girls.  It tells of young Osome, a geisha employed in the old man's estab-  lishment, pursued by a monkey whose influence on her reaches the point of spiritual possession.  Eventually she consults a diviner who says the  monkey is so powerful that Osome will be overwhelmed unless she accedes to his demand that she go away with him. A page from the end of the s t o r y , the old man's narration breaks off for the f i r s t time, and his three listeners, with whom the reader now i d e n tifies, are transfixed and eager to learn the outcome.  Osome disappears  into the mountains to live with the monkey; the narrator learned later at t h i r d hand that a human-like figure was seen playing with a monkey. story concludes: 548).  The  "If so, Osome must surely have become a monkey ." ( V , 1  1  No commentary by narrator or author is needed. It would be an e r r o r to overemphasize the significance of this slight  and unpretentious tale in the context of the total works of T a n i z a k i , but some of its aspects make it a forerunner of his later monogatari manner. The use of folktale material is somewhat unusual for Tanizaki but if it is included in the concept of traditional material, this story is clearly a  p r e d e c e s s o r of t h e w o r k s of t h e s e c o n d p e r i o d .  Of e q u a l i m p o r t a n c e i s  t h e t e l l i n g . o f t h e tale from t h e p o i n t of v i e w of t h e o l d man n a r r a t o r . Again,  t h e s t o r y i s w r i t t e n i n t h e masu f o r m of the v e r b , a n d  though  T a n i z a k i does n o t o f t e n , r e s o r t to i t , t h e u s e i s a l w a y s a p p r o p r i a t e to theme a n d c h a r a c t e r .  Perhaps not c o i n c i d e n t a l l y , the w o r k s in which  i t does a p p e a r t e n d to be of a b o v e - a v e r a g e to d e f i n i t e l y s u p e r i o r q u a lity.  T h e b e s t example i s M o m d k u m o n o g a t a r i  Man's Tale,  |j )i} * \ » ) j f - | -  (A  Blind  1931), a f i r s t - p e r s o n n a r r a t i o n b y a n o l d man c h a r a c t e r .  In " N i n g e n g a s a r u n i n a t t a h a n a s h i , " t h e stamp of t h e o l d man's s p e e c h h a b i t s , a n d t h e r e f o r e s o m e t h i n g of h i s p e r s o n a l i t y , a p p e a r s i n t h e somewhat r a m b l i n g r e m i n i s c e n c e s at t h e b e g i n n i n g of t h e t a l e , a n d in such transitions a s , for example,  "Let  me s e e , at a n y r a t e . . . "  (V,  531). T h i s s t o r y m i g h t b e . p a i r e d w i t h " F u t a r i no c h i g o " ("Two  Acolytes,"  1918,  V,  A . ?>  %L  307-335) w h i c h h a s a f f i n i t i e s to t h e o l d  s e t s u w a , t h o u g h t h e f o r c e s i m p e l l i n g the c h a r a c t e r s a r e i n d i s p u t a b l y Tanizaki's.  The c e n t r a l plot question is whether the acolyte  Rurikomaru  will b e s e d u c e d b y t h e d e s i r e s of the f l e s h , l i k e h i s c o m p a n i o n  Senjumaru.  A t one p o i n t t h e f o r m e r ' s c u r i o s i t y a b o u t a w o r l d he h a s n e v e r e x p e r i enced i s , s i g n i f i c a n t l y , like a longing for a "fairytale paradise" b a n a s h i no r a k u e n , V ,  315).  A f t e r Senjumaru  s e a r c h of women he w r i t e s to R u r i k o m a r u , senses.  Rurikomaru  (otogi-  leaves the monastery in  p r a i s i n g t h e p l e a s u r e s of t h e  a f t e r a s t r u g g l e w i t h h i m s e l f d e c i d e s to f r e e h i m -  s e l f f r o m d e s i r e a n d to t h a t e n d e n g a g e s i n a s c e t i c p r a c t i c e s .  The i n -  c i d e n t m o t i v a t i n g the outcome of the s t o r y s h o w s T a n i z a k i d r a w i n g setsuwa t r a d i t i o n s : in a d r e a m ,  A  from  m e s s e n g e r of F u g e n - b o s a t s u a p p e a r s to t h e h e r o  r e v e a l i n g t h a t i n a f o r m e r l i f e he h a d r i g h t e o u s l y r e f u s e d  t h e l o v e of a w o m a n ,  who i s now a b o u t to d i e , on t h i s v e r y : m o u n t a i n ,  in  30 t h e f o r m of a b e a s t . save R u r i k o m a r u .  A b o u t to be r e b o r n i n t o P a r a d i s e , s h e will  probably  F r a n t i c w i t h a d e s i r e to meet h e r , he f i n d s t h e b i r d  wounded and bleeding. time f o r i t s d e l i c a c y .  A g a i n t h e e n d i n g of a s t o r y i s r e m a r k a b l e , t h i s F e a r i n g he will f r e e z e to d e a t h f i r s t , he p r e s s e s  h e r (the; p e r s o n a l p r o n o u n k a n o j o i s u s e d ) a g a i n s t h i s c h e e k . is l o s i n g c o n s c i o u s n e s s i s i n d i c a t e d i n t h e f i n a l sentence^  T h a t he  "something —  was it a b i r d ' s d o w n o r a f i n e snow? — f l u t t e r e d d o w n on h i s a c o l y t e ' s c i r c l e of h a i r " ( V ,  335).  T h e s e l i n e s s u g g e s t t h a t t h e r e s o l u t i o n of t h e  c e n t r a l p r o b l e m i s n o t h i n g so c l e a r - c u t a s a c h o i c e f o r r e n u n c i a t i o n of desire.  T h e a u t h o r makes no r e f e r e n c e to R u r i k o m a r u ' s p s y c h o l o g i c a l  s t a t e ; w h a t i s c o n v e y e d i s the s e n s a t i o n he e x p e r i e n c e s a s he e m b r a c e s the former woman,  w i t h t h e s u g g e s t i o n t h a t t h e y a r e to d i e t o g e t h e r .  The longing for a never-never  l a n d does not f i n d e x p r e s s i o n o n l y  i n s e t t i n g s d i s t a n t i n time a n d i n p l a c e . %Xsh  iL("A  " H a h a wo k o u r u k i "  R e c o r d of L o n g i n g f o r M o t h e r , "  1919,  VI,  \  191-219)  shows  t h a t e x o t i c i s m i n t h e c o n v e n t i o n a l s e n s e is o n l y p a r t of T a n i z a k i ' s eralized y e a r n i n g for what is not.  gen-  T h e i d e a l m a t e r n a l image f o r e v e r  s o u g h t b y t h i s a u t h o r l i v e s i n t h e u n a t t a i n a b l e realm of h i s own  past.  " H a h a wo k o u r u k i " is a n a c c o u n t of a dream i n w h i c h a small b o y  finds  h i m s e l f a l o n e on a d a r k r o a d , a p p r o a c h i n g a l i g h t from a h o u s e , h i s o w n . T h e woman i n s i d e t u r n s o u t to b e not h i s m o t h e r ,  but a stranger.  Back  on t h e r o a d , h e h e a r s a d i s t a n t s a m i s e n , e v o c a t i v e of memories of h i s h o u s e in N i h o n b a s h i , a n d a t l e n g t h a f o x a p p e a r s ; s h e i s h i s m o t h e r . S u d d e n l y t h e a u t h o r - n a r r a t o r a w a k e n s to remember t h a t h e i s not a c h i l d b u t a man of t h i r t y - f o u r ,  whose mother d i e d two y e a r s e a r l i e r .  Only in  t h e l a s t f i v e l i n e s does t h e r e a d e r l e a r n t h a t t h e e n t i r e q u e s t h a s b e e n a d r e a m , t h o u g h he c o u l d h a v e g u e s s e d it much e a r l i e r , b u t tit c o u l d a s well h a v e b e e n t a k e n u n t i l t h e e n d , as a f a n t a s y of the c o n s c i o u s m i n d .  31  This story is unique in Tanizaki's f i r s t period because of its atmosphere and s t y l e .  The rendering of another c o u n t r y , the landscape of  the dream illuminated by interplays of light and d a r k , and the fluidity of the prose,show a Tanizaki capable of b l u r r i n g the c l e a r , brilliant lines of the earliest stories like " S h i s e i , " and point the way towards the shadowy  ("Ashikari,  1932).  The style of "Haha wo kouru k i " has often been called " p o e t i c . " This is true not only in the sense that the prose is evocative.  Upon  analysis, some passages prove to possess structures more usually associated with poetry than with prose.  The dream has allowed the author to  take liberties with the norms of prose s t y l e .  It is impossible to demon-  strate these statements without providing a long quotation, which can only be v e r y imperfectly translated. Sora wa don'yori to kumotte iru keredo, tsuki wa fukai kumo no oku ni nomarete iru keredo, sore demo doko kara ka morete k u r u no de a r o , to no mo ; wa shirojiro to a k a r u k u natte iru no de a r u . _Sono akarusa wa, akarui to omoeba kanari akarui yo d e , michibata no koishi made ga h a k k i r i to mieru hodo de a r i n a g a r a , nandaka me no mae ga moyamoya to kasunde_ite, toku wo jitto mitsumeru to, me ga k u s u guttai yo ni k a n z e r a r e r u , isshu fushigi n a , maboroshi no yo na akarusa de a r u . Nanika, ningen no yo wo hanareta, harukana> harukana mukyu na kuni wo omowaseru yo na akarusa de a r u . Sono toki no kimochi shidai d e , yamiyo to mo tsukiyo to mo dotchira to mo kangaerareru yo na ban de a r u . Shirojiro to shita naka ni mo kiwadatte shiroi hitosuji no kaido g a , watakushi no iku te wo massugu ni hashitte ita ( V I , 193). Though the s k y is clouded o v e r , though the moon is swallowed up in the depths of the deep c l o u d s , light must be seeping through from somewhere, for outdoors it has grown b r i g h t . There is brightness—to think of brightness would mean it is fairly bright—and while even the pebbles by the roadside can be clearly seen, before the eyes is a dimness, when they gaze far into the distance they tingle; that is a strange ghostly b r i g h t ness. It is a brightness calling up a faraway, faraway eternal land apart from the human w o r l d . It is a night which could be a moonless or a moonlit n i g h t . The white road which stood out even in the whiteness ran straight in front of me.  If the varied techniques of this passage have a common denominator, it is repetition.  Most of the statements are variations on the  idea that "it is a night which could be moonless or m o o n l i t . . . , " and w i t h in the sentences, it is almost needless to point out, are the parallel s y n tactical constructions, the insistence on a k a r u i , the use of n e a r - s y n o n y m s , the epithets fushigi na and maboroshi no yo na, — all for the creation of a mysterious density in the p r o s e .  Moreover, the repetitions of w o r d s ,  as echoes, aid as markers in the rhythmical progress of the sentences. In a l l , this is an outstanding if isolated example of Tanizaki's early prose, and it shows signs of the later stylistic manner which sets him apart from all other w r i t e r s . This particular style could be called "tautological," or if the word appears derogatory, " s y n t h e s i z i n g " might be a better term.  The notion  will be clearer if we compare the above passage to the prose typical of Kawabata, which is fragile and disarticulated both in thought and s y n t a x . A s evident from this quotation, Tanizaki tends to provide far more s y n tactical and semantic connections than necessary, but they function to produce a sense of amplitude. Another aspect of the passage to be noted is the absence of f i g u r a tive language such as Tanizaki obviously labored over in " S h i s e i " and "Kirin."  It must be admitted that after this passage, similes do o c c u r ,  for example, fields are compared to a dark sea with a hoarse voice, but Tanizaki at his best in tonal and rhythmical c o n t r o l , as in his later w o r k s , does not need imagery. Two stories of merit showing that this author does not absolutely require geographical or extreme .temporal dislocations in order to attain an ideal country are "Shonen" )*4 and "Chiisana o k o k u " . J ^ / j i t ®  ("The Y o u t h s , " 1911,  I,  143-185;)  ("The Little K i n g d o m , " 1918,  VI,  33 1-3i7).  In " S h o n e n , " although the f i r s t - p e r s o n narrative viewpoint is  that of a man relating the events of his childhood twenty years later, and although there is a certain psychological realism neither expected nor found by the reader in other early works of above-average c a l i b r e , the adult memory of the narrator projects such a glamorizing light over the events that it fits easily into the category of anti-realistic w r i t i n g .  For  the c h i l d , fantasies often appear in terms of "other w o r l d s , " and the story is full of references to "strange l a n d s , " to Western fairy tales, and to game-playing. The use of childhood games and fantasies makes "Shonen" a p r e c u r s o r of Bushuko hiwa ^  •>•)) £ ftf fi (The Secret History of the Lord of M u -  s a s h i , 1931) in which the ludic element is v e r y s t r o n g , in accordance with the comic, anti-heroic tone.  The characters of Bushuko .are the  characters of "Shonen" grown u p .  The playing with the head of Doami,  emerging from the tatami in the Lord of Musashi's quarters is a transmutation of the final scene of "Shonen" in which Mitsuko places lighted candles on the two boys' foreheads.  Moreover, both works express w i s h -  fulfilments of extremely violent fantasies, in a defused, childlike manner. "Shonen" has a few of the defects of the earliest Tanizaki s t y l e , such as a tendency toward showy exquisiteness.  To be s u r e , some  varieties of literary artifice do function to considerable effect, as in " S h i s e i , " but others, as in the style of this s t o r y , do not. In "Chiisana o k o k u " a timid young teacher, Kaishima S h o k i c h i , finds himself gradually overwhelmed by the strange power of a p u p i l , Numakura.  This child commands loyalty among his peers without abusing  his power, and eventually the entire class does his b i d d i n g . self on a knowledge of c h i l d r e n , Kaishima praises him.  Priding him-  Numakura sets  up an organization completely administering school activities; he goes so  far as to establish a Ministry of the T r e a s u r y which issues c u r r e n c y .  At  the end of the story Kaishima, sorely pressed for money, catches himself about to buy milk for his seventh child with a counterfeit b i l l , and c o n gratulates himself for having eluded temptation. This is the only work by Tanizaki which lends itself easily to i n terpretation from a socio-political viewpoint.  I to Sei states that in the  guise of a children's w o r l d , this story treats of the domination of humans by a controlled economy.  C u r r e n c y produced by a society with a c o n -  trolled economy changes the human consciousness of l i f e , and distorts people's judgment on p r i c e s . cizing modern society.  22  It is possible to see this as a story c r i t i -  —  Ito goes on to comment that though Tanizaki ..  undoubtedly had no such deliberate intent, and wrote it because of its 23  own intrinsic interest, the result still has socio-political implications. The social commentary, however, is surely secondary to the common Tanizaki procedure of role i n v e r s i o n , with the apparently more powerful character being overwhelmed by his supposed inferior.  The process is  constantly taking place in male-female relationships, beginning with " S h i s e i , " but this time the "strange power" is held by a young b o y .  The  character of Numakura is not quite like that of other dominant characters in T a n i z a k i , as witness his refusal to torment the weak. The life of the children is literally a world apart from the adult world.  Therefore the story has more to do with Tanizaki's never-ending  quest for an unknown country than with his alleged creation of a microcosm of society. The nostalgic idealization with which Tanizaki views his own past, as in "Haha wo kouru k i " and " S h o n e n , "  should make it clear that the  terms "traditional" or " h i s t o r i c a l " setting as diametrically opposed to " c o n temporary," often used in Tanizaki criticism in order to distinguish his  35  v a r y i n g approaches to literary material, must be employed with caution. Far more relevant for this writer is the perspective from which he gazes at his subject matter.  The observation may be useful for a reading of  Sasameyuki, and therefore justifies the discussion of lesser-known works like " S h o n e n , "  which often equip the reader with intuitions which aid  in interpreting the major w r i t i n g s . It ensues from the above discussion that Tanizaki is successful in fiction when he stands outside his subjects, when he must objectify them in order to make literary sense.  Most of these subjects are set in an  indisputably distant region in time and place, in direct contrast to the overtly autobiographical w r i t i n g s .  B.  The author as himself:  the failure of the shi-shosetsu  Mishima Y u k i o , with his talent for the apt image, once wrote of the peony-like beauty of " S h i s e i " against the grey background of N a t u r a l 24  ism,  and similarly, " S h i s e i , " " K i r i n , " and "Haha wo kouru k i " stand in  b r i g h t contrast to the shi-shosetsu ( " l - n o v e l s " ) of Tanizaki's f i r s t p e r i o d . It is essential to touch upon the latter w o r k s , because they lie on one side of a split i n l i n e : author's self, and thereby present a problem which will be completely resolved near the end of his life, with Futen rojin n i k k i . — 25 Though the term shi-shosetsu eludes rigorous definition, it refers in this thesis to fiction in which the author presents us with a thinly disguised self, either in f i r s t - or t h i r d - p e r s o n n a r r a t i o n , and attempts to reproduce the mundane facts of his daily existence as a young  litterateur  (the word is not too pretentious, considering the nature of his esthete poses at the time) in modern T o k y o . at this point.  Two problems of terminology arise  One is the temptation to use "objective" as opposed to  the "subjective" realm of the imagination  in which the best works of the  early period, as discussed in the previous section, were produced. is clear, however, that the shi-shosetsu  It  stories under consideration here  are quite as "subjective," so that the objective/subjective antithesis does not work.  Other terms which come to mind are "realism" or "reality"  but they..must be qualified by adjectives or understood in context.  The  kind of reality, for example, which is so fruitful for Tanizaki artistically is the life of his imagination,  far more compelling  than the bare facts  of outward circumstance. The career and  works in question range over the first eight years of Tanizaki's are as follows:  "The  Affair of Two  Romanized) (1910, I, 37-60), "Hoko" "Hyofu"^  ("The  Whirlwind," 1911,  Watches" (title in English,  ("Roaming," 1911,  I, 109-142),  I, 209-246), "Akuma" i  ("The 1912,  Devil," 1912,  I, 271-298), Atsumono £  I, 369-557), "Zoku-Akuma"&%\^)%,  I, 559-609), "Kyofu" ("Jotaro," 1914, III, 275-367) and  ("Terror,"  (Once Burnt, Twice ("The  1913,  II, 1-12), "Jotaro"  II, 353-461), " S h i n d o " ? t ' f  ("The  "Itansha no kanashimi" jL  fa  of a Heretic," 1917,  Devil, Part 2,"  Shy, 1913,  ffU^if  Child Prodigy," i/ A  1916,  ("Sorrows  IV, 377-452).  Though Tanizaki states that "Itansha no kanashimi" is his only con2g fessional work of fiction (kokuhaku-shosetsu), in all of these works, the young protagonist is identifiable to some extent as an alter ego of the 27 author.  The  exception  is Atsumono, whose.hero is said to be modelled 28  on a friend of Tanizaki's, the novel in such a way  but the author uses his own  experiences in  as to link it to the other works.  Except for "Itansha no kanashimi," these works fail to give an  ap-  propriate fictional form to the author's direct experience of everyday concerns.  Tanizaki is already a master of structure in his maiden work,  "Shisei," but when he approaches the different genre of the  shi-shosetsu.  he appears to be trying to reproduce reality, and cannot come to terms with the fact that life as it is does not have a structure.  The fact is  reflected in an extreme diffuseness of construction, an absence of focus in viewpoint that leaves the reader no clue as to how to grasp the material, as in Atsumono.  Since this work is incomplete,  it cannot perhaps  be judged fairly from the point of view of form, but the reader notices such defects as shifts from dialogue to description with almost no attempt to relate the two aspects of prose narrative. Is it odd that Tanizaki, to whom form was so important, composed such shapeless works?  should have  Perhaps not, in the context of the wider  tradition of autobiographical literature in Japan, in which architectural unity has never been a primary consideration.  On the other hand, the  use of the shi-shosetsu does not necessarily mean lack of attention to form; one has only to think of some of the short stories of Shiga Naoya to appreciate the fact.  It is unfortunate, then, that Tanizaki chose a very differ-  ent conception of the genre. If the shi-shosetsu is a projection of the self, it is to the detriment of the fiction that Tanizaki was most dissatisfied with himself as a young man.  The protagonists of these works are typically listless, bored, for-  ever fantasizing, and commonly afflicted with a fashionable nervous debility or neurasthenia  (shinkei-suijaku). This means that the fiction has  two major tendencies; either the stories are uneventful in the extreme, as rambles through an exceedingly ordinary life (e.g., Atsumono), or else —  the hero's emotions are hysterically exaggerated. example of the latter tendency. of concentration, important problems with longer forms.  "Kyofu"  29  is a good  This brief story at least has the virtue  in a period when the author has noticeable The "terror" of the title refers to a trait  shared by many of the early autobiographical heroes of Tanizaki:  they  H  suffer from Eisenbahnkrankheit  (the word appears textually in Roman  characters), or railroad phobia —  meaning simply that the neurotic heroes  have a dire fear of riding on trains.  It does not help reader-text rela-  tions that the hero of this story tells us his fear is ridiculous.  On  contrary, the reader is all the less inclined to sympathize.  same  The  the  malady afflicts the hero of "Akuma" and with the same result. In the context of the works discussed in Section A, the overdramatic expression suggests that in this period Tanizaki finds "reality," as in conventional fiction, unaccommodating to his passions, and on illusory worlds, or else on formal requirements to shape his extremely  unusual  such as the folktale,  impulses into art.  It will suffice to examine the sole shi-shosetsu work of any "Itansha no kanashimi." fictional substance  depends  value:  Its hero Shozaburo is endowed with greater  than the protagonists of the other works.  Tanizaki  is able to dissociate himself from this character to the extent of saying that the aspiring author Shozaburo, despite the squalor of his existence, has no wish to escape to a fairyland, for if he advances far enough socially he will be able to escape his environment. worries about being abnormal.  But as in the other stories he  In his relations with the members of his  family, moreover, he is a shi-shosetsu author/hero even scolds his dying sister O-Tomi.  at his petty worst; he  His anger at his uncouth father and  resentment of his authority inevitably evokes comparison with the father image of Shiga Naoya  in "Wakai" 4*  tion") but the struggle with him is not so fierce. very ambivalent;  #f  ("ReconciliaIn fact Shozaburo is  he knows he loses patience with his relatives precisely  because his ties with them are so strong.  For the characterization,  incidentally, it is remarkable that the portrayal of the mother does not fare much better than the father's.  Complaining  and  rough in manners  39 and  speech, as in "The  of the remote and of Tanizaki.  Affair of Two  Watches," she is the antithesis  beautiful maternal figure which readers consider  It is the distancing brought by the memory and  which is the genesis of such works as "Haha wo  typical  nostalgia  kouru k i , " so superior  to this one. The story.  negative self-portrait constitutes the "heretic" element of the  The  hero is lacking in kindness, charity, filial piety and  ings of friendship.  feel-  There is a movement in the story, however, from  that portrayal toward the death of the sister at the end;  Shozaburo  returns home after a drinking bout at a house of assignation, and this homecoming is symbolic of a return to the family and  to feeling.  At his  sister's deathbed he apologizes, however briefly, for his former spells of anger toward her.  The  story, then, does have a structure, given  the temporal framework of O-Tomi's decline and  by  death in the course of  which psychological evolution of a sort occurs. There is a variant ending, that of the original version.  By  omit-  ting it later the author showed great concern for form as affecting substance.  At first "Itansha" ended, after the death scene, with these  lines: About two months later, Shozaburo revealed an o r i ginal creation, a short story, to the literary world. His writing was totally unlike that of the Naturalist fiction fashionable at the time. His was a sweet, rich art, based on the strange nightmares fermenting in his mind (IV, 452). This is of course an excellent self-description of Tanizaki's best early fiction, but that is not the issue here.  The  1966-68 Chuo koronsha edi-  tion of Tanizaki's complete works includes these lines, but to do so, as i the editor and  critic Hashimoto Yoshiichiro points out, is to violate the  intent of the author according  to the edition of 1955  which Tanizaki  personally oversaw.  Thematically and  the greatest importance.  The  structurally the change is of  original ending would make the novella  into an art story, shifting the emphasis away from the inner drama of Shozaburo's conflicts with his family.  The art theme in this case is a  trivializing influence. If "Itansha" is the best of the autobiographical works, and  it is  the only one in which the author has tried to represent himself and his family, it may  be necessary  to modify to a slight degree the statement  previously made about Tanizaki's inability to deal fictionally with experience.  It succeeds to some extent because of its concern with formal  elements, and greater care with characterization than in the other shishosetsu writings. Even this story is, however, a minor product.  It may  be  cal that an author with so strong a sense of himself as Tanizaki unequal to the demands of the shi-shosetsu. his own  paradoxiwas  Or is it precisely because  ego is so well-defined that he cannot submit to a mode of writing  which, ultimately, forces the author to give himself up in a detailing of all the facts of his experience, and humbleness?  the revelation of the self in all its  To answer these questions would require a thorough exa-  mination of the shi-shosetsu in general, which is far beyond the scope of the present  C.  study.  Tales of detection, mystery and crime: Both the few prominent successes and  demands of genre the fumblings of the shi-  shosetsu are located principally in the first half of Tanizaki's early period.  In the latter half, Tanizaki appears to discard explicit auto-  biographical writing in favor of themes and forms more congenial to his storytelling genius.  Among these are about a dozen works which could  41 be loosely grouped  together as dealing with crime and mystery.  All  these works, like the exotic "escape" writings of Section A, represent a turning away from the world of outer experience in various ways.  For  one thing, some of them are detective stories, and the genre of the detective story calls for obedience to certain conventions, such as a firm plot and the timing of incidents to be revealed at just the right moment. Tanizaki, it is by now  obvious, needed conventions at this point in his  life to give shape to experience.  Secondly, the element of the sensa-  tional and the sense of the hidden appeals to his temperament. These writings are largely concentrated in the years 1918-1922 with the exception of a forerunner, "Himitsu" ?f'i£ %>  ("Secrets," 1911,  I, 247-270) and two later works, "Tomoda to Matsunaga no hanashi"  Ij^ii) I  O  and "Ninon ni okeru Kurippun-jiken" % 4 v U k'JH  409-493) ("A  ('!The story of Tomoda and Matsunaga," 1926 , X,  Crippen Casel in Japan,"  1927 , XI, 29-44).  "Himitsu" and  -» 7 V  f ff  "Tomoda"  contain no crime elements at all, though the plots centre on mysteries to be solved.  The mystery  and-Hyde character who  in "Tomoda" involves the identity; of a Jekyllsymbolizes an East-West polarity much on the  author's mind at that time.  The rest of the stories in question are all  primarily concerned with crime and some contain a predominant strain of detection. Individually, mostcof these works do not merit detailed analysis but as a group they have many features of positive relevance to Tanizaki's work as a whole, in contrast to a discussion of his shi-shosetsu which in the main have only a negative value. We  shall begin with an examination of the stories representing 31  "detective fiction" in its narrowest sense.  In a definition by Edogawa  Rampo, "detective fiction is literature which derives its chief interest  from the process whereby some baffling secret, usually related to crime, 32 is solved logically and by gradual steps."  Therefore, even the simplest  tale in this genre makes considerable technical demands on its teller. When Tanizaki follows the general requirements of the genre, it provides a framework which can help him to control his writing. "Hakuchu kigo" 1918,  fy%%J&  ("The Talk of Devils in Broad Daylight,"  V, 435-524) has an extremely strong element of detection, with the  hero Sonomura going so far as to call himself a Sherlock Holmes and his friend a Dr. Watson.  This amateur detective's tasks involve the cracking  of a code based on Edgar Allan Poe's "Cold-Bug."  The plot centers on  the revelation of the identities of a supposedly murdered man and his murderers.  Sonomura's excessively ingenious attempts at detection prove  to be valid only in part, for at the end we learn that there has been no murder at all.  A woman has staged the event in order to deceive and  attract the rich and leisured Sonomura.  The entire story consists of a  series of red herrings for the protagonist and his friend as well as for the reader. In the classic detective story, the plot moves relentlessly toward the unravelling of a mystery. compatible  This narrative procedure could not be more  with the author's already pronounced preference, as in  "Shisei," for directing his plots toward a forceful conclusion. example is perhaps "Tojo" i £ t  The best  ("While Walking," 1920, VII, 1-26).  The  story consists almost entirely of a dialogue between a detective and a company executive.  Through the former's questions as to the circum-  stances surrounding  the death of his companion's first wife, it is gradu-  ally disclosed that he murdered her. completely  The conduct of the narration is  assured, with nothing in excess and with rigorous pacing.  43  Rampo commented that this story was but Tanizaki was  unique in detective fiction  made uncomfortable by the praise, remarking that it  is indeed like a detective story, but that the use of the genre only constitutes the mask of the story.  The  real point, he says, is the indirect 33  portrayal of the pitiful destiny of the wife. statements in 1930,  when his phase of writing detective stories had  over for several years, one may at backtracking  Since Tanizaki makes these  and  legitimately wonder if this is an attempt  reinterpreting his own  work.  In the same essay, however, he expresses pride "Watakushi" -|A  ("The  Thief," 1921,  accomplishments to date. ing the innocent,  In his own  VII, 323-343J words:  "The  in his crime story  34  as one of his best  criminal himself, play-  speaks in the first person and at the end 35  he himself is guilty."  been  He expresses his preference  reveals that  for..natural develop-  ments, rejecting forms that tantalize the reader with excessively strange 36 incidents.  It is true that "Watakushi" is devoid of the imported  tive-story fripperies of "Hakuchu kigo,".with  detec-  its allusions to Poe and its  ostentatious use of Roman characters for one of the codes. less, he does take extreme care in deceiving the reader.  NevertheThe  "I" of  the story, a student suspected of theft in a dormitory, draws in the reader as he expresses his awareness of suspicion falling on him.  As  the situation worsens an innocent friend warns him that the proctors are watching him.  We  know that he could indeed be the criminal but  our doubts are somewhat allayed by the fact that we  are inside the  mind of the "I" narrator. "Watakushi" is not a story of detection and  thus belongs to the  other works in this group, the majority; these are rather stories of crime.  In "Ninon ni okeru Kurippun-jiken,"  after an essay-like  nn introduction dealing with the English wife-murderer Crippen, the author declares his intent to narrate the story not as a detective story, but to gather the facts of the case as it happened in Japan, and to arrange them.  But narrative shares the centre of interest with a fascination with  varieties of crime, and the states of mind that bring them about.  These  works, bearing the unmistakable imprint of Tanizaki's preoccupations, differ considerably from the work of other crime writers.  In "Kurippun,"  for example, the author points out that none of the..many contemporary newspaper accounts of the crime dwelt on the fact that it was the deed of a masochist, and the few essay-like pages at the beginning contain a lengthy explanation of the masochist. ("The  In "Yanagiyu no jiken"  Incident at the Yanagi Bathhouse,"  1918, VI, 111-138), a frame  story, the teller of the tale is an author gathering material for his work; the author also appears in the same persona in stories of detection as well.  In "Hakuchu kigo," though the principal interest lies in the re-  vealing of a mystery, both Sonomura and his Watson share traits common to Tanizaki heroes.  In both "Norowareta  gikyoku"  *hr>Mz)l%\lto ("The Accursed Play," 1919, VI, 271-328) and "Yanagiyu," the criminal protagonists suffer from the familiar neurasthenia of the heroes of the s h i shosetsu . Despite the presence of the author as himself, most of the crime stories show how it is possible to counter the pull of the deadly autobiographical tendency, how the author's singular preoccupations are channelled into fiction. Within the frame of "Yanagiyu no jiken" a wildly distraught young artist tells of his enthrallment to a powerful and hysterical woman.  After  a violent quarrel he wanders into the streets and ends by entering a bathhouse.  In the tub he feels a rubbery substance under his feet.  45  then.slithering movements like seaweed around his legs.  In his frenzied  state he imagines that he is treading on the corpse of his mistress.  The  passages dealing with the experience of the young man in the tub contain what is perhaps one of the clearest renderings of tactile sensation in the work of Tanizaki.  A s for the structure, the author indulges in no psycho-  logical digressions, so as not to dull the impact of the surprise ending. By contrast, the weakest of the works in this category, "Kin to Gin"  ("Gold and Silver," 1918, V, 337-433), which is basically  an art story, reflecting the early concerns of the author, is inflated with explorations of states of mind and with solemn expoundings on A r t . Somewhat peripheral to the core of crime stories is their forerunner, "Himitsu" (1911), one of Tanizaki's earliest works.  It offers significant  hints as to the sources of the writer's artistic drives.  "Himitsu" is not  built along a strong linear plot, but neither is it a rambling shi-shosetsu. It presents a series of variations on the motif of secrecy, which are graded in intensity.  The same method is to be used effectively later, as The " I " narrator has hidden him-  self away from the world near a Shingon temple.  Longing for a strange  mysterious world, he has fancies of ancient Babylonian and Assyrian legends, the stories of Conan Doyle, of tropical countries and the mischievous pranks of childhood.  His second secret is an urge to walk in public, dis-  guised as a woman, and when he carries out this wish, dull reality changes into a marvellous dream.  A woman fulfils his taste for mystery by having  him brought blindfolded in a carriage to her house, but once the mystery is solved —  she is just an ordinary widow —  the spell is broken, and  the hero must move on, no longer satisfied with anything so insignificant as secrets.  It is notable that the hero of "Himitsu" does not actually desire to commit a crime, and none occurs in the story, but he has an urge to i n hale its "fine and romantic perfume" (I, 257).  This points to an issue  much wider than the narrow generic category of detective stories. study of this group of works affords the reader some clues to an aspect of Tanizaki's sensibility.  A important  After 1927 no work is primarily a crime  story, but the crime theme crops up constantly in his works.  It is often  a factor in characterization, in many works showing attempts to suppress the dark side of personality. The novel which comes to mind at once is Kagi (1956); four people are simultaneously engaged in mutual deception, the stakes being the life of the hero.  The fictional world of Tanizaki is full of subterfuge,  manipulation and skulduggery. tricacy:  There is a corresponding technical i n -  Kagi and its somewhat crude; precursor Manji are the most  salient examples of tangled character relationships, but  innumerable  other works bear the marks of the crime or mystery theme: "Yoshino kuzu"  f ^ J^j  Bushuko" hiwa  ("/Yoshino Arrowroot," 1931) is basically a mystery; (1931) consists of secrets; "Ashikari" J 5 .  is a question of identity. and  "Yume no ukihashi" ^  (1932)  "Shunkinsho" contains many question marks, 2>  ('"The Bridge of Dreams,"  * t f e  1959) even contains a death which may  be the result of a murder.  It is  impossible, moreover, to enumerate the works built around the all-pervasive pattern of domination of one character by another, a domination that is willed by the supposed victim beginning with "Shisei" and reappearing constantly until Futen rojin nikki ; others amounts to psychic violence and This tendency  this manipulation of  crime.  even extends to the author-reader relationship,  as the reader often finds himself almost involuntarily giving himself up  in the face of authorial coercion.  The  nature of this coercion is peculiar  to Tanizaki; unlike the early Mishima, he does not leave the reader with the impression of having been duped by the author's cleverness.  On  the  contrary, he draws the reader into complicity with the fictional process. The essay  "In'ei raisan" f$  f |f | Pfc 7  ("In Praise of Shadows,"  37  1933,  XX,  515-557),  expressive of Tanizaki's esthetic of light and  shadow,  might seem an odd candidate for this category of works, but the shadows are a concretization of the sense of mystery, in the widest sense, that underlies some of Tanizaki's best work.  We  have already noted  change in lighting effects from "Shisei" to "Haha wo  the  kouru k i " and  how,  in the latter, the author's rendering of the dimness of a land of the imagination brings the reader into close communication with the narrator. Hence a study of detective, crime and touches on basic aspects on the writer.  mystery fiction in Tanizaki  All of them reflect the anti-  realistic view of the world which is at the base of his better fiction; some show a growing ability to withhold information that signifies a strong structural sense and, overall, an ability to make the authorial self into fiction. D.  Toward synthesis:  Chijin no ai and  Manji  The works just discussed represent a considerable narrative advance over the shi-shosetsu, in the general trend in the fiction of the period 1918-1927. Chijin no ai  Tanizaki's first two full-length novels of respectable quality, :)t«J\?>  (A Fool's Love, 1924-25, X,  1-302) and  fc  Manji  (The Whirlpool, 1928-30, XI, 393-569), situated near the end of the period, represent in different ways a movement toward reconciliation of the conflicting impulses in the artist: equal need to represent the actual.  the necessity to escape and  an  These two novels merit discussion in an entire section partly  be-  cause of their calibre and also because they share a quality lacking in almost all the preceding works.  A glance at a list of Tanizaki's fictional  works, if set in chronological order and  identified by genre, would revea  a predominance of the briefest short story forms in the early portion of his career, with a growing inclination to use longer forms like the novella and full-length novels in his two later phases.  The young Tani-  zaki appears to have some difficulty in manipulating the longer forms; in this period, before Chijin, the shortest are generally the most success ful.  Tanizaki's early full-length prose works, like Atsumono and Kojin  ^ ^ A k  (The Shark-Man, 1920, VII, 27-212) are excessively dif-  fuse; in fact these two novels are unfinished, as though the author  had  abandoned all attempt to control his material, or even lost interest in i t . In his second and  third periods Tanizaki is found to be at his best in  the long novella form, with the exception of Sasameyuki.  Here, in  Chijin no ai and Manji, he shows signs of an ability to pass the tests of narrative stamina. A treatment of the former novel may  legitimately be introduced  a glance at its precursor, the short story "Aoi nana"  by  "7J"*''*^C  38 ("Aguri,"  1922,  the mental and  VIII, 223-243).  This work is an attempt to convey  physical draining of one character by another, in a set-  ting outwardly unpromising for such a process:  a shopping expedition  in the foreign commercial quarter of Yokohama.  As the male protagonist  Okada deteriorates, his demanding mistress A g u r i flourishes.  Basically,  Okada's hysteria is only an extreme form of the familiar neurasthenia of the more explicitly shi-shosetsu stories, but an interplay nerves/body is worked out in a satisfying form.  The  story is plotless and  impressionistic but far from chaotic, for  it holds together through a sequence of motifs all relating to corporality. (1)  Okada perceives his own  body, formerly plump, now  wasted; (2)  Aguri's hands have a sculptural quality; (3) reference is made to clothing as something to hang on the body; (4) Okada thinks of Western clothes as binding around the human form; (5) Aguri is associated with a marble statue; (6) clothes are a second skin; (7) Aguri's body is perceived as a bulk through the tailor's flannel; (8) Okada sees her as a statue.  The  story ends with the "statue" smiling in a virtual apotheosi-  zation of the woman.  This is not, however, an art story; it is sheer  plasticity and corporality that count. The  narrative technique reflects the one-way relationship between  the two characters in at least two sections.  In one, the narrator imagines  what his companion must be thinking and her thoughts are through his:,mind.  Then, in a fantasy the weakened Okada imagines he  is dying on the street, and him dead.  expressed  reproduces  her supposed reactions on seeing  The author makes this story a narrative improvement over  the shi-shosetsu by  replacing sluggish interior monologue by the doubling  of viewpoints, even though one of them is of course imagined by the main character. One  notable detail in the diction is the use of foreign words in  Roman characters, an affectation that plagues the earliest autobiographical writing.  This time their use has an appropriate function in the work,  as they are employed to reproduce the signs on the Yokohama shops. Besides having an exotic visual value they convey, because they are seen through the eyes of Okada, the infatuation of the principal character with the West.  Chijin no ai deals with a similar theme but in the ample form of the novel:  the gradual and inevitable destruction of a man's will through  session for a woman.  So far it is the best extended  ob-  example of Tanizaki  beginning to harmonize the mundane with his escapist drive. In its most superficial aspects the novel reads as conventionally realistic.  The  setting is decidedly contemporary; the text locates it in  the Taisho period.  Joji, the protagonist and first-person narrator is  an engineer with an electrical company and Naomi is a young waitress whom he undertakes  to educate in the ways of the West.  moreover, abounds with topical allusions.  The novel,  Not coincidentally, Tanizaki  focusses on the aspect of the period which is the most appealing to him: exoticism, meaning a fascination with all things Western.  Naomi in name  and in physique is far more Western than Japanese; there are constant references to foreign movies and their stars (Naomi is compared to Mary Pickford), to Western clothes, to dance halls. acal insistence on modernity,  ism.  There is an almost mani-  equated with imported ways.  The  real significance of this type of exoticism is the pull of ideal-  The  Tanizaki hero of this period and also of the later ones adores  Western movie actresses literally; they-are the. objects of his need to worship women, which does not find a convenient outlet in traditional Japanese culture.  Idealism as a flight from the actual is evident in the early  chapters especially, when Joji young and  reflects on his first idyllic days with the  innocent heroine, in a fairytale world, when their relationship  was  like the play of children.  Joji  and Naomi move into their "fairytale house" (Otogibanashi no ie,  a recurrent phrase as in X,  The other-world motif is continued as  21), where he goes to the extent of getting  down on all fours to give her a horseback  ride.  51  Joji's planned Westernization.of Naomi results in success, with a gradual inversion of roles.  The wilfulness^ of his creation reaches the  point where she gains the upper hand, and from here it is a question of Joji's enslavement to her.  In the end he has become an acquiescent  object. The plot tracing this simple but dynamic parallel development is riot remarkably  constructed, but the course of Joji's growing obsession  is clearly signalled at intervals by several different methods.  One is  the use of the narrative viewpoint of Joji, who looks back on the events of his life with Naomi.  At various points in the novel the narrator appeals  to the reader directly, as in the opening sentence of Chapter V, where he says that "the perceptive reader has no doubt already guessed  from  the content of the preceding episode that our relationship had gone beyond friendship" (X, 37).  The statement, no doubt reflecting the original  serialized form of the novel, shows the author striving to unify this work.  The recurring appeals to the reader create a distancing effect  which contrasts with the intensity of the emotional content of the story, and even helps to establish i t . retrospective viewpoint appears.  In Chapter VI another advantage of the In connection with his desire to make  Naomi into a splendid treasure, Joji  comments, "Now  to it, this was a folly, but..." (X, 48).  that I think back  For the narrator this is hind-  sight but for the reader who is ignorant of the outcome a sense of foreboding is created. Unity is also aided by the reappearance  of one significant situation:  the horseback-riding game in different contexts to symbolize shifts in the relationship of the two. Joji  Early in the novel during the fairyland phase,  urges Naomi, still childlike, to ride on his back.  the novel, during a lull when Naomi is behaving  At midpoint in  with relative discretion,  52 a horseback ride recurs to point back to their earlier life, but near the end,  Joji's total acceptance of humiliation at Naomi's hands is marked when  he pleads with her to ride on him.  (It is important to observe here that  when he makes his demand he sees a momentary fear in her eyes at the frenzy of his insistence, so that Joji  and other Tanizaki masochists are  not totally spineless; they will their own fate.) A third technique employed to give the work coherence is the use of graded figurative language, especially metaphors and similes. The content and expression of these figures have a strongly Western flavor. In his later writing Tanizaki tends to abandon their use, but in Chijin no ai.ithey play an prominent role.  Nearly all of them deal with Naomi.  First of all, their function in the text is decorative,, appropriately enough for a very materialistic heroine avid for all manner of adornments. They are also graded in intensity to accompany the development of Joji's obsession with her.  If they were isolated from the narrative,  the course of the protagonists' relationship with each other would still be evident.  A t first the author conveys her innocence in the images of  life in their fairytale house, when Joji  compares her movements in their  childish games to the scurrying motions of mice, or when he sees her training like the care of a small caged bird (X, 25).  Very soon a de-  velopment takes place; there is an accumulation of figures as Naomi is compared to a flower put into various vases (the reference is to clothing); she also becomes a marvellous doll and, The  eventually, an ornament (X, 47).  last image points out Tanizaki's conception of woman as an object  of worship, with the emphasis on "object," which again supports the notion that the male characters in Tanizaki, forever in thrall to their women, are actually far less passive than they appear.  Naomi's and  Joji's respective attitudes to their relationship are conveyed with singular force in a pair of similes several chapters later. face absurdly  pedestrian:  The first is on the sur-  Naomi's red lips pressing again and again on  Joji's face are likened to the red seals affixed in rapid succession to the mail by a busy postal worker.  There proves to be a reason for the con-  notations of the simile, for it is at once followed by another figure of speech referring to its effect on Joji.  He receives the "stamping" (which  has something in common with the delight felt by other heroes in being trampled by their women) as if countless camellia petals were raining on his face in a dream.  Not until the end of the second comparison does  the reader fully realize that the first implies Naomi's callous, impersonal view of Joji, and that it therefore stands as an antithesis to the second, which is conventionally lyrical and expressive of the hero's rapture (X, 97). The  figures of speech for Naomi grow progressively more forceful.  In sharp contrast to the innocuous bird and mouse of Chapter III, she becomes a wild animal (X, 117) and a powerful liquor which Joji cannot help drinking (X, 221). These images are unremarkable in themselves, but more significant is a comparison which again reveals much about the hero'-s objectivization of woman.  Joji  is looking through his diary in  which he has pasted photographs he once took of various parts of Naomi's body.  This was to treat her, he comments, exactly like a Greek statue  or an image of a Buddha in Nara.  "At this point Naomi's body became  almost completely a work of art and to my eyes it seemed more perfect than a Buddha statue.  A s I gazed at it, I even felt a strong religious  emotion welling up within me" (X, 225).  It is significant that Joji has  not been gazing at the actual Naomi in order to receive this He has first turned  impression.  the woman into a set of photographs, and then he  has exalted her as an art object.  Esthetic imagery with religious overtones  54 are to reappear with the greatest force in Futen rojin nikki ..and will be discussed in the section devoted to this late novel. Naomi thus objectivized now beauty (X, 266), then her new  becomes a spirit with a certain ideal  style is compared to the effect of pure  music (X, 267), to a marble Venus (X, 290) and ultimately, before the final step in Joji's capitulation, she is an evil spirit (X, 282).  The per-  mutations in the imagery for Naomi thus indicate the many stages in the perception;.6f the heroine throughout the narrative. Chijin no ai is not a fully realized work.  The author is still in  the process of struggling with the basic problems of rendering his own peculiar sensibility into fiction.  How  is he, for example, to express  emotions far out of the ordinary without lapsing into melodramatic banality? He often succeeds in this novel, but there are lapses, such as the i n sipidly sensational turn of phrase:  "For me,  whose eyes were blinded  with infatuation for her..." (X, 48) and, even worse, an extended comparison of himself to Mark Anthopyi (X,.,6.1).  The self-aggrandizing  tendency frequently emerges in the early works, but Tanizaki is later to pare away this element. A second technical problem which had before plagued Tanizaki's lengthier attempts at fiction is on the way  to being solved.  Chijin no ai  is relatively free of the superfluities marring many of the earlier novels. The author aims the plot in a single direction without arresting its movement by redundant self-analyses, as in the shi-shosetsu,.  For though the  narrator is an " I " and many basic drives of the author are surely present, Chijin  is indisputably a work of fiction. The second successful novel of this period, Manji, is a pivotal  work.  It was composed and published at approximately the same time  as Tade kuu mushi (1928-29), Tanizaki's first masterpiece in the longer  55  forms of fiction.  Manji is more profitably categorized with the works of  the writer's first period because it is conspicuously different from Tade kuu mushi, showing the narrative artist just before the stage of full maturity. If Chijin no ai is an example of an author beginning to settle comfortably into the novel form, Manji is the outstanding example in the early period of the author's mastery of technique; it is a virtuoso display of plot and character control.  The narrative line is so exceedingly complex  that it appears to exist for its own sake. in all its twists and turns. title fxj|  It cannot be summarized briefly  One can only begin by explaining the unusual  , a character with multiple significance.  In its primary  this is the Buddhist swastika signifying "perfection of virtue."  sense Buddhist  motifs do occur in the novel, but they operate on a level more esthetic than spiritual.  The initial impetus of the plot is in fact a portrait of  Kannon executed by the narrator, Sonoko, and the principal action of the plot ends with Buddhist symbolism. graphic symbolism of the swastika. the novel's four characters:  But far more important is the  Each of its arms stands for one of  Sonoko, Mitsuko with whom she falls in love,  Sonoko's husband, and Watanuki, Mitsuko's lover. each revelation of previously unsuspected  A s the plot unfolds,  relationships, each discovery  of a deceit, causes the wheel to move into a spin that blurs the significance of the situation that precedediu't. If we can extract a central theme from this dizzying plot and arrangement of characters, it is that of artifice turning into reality.  Sonoko, for  example, falls in love with Mitsuko through a conspiracy carefully staged by Mitsuko herself.  T h e first quarter of the novel, based on a triangle  formed by the two women and Sonoko's husband, concerns a rumor coming  56 true:  that of an affair between Mitsuko and  plot builds on a series of revelations. Watanuki-Sonoko-Mitsuko.  The  Sonoko.  A new  From here the  triangle comes into play:  respective positions of deceivers and  dupes  shift so dramatically that at one point Sonoko declares the truth cannot be known.  At the end,  Mitsuko, Sonoko and  the latter's husband, whose  relationship with Mitsuko has recently come to light, make a suicide pact. In front of the Kannon portrait theyi lie down with Mitsuko in the centre, forming a Buddhist triad with a central image (honzon) and bodhisattvas  two  attendant  (wakibotoke).  In the ordering of plot elements Tanizaki demonstrates a sense of narrative pace like that of an experienced detective story writer. brings hidden motives and moment.  relationships into view at precisely the right  There is also a method of structuring which by now  of no surprise to the student of his work.  The  recalls the portrait of Kannon at the beginning. this technique repeatedly suspect that it was written and  He  should  be  Kannon triad at the If Tanizaki had  end  not used  in the shortest of his stories, the reader might  a crude device used by a writer of lengthy  novels  published in instalments, but this writer seems to take natur-  ally to the method, in order to define the body of a given work. Manji is also noteworthy for i.ts experimental style.  The  author  takes the persona of an Osaka woman, Sonoko, speaking in her own lect.  dia-  Tanizaki has used conversational forms before, but Manji is the  only work written entirely in the speech of a woman until his last work of fiction, "Oshaberi" ^- I  A." '} ("Chatter," 1964).  The  fact that all  the works in the conversational mode range from the moderately to the very successful cannot be explained by their common use of the form, but it does suggest a degree of authorial detachment necessitated  by  57  form which aids in the creation of f i c t i o n . Tanizaki's handling of this conversational style makes the result an important precursor of the fully-developed prose manner of his second period commonly recognized as unique to this w r i t e r .  This is a r i c h ,  flowing style already present in "Haha wo kouru k i " (1919) but e x c e p tional in this f i r s t p e r i o d .  L a t e r , with " A s h i k a r i " and " S h u n k i n s h o , "  the style becomes t y p i c a l .  The ample sentence structure permits the  assimilation of divergent aspects of prose to each other: scription and even conversation. speech into n a r r a t i o n .  narration, de-  Here, in Manji, Tanizaki incorporates  The novel falls into c h a p t e r s , almost entirely  lacking in paragraph d i v i s i o n s .  The result is not a series of impene-'  trable c h u n k s of p r o s e , for the long and complex sentences are never u n clear.  Tanizaki in this novel proves he has learned a technique which  he will use to perfection in " A s h i k a r i ! and " S h u n k i n s h o . " 1  The effect in  Manji is v e r y different from that of the latter, for here the b l u r r i n g is applied to turns of plot, revelations of motive which steal upon the reader almost imperceptibly; he is absorbed into the englobing rhythm of the Osaka woman's speech. Here is what the author had to say about the use of this narrative technique in Manji: I chose that form from the method of writing of George Moore after Heloise and A b e l a r d and from classical J a p a n ese novels from the Genji Monogatari onwards. In the famous discussion on women in the " H a h a k i g i " chapter of the Genji, it is difficult to distinguish conversation from narration and to tell where a speech b e g i n s , and whose it i s , but that method b r i n g s out the essence of Japanese beauty. With that concern in mind I took pains with the relation between narration and conversation. Nevertheless I thought of the reader's convenience and* left in the quotation marks, but in " A s h i k a r i " I omitted them. 3 9  If the text gives off a visual effect  of density, it also has an auditory  value, for the reader as in the best of Tanizaki's works, finds himself also a listener.  Thus he participates with the sensei whom Sonoko is  addressing directly.  The sensei is not a completely passive listener.  Identified in Sonoko's narration as a novelist, he appears as himself parenthetically in an "Author's Note" in order to present his impressions of Sonoko, whom he rapidly identifies as a widow and about whom he makes some guesses as to status and character (XI, 400). The author's momentary entrances into the text is one of several methods of varying the narration to ward off monotony.  Others include  the use of letters (XI, 425-28) and a contract drawn up by Watanuki binding him to Sonoko as brother to sister which is introduced by another "Author's Note" (XI, 495-96).  In particular, the brief authorial appear-  ances constitute the germ of the technique of shifting perspectives which Tanizaki will bring to full realization in Shunkinsho. Though the reader is inclined to give the benefit of the doubt to the author in the many cases of implausibility in Manji because of the skill in technique which englobes him, he is at the end somewhat dissatisfied with the total effect of the novel.  It is perhaps inappropriate to com-  pare it to Chijin no a i , a novel so different in conception and methods, but these are the first two of Tanizaki's better novels, and they afford the opportunity of defining what is lacking in one by the qualities of the other.  Chijin, for all its obvious crudity, probably gives more plea-  sure to the reader than the formally more refined Manji.  For the ultimate  emotional impact of Manji does not equal its technical interest.  The  reader marvels at the novelist's skill in manipulating the characters rather than being drawn to the characters themselves and their fates.  T h e re-  action is almost the opposite of that which he experiences on reading the  far simpler Chijin no ai.  In Manji the author has not arrived at harmony  in evoking emotion by means of great technical subtlety, but the process is taking place simultaneously with Manji, as Tade kuu written.  Eachcof these works typifies its own  Tanizaki as a storyteller of talent, Tade kuu  period.  mushi is being If Manji shows  mushi proves that he is a  supreme narrative artist. The works examined in this chapter are more than precursors of Tanizaki's best writing in the area of technique. divided outlook on experience.  They reflect Tanizaki's  Especially in the earliest years, the  superior fiction is the product of an imagination insisting on refuge in realms distant in time and place, while the less successful shows the author's attempts at a more representational mode of writing.  Dichotomy,  already in the process of resolution in the later stages of the first period, as in Chijin no ai, will yield to harmony in the second. of the works of the early period shows how  Study  extreme the split was.  The  phenomenon suggests a basis for interpreting later works, especially those of the second period, such as Tade kuu The  mushi and Sasameyuki.  reader will perceive that these novels are less than models of re-  presentational fiction, for the idealizing tendency lurks below the surface.  of the author always  C H A P T E R II F U L L jyiATURITY : FROM T A D E KUU MUSHI TO SHOSHO SHIGEMOTO NO HAHA, 1928-1950  Despite the thematic consistency which marks Tanizaki's writings from beginning to end of his career, his works show an astounding qualitative development starting with Tade kuu  mushi  J^L1*^ ?  &  (Some Prefer Nettles, 1928-29).  From this point his fictional production  consists primarily of successes.  The second period, where most of his  major achievements  are located, offers such a contrast with the first  phase that speculation on the possible reasons is inevitable.  The  causes  usually adduced are extra-literary, such as the author's move from his native Tokyo to the Kansai area after the great earthquake of 1923, which would signify a return to Japanese tradition, and his marriage to Nezu Matsuko, whom he himself credits with influencing several of his 40 best works.  Even if these factors have some connection with Tanizaki's  choice of subject matter, they do nothing to explain the enormous advances he made in the art of fiction.  Perhaps no critic will ever account  for the change, for the answer lies in the realm of the inexplicable:  the  origins of artistic inspiration. To place the major works of this period in the context of Tanizaki's other writings, fiction in the totality of his work begins to assume a minority position starting from the second period. works between 1928 and  Only some seventeen  1950 are unquestionably fictional, and there is  a corresponding upsurge in non-fiction.  Before this period Tanizaki  wrote little besides short stories, novellas, and dramas, the only notable work of non-fiction being an essay published in 1927, "Jozetsuroku" /  $L"£$f«  (  "  A  R  e  c  o  r  d  o f  Loquacity," XX,  69-166).  In the second  61 period, besides one drama and one meager collection of verse, Tanizaki published autobiographical reminiscences and journals, and two of his best-known non-fictional works, "In'ei raisan" ("In Praise of Shadows," 1933) and Bunsho dokuhon  j ^ f r ' t ^  (A Style Reader, 1934,  XXI,  41 87-246), each expressive of different facets of his esthetic. Fiction and non-fiction contrast sharply with each other in this period.  The lack of works with an overt shi-shosetsu quality points to  a dissociation of the self from fiction. essays or prefaces to his own  Correspondingly, many of the  works, particularly Bunsho dokuhon, show  an assertion of the author's individual values in literature, and the maturing of the conscious artist he has been since "Shisei."  This pro-  cess actually begins in the late twenties with Tanizaki's debate with Akutagawa Ryunosuke, who  disputed Tanizaki's emphasis on the value  of plots in fiction. The development of Tanizaki as a narrative artist emerges in this second period in many aspects of his work.  Most importantly, when the  author appears as a narrator, he fictionalizes himself in an entirely satisfactory manner, to resolve the problem of the author-narrator relationship which troubled him earlier, especially in the shi-shosetsu.  His  grasp of fictional modes and styles is firm; gone are the pyrotechnics of plotting as in Manji, the extravagances of the first stories with their splendidly descriptive patches and their gilded Sino-Japanese gone too are the hysterical declamatory  passages as in Chijin no ai, the  conspicuous imagery, and the foreign words in Roman type. also breaks out of his confinement  terms;  Tanizaki  within the limits of the short story to  reach a high level of success in the novella and the novel.  But if the  early tightness has disappeared, the writing is no less controlled. author forges a new  style, unique in its suppleness and fluidity, as  The  heralded by  "Haha wo  kouru k i " (1919).  For all these changes,  aspect of the relationship between the author and the same:  one  his material remains  Tanizaki is still infatuated with worlds not of this world, and  the coexistence of the ideal with the circumstantially "real" is what gives life to some of the best writing of this phase. The  works belonging  to this period will not be discussed in strict  chronological order but in groups, by affinity of themes and authorial viewpoint, since it is not possible to trace a steady evolutionary The follows.  arguments for the definition of the second period are as A case could be made for Manji as belonging  dates of publication (March 1928-April kuu  pattern.  mushi (December 1928-June 1929).  if only by nine months, and  1930)  to it, since its  overlap with those of Tade  It does precede Tade, however,  its quality places it with the early works.  No one would deny that Tade is Tanizaki's first major work; indeed, Tanizaki writing in 1948 after Manji. <?> ^  says there has been no basic change in his works  For the cut-off point, Shosho Shigemoto no haha  (The Mother of Captain  Shigemoto, 1949-50) has been selected  because it clearly belongs to the second period if only by the use of traditional literary and  historical sources, and  the works of the third and material. and  A.  is thus distinguished from  final phase, when Tanizaki abandons historical  It is also related to the works of the early thirties in theme  treatment.  The  triumph of anti-realism  As evident from the works discussed in Chapter I, Tanizaki is artistically liberated when he departs from the representation of his immediate environment.  Most of the fictional works of this period, based on  "material from the Japanese past, shows Tanizaki's narrative art at its highest point. The first six of the seven works to be examined in this section were :tne.jyears^ 1930—33, .and^divide themselves naturally in two groups:  mums in Disarray, (A  ffi)(A  Rangiku monogatari ~j?L 1930,  Blind Man's Tale,  XII,  1931,  215-557),  XIII,  Momoku monogatari fc] #5)  55-158)  and Bushuko hiwa  (The Secret History of the Lord of Musashi, the  novellas "Yoshino kuzu" $ f f  XIII,  "Ashikari"  1-54),  "Shunkinsho"  j^H^tf  f)  1931,  1932,  ("The Story of Shunkin,"  The last work, Shosho Shigemoto  no haha  XIII,  j^ii] 181-341);  then  ("Yoshino Arrowroot," 1 9 3 1 ,  ("Ashikari,"  *'J  Tale of Chrysanthe-  (XVI,  XIII,  1933,  153-282)  441-491)  XIII,  and  493-555).  will be discussed  as in a class slightly apart from the others. The first three novels, all set in the sixteenth century siderably from each other in conception and narrative method.  differ conBushuko  hiwa is particularly distinctive because of its mock-heroic, comico-grotesque aspects, but must be considered with the two others because it is a reflection —  though inverted —  of certain attitudes apparent in them.  Rangiku monogatari is a novel intended for popular consumption. Its sheer entertainment value is sufficient cause for regret that the author abandoned it after Part I.  In the Preface, Tanizaki explains his  reasons for choosing the background of the tenth, eleventh and twelfth Ashikaga shoguns era  (terminal date 1546) for his work.  First of all, the  being of traditionally minor interest to most Japanese, it contains  few major personalities or great incidents, thus affording scope for an author's imagination.  He also expresses some reserve about treating  well-known episodes from history or about changing it, and for these reasons, too, he has selected the Chugoku region, avoiding concentration  on political centres like Kyoto or Kamakura. Tanizaki's reluctance to choose well-known subject matter is generally supported by an overview of the material of his subsequent works with traditional material, although he does portray Oda Toyotomi Hideyoshi  in Momoku monogatari and  Nobunaga  and  in Shosho Shigemoto no  haha he draws on accounts of actual Heian personalities including Sugawara no Michizane.  The  tendency to avoid reworking of old material  also extends to Tanizaki's approach;: to literature. "Ashikari" and  With the exception  portions of Shosho Shigemoto no haha, Tanizaki does not  often draw on! literary tradition for his own  purposes in the sense that  Mishima often does, for example in Kindai nogakushu: (Modern No  of  Plays).  r\t.^f' <f*  It might be objected that Tanizaki does bring the  otogizoshi "Sannin hoshi"  £*f ("The .Thcee. Priests") up to date  in a work of the same title published in 1929, free translation and  but in reality this is a  not a recasting with individual literary values.  In  a preface, Tanizaki states that he adhered as closely as possible to the original text, while improving on the clumsy tentative style (XII,  189).  In Rangiku monogatari the freshness of the subject, matter is at least equalled by the treatment. cidents and  Its inventiveness; in the creation of i n -  situations fulfils a minimal requirement for the author of a  long novel with popular appeal, but Tanizaki does far more than satisfy this primal need on the part of the reader; he informs the whole with a schema assuring clarity.  It is possible to talk about the "whole," even  though Rangiku is unfinished, for its components are arranged in a pattern. The "Hottan"  theme is that of quest, on several levels.  ^Sift)  The  ("Origins"), has a self-contained value.  first  chapter,  It tells of  65 a double quest;  Kagero, a famous courtesan, sends a Chinese merchant  on a search for a precious mosquito netting, and the prize will be Kagero herself.  The rarity of the treasure and the difficulty of obtain-  ing it at once recall the stories of the suitors in Taketori monogatari (The Bamboo-cutter's  Tale), but as a concession no  doubt to the wide audience the ancient tale is mentioned  in the text.  The chapter ends with the Chinese merchant vessel sunk by an encounter with a phantom vessel in the Inland Sea; the golden box holding the treasure sinks with i t . The next chapter suddenly shifts to an entirely different story with different plot and characters. quest:  Two  country samurai are on another  each has been sent to the capital in search of a suitably elegant  mistress for his lord. for we are now  The third chapter also marks a distinct change,  on a pirate island, but the various plot elements here  begin to fall into place.  The pirate chief is aiming at possession of the  golden box, and we learn that a festival is to take place in the port town of Muro where Kagero lives and where her suitors are to appear for the occasion.  Another shift follows, this time to a rather unsavory magician-  priest, Cennami, who  demonstrates his arts in the capital.  return to the older of the two samurai, Shoemon his attempts to meet a lady who  may  /  Next,  we  and his adventures in  meet his master's requirements, then  to the festival in Muro at which fantastic events take place. In his earlier attempts at handling more than a limited number of characters, incidents or actions (e.g., Kojin), the author has many problems, especially with exposition, but here the narrative methods clearly facilitate understanding. with new later.  A simple method of presenting situations, even  characters, is to give the dialogue first and identify the speaker  In a variation of the delaying technique, the author may  start  from a distance in a description and then bring the focus closer, so that a visual and emotional impact is made, and the characters, at least as shapes, are impressed on the reader's mind before the situation is explained.  For example, in the third chapter, a woman is standing on  an island cliff, gazing out over the sea; then a hand comes into view. It signals; a man makes his way over the water to meet her.  Not until  later do we learn that these two characters belong to the pirate band and that the man has been looking for the treasure box. By far the best example of delayed explanation is the episode of the lady of high birth whom the samurai Shoemon wishes to view so that he may be assured of her beauty before taking her back to his master in the provinces.  Like a mysterious Heian lady, she lives in a lonely,  decaying residence.  After Shoemon gives presents of money to her  greedy nurse, he is allowed to glimpse her in a dark room, but all he can see is a blurred face giving him an eerie sensation.  The lady's  attendants then show him a finely crafted lacquer box holding her excreta which give off the odor of perfume.  A t length he manages to view her,  though dimly, through a steamy vapor, as she takes her bath.  The  scene is heavy with allusion; the steam evokes a spring mist through which Mount Fuji is perceptible.  The situation is paralleled with that of  the fisherman Hakuryo meeting a heavenly maiden on the beach at Miho, as in the No play Hagoromo ^]>| ^  (The Robe of Feathers).  At: last  the samurai discovers that the lady has been hidden away or perceived in darkness for a good reason:  her face is covered with pockmarks and  her heavy hair is a wig covering a completely bald pate.  She and her  attendants turn out to be a band of confidence tricksters who have plotted every act in detail to deceive and rob her many unsuspecting  67  suitors.  The  has conducted  reader, too, has been deceived, all the more as the author the narration from the viewpoint of the samurai who  is en-  raptured by the aura surrounding the lady, and the revelation of the swindle at the end creates a surprise effect like that of the disclosures in the final pages of a detective story. Perhaps this bathetic ending scarcely merits extensive discussion, but this episode and other comic elements in the plot and characterization, such as the clownish figure of Gennami, constitute a departure for Tanizaki.  The works examined in the previous chapter are devoid of  comedy, except the unintentional sort sometimes excited by the s h i shosetsu heroes.  The comic aspects of this novel may  with those of Bushuko hiwa and  be associated  "Neko to Shozo to futari no onna"  ( 3 6 ) , both of this second period, and 19  their  existence accompanies a growing detachment of the author from his  ma-  terial . Another development for Tanizaki is marked by a passage concerning the pirate; island lejima.  The third section of Chapter III begins  with two waka, one by Fujiwara no letaka and the other by Sugawara no Michizane, both alluding to the island.  The prose passage following the  poems is an essay on lejima as an inspiration for poetry.  There follows  a return to the author's present, in comments on large modern ships unable to pass through the waters around the island (XII, 299-300).  This  passage represents one of Tanizaki's first uses of the essay or commentary manner in fiction, which is to assume considerable importance kari."  The  in "Ashi-  result is to create a density in the text appropriate to the  faraway atmosphere, all the more so as the author makes us aware that he is writing in the present.  The author of a popular novel, however, cannot make too extensive a use of the method.  The attraction of Rangiku monogatari lies in  the conduct of the plot, and the fact affirms certain theoretical  statements  made in the course of Tanizaki's literary debate with Akutagawa three years earlier, in 1927. In Jozetsuroku .he iinsists on the importance of the plot in fiction, and opposes the "rules" about literature implicit in the tendency literature.  of the critics to praise what he sees as cheap confessional Tanizaki states that the novel (or short story or novella,  since the term used is shosetsu) is by nature an interesting story to tell to the general public, and complains about the Japanese literary world equating "popular" literature with "low" (XX, 107).  Furthermore,  in July, 1930, while Rangiku was being serialized, Tanizaki published a brief essay, "Taishu bungaku no ryuko ni t s u i t e , " ^ . T ^ ''<\,*J °"  t-  ("On the Vogue for Popular Literature," XXII, 289-292), claiming that the novel with wide general appeal is in the line of pure Japanese literature, that of Chikamatsu, Saikaku and Bakin, and that the confessional and psychological novels are not (XXII, 290). Thus the author is confirming tendencies already observable in the writings of his first period.  It is clear that his literary temper did not  incline him to the shi-shosetsu and the psychological novel.  And al-  though the achievements of his first period, like " K i r i n , " may not in appearance be "popular," the care he took to form some of his stories leaps to the eye, even in the cases, as in "Aoi nana" where plot interest is nonexistent or secondary,  so that in the sense that he is thereby con-  siderate of the reader, he is accessible to a far wider audience than he would have been by following the principles of contemporary men of letters.  A work which would satisfy esthetic canons far stricter than for  —  44  Rangiku is Momoku monogatari,  though its historical setting, the period  of the civil wars of the sixteenth century, has long been material for popular  treatment.  Despite Tanizaki's earlier expressed reluctance to use well-known aspects of history he places both Oda in the tale as important secondary  Nobunaga and Toyotomi Hideyoshi  characters.  The center of interest is  Lady Oichi, Nobunaga's younger sister, and her individual destiny in a period of violent civil disorder.  The action of the novel is largely that  of the times, pictured as a series of continually shifting military and familial alliances, of treacheries, brutalities, rises and declines in power —  all overlaid by a sense of the passing of time —  the death of Lady Oichi.  and culminating in  Unsurprisingly for an historical novel, private  tragedy is identified with public turmoil. Tanizaki shapes the considerable mass of material partly by the use of a limited viewpoint, that of the narrator who  looks back on his period  of service with Lady Oichi, in the position of a masseur and  musician.  The outlook on public events is simplified, for many of the facts are known to the man  of higher status whom the old masseur is addressing  some years after the death of Lady Oichi.  A more important factor is  the blind man's devotion to the lady, so that all events are seen in relation to their effect on her. The narration is organized along chronological lines but with an emphasis on the cyclical nature of situations and events. ever aware of the passing of time. take place between 1559 and  The  reader is  The, principal events of the novel  1583; the old man  identifies happenings not  only by year and month, but sometimes by time of day.  In the first  crisis befalling Lady Oichi, her brother Nobunaga is besieging Odani  70 castle, held by her husband Nagamasa. prepares to commit suicide and  Nagamasa in the face of defeat  sends his wife and daughters to Nobunaga,  despite her pleas to let her follow him into death.  There follows a long  period of seclusion of nine years for Lady Oichi, as exactly noted by narrator, after which she remarries.  Starting from the new  the  conjugal  situation the reader has a sense of a cycle repeating itself, for the second husband, Shibata Katsuie, is as benevolent and honourable as the first. Like Nagamasa, he finds himself besieged cannot trust; to Lady Oichi.  in his castle by an enemy he  this time it is Hideyoshi, who  has been strongly attracted  Again the husband plans to commit suicide and tries to  dissuade his wife from doing the same.  In the climactic scene of the novel  the narrator plans to save her life, if only to hand her over to Hideyoshi, but his efforts end in failure, for Lady Oichi dies with her husband. The cyclical movement of the novel does not end of Lady Oichi survives in the form of her daughters, who  goes to live with Hideyoshi.  her resemblance to Lady Oichi.  here.  The  ideal  particularly Ochacha,  His attraction to her is explained by Hence the final pages in which the nar-  rator explains the fate of the lady's children do not merely indicate that the author; is tidying up loose plot threads.  There is even an allusion  to Ochacha herself brought to suicide after the death of Hideyoshi; cycle upon cycle has been established in the novel.  The  process  thus may  appear, not so much the result of deliberate structuring as a perfectly natural one in the context of civil disturbances bringing about revolutions in human fortunes, but a pattern in the structure undeniably exists.  This deceptively unstudied effect is one aspect of Tanizaki's  manner in this period, distinguishing it from the self-consciously crafted works of the first phase.  71  Another apparently natural element in the novel is the use of song lyrics at various points in the narration.  They increase in affective i n -  tensity along with their importance to the narrative.  Yaichi, the blind  masseur, also has the function of entertainer, as a singer and player.  samisen  At first song appears in the form of innocuous verses to popular  tunes which Yaichi sings to Lady Oichi's small daughter (XIII, 62-63), or the lyrics to a song accompanying a comic dance he performs before his master and  mistress (XIII, 69-70).  At this point the reader sees  only that the short verses have a double appeal, visual as well as auditory, for they provide breaks in the long and often complex paragraphs. Gradually the song interludes take on a stronger affective value. Verse next appears in the form of love songs sung by Yaichi to the women of the castle, and 96-98).  It is now  in which Lady Oichi takes great interest (XIII,  clear that by using Yaichi in the role of an artist  the author is able to suggest the intensity of the blind man's love for Lady Oichi which as a lowly servant he can.otherwise express only in terms of feudal devotion, and of which in fact he is only half conscious himself. Maybe the words of these songs touched some hidden feelings of mine... . Anyway, whenever I sang them, pouring out my heart, I felt a mysterious strength within me and found myself elaborating on the melody, singing in a warmer, more passionate tone of voice (XIII, 98). **5 Finally, in the banquet scene in the besieged  castle just before  the climax, the use of verse functions on various levels.  It first appears  in a spirited song heard by the party from a distant tower, implying gaiety in the face of imminent defeat (XIII, 133). but he sings a passage from  Lord Katsuie approves. which evokes  a sense of the transience of life befitting the situation facing the defenders  72 of the castle (XIII, 134). Next, Yaichi feels that a song sung by Choroken, a warrior-priest who is also a musician, on the legendary beauty of Yang Kuei-fei, Yaichi alludes to Lady Oichi, so that in his mind regret for the imminent destruction of her beauty is sharpened. Choroken's urging  At  Yaichi begins to take part in the festivities, and the  first phrase he sings is a recall of one of the songs expressing his relationship to her, as mentioned above (XIII, 135 and 97). In their fullest form of development, music and verse blend into the action.  Yaichi notices that as Choroken plays the samisen he uses a  code known to all blind performers on the instrument.  Choroken in  effect is asking Yaichi to. help save Oichi's life, presumably in order to hand her over to the enemy Hideyoshi.  In a mixture of samisen code  and. song, they exchange messages, with Yaichi now determined to save his mistress.  His attempt is to be made later, but now, most propheti-  cally. Lord Katsuie and Lady Ochi write their death poems. Style, as well as structure, is impossible to discuss apart .from; .the narrator-text relationship, which is singularly tight in this novel.  The  presence of the "I" narrator, always involved as participant and com- ; mentator, is furthermore defined by his mode of address to a listener who does not enter the text but is characterized, from the blind man's incidental comments, as a man of higher social rank, and of some degree of learning, whom he begs to record the story. The  tale is told in the masu form of the verb and in the honorific  forms appropriate and  to the double relationship of Yaichi to his interlocutor  of Yaichi to his idol. Lady Oichi.  mode represents the culmination form.  The use of the conversational  of all Tanizaki's previous uses of the  The earliest appearances of the masu style are in the third  73  person, first as befitting a lowly jester ("Hokan," 1911) aid  and  then as ah  to the narration of a fairy tale ("Ningyo no nageki," 1915).  A  step  closer in identifying the teller with his tale lies in a frame story, both within and  outside the body of the story itself, as an old man  relates a  tale in the first person ("Ningen ga saru ni natta hanshi," 11918).  In a  major development, Tanizaki then brings the narrator into the text, as an Osaka woman relates her story in her own  dialect (Manji, 1928-30).  In Manji, however, a trace of the frame story technique is still as the sensei whom Sonoko addresses inserts his own  present,  notes into the text.  All traces of the frame are gone in "Kiinokuni no kitsune urushi kaki ni tsuku koto" Bewitched by  y*i  ("A  Lacquer-Gatherer of Kii  Foxes," XIII, 159-172) published at the same time as  Momoku monogatari (Sept., alone to tell a*.tale of fox  1931), as the "I" narrator, a village man,  is  possession.  In Momoku monogatari the identification of narrator with text extends much further than the use of conversational verbal forms.  The  text  strikes the eye at once because of its extended use of hiragana where the reader would normally expect kanji.  Tanizaki explains his use of kana •  as follows in Bunsho dokuhon: ...I aimed at a visual effect and also at slowing the tempo of the sentences, that i s , at a musical effect. As the old man gropes his way through his dim memories, he tells his tale slowly in a hoarse, i n distinct voice. In order to convey his faltering speech to the reader, I used many kana to make the text rather difficult to read (XXI, 211). The  phrase "rather difficult to read" does not indicate an author  desirous of obfuscating the meaning of his work.  Tanizaki, ever at pains  to facilitate the reader's understanding, sometimes supplies characters beside the kana when they present  particular difficulty,  but not so often  74 that they impair the slowness of the tempo. Tanizaki's intent as expressed  in the quotation above is subtle;  indeed it surpasses the effect most readers would find in the style.  It  is easy to hear the slow, tentative rhythms of the old man's speech, but who  would characterize the voice as "hoarse"? Since the novel in its totality is conveyed through the old man's  narrative, dialogue and characterization assume a special value.  First of  all, the use of reported speech in the old man's story represents a development over that  employed in Manji, already a technical success, where  the incorporation, of dialogue into the text makes for fluidity and density at the same time.  In Momoku monogatari , the author normally assimi-  lates speech into the text, with or without quotation marks, but at times dialogue appears in conventional form, set off from the body of the narration in individually paragraphed speeches. in this manner it' immediately  Whenudialogue is distinguished  draws the reader's attention to its content,  since, frequently, entire sequences of pages are unbroken by ing.  paragraph-  Dialogue occurs in only five passages of the novel, all at signifi-  cant moments.  It is used most extensively in the climactic scene near  the ending, to dramatize the conflict between Lady Oichi and husband. Lord Katsuie, who  her second  refuses to let her commit suicide with him  despite all her pleas (XXIII, U l , 143).  At this point the dramatic  function of the dialogue, although it may  have an immediate interest,  does not emerge in its full significance until the work has been read in its entirety.  The character of Lady Oichi, though the centre of interest  in the novel, is.not foregrounded,  in accordance with the author's desire  to keep her remote, through the standpoint of the blind masseur. author does not analyze her except in Yaichi's conjectures on her  The motives,  but the total effect of this characterization points out the fallacy of  assuming that characters analyzed from the inside are necessarily the most successful.  Her reactions to the events bringing disaster upon her  can only be seen from the outside, but they are rendered with considerable impact.  The dialogue in the passage between Oichi and Yaichi  early in the novel during the siege of Odani in oblique but unmistakable fashion.  castle conveys her reactions  It occurs as Yaichi massages her,  when she suddenly asks him why he chooses to remain in the castle when so many warriors are defecting.  Yaichi expresses his desire to  stay with her, in necessarily humble and muted terms. change is a triumph of understatement  The entire ex-  through dialogue; only the sad  tones of her voice are noted, and after the dialogue Yaichi thinks he hears the rustle of paper, which he guesses —  he does not see — is  used to d r y her tears (XIII, 74-75). If the narrator's social situation obliges the author to render Lady Oichi in a hazy perspective, his physical affliction is of equally crucial importance.  For i f Yaichi is a servant who cannot even allow himself to  think of aspiring to his lady, he is also allowed, as a masseur, to experience close bodily contact with her, to experience through the touch. In the massage scene just indicated, Yaichi senses Oichi's emotions not through speech butLthrough the touch; his fingers can feel distress in the tightness of her neck muscles (XIII, 73). Tanizaki usually conceives his ideal women in visual terms of light and shadow, but through his use of the narrator in Momoku monogatari , he renders this type of heroine in terms of close physical contact without violating her remoteness. The author never again identifies narrator with text with such i n timacy.  Several general conclusions emerge from a study of his tech-  niques in Momoku.  The first is the apparent naturalness of narrative  method, far outdistancing Manji, which by comparison  is merely an  e x a m p l e of v i r t u o s i t y , a n d c o n c o m i t a n t l y , a f a r g r e a t e r s u b t l e t y i n t h e r e n d e r i n g of e m o t i o n .  One h a s o n l y to c o m p a r e Y a i c h i to Joji i n C h i j i n  no ai to a p p r e c i a t e t h e d e v e l o p m e n t .  Lastly,  t h e a u t h o r has set h i m s e l f  a t a c o n s i d e r a b l e d i s t a n c e from the material in the t e l l i n g of t h e  story.  T h e more s u c c e s s f u l s t o r i e s of T a n i z a k i ' s f i r s t p e r i o d a r e o f t e n set i n a d i s t a n t p a s t .  The w o r k s d i s c u s s e d in this s e c t i o n , though  i n g a s i m i l a r d i s p l a c e m e n t i n time a n d p l a c e , g i v e p r o o f of a n dinary development:  show-  extraor-  t h e f a i r y tale h a s g r o w n i n t o the r o m a n c e .  Obvious  p r o b l e m s a r e r a i s e d b y t h e a p p l i c a t i o n of t h i s W e s t e r n g e n e r i c t e r m ,  whose  c l o s e s t J a p a n e s e e q u i v a l e n t w o u l d be m o n o g a t a r i as d i s t i n g u i s h e d from —  46  shosetsu or novel  — a l l t h e s e t e r m s h a v e b e e n u s e d to c o v e r a wide  s p e c t r u m of p r o s e f o r m s .  Here,  we s h a l l t a k e monogatari i n a l i m i t e d  a c c e p t i o n , a s a mode.,of p r o s e f i c t i o n a l w r i t i n g t h a t aims n o t at r e p r e s e n t a t i o n of e x p e r i e n c e b u t r a t h e r at s t y l i z a t i o n .  The fairy tale, too,  would  fit into t h i s d e f i n i t i o n b u t l i k e the s h o r t s t o r y as d i s t i n g u i s h e d from novel,  it t e n d s to b e f a r more c i r c u m s c r i b e d i n i m p l i c a t i o n s of  character and incident.  theme,  A t a n y r a t e , t h o u g h Momoku monogatari  R a n g i k u m o n o g a t a r i a r e i n t h e same l i n e as " S h i s e i , "  the  "Kirin!-1 a n d  and "Ningyo  no n a g e k i " t h e y a r e i n d i s p u t a b l e p r o o f of g r o w t h in the n a r r a t i v e a r t of Tanizaki. A s T a n i z a k i u s e s t h e term m o n o g a t a r i i n i t s s i m p l e s t m e a n i n g of " t a l e , " t h e r e a d e r g r a s p s h i s a t t i t u d e t o w a r d h i m s e l f a s a t e l l e r of t a l e s . In h i s f i r s t p e r i o d , the w o r d a p p e a r s t w i c e f o r t i t l e s of d r a m a t i c w o r k s :  Hoj6]i monogatari  ^ k t f i r ^ ( A  and Jugoya monogatari  T a l e of H o j o j i , 1915,  (1917), b u t not at all f o r p r o s e f i c t i o n ,  w i t h i n h i s s t o r i e s the w o r d r e c u r s f r e q u e n t l y .  III,  41-110)  though  S i n c e t h i s i s the p h a s e  of s h o r t s t o r i e s , T a n i z a k i ' s s t o r y t e l l i n g c o n s c i o u s n e s s e m e r g e s i n h i s  reference to a number of works as hanashi —  also "tale" but on a more  modest level, for example, "Ningen ga saru ni natta hanashi" (1918) and "Tomoda to Matsunaga no hanashi" (1926). with Rangiku and Momoku that the  It is only in the second period  hanashi' is extended to monogatari in  expected sense as prose fiction.  Tanizaki even uses the term for an  autobiographical essay, "Seishun monogatari"  ^f*  of my Youth," 1932) and for a literary essay, "Watakushi gatari"  %U e> %^t^%^  ("  A  T  a  l  e  o  f  m  Y  ("A Tale  no bimbo mono^  Poverty," 1925, XXI,  247-260).  It is not inappropriate to assimilate Bushuko hiwa  to this monoqa-  tarj group, for it joins Rangiku and Momoku through its historical setting and a similar imaginative projection far beyond the immediate  concerns  of the author. This unfinished work presents greater critical difficulties than any other so far examined.  Both problems and possible interpretations will  become more evident through a commentary on the sequence of the narrative. The body of the narration is preceded by a Preface and a Table of Contents to lend an aura of authenticity to the novel.  The Preface is  composed in Chinese as in the dignified official histories of the time, but formality collapses almost at once as the reader encounters the phrase stating that the great heroes like Uesugi Kenshin are famous for their "sex lives" (sei-seikatsu).  The anachronism  is underlined as the narrator-  author repeats the rumor that the valorous Lord of Musashi was a "masochistic sex pervert" (higyakusei-hentaiseiyokusha).  He then excites the  reader's curiosity by promising to reveal the true facts about the hero's life gained from a reading of secret documents.  We are now prepared  for a full mock-heroic treatment of this character, but this expectation is suspended at least temporarily by other factors. As in "Shunkinsho" the narrator-researcher judges the purported documents for their reliability and settles on a record made by Doami, a confidant of the Lord of Musashi from childhood. the:.hero begins with two crucial motivations.  The biography of  A s a c h i l d , Hoshimaru  —  to give him his name at the time — is taken to Ojika Castle as a hostage of the Tsukuma family after the defeat of his father.  Henceforth he  will be impelled by a spirit of revenge against his captors.  The second  and far more important event is his witnessing of a most extraordinary scene during childhood:  hostage women in the castle are grooming and  labelling the heads of fallen enemies.  Young Hoshimaru, enraptured at  the sight, continues to return secretly to the scene.  He is particularly  drawn by a sixteen-year-old girl whose fresh beauty makes him envious of the heads before her.  The third time he witnesses the scene, she is  dressing the head of a fine-looking young warrior whose nose has been sliced off in battle.  He perceives this head as more unsightly than that  of the average ugly man, but also as comical.  Hoshimaru, however, in  the "land of dreams" of his imaginings, desires to be that head (XIII, 216-17). The scene is one of the most memorable in Tanizaki's work.  A  cautionary note may be necessary; the biographer and critic Nomura Shogo comments that head-preparing is not simply a gruesome product  17 of the imagination but apparently based on historical fact.  Most critics  take this scene as a serious example of Tanizaki's masochism, like Donald Keene, who remarks:  "The scene, filled with a morbid, glowing quality,  ranks with Tanizaki's finest achievements, and indeed with anything  79 written in this century."  48  Still, what of the tone of the Preface, which  mocks "sexual perversion" as well as the official histories? that Hoshimaru sees the noseless head as comic?  The  And  the fact  term which comes  to mind is "grotesque," not only as a generally descriptive adjective but as a literary mode, which has been defined as "a clash between incompatible reactions —  laughter on the one hand and horror and disgust on  49 the other."  The concept of the grotesque, moreover, may  exist with  or without comic associations. To answer the questions posed above, a consideration of the rest of the novel, though it must be remembered that it is an unfinished work, is in order.  In the following episode, Hoshimaru, out of a desire to take  a noseless head to the young g i r l , steals into the enemy camp andt kills an aristocratic-looking man. nose and flees. dead man  Failing to decapitate him, he removes the  Consternation results among the attackers because the  is their general.  Since they conceal the disgraceful manner of  his death, the defenders of the besieged castle are at a loss to explain why  the powerful enemy fails to attack, and soon lifts the siege.  Nose-  lessness, then, _;continues as a motif with a function in the plot. When Hoshimaru comes of age he takes the name of Kawachinosuke Terukatsu.  In a physical description of the hero, the reader's attention  is called especially to his conspicuously short stature, but just as we  are  to take this as a detail in an anti-heroic portrayal, the author withdraws by commenting that the disparity between his height and his formidable face must have been most impressive. The new  master of Ojika Castle is Norishige, married to Lady Kikyo,  daughter of the general slain by Kawachinosuke. despite the new  She and her brother,  alliance formed by her marriage, secretly collaborate in  a vendetta against her in-laws, the Tsukuma family; they aim at Norishige's nose.  Two  particularly  abortive attempts, with bullet and arrow, are  made, but the latter only pierces Norishige's upper lip to render him a harelip; another attack removes an earlobe.  Eventually Kawachinosuke  succeeds in meeting Lady Kikyo, a phantomlike beauty seen in a dim light, and  they make an unspoken pact against the Tsukuma family.  Lady Kikyo, despite secret feelings of love and band, plans new  assaults on his nose.  The  pity for her h u s -  unsuspecting  Norishige  visits her every night, murmuring tender words through his harelip. One  night a maid is lighting his way  seize him around the neck and  to the toilet when he feels someone  flatten his body against the wall, "like  a rice-cracker" (sembei no yo ni, XIII, 287).  His nose is cut off as  neatly as if with a surgeon's scalpel and after fainting he awakens as would a patient from anesthetic after an operation.  Again an incident  possesses a double aspect; comic anachronisms attenuate the horror of the act, instigated by Lady Kikyo and carried out by  Kawachinosuke.  A poetry-writing party is held to cheer Norishige. gravely reports that the only poem recorded Kikyo  by  The  narrator  Doami is one by  Lady  with an allusion to the "Hanachirusato" ("Village of Falling  Flowers") chapter of the Genji monogatari.  After a discussion of some  length on the source the narrator provides an anticlimax by saying the intent was  not to allude to the Genji but to play on the words hana and  chiru.(XIII,  296).  Long before this point it has become impossible to accept a serious interpretation of the novel.  The  ubiquitous grotesco-comic aspects of  the work cannot be dismissed as comic relief.  Other questions arise:  is Bushuko hiwa a work of self-parody on the part of Tanizaki, a parody  81  of historical fiction in general, or does the intensity of the hero's secret obsession forbid the reading of the work as a pure burlesque? A new cycle begins for Kawachinosuke as he is summoned back to his father's castle and marries the innocent Oetsu, later called Shosetsuin, but the scene viewed years before at Ojika Gastle still dominates his mind. Now, the hero proceeds to act out his fantasies.  He first speaks to the  women of the castle about preparing heads in the event of siege, and they listen transfixed by his impressive account of the procedure.  Sum-  moning the jester Doami, he swears to have his head, for the sake of practice in head-grooming.  After Oetsu pleads for the jester's life,  Kawachinosuke has a hole cut in the floor so that Doami  may stand in  it with his head emerging above the tatami. This cycle, then, is a doubling of the first, with the hero replacing  Norishige by Doami as a butt of ridicule.  balance between the horrible and the comic.  The author continues the Doami's. plight is ludicrous;  on the other hand, when he glimpses his master's face, it is wearing a fearsome expression.  The balance tips to the side of horror when  Kawachinosuke requests a razor to slice of Doami's; nose, but back to neutrality when his wife begs him again to spare the jester, and he consents.  T h e episode on the following night shows a strong element  of childish play, as Kawachinosuke has Doami's nose painted red.  He  and Oetsu engage in teasing banter; will she be brave enough, he asks, to pierce a hole in the jester's ear as a place to hang the label?  Oetsu,  intoxicated and urged on by Kawachinosuke, finally does make a small hole in the ear.  The narrator, straight-faced as he normally is in this  work, asks how this merciful and virtuous woman could have committed such an act, but wonders if she might not have taken pleasure in the  82  game. The  It is important to underline the playful aspect of the scene.  author refers to Kawachinosuke as a leader of a band of mischievous  children (gakidaisho, XIII, 318), Oetsu as a tomboy (tembamusume, XIII, 322) and  repeatedly associates their acts with play, sport, or practical  jokes (e.g., warufuzake, XIII, The  318).  situation calls for a parallel with the short story "Shonen"  (1911), in which the children's games are an enactment of turbulent impulses similar to those in this novel. of fantasies may for  In both cases the playful imitation  represent a catharsis for the characters and  the author himself.  The  implicitly  notion of playacting is not merely meta-  phorical, for the scene of sporting with Doami's head follows a long passage with a strongly mimetic quality. master and  Doami, clowning for the benefit of the  the ladies of the castle, does imitations of insects, animals  and human beings.  Bushuko differs from "Shonen"  realizes the significance of his own inner .violence is met  proclivities, and  insofar as the hero the full force-,of his  by the counterforce of comedy.  It is tempting to read Bushuko" hiwa as self-parodic, particularly in relation to Momoku monogatari.  Several parallels occur  to the  reader:  the setting in the period of the civil wars, the situation of the inhabitants of a besieged  castle, the role of a resident entertainer of low status, and  the device of repeated  situations.  The  concept of self-parody, however,  must be used with caution, as it would destroy or at least trivialize the impact of the hero's reaction to the all-important head-grooming scene. The  underlying principle of Bushuko" hiwa  is not satirical inversion, but  equilibrium. The  success of the equilibrium depends to a considerable degree on  the narrator-author  whose presence in the text as a commentator  83  distinguishes this novel from the two previously discussed in this chapter. Three other works from the same period, the early thirties, give evidence of evolution in Tanizaki, in the far greater importance of a narrator is also the author. and "Shunkinsho." the  who  These are the novellas "Yoshino kuzu," "Ashikari" They also have in common a peculiar relationship of  author-narrator to the past, which in the case of the first two works  even contributes much to the overall design.  "Yoshino kuzu" is a novella of astonishing complexity.  Since its  fifty pages,of text could easily be matched by an analysis of equal length, its full impact is difficult to convey in a brief discussion.  Despite its  intricacies, the reader does not marvel at the author's prowess as he does for Manji, completed only the year before, for Tanizaki by now  has learned  to submerge the more obvious signs of his a r t . The work has been called "lyrical and discursive, ganized [and] essentially p l o t l e s s . "  51  "loosely or-  It does contain; lyric elements, and  it is lacking in a linear plot, but one can argue with some certainty that the  novella is far more deliberately ordered than the above description  would suggest.  It might be said that there is no need to defend the  author from charges of lack of unity, for tight internal coherence in a prose work has never been a primary concern for Japanese writers, critics, and readers alike, and that Tanizaki in this novella is merely returning to the native tradition of the essay.  But Tanizaki's sense of  structure, though less apparent than in some of his earlier works, is still visible in "Yoshino kuzu." The work revolves around the theme of quest, on different planes. If the reader entertains a certain curiosity throughout the novella as to the  outcome of the quest, and if there is fulfilment or not of the main  84  "question, then a plot most certainly exists. Each of the principal characters, the author-narrator and his friend, Tsumura, engages in his own quest.  The former's search in  Chapters I to III takes us nearly to the halfway point in the novella. Tsumura's story then takes over, occupying Chapters IV to VI.  A t the  end the result is fulfilment for Tsumura and failure for the narrator. Each of these two sections has its own substructure, and each is linked to the other by a system of many correspondences. In Chapter I, "Jitenno" f|  , the narrator gives his reasons  for his trip into the mountainous region of Yoshino some twenty years before.  His principal motive, stated in an essay-like section of crucial  significance to the novella, is his desire to write an historical novel around the figure of Jitenno, a pretender to the throne of the Yoshino court in the fifteenth century, even after the supposed end of the Southern dynasty.  He explains that in 1443 Southern loyalists seized  the Three Imperial Regalia in the capital.  Of these, the sword and mir-  ror were recovered but the jewel remained in Southern hands, to be hidden eventually in a remote valley in Yoshino where Jitenno's palace was built.  In 1457, adherents of the Kyoto emperor attacked the palace,  killed the young pretender, and carried off his head, along with the jewel.  In flight,they buried his head in the snow, where the pursuers  discovered it the next morning.  The author thus establishes a secondary  quest motif in his account of the struggle for the imperial jewel. The narrator has been enthusiastic about the possibilities of the material.  By coincidence, a friend, Tsumura, who has relatives in the  village of Kuzu in Yoshino, not far from Sannoko Valley where Jitenno lived, suggests that they travel there together, pointing out how useful  the trip will be for the projected novel.  It is important to realize that  the narrator, despite his interest in the story, has no need to go to Yoshino for further research. out as if on an excursion.  He does plan to gather material, but sets  If this does not sound like a very  passionate  motivation for a quest story, the reason will emerge later when we  enter  the very different, emotionally charged realm of Tsumura's quest.  The  2  narrator's emotions are purposefully muted, for his part in the novella, though essential, cannot occupy more than a modest forty per cent or so of the total area of interest. this short preparatory  Meanwhile the reader is entertained, as in  chapter, by elements possessing  intrinsic essay-  like interest but which turn out to be vital to the novella:  the account  of the struggle over the Three Imperial Regalia, the story of Jitenno, the insistence on the lingering of old traditions in Yoshino, and cussion of Kuzu and The  disc  the locality.  next two chapters  record the journey of the two friends toward  Kuzu along the Yoshino River. ~k%. *ff ^  the  ' ("The  The  opening of Chapter II, "Imoseyama,"  Imose Mountains"), places the reader in the  world of the travel journal, but soon the handling of a memory motif brings him into the world of fiction.  The  words of a guide, directing  the travellers' attention to the Imose mountains, bring to the narrator's mind the words of his mother on a trip to the same region during his childhood.  She asks him on that occasion if he remembers the scene from  the Kabuki play using this locale, (the reference is to "Yoshinogawa" %  )'}  from the play Imoseyama onna teikin  ^  (Precepts for Women at the Imose Mountains)). The  jiKj^]  J-*  narrator's memories  are not.of the actual mountain but of the staging of the scene with its fairy tale colors; now has a double value:  as an adult he experiences one experience  nostalgia.  The  passage  overlies another, and a link is  86  made to Chapter  I in the sense that Yoshino assumes some emotional  meaning in the narrator's own history; it is not only a question of exploring the past of the old chronicles. Furthermore, a second previous trip to the same place is now remembered, one made by the narrator as a young man, standing on the same bridge, thinking of his dead mother. The river.  travel diary mode returns as the travellers proceed along the  A t Kamiichi the old houses appeal to the narrator because of  the attractive freshness of the shoji paper.  The impression is continued  by a rendering of the sensations of the bright autumn sun. But is this passage purely descriptive? The reader suspects the author of lingering over objects in shop windows, for they have a decided relief: The persimmons arranged outside a greengrocer's store were especially attractive. Tree-ripened persimmons. Palace persimmons, Mino persimmons, in varied globelike shapes, caught the outdoors light on their ripe, gleaming surfaces the color of coral, and shone like the pupil of an eye. Even the balls of noodles in a glass box outside the noodle-shop gave off brightness (XII, 12). The .jewel of the first chapter, one of the Imperial Treasures, is suggested, and with it the head of Jitenno, but until reading further we cannot be certain of the association because the passage has an autonomous descriptive value. Another casual remark, this time made by Tsumura, about the Yoshitsune cherry trees (Yoshitsune sembonzakura) brings the narrator to reflect on the famous play of the same name, and specifically on the drum of Yoshitsune's mistress, Shizuka Cozen, which is said to be in the hands of the Otani family in Natsumi village.  This relic, Tsumura  says, is a treasure passed on from one generation to the next; thus the treasure motif is now well established.  This is the drum that; makes the  fox Tadanobu appear when Shizuka beats it, because the covering is  87 made from the skin of his parents. In Chapter  III, "Hatsune no tsuzumi"  Drum), the friends go to the Otani mulberry  ^-f^fi^  ("Shizuka's  farm, where the master of  the house displays the family treasures, including written documents, which Otani appears to believe in every detail though the narrator finds some of-the;items suspect. disappointment. tively new, who  Even the famous drum turns out to be a  It is an ordinary-looking object, the lacquer is rela-  and above.all, the skin is missing.  Nevertheless the narrator  has started with the premises of a researcher accepts this view of  history simply because Otani believes it, and this attitude marks a step in his emotional voyage through  new  Yoshino.  Again the jewel motif returns with utter naturalness.  Otani offers  his guests some ripe persimmons prepared by a special method in the house.  As the narrator gazes at a persimmon bn his palm, he  marvels  at the roundness and translucency of the object, as beautiful as a jewel of jadeite. ...I gazed for some time at this sphere of dew. Then I felt that the mystery and the sunlight of these mountains had taken solid form on the palm of my hand... . What impressed me most at the Otani house, more than the drum or the old documents, were the persimmons .... I filled my mouth with the autumn of Yoshino (XII, 22). The chapter, and the main portion of the novella devoted to the narrator's quest, here comes to an end. past for artistic purposes  The narrator in search of the  has instead found a treasure in the physical  experience of the Yoshino present.  There is no implication. of the superi-  ority of actual sensorial experience; on^the^contrary therripe persimmon on his palm, and in his. mouth, resumes the substance of Yoshino, the depth of the impression indicates an unexpected half-serious quest.  and  culmination of a  The  next two chapters,  Tsumura's story.  the longest in the novella, deal with  Tsumura explains his own  the Otani drum because of the skin and child.  As an orphan, deeply attached  has always been powerfully colored emotional expression  interest in going to see  the association of parent  and  to the memory of his mother, he  moved by the idea of the drum.  The  highly  of his story makes for such a contrast in  tone from the portion of the novella belonging to the rather subdued narrator that many readers might deny that the work has  unity.  It is at once clear from the beginning of Chapter IV,  "Konkai"  ("Konkai") that his experience is connected with the narrator's. The  scene at the Otani house assumes retrospective meaning.  Tsumura's  desire to see the drum constitutes an addition to the quest theme.  The  associations with his mother also have parallels in the first portion of the novella.  Tsumura as a child was  profoundly affected by  theatrical experiences, so that a parallel is made with the memories of the Kabuki scene and  musical  and  narrator's  his mother, touched off by the sight  of Imoseyama, but in Tsumura's case emotions are expressed on a far more intense register.  He  separation of mother and a child that the kon  is stirred by the song "Konkai" telling of  child, and  though he could, not have known as  of the title is written with the character for "fox,"  he has always associated it with the parting theme in the joruri drama Kuzu no ha  <*) ^  (Arrowroot Leaves), in which a fox mother turned  into a woman is forced to leave her child when her identity is disclosed. The  "kuzu" of the title is of course another link to Part I and  of their final destination, the village of that name. ation increases with the passage on the childhood sung in his house.  in fact  Richness of associ-  song on the same theme,  Tsumura's feeling for his mother, he clearly states.  is the yearning for a dimly perceived unknown woman "michi no josei").  (bakuzen-taru  Hence his future wife, as yet unspecified, will be  the same kind of woman. Such is the dense tissue of motivations bringing Tsumura to Yoshino.  The emotional high point of the novella lies in this chapter where  Tsumura himself speaks, but in Chapter V, "Kuzu" [h\  , the narrator  tells the rest of Tsumura's story to throw the preceding chapter into relief and also to restore some slight balance toward; the tone of the first part of the novella.  It is not true that the mere fact of first-person  narration necessarily makes for greater intimacy between text and reader than would the use of the third person, but in this case that is precisely the effect. Tsumura's longing for his mother has brought him to seek out her native village, Kuzu. past, is expressed tor's.  Thus the quest, in his case for an ideal in the  in terms of journey and locale, paralleling the narra-  It is difficult to determine the mother's origins, but Tsumura's  research, activated by deep private concerns is in nature both parallel and contrast to the narrator's more detached artistic motivation.  In  contrast to the evidence on the remote Jitenno story and to the dubious treasures of the Otani family, the letter found by Tsumura written from his grandmother to his mother is authentic.  This letter, his only clue  to his mother's past, leads him to Kuzu and the discovery of an aunt in her branch of the family.  Tsumura remembers a phrase in the; letter  about her hands chapped by the toil of paper-making when he sees a young woman outside his aunt's house, engaged in the same occupation. The aged aunt, when asked about extant documents or objects belonging to this mother, produces first a photograph of the dead woman, then a  90 koto presumably of Osaka.  played by her during her brief stay in the gay quarter  The associations with the Otani drum are inescapable, since  the drum evokes Shizuka Cozen and therefore beauty, the fox Tadanobu, and feelings of filial piety.  Unlike the Otani drum, this koto is a splen-  did instrument with rich ornamentation.  The finding of the koto is a  reminder, too, that both characters have been looking for something distant and find a concrete and beautiful object. The koto episode does not mark the end of the quest.  In the  sixth and final chapter, Tsumura makes another disclosure.  The young  woman seen outside the house, Owasa, is the granddaughter  of another  aunt.  Though a crude-looking country g i r l , she attracts Tsumura be-  cause of the connection with the phrase about hands chapped by  paper-  making in his grandmother's letter, and because of a resemblance  in her  face to his mother's photographed  image.  The narrator comments that  Owasa is in effect the drum Tsumura has been seeking, and his friend agrees, now  revealing that he wishes to marry her.  symbol is now  The koto as a  overlaid by the living Owasa.  Tsumura goes off to consult her family about his proposal and the narrator continues alone on his trip to the geographical source of the Jitenno story.  The final pages thus point back to the beginning.  The  narrator's quest does not meet with success, for the trip to Sannoko Valley where Jitenno lived and the jewel was arduous of approach.  hidden proves to be most  His guide tells an old story from oral sources  about the young pretender's death.  No written sources are adduced in  this section, in contrast to the opening pages concerning this Jitenno story.  This would suggest that the narrator has come to terms with the  present of Yoshino, where history consists of oral tradition, especially as he comes to reflect that Sannoko probably has a value more legendary  91  than factual.  Even his incidental stop at a hot spring results in failure;  the waters are not warm enough.  The story of the trip to Yoshino ends  in a few lines, as a voice calls out to him; he sees Tsumura with Owasa crossing a suspension bridge.  In view of all the previous links made  between the two parts of the novella, it is not idle to suggest a possible connection between the bridge at Imoseyama where the narrator stands, thinking of his mother.  Here, at the end, the mere appearance of Owasa  suffices to represent continuity, both in Tsumura's mind and in the history of Yoshino. In the last two sentences of the novella the quest themes are concluded with the narrator saying he failed to write his projected novel and that the trip was  far more successful for Tsumura.  narrator's suppression of his own  Despite the  role it is clear that his journey  has  indeed resulted in discovery. The above commentary on "Yoshino kuzu" contains an indication of a novelist working with some techniques resembling Kawabata's, as in Yama no oto  J-j  (The Sound of the Mountain),  the use of disparate motifs like the jewel and independent interest in their own each other.  in particular  persimmons which have  contexts and yet are associated with  But Tanizaki differs entirely from Kawabata in his shaping  of the novella into a complete whole.  He does not conceive of a work  of fiction like a series of links which could be continued or suspended at its supposed ending.  Moreover, Tanizaki, in the interest of heighten-  ing unity draws more attention to his motifs than does Kawabata. "Yoshino kuzu" represents a remarkable synthesis and  refinement  of certain aspects of Tanizaki's earlier works, such as the longing for other worlds, the search for the lost mother, the solving of mysteries,  92  and the art theme. the  The most significant development lies in the role of  author-narrator.  The author, present both in the narrator and  Tsumura, has come to fictionalize himself completely.  It does not matter  to the reader that Tanizaki actually visited Yoshino three times, that he 52 had a friend from the region,  that he intended to write a novel about  — 53 Jitenno, that he went to see a drum in Natsumi, supposedly Shizuka's, 54  and that he was much taken by the ripe persimmons offered to him, for  he is clearly working with the basic principles of selection and  emphasis. "Ashikari,"  5 5  the second novella in this group, shares several  features with "Yoshino kuzu."  It has a similar two-part structure, one  belonging to the "I" narrator and the second to a character who tells the  story of primary interest in the work.  In addition, the first narra-  tor's portion of the work contains many literary and historical allusions which might produce a misleading impression of discursiveness. On the other hand, "Ashikari" differs from "Yoshino kuzu" because of the most individual recreation of the remote, mysterious atmosphere the author finds so attractive in Japanese tradition. and the waka opening the work, are extremely allusive. they suggest a separation theme.  her man,  First of all,  The reference is primarily to a story  in the Heian tale collections Yamato monogatari Konjaku monogatari / ^ " f "  The title,  5  6  %Q /tfy  and  A woman, forced to leave  husband because of poverty, goes to the capital and marries a rich but concerned for the fate of her former husband, seeks him out.  Now a lowly reed-cutter, he fears to meet her but sends her a poem, the one cited at the beginning of the novella, expressing grief at their separation.  The woman, saddened, sends him her outer robe and returns  93 to the city. Tanizaki's use of the story results in so different a product that i his  "Ashikari" cannot even be called a reworking of the sources.  selects only three elements:  the separation  He  theme, the situation of the  woman as higher than the man's, and the robe motif.  There is also a  No play of the same name, but this is actually a work in praise of poetry, as the couple happily reunites. with the No in general  Nevertheless the association  suggests a basis for interpretation of the novella  because of its aura of shadowy elegance and its total  design.  To reduce "Ashikari" to its bare narrative framework, a narrator, like a waki, appears in a locality famous in history and literature. meets a stranger,  He  the shite, who tells him a story of his father's adora-  tion for the beautiful Oyu, from whom he is separated.  A t the end,  the stranger vanishes like the ghost of a mugen-No. Tanizaki states that he started to write this novella without knowing  how it was to develop, and for a time was at a loss for a proper  conclusion.  57  The fact that he started without a plan, as he often did  does not contradict our previous observations his  works.  On the contrary,  it underlines  58  about the architecture of  the care for form which the  reader can sense in all of his finished products of higher quality. Tanizaki executes this work in a stylized manner, as in the No. Some readers may find the first third of the novella, the first narrator's section, overladen with references to Japanese traditional material, but it must be remembered that the narrator is a waki and that in No texts the waki's journey has highly allusive and often very complex to the locale.  references  94  This section is even less fictional in appearance ponding portion of "Yoshino kuzu." interest, but it is essential.  than the corres-  There is only one element with plot  The narrator starts out to walk in the en-  virons of the former palace of the Emperor Gotoba (1180-1239) on the day of the moon-viewing festival, wishing to see the full autumn moon from the banks of the Yodo River.  His reactions to the landscape are evident  but restrained, as in an essay, like those of the narrator of "Yoshino kuzu."  Although he has a deep interest in the surroundings their ef-  fect on him is  not thrown into relief except in a few sections, such as  the explanation that even ordinary scenery calls up sweet visions of other worlds, and the warmth of a mother's bosom (XIII, 448-49). A distinct element of stylization is visible toward the end of this waki section.  There is an extended passage on the melancholy of autumn,  the evanescence of worldly things, and the narrator expresses compassion for courtesans who  took Buddhist names as a mark of their profession,  apparently conceived as a sacrifice (XIII, 454).  The first two themes in  particular are among the most common in Japanese literature.  The  reader coming to "Ashikari" with a knowledge of Tanizaki's other writings may  wonder at their presence here, since the vital impulse of this author  runs counter to notions of melancholy and evanescence.  The answer, no  doubt, is that he is establishing an atmosphere proper to No texts, with their profoundly Buddhist basis. The shite, whose name we later deduce to be Seribashi, is introduced with a rustling of grass behind the narrator, who gines at first that he is seeing his own  shadow.  turns and ima-  At the end of the  novella, Seribashi vanishes like the spirit in a mugen-No.  A No influ-  ence on structure is possible, such as a jo-ha-kyu division in which the  jo would correspond to the narrator's section, the ha to most of Seribashi's story, and the kyu to the last part beginning from the mention of Oyu's robe and the narrator's query as to the identity of Seribashi's mother,  59  —  but it is just as possible to argue that the kyu should be much  closer to the ending, with the conclusion of Seribashi's story, his brief dialogue with the waki, and his disappearance.  A s in most other ques-  tions of influences on Tanizaki's work, the relationship with literary  pre-  cedents is very difficult to pinpoint, for Tanizaki is making his own use of the No. Seribashi's story gives off an aura which, may be described as Tanizaki's version of the No ideal of yugen , a mysterious elegance.  The  narrative perspective greatly influences the creation of this quality. Instead of having the Seribashi father tell his own story, the author causes the son to recount events and situations told to him second-hand, and  occurring some forty years earlier, so that the effect is remoteness. The  plot elements of this second section are manipulated to create  a sense of ambiguity.  We are not certain that the father has an affair  with Oyu though it is suggested, and like the author-narrator  we wonder  if the younger Seribashi is the son of Oyu or her sister Oshizu. To a great extent the novella's yugen  coloration depends on our  perception of the heroine as an elusive figure inspiring idealization in Seribashi's father, and then in the son.  The author does not only push  the setting back to the early Meiji period; he represents Oyu as the most elegant of aristocratic ladies.  As a child Seribashi goes with his  father to peer through the hedge of her villa, every night of the moonviewing festival, at a scene out.of the past, as the inhabitants of the house celebrate the.occasion  with music, dance, and elaborate etiquette.  96  The  father finds in Oyu  the embodiment of his ideal of "some noble  type^of court lady, one who  would sit behind  state, wearing a long ceremonial  robe and  her silken screens of  reading such classics as the  60 Tale of Genji" (XIII, 466).  The  moon-viewing scene has an archaic  flavor; it is explained that rich merchants of the time even had maids dress like ladies-in-waiting of ancient times, and  their  instructed in  etiquette. The  presentation of Oyu  as a court lady is aided by certain links  to Part I, notably through the use of the robe motif. father sees Oyu  When Seribashi's  at a dance recital she is wearing the same type of robe  he has dreamed of on his ideal, and  the motif returns near the; end of  the novella, when the father shows his son a long-cherished memento, a set of Oyu's winter robes whose very touch brings her to life for him. In the waki's narration, an anecdote from the medieval chronicle Masukagami  t^fj)  . (The Clear Mirror) tells of an emperor rewarding a  count official by the gift of his own  cloak (XIII, 447).  The  narrator  recalls the same story when he draws a parallel between the Emperor's gesture and  the elegant activities of the rich of Edo whose villas he  saw  as a child (XIII, 450). We  also see Oyu  as a court lady in the details of her daily acti-  vities and her clothing; even her furniture evokes the court.  Neverthe-  less, the characterization of this idealized figure shows she is not purely ethereal, as shown by the references to her capriciousness and by the scene of Oshizu  especially  suckling at her breast.  Lastly, an impression of mysterious elegance is created by the style of Seribashi's. narration, written as far as possible in one wave of prose with minimal paragraphing  and  continuous  use of quotation marks.  preview of the style appears in Manji, but with the very different  A  function of blurring facts and falsehood.  In "Ashikari" the effect is to  induce a dreamlike state of consciousness in the reader, as in many passages of No texts.  Furthermore, in Manji, quotation marks are necessary  because of the abundant use of dialogue, but in this novella they are very sparingly used.  In addition, many words appear in hiragana instead of  the expected kanji.  The technique does not reach the extreme of Momoku  monogatari, so that the tempo slows, but not excessively. It is difficult to extract a suitably brief passage from the Seribashi section to provide a representative example of this drifting style. The works of Tanizaki's first period often contain quotable passages, ornate patches of prose which almost demand to be noticed, but the Seribashi section and the whole of "Shunkinsho," which has a similar style, cannot be represented accurately except by the quotation of entire pages.  One example may serve to convey an idea of Tanizaki's con-  trolled impressionistic style which is at its highest point in this period. Here are the last two sentences of "Ashikari": The man fell silent as if weary of talking, and drew a tobacco pouch from his belt; thank you for your story, now I understand why your father took you with him to the villa at Lake Ogura, but you said that since then you have gone there every year to view the moon, and now I remember you were on the way to the villa tonight as well; that is true, I am going tonight, even now on the night of the Moon Festival I go behind the villa_at Lake Ogura and peer through the hedge to see Oyu playing the koto and the maids dancing. I found this strange and said Oyu must be nearly eighty years old now but there was only the wind rustling through the grasses and the reeds growing to the water's edge were lost to view the man as if dissolved in the moonlight had vanished (XIII, 491). The subdued autumnal shadings of "Ashikari," as in this passage, relate the novella to "Yoshino kuzu."  They are also similar through the  98  use of a withdrawn first narrator and a second character whose intense emotions are foregrounded, but who  have affinities with eacrnother.  The  authorial psyche has distributed itself between the two characters. "Shunkinsho," the last novella in this group, shows a different use of the author as narrator, which brings the reader as close to the text as in the Seribashi section of "Ashikari."  Many of Tanizaki's enthusiasts would claim a special place for "Shunkinsho"  because of the special quality of the reader involvement  it commands.  Not only has Tanizaki created a heroine extraordinary even  in his array of vivid women characters, perhaps the most compelling of them all; he deals simultaneously  with close involvement on various levels,  such as the interrelationship of Sasuke and the narrator in their story, and  Shunkin, the absorption of  the dependence of the reader on  the  narrator. The  interlocking portrayals of the two principal characters, Shunkin  and Sasuke, may kin  first be approached through a symbolic  reading.  is far more than a superb musician; she is art herself.  ness stands for isolation and actual than anything  Her  Shun-  blind-  the existence of an inner reality more  in the visible world.  She also possesses such quali-  ties as beauty, egotism, pride, cruelty to her devotees, jealousy, i n satiability and The  detachment from social  conventions.  characterization of Sasuke meshes closely with that> of Shunkin.  At first they stand in a feudal relationship to each other as mistress to servant and:..teacher. to disciple.  Later they become virtually wife and  husband but they are also as goddess to worshipper and art to the artist.  This novella represents the last prominent use of the art theme  in Tanizaki's work and  it is perhaps the most powerful  one.  Sasuke is the embodiment of the artist, for he gives himself completely to his ideal.  He practices intently and in solitude on the samisen  with no other thought than to emulate Shunkin, and his loyalty remains unshaken by the ferocious demands of the discipline as dictated by her. The proof of his sense of esthetic propriety and the ultimate sign of his identification with her lies in his act of self-immolation.  By blinding him-  self, he is rendered unable to view Shunkin's beauty destroyed, and therefore preserves the image of perfection in his memory. That Shunkin is a figuration of art is evident from the two sections of the novella entirely devoted to her songbirds.  These music-  making birds are obviously parallels with Shunkin, especially those that "teach" other birds how the  to sing; what is more, the author lingers over  fact that nightingales must be blinded, so to speak, in order to  make music.  Since they will not sing in front of human beings they are  placed in cages with screens admitting only a dim light (XIII, 530). Shunkin herself identifies with her larks and nightingales.  In a passage  of high lyricism, she tells her pupils that the song of a trained bird is superior to that of a wild one, therefore reminding them of the d i f f i culty of art and of the sacrifices it exacts.  There is a significant shift  in style to mark her speech, the words being couched in the formal literary^ language of the purported biography of Shunkin used by the narrator, and hence her stature is elevated. its priestess in this passage. the  If not art,  she is surely  Finally and most poignantly, the flight of  lark which fails to return to its cage marks the beginning of the i l l -  ness which takes Shunkin's life. The figure of Shunkin gains in pathos at the same time that her dependency on Sasuke grows ever more apparent.  The reader's  sympathies come to be engaged for Shunkin as for no other heroine i n vented by Tanizaki.  The process! is prepared in the earlier stages of  the novella, as, in the exploration of her childhood, the author endows her with a depth of motivation he rarely terizations.  Although Shunkin,  troubles with for his charac-  for Tanizaki's purposes, cannot possibly  be a "real person," the narrator does examine her early life and  the  possible influences on her in order to account for her intemperate duct and her solitude.  con-  Later, Shunkin becomes more and more the image  of egotism, cruelty and avarice as well as of beauty. stages a change takes place.  But in the final  Without losing any of her representative or  symbolic quality she gains in humanity, beginning with the episode of Ritaro's attempted  seduction, which suddenly  reveals the full extent of  her vulnerability, and culminating in the scalding scene, where the reader's distress at the calamity parallels that of Sasuke. The keynote of the Shunkin-Sasuke relationship is interdependence. Sasuke clearly draws his reason for living from his goddess, but we also perceive that Shunkin's reliance on him proves to be as emotional as it is practical.  Though it is exceptional for a Tanizaki heroine to express  any feeling toward her lover which approaches tenderness, Shunkin i n quires, after Sasuke has blinded himself, whether the experience  was  painful, and actually expresses admiration and gratitude (XIII, 549). is true that she requires Sasuke to be a mirror of her own  2  beauty,  It and  this he will continue to be. If the reader sympathizes  with Shunkin and Sasuke, it is in part  because of the third major character, the narrator, who and interpreter.  serves as guide  What would the novella be without him?  The story of  Shunkin and Sasuke is only part of "Shunkinsho," and it is the narrator  101 who makes the difference.  The work could have started with the second  section, beginning with an account of the heroine's biography, the "Shunkin-den."  The introductory section, unnecessary to the bare facts  of the Shunkin-Sasuke story, establishes the importance of the narrator as a character.  His consuming interest in the two lovers reveals itself  especially at the end of this section when he kneels respectfully before Shunkin's grave and strokes the tombstone of Sasuke with affection (XIII, 497).  If the reader is curious as to the narrator's own identity,  this is  another deliberate mystery in a novella full of question marks. The narrator functions as textual c r i t i c , biographer or historian, as in Bushuko hiwa.  He evaluates evidence from the "Shunkin-den"  and from other sources, notably Shigisawa T e r u , the old lady who once served the blind couple.  In its initial phases the novella has the air of  a critical commentary on an old text.  Later, the importance of the  "Shunkin-den" tends to wane as the narrator places greater reliance on the testimony of Shigisawa T e r u .  T h i s shift from a written source to a  living informant accompanies the growing inclination..6f the narrator to make the story his own. The use of a narrator to weigh information might predispose us to believe that greater accuracy would be achieved, but almost the opposite 62 effect comes about.  Since a multitude of questions arises as to the  accuracy of his data, particularly those derived from the " S h u n k i n - d e n , " the outlines of the story are^obscured.  The narrator continually  tantalizes  the reader by offering plausible interpretations only to withdraw them. To give only one instance, he discusses at some length Sasuke's implied accusation that a nurse in the Mozuya household has been responsible for Shunkin's loss of sight in childhood, but concludes by dismissing  102 the idea (XIII, 500).  Without the narrator and his doubts, "Shunkinsho"  might be left with the harsh contours of a story like "Shisei."  It would  surely lack the haziness which is one of its most memorable features, and  which contributes to our perception of the heroine.  of dimness and  The  impression  translucence corresponds to the world of half-light in  which the blind woman lives.  Shunkin is elusive and distant despite  her solidly corporeal existence; the effect is brought about in part because Sasuke sees her as a goddess, but even more so because of this special quality in the narrative, which deliberately raises questions never to be answered. The  significance of the reader-narrator relationship in this novella  cannot be exaggerated.  One  aspect of its singularity lies in the way  the  reader finds himself being taken in and drawn out of participation with the story of the musician couple.  At one moment we  may  be far removed  from their realm, sharing the narrator's concern with the veracity of his information, and at another, we are swept unexpectedly back into their lives. The  simplest example of alternating narrative perspective lies in  the use of the "Shunkin-den." Quotations course the invention of the author — novella, and  from this work —  which is of  occur periodically throughout t h e  immediately signal abrupt breaks.  2  For one thing, the formal  literary style of the old "Shunkin-den" creates a sharp contrast with that of the body of the novella.  Whenever the narrator turns to the  biography for a quotation, the reader who  has been caught up in the  story of Shunkin through its presentation by the narrator again becomes aware that a tale of long ago is being related at a considerable remove from himself.  103 The points of view represented in the novella are far more numerous and;,complex than this rough distinction between the biography and the body of the novella suggest.  Even more significant is the extreme flur  idity of the viewpoints, rendered by techniques already employed in Manji, Momoku monogatari and "Ashikari."  With each of these works the  reader may have thought the flux of viewpoints could be brought no further. in "Shunkinsho" the effects are slightly different from those of its predecessors.  The style is similar in some respects, the text being  divided into short sections without paragraphing and with exceedingly sparse punctuation (except in the "Shunkin-den," which is meant to present a contrasting texture), and what are considered sentences in modern grammatical  and typographical convention are strung together to  form groups of sentences often extending to a dozen lines or more. It follows that narrative breaks often occur within a single sentence group, and so the author may turn from one situation, idea or standpoint to another without interrupting the flow of the prose. used before assumes particular importance  The method though  in "Shunkinsho" and so does  the use of reported speech without quotation marks so that, as relation melts into speech, the consciousness of the speaker suddenly before the reader.  looms up  These remarks could apply to "Ashikari," but only  in the Seribashi portion, for the total effect of "Ashikari" derives partly from the contrast between the traditional style and the modern essay style.  "Shunkinsho" on the other hand is composed entirely in this  drifting manner.  A s for Momoku monogatari,  the use of the method  differs somewhat, for the shift in viewpoints is not nearly of the importance that it possesses in "Shunkinsho."  In this novella, the reader is  caught up from the outset in the steady continuous flow of the prose, and at the end, the only word for its effect is "incantation." So far we have discussed the narrator as distinct from the author. In reality Tanizaki is at pains to make the reader conscious that "Shunkinsho " is a work of fiction being related.  The narrator not infrequently  appears as the author, to bring the reader up with a shock. initial section, referring to Shigisawa Teru, he writes:  In the  "As the old  lady from Haginochaya will enter the story later, there will be no need to discuss her here. . ." (XIII, 533), and in a section on the of the training of joruri performers we  suddenly  harshness  remember that this is  the present for the author, when he refers to an article in the Osaka Asahi which appeared 515).  On  on "February twelfth of this year, 1933"  (XIII,  at least two occasions the author goes so far as to address  the reader directly, as in the last words of the novella.  Direct appeals  to the reader appear frequently in Tanizaki's fiction long before "Shun-kinsho,"  but here, because of the shifting perspectives in the story,  and because of their sudden occurrence within the flow of the prose, they possess a particular relief. The ing, may  reader, fully aware of the story now  receding, now  approach-  be reminded of a similar experience he undergoes in following  performances of certain forms of the traditional Japanese drama. " A s h i k a r i " calls for parallels with the No, for "Shunkinsho" an to the joruri  analogy  has special pertinence, since it provides material for an  entire section, and the samisen is of prime importance The joruri  If  in the work.  chanter, like our narrator, offers description, commentary  and dialogue and in the telling shows himself to be deeply affected by the events taking place on the stage.  The attention of the audience  105  moves from one element of the performance to another with varying degrees of involvement; the puppets, their manipulators, the chanter and the samisen player, far from dividing the attention, contribute to the richness of the experience. So it is for "Shunkinsho."  It is never a  question of persuading the reader that he is not in the presence of a fabrication, for he accepts it completely and indeed the artificial has become real.  The final work under study in this section of Tanizaki's develop 1  ment of narrative in the line of works employing traditional material is  go Shosho Shigemoto no haha .  The six works previously discussed,  from Rangiku monogatari to "Shunkinsho," are concentrated in the years 1930-33, an amazingly brief period for so many works of high calibre. Shigemoto (1949-50) appears at the other end of Tanizaki's second period. In the interval his major endeavors were a translation of the Genji monogatari, and Sasameyuki  (1943-48).  Shigemoto is somewhat reminiscent of Rangiku monogatari in its mixture of pathos, lyricism, and comedy, though it far surpasses the early popular novel in the depth of interest in character and situation it often induces in the reader.  Much of the material is drawn from a  wide range of Heian sources, frequently identified in the text. include the Konjaku monogatari, Heichu nikki monogatari.  fcf  ^>LJ  These  and Yamato  In the last quarter of the novel, as the tone deepens in  intensity, Tanizaki's own imagination takes over; for example,  Shigemoto's  diary is the author's invention, as are the scenes of Kunitsune with the rotting corpse of the young g i r l , and the climactic meeting of Shigemoto 64 with his mother.  The mere fact of original inspiration, of course.  106 does nothing to explain the value of the text, as Tanizaki's skilful handling of the well-known episode of Heichu and Jiju would suggest. Shigemoto is almost invariably discussed as an expression of the theme of love for the mother in Tanizaki's writings, but to do so exclusively distorts the value of the work as a whole.  It is true that the  central plot interest lies in the figure of Shigemoto's mother, but the work consists of an arrangement of four male characters revolving around her.  There is also a secondary plot in the relationship of  Heichu and Jiju. aspect of love.  Each of these male characters represents a different First there is Heichu, a would-be Don Juan in a series  of amatory misadventures, then the rapacious Tokihira who maneuvers old Kunitsune into handing over his young wife, Shigemoto's mother. Kunitsunev the most fully developed male character in the novel, is a figure of pathos, lamenting  the loss of his wife ever afterward.  Finally,  Shigemoto is the focus of attention; though barely remembering his mother he cherishes her as an ideal.  Following this progression of attitudes,  there is a gradation in intensity of the meaning of Shigemoto's mother. For Heichu, she is a possible conquest, for Tokihira an actual trophy. For Kunitsune a lost wife, and for Shigemoto she is a remote memory which he finds actualized at the end of the novel. Therefore Shigemoto for all its variety of scenes, moods and i n cidents possesses a certain thematic unity.  Though the method of de-  velopment tends to be.episodic, the author manipulates the relationships among these characters to produce shifts faintly echoing Manji.  those of  One could cite, for example, the triangle involving Tokihira,  Kunitsune and his wife Kita no kata, and later the Tokihira-Heichu-Kita no kata triangle.  Unlike Manji, this novel is conceived  so that each  situation has its individual interest, though connected to the others. Thus, although Heichu is likened to Tokihira, the two characters are distinguished from each other.  Both are enthusiastic about amatory  adventures, but Heichu is a comical blunderer while Tokihira is a nearvillainous figure whose misdeeds, private and political, are punished by a curse visited even on his descendents.  Though the frivolous episodes  involving Heichu would appear to be antithetical by nature to the story of Kunitsune, parallels are implicit in their situations.  Heichu tries  vainly to cure himself of love for Jiju by stealing a glance at her excrement, and Kunitsune in an attempt to rid himself of his wife's memory attempts to cultivate a sense of impurity (fujokan) by contemplating the maggot-infested corpse of a young woman, but in the end he gives up this ascetic practice.  Besides parallels of this nature there is also a  method of linking story to story by motivations arising directly from the  necessity of advancing the plot, as when Heichu uses the child  Shigemoto to deliver a love poem to his mother. Various facets of Tanizaki's narrative genius emerge in the treatment of these situations. the  First the comic mode is brought into play with  anecdotes of the first chapter and later in the episode of Jiju de-  ceiving Heichu.  There is also a dramatic treatment of situation with  elements of conflict and tension in the scene in which Kunitsune yields Tokihira his wife.  Tanizaki also takes care to work out character re-  lationships and individual destinies fully, and in the case of Tokihira does so by the use of a ghost, that of Sugawara no Michizane seeking revenge; thus he adds an element of supernatural terror to the novel. Two  scenes near the end of the novel show the full force of Tanizaki's  evocative powers through description.  One  is the moonlit fujokan scene,  where the child Shigemoto watches his father kneeling in meditation  108 before the decomposing body of a young g i r l .  The effect on Shigemoto  is revulsion, even after he learns the purpose of the ascetic exercise; he resents his father for not trying to preserve the image of his mother and for defiling her by association with a putrefying corpse. The climactic scene at the end of the novel contains the realization of Shigemoto's ideal.  Some forty years^after his mother's departure  from the family, Shigemoto makes his way where she is now  living.  The landscape is again moonlit, but in con-  trast to the brightness of the fujokan almost eerie.  to the environs of the convent  scene, the lighting is dim  and  Shigemoto's attention is drawn by a cherry tree in full  bloom and a moving object in the shadows beneath it.  The  increasing  brightness of the moon shows the object to be^the figure of a niirv — it is Shigemoto's mother.  In the final lines, as he kneels to embrace her,  he at last sees her face, but even now cherry blossoms.  it is partially shaded by the  A surge of memory sends Shigemoto back to childhood,  with the incense on her nun's sleeves evoking the perfume worn long ago as she held him in her arms. Thematically and visually, the scene recalls the opening of "Haha wo kouru k i " (1919), in which a child in a dream makes a similar moonlit voyage to meet his mother.  In Shigemoto, however, the character  proceeds from the actuality of the waking world into a dreamlike atmosphere, and his advance toward the cherry tree and his mother is developed in pictorial detail which, though based on observable reality, takes the reader into the realm of fantasy.  That the novel should end  with its most emotionally resonant scene is entirely in keeping with our observations on Tanizaki's structures from the very beginning of his career.  It is also fitting that this scene should conclude the author's second period, and  indeed  that of his historical fiction.  After Shige-  moto, Tanizaki never returns to the remote past for material for his fiction, as we  shall see in Chapter III.  It is worth noting that the reader would never have been brought as far as this conclusion were it not for the storytelling art informing the whole.  The  point is of importance for Tanizaki criticism in general,  for commentary on this author's writing almost always draws on the most salient thematic features of the works, to the detriment of the whole. Thus Bushuko hiwa is seen as representative of Tanizaki's masochistic tendencies because of the head-grooming scene, so that the tension  be-  tween the terrifying and  the comic in the whole is virtually ignored.  For "Yoshino kuzu" and  "Ashikari" the critics deal almost exclusively  with the themes and character types of the second portions, to the detriment of the works as narrative entities. of Tanizaki's narrative genius that individual deeply  B.  impressed on the mind of the  Fantasy in everyday  It is precisely because themes and  episodes are  reader.  experience  Many of the works of Tanizaki's earliest phase give proof of a dichotomy between the demands of the author's imagination and  the pre-  sence of external realities.  already  The  process toward reconciliation,  perceptible in Chijin no ai reaches significant heights in Tade kuu (XII,  mushi  1-185), the first work of this second period, "Neko to Shozo to  futari no onna"  * A  Two  XIV,  Women," 1936,  Sisters, 1943-48, XV,  it  * ^ ^  ^ ^  263-368), and  1-882).  ("The Sasameyuki  Cat, Shozo and k<gf  the  (The Makioka  All these works are evidence of a  synthesis, for they convey everyday experience through the filter of fantasy.  They are not, therefore, antithetical to the works just  examined in Section A, with their other-worldly atmosphere, and  it is  the pull of fantasy in them which accounts in large measure for their hold on the  reader. 65  Tade kuu  mushi  shares with "Yoshino kuzu," the work immedi  ately following it, a certain muted quality, and less action. Misako may  its surface plot has even  A couple, Kaname and Misako, are to separate so that go to her lover.  Their situation is presented  in a scene at  an Osaka theatre with the couple in the company of Misako's. father and his young mistress Ohisa, then in Kaname's dialogue with his cousin Takanatsu, and ing  in several domestic scenes. The  separation recede during two  scene and  problems of the impend-  subsequent episodes, another theatre  Kaname's visit to a prostitute, Louise, but they return in the  final chapter in which Kaname waits as his father-in-law discusses the situation with Misako.  At the end we are not told exactly what is to  happen to the characters, though the movement toward separation seems overwhelming. The  real plot interest lies in an underlying psychological action  taking place in Kaname.  Throughout the novel runs the theme implied  by the title (an abbreviation of a proverb  meaning "each to his  own  tastes"), about choices in modes of life; these are observed by Kaname and  the novel basically concerns his progression toward a way  represented  of living  by his father-in-law.  The complexity  of the novel makes the spontaneity of its impact  all the more remarkable.  The  work may  by an examination of its development by  be most conveniently approached sections.  Structurally, Tade  kuu  mushi gives the impression of having been composed in chunks,  with marked changes of time, locale and viewpoint from one section to the next.  Nonetheless the total effect is not disjointed, for the novel  proceeds through a slow and subdued progression of parallels and  con-  trasts in characters and situations. The novel opens on a domestic scene whose surface is of the utmost ordinariness; Kaname and Misako are dressing to go to the theatre. Told, like most of the novel, from Kaname's viewpoint, the scene shows them carefully performing the gestures of a married couple although they are no longer, in effect, a couple, for Kaname now in his wife, and she is preoccupied with her lover.  has no interest  The nuances of  the relationships as perceived by Kaname cause an ordinary scene to give off emotional reverberations of a sort never before achieved by Tanizaki. The  next chapter introduces the couple's child, Hiroshi, whose be-  haviour shows nothing of the distress he evidently feels over the impending  separation.  notion may  Hence all three characters are play-acting.  The  be taken as a key to the novel; so far, as a metaphor for  the behaiour of Kaname, Misako and dued tonality of the novel.  Hiroshi, it contributes to the sub-  The play-acting metaphor is concretized in  the next scene at a joruri performance attended by Kaname and Misako, still in their guise as a united couple, and by Misako's father and  Ohisa.  The father is the character in the novel most overtly performing a role, as an old gentleman with extremely refined tastes in the old Japanese style, and he has forced his mistress, Ohisa, into the role of the traditional Japanese doll-woman.  So far this presentation of the characters  might seem unexceptional, given the prevalence of role-playing in every aspect of Japanese social relations, were it not for three factors.  First  is the extended use of a mask of some sort by virtually all the characters later introduced; secondly, as we have seen, the sense of dissimulation which is a constant in Tanizaki, often creating a sense of the shadowed, unexplainable areas of life; lastly, the special insistence on theatrical performance in this novel.  The connection between the charac-  ters and their masks is not heavily underlined, except in the case of the  old man. The theatre episode of Chapters II and 111 is of major significance  in characterization, theme and structure.  It establishes the first sets  of the many character patternings which in their totality constitute a structure, in the words of one critic, "a carefully controlled architec66 tonics of characterization."  The modern Tokyo woman, Misako, con-  trasts with Ohisa, a figure from Kyoto tradition, and Kaname begins to identify with Misako's father.  A second aspect of interest in this scene  is the implied parallel of the situation on the stage with that of Kaname and Misako.  The comparison is not a direct one —  in Tade kuu mushi  we often observe the author drawing back from explicitness — relationship of Jihei and Osan in Shinju ten no Amijima  but the  '^^J^.^if) JQ  (The Love Suicides at Amijima) brings pained smiles of recognition to the  faces of these two spectators (XII, 30). The third aspect of prime importance in the theatre scene lies in  the  expression of the anti-realistic impulse.  In Kaname's eyes, the  joruri puppet, Koharu, represents the eternal woman of Japanese tradition, and Ohisa's classic face is likened to hers.  This.".is a new develop-  ment in Kaname's worshipful attitude toward women, for hitherto he has not  found any counterpart in Japan to the adoration of women he has  found in Western! literature and even in Hollywood movies.  It is in this  scene that Kaname's movement toward a new ideal begins, and the reader may already guess from the account of Kaname's attraction to the dolls and  to Osaka tradition in general, that the new ideal is likely to pre-  vail. Related to this point is a regressive tendency in Kaname's imagination.  On entering the theatre he remembers being taken to a play by  his mother in early childhood, and the pleasant sensations evoked on that occasion.  Another association with childhood is made later in the  chapter, when Kaname sees Koharu as a fairy from a production of Peter Pan.  The world of childhood joins the world of art, and both are  worlds of the imagination through which woman is seen.  The basis of  this novel is fantasy and not pedestrian realism. After the theatre episode. Chapters IV and V constitute a distinct narrative break.  They consist largely of dialogue between Kaname and  his cousin Takanatsu on the question of separation or divorce.  Tanakatsu  functions as Kaname's interlocutor so that the resulting dialogue may inform the reader of Misako's and Hiroshi's presumed reactions to the situation.  The extent of the dialogue method shows Tanizaki avoiding  extremes of psychological delvings; although he explores Kaname's states of mind in the novel, and to some extent Misako's, Tade kuu mushi is not really' a psychological novel.  The author handles characterization  primarily through parallels and contrasts, not through analysis. A t any rate, Takanatsu in these chapters acts as a sounding-board for Kaname's preoccupations.  There is a faint recall in these passages, where t h i r d -  person narration is clearly secondary to direct speech, of the dialogue plays (taiwa-geki) written by Tanizaki in his first period.  It may be  too far-fetched to suggest that the dialogue technique carries on the  theatre motif, but at one point Kaname experiences distaste for a view of himself as a wailing chanter in a performance of a play in the Osaka manner (XII, 49). The scene shifts to Misako in Chapters VI and VII.  The setting  is again domestic, opening with Misako still in bed listening to Hiroshi and Takanatsu discussing the family dogs. dolls —  She thinks of her festival  the doll motif thus reappears, but through Misako's viewpoint.  To her the tradition of setting them out; is of no importance, and thus she is contrasted with Kaname .whose idealized reveries associated the Koharu puppet with Ohisa, Osaka tradition, and childhood. Misako eventually joins Takanatsu and her son in conversation about the dogs, one of them a greyhound, an exotic marvel just brought by Takanatsu from Shanghai.  The dialogue between Takanatsu and  Misako, interspersed by comments made by Hiroshi, consists of casual banter at times containing faint overtones of the erotic, especially when Misako's throat is compared to the dog's, so that the reader senses their physical awareness of each other.  The dialogue thus differs from that  of the two preceding chapters in which Takanatsu and Kaname engaged in intimate conversation; here Takanatsu and Misako wear their social masks.  This is the only point in the novel where Takanatsu may  served to be play-acting; otherwise he is the sole character who  be obrefrains  from assuming a role. The dialogue centering on the dogs, it should be noted, unfolds with such ease that we may  not see at once that these pets, as virtual  toys, belong to the theatre-doll-childhood set of associations already established and to assume particular relief in the Awaji puppet theatre episode.  115 Throughout Chapters VI and VII Kaname is in the background but his function is not passive.  The author occasionally reminds us  that Kaname is reading the Arabian Nights, so that escapism, exoticism and eroticism —  in a word, fantasy —  never leave the scene.  Chapter VII consists almost wholly of dialogue between Takanatsu and Misako on her reactions to her conjugal difficulties.  The dialogue  is very much like that of the Takanatsu-Kaname chapters and both are unlike that of Chapter VI.  Here it functions to present a double view-  point, and it is clear that when each of the two principals is alone with Takanatsu no pretense is necessary, so that the reader sees the main characters from a perspective very different from that of situations when they are together, or with others. Kaname returns as the protagonist in Chapter VIII, which sets the background of his indifference to Misako as a woman.  In a significant  phrase, "for Kaname a woman had to be either a goddess or a toy" (XII, 97), and Misako is neither.  A s he reflects on her affair, the narration  brings the reader close enough to the text to indicate that it may as well be related in the first person, and therefore that the use of the first person is no guarantee in itself of closer contact with the reader. The  rest of the novel, told from Kaname's viewpoint, also bears out this  observation. Chapters  IX, X, XI and the beginning of XII make up another  narrative block very different from the preceding.  T h i s time the setting  is Awaji, where Kaname has come to meet Misako's father and Ohisa on the first leg of the old man's trip. on the figure of Ohisa.  First, Kaname's interest concentrates  Our view of this character changes somewhat  because of his conjectures that she must be chafing under the old man's insistence on her living out the role he has assigned to her (XII, 109-110).  116 As Kaname listens to her play the samisen he has a moment of recall, a memory from childhood of a girl's face, faintly white in a window one summer evening.  The sight affects the child so deeply that it becomes  the  germ of his idealization of women in later life (XII, 109).  The  end-  ing  of the novel, with its dim perception of the puppet's face mistaken  for  Ohisa's is here prepared. The Awaji puppet theatre episode in Chapters X and XI, the  second of the theatrical performances in the novel, marks an important stage in progression.  To begin with, Misako's absence from the Awaji  scene suggests Kaname's growing withdrawal from his marriage and at the  same time his increasing attachment to the old man's way  which includes Ohisa.  of life,  This time the accent is not on Kaname's attrac-  tion to Japanese tradition, or his view of woman, but on another ideal region, that of childhood.  A t the performance Kaname is lulled by the  mood of the scene around him, and drifts into childhood memories of seeing Kagura dances; the sensation of being in a Shangri-la overcomes him (XII, 125).  The Awaji puppets are the products of a crude, child-  like folk art and the audience feels close to them.  Not accidentally, a  large number of children are present: On the other side of that kindergarten noise in the pit, Kaname's eye caught hints of something different from the scene in the Osaka puppet theatre. This was a land of fantasy with the simplicity and brightness of children's stories, of fairylands... 11 was unlike the realism of Bungoro's handling of puppets in Osaka; the puppets here seemed to be playing innocently with the children in the audience (XII, 127). The reversion to childhood is underlined by the allusions to open buckets in the pit as public toilets and the incident of a small boy using one of them in the aisle beside Kaname and his companions.  117  The doll motif comes to the fore at the beginning of Chapter XII as Kaname takes his leave of the old man and Ohisa, who are off on a p i l grimage to the temples of Awaji.  A passing reference is made to the  puppet which the old man is planning to buy, but more importantly here, Kaname perceives a deep contentment in the other man's way of living, as represented by the fact that "in the garb of the doll theatre and accompanied by a doll-like woman he is in search of an old doll to buy" (XII,  140) The  s  rest of the chapter offers a complete contrast.  With no ex-  pressed motivation, Kaname returns to the Kobe area where, after a Western meal, he proceeds to a house of prostitution run by an Englishwoman, Mrs. Brent.  Even this incidental character is a player of roles,  much exaggerating her emotions.  That she is also in a process  of physical and mental deterioration might suggest that she symbolizes the decline of the West in Kaname's view and a stage in his progression toward a way of life like his father-in-law's, but there is no over-simplification in this novel/  Kaname finds himself touched by her sorrow at  the same time as he recognizes her sentimentality. The character of chief interest in this chapter, the Eurasian prostitute Louise, is also engaged in playacting, for she lives under false pretenses as to her background.  On one hand, Kaname is ambivalent toward Louise, seeing  her both as a beast and a Lamaist statue of the Goddess of Joy, but on the other he is much amused by her melodramatic set  complaints.  Louise is  in contrast to both Ohisa and Misako with whom she forms a i t r i a d ,  but even on this point a slight qualification must be made, since Misako is not a paragon of conjugal virtue.  This episode, furthermore, has certain affinities to the scenes of fantasy through one aspect: her foreignness may outside his own;  Kaname's attraction to Louise because of  be likened to the nature of his longings for worlds  the scenes with her are a realization, of the Arabian  Nights reading scenes. Kaname's visit to Louise also turns out to have a function in the plot, since it influences Kaname's resolution to part from Misako.  He  realizes the incongruity- of remaining married to Misako, to whom he is far. less attracted than the relatively insignificant Louise. In for  Chapter XIII, the advance in the surface plot becomes marked,  the decision to separate is now  Takanatsu, and Misako.  in the minds of Misako's father,  A crisis is reached; Hiroshi is told of his  parents' situation, but the author ignores the potential for exploitation of his attitudes.  It is Takanatsu  who  takes the step of informing the  child, but Kaname learns of the fact at second hand, through Misako, and only after reading Takanatsu's letter of Misako telling her what he has done, and also urging her to begin a new  life, does Kaname briefly  show the first, and indeed the only signs of deep grief over the whole affair. The final chapter, after an exchange between Kaname and his father-in-law resolved to argue Misako out of her decision to leave her marriage, belongs to Kaname and Ohisa.  The ending of the novel is  slightly ambivalent, but from what has already happened in the minds of the principal characters, there can be little doubt of the outcome. Kaname, we In  sense, will surely follow the course Misako's father has taken.  the bath he is taken with the fantasy that the old man's house, where  he is now,  is his; he has divorced Misako.  His dream of his new  state  119 also involves an Ohisa, not necessarily the actual one; he thinks the ideal Ohisa may is shaded.  even be a doll.  In a subsequent  tent with her way  But the idealization of this character  dialogue Ohisa expresses a certain discon-  of life as imposed by the old man.  Kaname through  the mosquito netting, thinks he sees Ohisa's shadowy face in a corner, but it is the puppet brought from Awaji. slides the door open, and "it was  Soon after, Ohisa herself  not a doll's face that appeared  dimly  white in the darkness beyond the netting" (XII, 185). The assimilation of Ohisa to an art object is appropriate, since she is herself a creation of the old man's, but the implications of the image do not end here, if we view of women.  remember the goddess-toy  dichotomy in Kaname's  In this case, suggestions of both aspects are present.  Ohisa is surely the embodiment of an ideal Kaname can worship, and  she  is not a plaything in the sense that Louise is, but in the first place she is often referred to as a doll and in the Osaka theatre scene she is linked to the Koharu puppet.  The associations ramify from the idea of puppet  to Misako's festival dolls, from the elegant Osaka puppets to the crude Awaji puppets, which Kaname sees as children at play, and even extend to the scene of Hiroshi with the dogs.  If Ohisa is a plaything on this  level of associations, the split in Kaname is healed at the ending; it is evident, moreover, that absolute antitheses are alien to the spirit of this novel.  In any case, Ohisa stands at the centre of the web  of fan-  tasies which constitute the essence of the work. Tade kuu mushi marks an important stage of development for Tanizaki.  A point of contact exists with the early shi-shosetsu, in which  the author is trapped by identification with his male protagonists. kuu  mushi does contain autobiographical elements; in fact the basic  Tade  120 situation of a couple about to separate corresponds to a phase of the author's own  marital difficulties, but now  is entirely different.  the attitude of author to text  Tanizaki has reached a level of detachment from  the identity of his hero enabling him to make this character into a fictional creation.  Signs of detachment are perceptible in the text, as in  Kaname's earlier ironic appraisal of his father-in-law as a humbug, his wry  self-recognition during the scene representing Jihei and  jugal relationship, and in Mrs.  Brent and  his awareness of the self-dramatizing  Osan's contendencies  Louise.  It follows that the author is able to create independent characterizations of people other than the protagonist.  The  existence of no fewer  than eight different characters in this novel, each with distinctive traits, demonstrates progress  in the area of character presentation over the far  more limited worlds of Chijin no ai and Lastly, Tade kuu  Manji .  mushi, even more than "Yoshino kuzu," calls for  certain parallels with the workrof Kawabata, in such areas as tonal restraint and  the use of associated motifs.  Tanizaki, however, must be  sharply distinguished from Kawabata in his conception of structure.  He  appears to require a conclusion to his works, as Kawabata frequently did  not, and  Tade kuu  mushi, in the light of the above discussion, is  surely not open-ended, despite the author's  reluctance to tell the  reader  precisely what is to happen to the characters. If a certain authorial detachment is visible in Tade kuu  mushi and  indeed in all the works of this second period, it is absolutely essential to the conception of "Neko to Shozo to futari no onna" (1936), for this novella is a pure comic creation.  The  author must be sufficiently dis-  tanced from his material to be able to present a male protagonist Shozo  121  in love with a cat, who provokes jealousy in two successive wives.  Ex-  cessive attachment to a cat, and resulting jealousy, do not necessarily 67  constitute material for comedy  but in this case it surely does, because  Shozo as a woman-worshipping Tanizaki hero sees the cat, L i l y , as an ideal female, and because the author takes care especially in the i n t r o duction of the latter to underline the lowly nature of the love object. It has already been indicated that the comic elements in Tanizaki's writing starting from the second period are signs of a detachment rarely o c c u r r i n g in the works set in the author's present.  Various levels of  the comic mode are evident in the second p e r i o d ; Rangiku monogatari and Shosho Shigemoto no haha contain farcical episodes, Bushuko hiwa has a conspicuous mock-heroic and grotesque aspect, but only work of pure comedy.  "Nekp" is the  Comedy in this work is moreover of a higher  order than that of the other w o r k s . Comedy is the result of Tanizaki's powers of narrative persuasion. The situation at the outset is u n u s u a l :  Shozo's f i r s t wife, Shinako, asks  her successor for his cat, L i l y , who stands higher in his affections than either woman.  The author must convince us of the plausibility of these  relationships, since the incongruity making for comedy must possess a strain of truth in order to be effective.  In this case he sets out to work  on the reader by having one character t r y i n g to persuade another.  The  novella opens with the text of a letter written by Shinako to F u k u k o , a most manipulative letter full of self-deprecation and subtle cajolery, aimed at g i v i n g the second wife the illusion that she has been the winner in the matter of the d i v o r c e , and above all playing on her possible jealousy of the cat.  F u k u k o ' s manner is so convincing that the reader accepts the  premise of a mere animal as an object of jealousy and as a tool.  The  use of the letter is an indirect means of persuasion.  Immedi-  ately after presenting the letter, the author hastens to maintain the level of credibility he has just established by employing a direct method: he shows Shozo and each other.  the cat together to demonstrate their closeness to  Fukuko, every detail of the letter in her mind, sits at  dinner with her husband, watching him feed Lily from his own The  chopsticks.  scene is an astonishing tour de force; the author communicates a  sense of Shozo's intimacy with the cat by precise sense impressions, through the rendering of gestures, shapes and sensations.  postures, and even oral  Shozo lifts a fish in the air for Lily to catch, and  this  central character first comes into view poised with her paws on the table like a customer in a bar, her back rounded like the hunchback of NotreDame (XIV,  268).  In a phase when Tanizaki uses figurative language  very sparingly these comic similes  assume particular relief.  They  em-  phasize the fact that Lily i s , after all, only a cat, for they are in the realm of conventional anthropomorphic views of animals. Shozo then places the fish in his mouth to remove the vinegar sauce and break up the bones for Lily, who mouth.  One  then takes it from his  can imagine a piece of psychoanalytical criticism commenting  on this incident as evidence of Tanizaki's "oral compulsions," related to a "mother complex," but the issue here is the appeal to a sensation rarely exploited with success in literature. These two passages at the opening of the novella, the letter and the feeding scene, represent persuasive argument on the part of the author.  From this point the narrative advances in a mixture of dialogue,  psychological analyses, and flashbacks, from the viewpoints of Fukuko, Shozo and  Shinako.  In Neko, Tanizaki explores states of mind to an  extent rare in his work; he develops character psychology  much further  than in Tade kuu  mushi or Sasameyuki, which, though not psychological  novels, contain an essential ingredient of character interplay.  In fact,  even with the potentially comic premise of a cat arousing love and jealousy, this might be called one of the few works of psychological realism in Tanizaki..  For example, Fukuko is examined in a complex mental  state after receiving the letter. and we  She wonders about Shinako' s motives, !  learn her reasons for not telling Shozo about it, and for asking  him to give Lily to his ex-wife.  Later, Shinako, who  takes the cat for  mixed motives, comes to identify with her as another lonely being forced to leave her home. As for Shozo's motivations, the most basic causes for his attachment for Lily  are presented  in a late stage of the novella.  sitting in an^empty lot near Shinako's house, hoping chance.  The  Shozo is  to meet Lily by  reader learns that he has never experienced  such feelings  toward a human being, having always been treated like a child by his mother and  wives, and  having even Jacked friends. t  However, Tanizaki  brings nuances to the characterization^df this simple-minded hero. spite his apparent weakness he is able to manipulate others, and  Dethe  text makes us suspect that,he, not his mother or Fukuko, played the principal role in Shinako's expulsion from the household. The  impression of veracity in the rendering of the characters is  also aided by the use of dialect in direct speeches, and by the representation of the activities of the characters in an urban lower-middle class context.  This novel shows Tanizaki in a very rare resort to material  from this social category.  The  unusually high degree of domestic real-  ism in "Neko" is an important aspect of Tanizaki's persuasiveness; is not the case in the works of his first period,  such  in "Shisei," for example,  the reader accepts the extraordinary because of Tanizaki's handling of  124 of stylization and artifice; in "Neko," acceptance of the unusual depends on his skill in the representational mode. Throughout  the novella, however,„ the author never loses control of  an equilibrium between the actuality of the characters' mental processes and their outward  lives, and the sense of the incongruous in Shozo's  fantasy image of the cat. cat,  While Lily is thoroughly credible as a "real"  Shozo sees her (often referred to as kanojo in the text) as a human  female, first a small girl full of mischievous charm, with a lively, expressive face (XIV, 299-300), then as an ideal woman.  When Lily gives birth  for the first time she is a shadowy Tanizaki heroine, combining the types of the eternal woman and the femme fatale; her eyes shine from the depths of a dark closet and in them Shozo sees "coquetry, voluptuousness and sorrow" (kobi to, iroke to, aishu) (XIV, 301).  A precedent  exists in an earlier Tanizaki story for Shozo's view of the cat as a distillation of the feminine essence; this is the unfinished short story "Dorisu" K ») X.  ("Doris," 1927) in which the narrator's white Persian cat is  seen as a foreign woman. The use of the cat symbol comes to a climax at the end of the novella, when Shozo, unable to bear his separation from Lily, finally gains entrance to Shinako's room where she is sleeping in the absence of her new mistress. accustomed  Shozo is full of concern for her, but Lily, by now  to Shinako's care, reacts with a properly catlike indifference.  In effect, she jilts Shozo who reacts with self-pity.  The novella ends as  he departs hastily at the sound of Shinako approaching the house. The cat is a perfect symbol for the object of unilateral love. accuracy of the symbolism  The  and the portrayal of Shozo and the two women  leads the reader to the halfway point between empathy for the characters  125 and laughter over the nature of their situation.  The  poise thus achieved  is a mark of a high level of comedy of character, a mode which appears to be exceptional in Japanese literature. CO  The final work under discussion in this chapter is Sasameyuki, Tanizaki's longest novel, and piece.  in the view of many readers, his master-  It belongs to the same category as Tade kuu  mushi and  "Neko to  Shozo to futari no onna" because of the strong idealizing tendency behind the presentation .of everyday  experience.  Though on one level it is a  bourgeois novel of manners, its total effect depends on the author's attachment to the three principal Makioka sisters and their mode of life. The accomplishment is all the more extraordinary as there is no central male character like Kaname reflecting on his own  tendency to idolize  women. As a finely detailed chronicle of the life of the Makioka sisters, this novel reaffirms Tanizaki's resolution of his previous difficulties with longer forms, for he manipulates and The  shapes a great wealth of material.  wide scope of the novel and  approaches to structure possible. as to theme.  its complexity makes a variety of  So is the lack of critical agreement  To give an idea of the problems encountered  attempting to grasp this novel in its totality, we may in inclusive interpretations:  by critics  indicate an extreme  Silvino V. Epistola, stating that the theme  of Sasameyuki is " l i f e , " sees the development of the work as an orchestration of this theme, "repeated in every one of the various keys until the possibilities have been e x h a u s t e d . S o m e Japanese critics, less concerned with the form of the whole, simply refer to the development of the novel as that of an unfolding picture s c r o l l . ^ 7  Noguchi  Takehiko,  conceiving of the work in terms of the internal time of human beings.  126 specifically the cycles of time in the physiology of women,  71  offers sug-  gestions as to secondary structures within the novel, but still does not englobe its entirety. Bearing in mind the dangers of oversimplification, we may  suggest  that the novel consists not of a single structural pattern but of several patterns superimposed on each other, or intertwined. The most important aspect of the ordering of plot elements is the arrangement of Yukiko's five marriage negotiations which span the novel. These proposals constitute a series of failures until the final one, with Viscount Mimaki, but the author avoids steady progression. sode in the sequence of suitors is distinctive.  Each epi-  Yukiko appears willing to  marry the first suitor, Segoshi, but the Makiokas end the negotiations on learning that his mother suffers from mental illness.  Yukiko then  declines a second prospect, Nomura, because of his insensitivity. of these proposals come in Book I; incthe. second book Yukiko's  Both  marriage  plans recede, but return early in the last portion of the novel. Book III, with a humiliating setback for the family, when Sawazaki refuses Yukiko. The fourth candidate, Hashidera, looks promising, but Yukiko's stubbornness combined  with shyness destroys all hope of marriage with him.  At  last the negotiations end in success with Viscount Mimaki, but the author qualifies this triumph, for Mimaki has certain defects, such as the lack of a stable profession.  Throughout this sequence of marriage offers  the author plays on the reader's anticipation, especially as hopes and disappointments are seen to a great extent through the eyes of Sachiko, the sister who  plays a major role in the negotiations.  The second structuring element also spanning the novel is the arrangementcof the story of Taeko, the youngest sister.  Though the  most modern and the most spirited of all-the sisters, she is constantly  127  thwarted in her attempts to succeed in life.  The line of plot interest  paralleling Yukiko's series of marriage proposals consists of Taeko's difficulties with men.  In Book I, Chapter 3, her relationship with the  leisured and indolent Okubata is bound to the story of Yukiko, who has had problems in marriage negotiations because Taeko once caused a scandal by eloping with Okubata.  In Book I, Taeko's concerns are se-  condary to Yukiko's, while in Book II, Yukiko fades temporarily from the scene as her younger sister comes to the fore. for Taeko, the photographer Itakura, appears.  A second possibility  Taeko proposes marriage  to him, and despite the difference in social status between the two, Sachiko discusses the matter seriously with her husband, Teinosuke. Itakura's agonizing death at the end of Book II represents a disaster for Taeko. Book III treats the stories of both sisters, though Yukiko's commands more attention.  At length Taeko induces a bartender, Miyoshi,  to marry her and her situation now counterpoints Yukiko's betrothal to Mimaki, the son of an aristocrat.  Taeko's story ends in apparent defeat  as she has a child by Miyoshi only to lose it at birth, but she survives after many trials, while Yukiko's future is in some doubt. Under the interplay of the plots involving these two sisters is a downward movement.  Decline is thetthemaitic-essence of this novel.  The  fortunes of the Makioka family, an old Osaka merchant house, have been on the wane even as the novel opens, and the fact is always in the background of the characters' acts and thoughts.  In Book I the main house,  the branch headed by Tsuruko, the oldest Makioka sister, and Tatsuo, her husband, moves to Tokyo. of the sisters' past.  The displacement signifies an uprooting  128  The chronological framework of the novel provides another structuring element, which also gives off a sense of change and instability. The events of the novel take place between late autumn of 1938 April of 1941.  and  The author often keeps the reader informed of time, by  dating the sisters' activities and by alluding to international events, so that the reader is ever aware of the impending  war.  A network of recurring allusions to seasonal ritual also mirrors the downward movement of the novel.  The cherry-blossom viewings and the  moon-viewing of Book I are relatively bright in atmosphere; they correspond to the dark, subdued mood of the firefly hunt in Book III, Chapter 4.  The series of annual cherry-blossom viewings is itself graded in mood;  in Book I, Chapter 19, Sachiko is saddened at the thought of seeing the cherry blossoms without Yukiko, when she is married, but still, the account of the excursion to Kyoto is developed as an elegant occasion. At the novel's end, in Book III, Chapter 37, the last cherry-blossom viewing is a subdued and somewhat perfunctory activity. The complexity of these structures is not immediately visible to the reader; what he notices above all in this novel is characterization. One  one level the characters are presented as social beings; their indi-  vidual development is not the only issue, and neither is examination of their motives.  Far more important is the implication of their acts for  the family as a whole, and hence of what they do in the eyes of outsiders.  Social relationships are of the utmost significance for the sur-  face of the work. And  yet. itiwould be erroneous to interpret Sasameyuki as a novel  of contemporary  realities.  The way  of life of the Makioka sisters is  72 an ideal world for the author,  though not in the way  that the Edo of  129 "Shisei" and the civil war period of Momoku monogatari  are.  First of all, the sisters make up a self-contained introverted unit. Attachments within the family are all-powerful; the sisters are isolated from outsiders by pride in family tradition and also by a reluctance to leave each other.  The first candidate for Yukiko'snhand, Segoshi, is  thoroughly discussed beginning from the first chapter, but; he is not even:.named until the fourth; the second suitor, Nomura, is introduced as a set of statistics. Another factor supporting the idea that the Makioka world is somewhat apart from this world is the presentation..6f Taeko as an artist figure in the areas of creation (doll-making) and performance tional dance).  (the tradi-  Some signs of overt idealization enter the novel in the  author's view of the three sisters together.  His desire to keep them a l -  ways beautiful and young is reflected first in a passage where they are admired  during their outings by a stranger who  for younger than they actually are (XV,  constantly takes them  42), but most prominently in  the references to the sisters on cherry-blossom viewing excursions. Book I, Chapter 7, reference is made to a photograph  In  which Teinosuke,  Sachiko's husband, has taken of the three together and to the poem he composed for the occasion, containing an allusion to their beauty 43).  (XV,  ln a fully developed chapter on another cherry-blossom viewing.  Book I, Chapter  19, Sachiko has regrets for the passing of time and  the separation that her sisters' marriages will bring about, and again' they are photographed.  The photographs  are an expression of a wish  to preserve and perpetuate the image of the sisters, and their life as it i s . The cherry-blossom viewings have a correspondence and last book in the firefly hunt attended by Sachiko and  in the third Yukiko.  130 A firefly hunt, we are told in the course of Sachiko's memory of the event, is lacking in the pictorial values of cherry-blossom scenes but are possessed of a dreamy quality, like that of the world of fairy tales (XV, 568). Sachiko herself, as the most traditional Osakan of the three, represents the pull of old values which for the author is another ideal area. But in one later passage, in the course of a holiday, she returns to Teinosuke's view as youthful and even childlike in her delight in the distorted reflection of the room in the bright surface of a thermos bottle. Her own reflections is that of a spirit in a crystal ball, the princess of the dragon palace under the sea, or a queen (XV, 772). The limited world of the Makioka women frequently contrasts with others, for example, that of the White Russian family, the Kyrilenkos, and the fashionable Tokyo women who once call on Sachiko.  In Tokyo  itself the Makiokas are foreigners; on Sachiko's trip to the east country, the exoticism of Mount Fuji for an Osakan is indicated (XV, 770). The sisters' many illnesses suggest that their ideal world is also a fragile one. The extreme fastidiousness of Yukiko and Sachiko in matters of hygiene suggest an outright avoidance of physical experience (XV,  189-190).  For Taeko the observation does not hold, but it must  be pointed out that she too is vulnerable; in fact this character who appears to be the best equipped of the sisters to deal with the actual is the one most seriously affected by disaster, such as the Sumiyoshi flood, the death of a lover, the dysentery attack which nearly killsiiher, and a painful childbirth with the resulting death of the infant. If illness signifies a world being eaten away from the inside, it is also being menaced by circumstances external to the sisters' limited,  ordered lives.  There are natural disasters like the great flood and the  typhoon in Tokyo, and above all the imminence of world war.  Poignancy  results from the placing of the events of the novel just before the war, all the more as the foreshadowings of the cataclysm to come are not overstated.  On  the whole the references to world events are made as casual  as they must have been in the minds of sheltered upper-middle-class women caught up in the concerns of daily life.  The foreign families,  the Kyrilenkos and the Stolzes, are set in contrast with the sisters, parti cularly the former, as people who  live by political events, but they are  also parallels, for their uprooting, whether from their own  lands or from  Japan, echoes the displacement of the main branch of the Makioka family. Foreboding arises in the mind of the reader through the mere dating of letters, like those from Mrs. Stolz in Hamburg, dated May, February,  1939 and  1941.  Partly because the sense that the Makiokas  1  world is to vanish  depends on the reader's knowledge of what is to happen after April of 1941, when the novel ends, and because Tanizaki was  writing this work  73 during the war,  Sasameyuki may  be considered an historical novel in  some respects. What greater historical distance could there be, than for a novelist writing in wartime about a period he knew would not re74 turn?  The rupture between the world that was,  and  contemporary  reality for the author, produces the impression that Sasameyuki  was  written with a strong sense of nostalgia. One  of the most conspicuous aspects of Sasameyuki leading to an  interpretation of the world of the Makioka sisters as an idealized realm lies, in the characterization of Yukiko as typifying the traditional Japanese beauty or even the eternal woman;  75  in her reserve and  remoteness  132  she has affinities with such characters as Ohisa in Tade kuu Lady Oichi in Momoku monogatari.  mushi and  Her influence on the title even affects  our reading of the novel, for the word "sasameyuki," ("fine, powdery snow"), is said by the author to have occurred to him tion with the name of the main character, Y u k i k o .  through associaThe  7 6  word refers  not to a specific image or theme in the novel but is generally evocative of elegance and grace, and  therefore conveys the overall impression of  the content far more accurately than the title San*, shi mai (Three Sisters) which occurred to the author f i r s t .  7 7  Yukiko, like other characters in the novel, is basically a type. It is true that the author shades off her presentation; her outward p l i ancy is countered  by inner stubbornness, and  exterior is belied by her resistance to illness.  even physically, her frail A certain evolution also  takes place in the reader's view of this character.  In a late phase of  the novel Yukiko proves to be far more forceful than her extroverted sister Sachiko,  in venturing to scold Taeko for her misdeeds.  And  de-  spite her decidedly traditional aspect she has Western tastes in many areas of life, like her sister. These qualifying traits may  lead us to conclude that after a long  succession of types among Tanizaki characters (perhaps excepting some in Tade kuu  mushi), a balanced character has at last appeared.  Tanizaki's conception of this character is not fundamentally tional.  Yukiko is a figure with universal resonances.  fragile quality is repeatedly stressed, and her eye lends her an other-worldly air.  representa-  Her classic,  the mystery of the spot over In addition, the author is at  pains to keep her remote in the narration. reported thoughts and  But  In a novel abounding with  speeches, Yukiko's reactions to events and  133  situations are very rarely expressed, so that the reader, along with Sachiko, Teinosuke and Taeko are forced to conjecture what she may thinking; and naturally, as a timid, silent individual, she rarely  be  appears  in the dialogue which elsewhere in the novel is an effective vehicle for character portrayal. In one of the very few passages presented from her viewpoint, Yukiko looks out onto the garden of the Ashiya house, and the author comments that she comes to life again whenever she returns to this house (XV,  135).  For Yukiko this is an extremely strong attribution of feeling,  one of the very few appearing in the novel; otherwise the author does not convey her direct reaction to the scene. to  The effect is the opposite  that of the scenes in which he places the emotionally expressive  Sachiko in natural surroundings, for example, the cherry-blossom ing of Book 1, Chapter that Yukiko may  view-  19, which causes her to grieve over the thought  not attend the excursion next year (XV,  142).  Though at the novel's end Yukiko's marriage negotiations meet with success there is more than a faint suggestion that marriage is not for her.  The prospective bridegroom  regrets leaving her sisters.  The final  has no fixed profession, and  she  sentence of this long novel hints  at an uncertain future: Sachiko remembered that she, too, had showed no gladness on her own marriage; questioned by her sisters, she spoke of her unhappiness and wrote a poem: "Another day spent on choosing clothes; how sad weddings are!"; Yukiko's diarrhea did not stop that day, and continued even on the train (XV, 881-882). Since the endings of Tanizaki's works often carry a special emphasis, the allusion to one of the very few illnesses befalling Yukiko in the novel is thematically significant.  The work, we may  judge, concludes on a note  134  of unsoundness and instability which will no doubt continue. The method of characterization of Taeko has much in common with that of Yukiko.  Taeko is also essentially a type, that of the assured,  competent modern woman, and as the novel progresses her sisters discover that she is not merely assertive but profundly calculating and domineering rupt.  in her relations with men; in Sachiko's eyes she is even cor-  Thus Taeko is a distant relative of the woman of "Shisei," of  Nanshi in " K i r i n , " and Naomi in Chijin no ai.  On the other hand, just  as Yukiko's traditional doll aspect is modified by allusions to her tastes for Western things, Taeko's modernity  is qualified by her attraction to  doll-making and the traditional dance. The  reader has the distinct impression of an author carefully modi-  fying his character types, as in Tade kuu mushi, in order to establish a pattern of correspondences The  between the two characters.  notion of bringing qualifications to our expectations of a  character holds true even for Sachiko, the sister who least obviously belongs to a representative class of character.  Sachiko has a quasi-  maternal role in relation to her younger sisters, but her protectiveness of Yukiko and concern for her future is also tinged with a hint of rivalry, for she tends to outshine Yukiko at miai (XV, 52-53). Oharu, the maid, perhaps the most successfully executed minor character in the work, conforms to a type universal in literature, that of the slovenly, gluttonous comic servant, with a few distinguishing quirks, like the habit of talking to herself which surfaces during a moment of crisis in the great flood (XV, 281). as writing a haiku with unexpected  She is also presented, however,  facility (XV, 184).  Our attention is so  frequently called to the fact that the characters are not what we would  135  expect that the author, we are tempted to conclude, is working on a principle of deliberate modification of types. The  conception  of characters as types, especially Yukiko, suggests  that the author is functioning in the realm of the.romance, despite the 78 framework of domestic realism in the novel. apparently  Tanizaki though creating  "round" figures, is still continuing his vision of characters  as universals.  In his first period the types of the artist, the maso-  chistic adorer, the ferocious woman, as in "Shisei," "Kirin," "Bingyo no nageki," and Chijin no ai, do not have to be "real people" in order to produce an impact on the reader; neither do the demands of the detective story genre extend to ample characterizations.  The same principle  holds true of the works of the second period based on traditional Japanese material; for example, Momoku monogatari is surely a romance. The  question is more complex for Sasameyuki.  Tanizaki does give  evidence of realism in characterization, in details, but the fact that the characters are particularized to some degree is less important than their basic representative value.  Moreover, they are not so much individuals  as creatures of society. Normally, the social element in fiction can be conceived  as "back-  ground"; ituis not usually difficult to distinguish between society and individual psychology, because these conceptions are more or less separate in the mind of the author.  What*.is extraordinary  in Sasameyuki is the f u -  sion of the two. On page after page, we find the characters absorbed in endless arrangements for miai, visits and excursions, apologies.  in explanations and  The accounts of the complex ramifications of these events do  not constitute realistic detail to color the background for the characters and  the major incidents of the novel.  Social concerns are perceived as  136  one with the characters' thoughts and emotions, with their very identity. In Book III, Chapter 8, the feelings of Tatsuo arranging memorial services for his parents-in-law are identical with his concern for the proprieties, and for the implications of his acts for the other members of the family. Sachiko is even more deeply concerned about the services, as a sign of filial piety.  No reader could fail to be impressed, moreover, by .the pro-  found effect on the characters, particularly Sachiko, of outward social imperatives such as the necessity of conducting miai in an appropriate manner.  Social structures and personal concerns have everything to do  with each other. In, passages such as the one just cited involving Tatsuo and Sachiko the reader enters the introverted world of the characters.  Our contact  with them would not be so close were it not for Tanizaki's constant use of a technique to draw the reader in, that of indirect reported speech. A s in Momoku monogatari or "Ashikari," the words, of. a. speaker are often embedded in the narration with infrequent recourse to quotation marks, so that the barriers between narrative and speech are broken down.  However,  in Momoku and the relevant section of "Ashikari," the basic narration proceeds in the first person, so that when speech occurs the narrator seems to be relating it quite naturally, but in Sasameyuki, told in the third person, the effect is slightly different.  A variety of divergent viewpoints  occur in the novel without the controlling judgments of a single narrator. The technique, reminiscent of the style of premodern Japanese fiction, is a useful one, for it abolishes the necessity of extensive third-person psychological analysis, and the total result is one of continuity in thought, speech and narration, and of a suggestive density of a world not quite of this world.  aiding in the creation  137  Ultimately, the prime value of Sasameyuki lies in its characterizations, and  the above discussion may  lead to a few general  conclusions.  In this novel Tanizaki characters are seen in their most complex form; by contrast it is all the clearer that his characters in other works, at their purest, are not "real people" but psychic'forces, like the tattooer Seikichi and  Ikuko in Kagi.  If it is admitted that these and other charac-  ters like them are effective creations, the appearance of types is not necessarily a defect, for a reader can be powerfully in literature.  moved by  universals  Thus he is moved by Sasameyuki, for while on the  hand its verisimilitude of detail causes him Makiokas, on the other, the underlying  one  to share in the life of the  tendency to generalize his charac-  ters, to conceive of them as ideals, is always at work; the novel  gives  off a sense of something far beyond direct psychological or sociological observation.  The  synthesis of realism and  fantasy is one of Tanizaki's  major achievements.  This chapter has dealt with many of Tanizaki's major fictional achieve. '.foments, showing the narrative artist at his peak. In this second period Tanizaki is completely successful in projecting himself into fiction;  he  excels in the rendering of imaginary worlds in the works employing traditional Japanese material, and with more conventionally  the same tendency carries over to works  realistic settings and characters.  It is difficult  to imagine what more Tanizaki could accomplish, but this remarkably fertile author is still to take new age.  directions, in the writings of his old  C H A P T E R 111  RENEWAL AND PURIFICATION:  The  1951-1965  writings of the last years of Tanizaki's life, from his sixty-  fifth to his seventy-ninth  years, constitute another distinct  category.  The change in the works after Shosho Shigemoto no haha has been noted by  Nomura Shogo, who observes that in content and technique the spe-  cial qualities of Tanizaki's early period return distinctly, though it is not a question of simple regression. new  With old age giving the author a  freedom to reappraise the human essence, he returns to the concerns 79  of his early writings and examines them in depth. Reversion  is observable  lationships and techniques  in the development of themes, character re-  earlier appearing  in his works.  For example,  the mother theme in the fiction of the first and second periods undergoes full treatment in "Yume no ukihashi" Dreams," 1959,  XVIII,  O >f  ("The Bridge of  145-212), and the relationship of dominant to domi-  nated characters begun in "Shisei" comes to an extraordinary conclusion in Futen rojin nikki 62, XIX, 1-174).  'j^J^f[XK  frC*  (Diary of a Mad Old Man, 1961-  Sexuality as a driving motivation  is equated with life (The  These last two novels in particuar show that in this period, Tanizaki has lost none of his skill in narration; Futen rojin  is a work of apparent  naturalness and profound sophistication. Even more, the reader notices a singular sense of distillation .and purification in this period, in the area of author-text relationships, owing  to a new clarity of self-perception.  There is a distinct return to the  presentation of the author's self in fiction.  The shi-shosetsu of the  first period were failures because the author was unable to represent himself in fiction, and was far more successful in his imagined worlds. In the third period, with the exception  of "Yume no ukihashi" the writ-  ing shows a new attitude of the author to himself.  Illusion is a power-  ful force, as we have already indicated, behind the creation of the major works of Tanizaki until this point.  But now, as if the limiting  conditions of advanced age were forcing a new urgency on the author, he sees himself fictionally in a different manner. period, in the main, lack the expressions  T h e works of this  of longing for other worlds,  the escapism so conspicuous in the earlier works. resort to the screen of history or romance.  The author does not  The case of "Yume no u k i - " •  hashi," with its flights into a dreamland, is obviously different, but this novella belongs to the third period for reasons which will become evident.  In the other fictional works of this phase, Tanizaki's imagina-  tive vigor now moves in the realm of contemporary life. rojin  Kagi and Futen  in particular have an impact which makes the more realistic of the  works of the second period look all the more like fantasies. Surprisingly, the reader observes Tanizaki in these last years striking out in new or renewed directions, as in the representational mode in most portions of Zangyaku-ki XIII, 1-84).  f# $L  (A Record of Cruelty, 1958,  Even the relatively trivial story "Oshaberi" i>< I ^ ^  *)  ("Chatter," 1964, XIX, 475-490), his last work of fiction, shows the artist  still exploring new modes of expression. This period is also distinguished from the.,others by a diminished  total production and by a continuing tendency to write less and less  140  fiction.  The lessening ratio of fiction to nonfiction observable in the  shift from the first to the second phase thus continues. Genji monogatari  Work on the  occupies much of the author's time, with the second  translation published in 1951, and the first volume of a third version appearing in 1961.  He produces a lengthy autobiographical work, Yosho  jidai  (Childhood Years, 1955, XVII, 41-253) and essays /l\.^>~&  such as "Setsugoan yawa" 1963, XIX,  375-459), in which he discusses himself and certain aspects  of his work.  Examples of diaristic writing are "Rogo no haru"  (VA Spring of my  Old Age,"  ("The 491-508).  Spring of my  Seventy-ninth Year,"  The increasing preoccupation with observing and  reporting is reflected in the fiction.  In some cases the writing hovers on  the borderline between fiction and essay, most notably "Chino  f i f i ^ ^ i  4^  1957, XVII, 405-431) and "Shichijukyu no  haru" 1965, XIX,  ("Evening at Setsugoan,"  ("  A  T  a  l  e  o f  Chino," 1951, XVI,  no Takamura imoto ni koisuru koto" ,) >  monogatari"  393-439),  *  ~%  "Ono ("Ono  Takamura Falls in Love with his Sister," 1951, XVI, 441-459) and mangan-sui no yume"  i^|fi|r/C?  X  ?K  2> ^  ("A  no  "Kasanka  Dream of Man-  ganese Dioxide Water," 1955, XVII, 255-272), though ultimately these works must be classified as nonfiction. pronounced  The hesitation between genres is more  than in the two preceding phases of Tanizaki's writing career.  Only the following works are indisputably fictional:  Kagij Zangyaku-  ki_, "Yume no ukihashi," Futen rojin nikki, Daidokoro taiheiki (Chronicle of the Kitchen, 1962-63, XIX,  $)^^vf"#£j  20l-374),)and "Oshaberi. "  Most of these works, furthermore, partake in some measure of non-fiction. The framework of Kagi and Futen rojin  is that of the diary;  Zangyaku-ki  is in a sense, as the title suggests, a recording of an obsession, and  8 1  141  ' Daidokoro taiheiki is a comic chronicle. The assimilation of non-fiction to fiction means an increasing sobriety in style, but does not necessarily involve any loosening of Tanizaki's narrative control. works.  Kagi is in fact one of the most tightly structured of his  Futen rojin and "Yume no ukihashi," which join Kagi as the best  works of this period, are far more carefully arranged than a first glance might suggest. An  introduction to the character of the writing of this period is  afforded by the three essays with fictional elements. "Ono  "Chino monogatari,"  no Takamura imoto ni koisuru koto" and "Kasanka  mangan-sui no  yume" actually appear in a bibliography by Hashimoto Yoshiichiro as g2 shosetsu,  evidently in the least rigorous sense of this extensive term.  The first two of these works provide a transition after Shosho Shigemoto no haha. The original title of "Chino monogatari" was ^  i  9-At  ("The  "Gansan daishi no haha"  Mother of Gansan Daishi").  The work be-  gins with an account of the author's visits to a Tendai priest and scholar named Koen , in the course of his research prepatory to the writing of Shigemoto.  He asks Koen questions on such matters as fujokan, the sense  of impurity cultivated by old Kunitsune in the resulting novel.  Koen  offers Tanizaki material for a possible story, about a mother who, her  son became a renowned holy man,  nun  in Chino, at the foot of Mount Hiei where his temple was  Gansan Daishi, went to live as a  The author finds himself unable to treat this material. Daishi is an historical figure who  after  located.  Since Gansan  left many vestiges in the records, the  material is not appropriate for a monogatari, and the author thinks i n stead of a freer, essay-like approach.  It might be argued that this  142  work is indeed fiction, that of an author unable to write a story, and therefore reminiscent of "Yoshino kuzu," but "Chino monogatari" is not shaped like it.  The  reader's attention does not focus on Gansan Daishi  or his mother, or on the author's absorption in their story, or on priest Koen. historical and  The  the  work consists in great part of the presentation of  biographical fact.  This is an essay, a record of Tanizaki  as a researcher in the preliminary stages of fiction writing; one can imagine him  in a similar situation before the writing of such works as "Yoshino  kuzu," Bushuko hiwa and of the evidence presented  "Ashikari," in which judgment and  discernment  by historical records are important, and  it is  therefore interesting that he should have written such a work as "Chino monogatari." The  The  fiction writer has turned to facts.  companion to "Chino" is "Ono  koto," whose original title, "Ono ^ / ^ C i j ^ ~^^L ^  ("On  no Takamura imoto ni koisuru  no Takamura nikki wo  reading the Diary of Ono  yomu" ')» ^f*  no Takamura") more  accurately reflects the non-fictional cast of the work.  Nevertheless  the  essay contains material of far more interest to the author than does "Chino." Like Gansan Daishi, Takamura is an actual historical figure of the early Heian period, in whom the author became interested during his research for Shigemoto.  Tanizaki relates how  he came across the Takamura nikki  in an edition of three Heian journals, one of them the Heichu nikki which he had  to read, how  he was  of its unusual content and  attracted by the Takamura journal because its resemblance to the contemporary short story.  Unlike the other journals of the period, records of ordinary events, one has a single plot.  this  Tanizaki goes so far as to compare it to the shi-  shosetsu,, though it is narrated in the third person and of a later writer amending the text.  bears the signs  Fascinated by the content, the author  wanted to write a piece of fiction based on it but hesitated to embark on another story at once after Shigemoto with the same Heian background, and also because the urge to write it vanished. The rough outline of the story is embedded in the essay frame. The plot is indeed of a nature to attract Tanizaki, dealing as it does with Ono  no Takamura's love for his stepsister, who  by him and who  dies soon after.  becomes pregnant  After her death he is still visited by  her spirit; it is then related that he takes the unusual step of writing to a Minister of the Right for one of his daughters in marriage — succeeds.  We  also are told that Ono  and  no Takamura continues to remember  the dead sister, but succeeds both in his marriage and his career. outline of the story is related by Tanizaki in such a way  The  2  as to convey  the character of many an old tale; motivations and connections between events are virtually non-existent.  The essay ends with the author's re-  gret that he did not write a piece of fiction with such material. "Ono  no Takamura" is no more a fiction than "Chino  monogatari,"  for it documents the process of investigation during which the artistic impulse is born —  or dies.  Both.of these works are satellites of Shigemoto but as records, thei nature makes them a fitting introduction to the fiction of his third period After these essays Tanizaki makes very few appeals to the distant past for material for his fiction, since his attention is concentrated on contemporary  fact.  A more pertinent example of a work on the boundaries of fiction is "Kasanka mangan-sui no yume." parts.  This short work is an essay in three  It consists first of notations on the author's brief visit to Tokyo.  There are details of the inn, the meals, attendance at a strip show at  the Nichigeki, instigated by his wife and cularly well defined.  her niece, but no event is parti-  This semi-travel journal moves on to a record of  the author's viewing of a film during his stay in Tokyo:  Les  Diaboliques.  In the detailed recounting of the plot, he explains his attraction to Simone Signoret in the leading female role as a murderess.  The  fatal-woman type  is therefore present, but it is not exploited fictionally in this work.  In  the last section, consisting of a reproduction of the author's thoughts in a state of semi-consciousness before sleep, back at his house in Atami, the essay takes on a quasi-fictional character; that is, there is some shaping ;of the events recounted in the essay into a whole, for a few from the first and The  details  second sections of the work enter the train of. thought.  line of associations begins with a memory of the "peony eel" (botan-  hamo) just eaten at dinner.  Its color and  translucency lead to thoughts  of the skin of an actress seen in a bathtub on the Nichigeki stage, then to the hero of Les Diaboliques in a bathtub, his head pushed under water by Signoret. The  His thoughts then turn to the Western toilet in his home.  water sometimes reddened with beet liquid in the excreta looks like  pale manganese dioxide water whose color enraptures feces are sometimes in the form of human faces. they are Signoret's.  him;  moreover the  Tonight,  for example,  Association proceeds to the story of a Chinese  emperor's concubine. Lady Ch'i, who  was  jealous empress, who  rival's body in a toilet.  then placedLher  tortured and  mutilated by  the  This essay is fundamentally a record, although the associations made in the dream help to unify the whole. the dream and  These are unlike the use of  dream associations in a fiction proper.  Like the first  two  essays just examined, this work hovers in a state of pre-fiction, a report on a writer's imagination at work.  145  The full fictional treatment of another sort of dream, in the sense  83 of revery, appears in "Yume no ukihashi," its essence. ence  and dreams are in fact of  As previously indicated, this work, because of the pres-  of the dream world, escapes the general conception of purification  and stripping down of this third phase of Tanizaki's writing.  However,  it does join the other major works, Kagi and Futen rojin, through factors.  two  First, it has a single concentrated focus, unlike most of the  works of the second period, and concentration is on an early concern of Tanizaki, the mother and childhood theme.  The first use of the material  lies in "Haha wo kouru k i " which prophetically enough, in view of the "record" aspect of this period, is a record of a dream of longing. theme is more fully developed in the Tsumura section of "Yoshino  The kuzu."  In this novella it is not simply a matter of recording the dream, but of perpetuation of the absolute, the lost ideal, as concretized in the person of Owasa.  In Shigemoto, the memory of the mother is an undercurrent in  the work until the very end, when the hero recovers the mother in actuality.  "Yume no ukihashi" is the work in which Tanizaki fully exploits  the longing-for-mother theme.  The entire story is devoted to the theme,  and furthermore, since the idea of perpetuation is stressed, the novella decidedly has an area in common with the otherwise very different worlds of Kagi and Futen rojin;, all of these share a powerful impulse to prolong the ideals of life beyond the grave. Although the title goffers  evocations of one of the most widespread  themes in Japanese literature, that of the transience_offall, things earthly, everything in the novella challenges the notion of disappearance.  To say  so indicates that the novella is an integral whole and that Tanizaki's skill in composition is still alive.  The following discussion of the novella involves three aspects: character relationships, the nature of the hero's dreamland, and the linking of spatial and temporal elements. A sense of perpetuation, not transience, emerges from the manipulation of the characters.  Again the characterization is non-realistic,  and again the characters give off resonances with universal appeal.  The  author sets himself in the narrative perspective of a young man Tadasu reviewing the past; The " I " of Tadasu is the " I " of the author's present. The characters are arranged in overlays, and not only in the sense that the author has done so.  Within the plot, the male protagonists, Tadasu  and his father, are overlays of each other; they attempt to make their own arrangements of other characters.  The relationship of Tadasu to his  father bears certain similarities to that of Seribashh.and his father in "Ashikari."  In the latter, the father had taken his son each year to  view the moon festival activities held by Oyu in order to eternalize her in his son's memory.  In "Yume no ukihashi,"  Tadasu realizes that his  father, out of a desire to perpetuate the memory of his deceased wife by making the second wife into her double, has deliberately tried to blot out his son's perceptions of the stepmother's individuality.  He goes so  far as to give his new wife the name of her predecessor, Chinu, and to insist that his son use it.  There are two prominent cases of super-  imposed maternal images, the scene by the garden pond, with Tadasu's mother/stepmother  dipping her feet into the water, and the koto-playing  episode on the veranda.  Both, Tadasu suspects, are the creations of  the father, although he remains uncertain. The creation of areas of uncertainty is indeed one of Tanizaki's major accomplishments throughout his career.  One of the most prominent  features of this novella is the sense of mystery which arises from the  blurring of images, as in the above examples.  The technique differs  from that of deliberate mystification, as in "Shunkinsho," where the reader is forever conscious of the author-narrator  taking him in and out  of involvement with the story and its characters.  "Yume" is also wrap-  ped in haze deriving from a similar effort by the narrator to sift e v i dence in order to arrive at t r u t h , but here the narrator is the pro£; j tagonist, and the function of the blurring differs.  It conveys the power-  ful drive toward idealization on the part of both Tadasu and his father. Longing for their own illusory worlds to continue, they exert all their efforts to that e n d .  Therefore, in a sense, it is less a matter of a u -  thorial mystification than of doubt in the mind of Tadasu as he attempts to discern identities and facts.  It is actually questionable whether he  really wishes to learn the truth as to the identity of the remembered woman images. Tadasu's father gives full expression to his urge for continuity on his deathbed by telling his son to be to the second Chinu what he himself has been.  Hence he creates a second character doubling; Tadasu  becomes an extension of his father.  Although he notices that his step-  mother does not actually resemble his mother in every detail, he has a l ready  transferred his original attachment to her, thereby preserving the  first maternal image. father,  Tadasu undertakes marriage, as counselled by his  in a spirit of obligation.  Moreover, he is careful to avoid having  children, and his wife Sawako is easily disposed of after the stepmother's death.  Tadasu suspects Sawako of having had a part in her death; the  mother dies, bitten by a centipede, in the course of a massage given by Sawako.  The incident is reminiscent of the earlier crime stories,  the effect being that of mystery which contributes to the hazy atmosphere  of the novella.  His suspicions, moreover, have implications important  to the plot; they may  be an unconscious pretext to r i d himself of an  element extraneous to his prime concern in life. The final layering of characters results from the hero's adoption of his half-brother Takeshi, motived by the fact that the child closely resembles Tadasu's stepmother. "Yoshino  Thus Takeshi corresponds to Owasa in  kuzu."  Tadasu and his father, then, cling fast to their dreams,^embodied by the second Chinu and later by Takeshi, in an effort to perpetuate their idealized relationships past the grave. It is now  possible to view one of the apparent defects of the no-  vella, in a more favorable light.  The story may  seem contrived to some  readers because of the systematic elaboration of the character doubling method.  It is true that one of Tanizaki's early weaknesses as his craft  developed was a tendency to over-arrange characters, as in Manji.  The  result in "Yume" is very different; the author employs this technique to heighten the effect of the male characters' obsession with recapturing their dreams. For Tadasu, the dream world is not an ethereal one.  It is the  pleasurable experience of infantile sensory perception, highly particularized and fixed forever in the memory.  The key phrase of the novella  is yume no sekai, the "world of dreams"; ,it appears repeatedly in the work but with the greatest impact in the following passage. child, Tadasu,  The small  in bed next to his nurse, is yearning for his mother.  That sweet-tasting, dimly white world of dreams in her warm bosom, with the scent of hair mingled with the scent of milk — why could that world not return? What did my mother's death mean? Had that world vanished? Where could she have taken that world (XVIII, 160)?  149  Tadasu's world of dreams is a refuge from everyday realities, such as we have frequently observed in the works of the first and periods.  second  But the expression of the desire in this passage is specific to  Tanizaki's sensibility.  The phrase "sweet-tasting, dimly white world of  dreams" (amai honojiroi yume no sekai) is singularly expressive, with the term for "dreamland"  qualified by adjectives for the concrete sense-impres-  sions of a mother's milk.  The escape from adult life is in reality a return  to the source of the physical and emotional self, and therefore makes this work a fitting representative of the third period, with its general impulse toward  renewal. The passage has been prepared, a few pages earlier, by an account  of two childhood memories, both associated with the mother and possessing strong sensory and affective values. Tadasu,  recalling how  In the first, the grown-up narrator  his mother used to sit beside the pond, dipping her  feet into the water, states that even as a child he wished the carp would come swimming around her feet.  T h i s remark is at once followed by a  seeming irrelevancy: I can I saw asked "What  remember another incident from those days. Once some junsai leaves floating in my soup bowl and my mother: are these slippery things?"  "They're called nenunawa," she said (XVIII, 155). The  shift from one memory to another takes place through the transfer-  ence of sensory associations.  The gliding of the fish around the mother's  feet calls up the memory of the leaves of the junsai, a plant resembling a water lily, waving in the soup.  The combined image has a value far  more than visual; it is virtually tactile, and an appeal to the sense of taste is also implied.  To reinforce the sensuousness of the effect, the  imitative word "nenunawa" occurs repeatedly in the brief passage  150  following the lines just quoted.  The  reader becomes so naturally i n -  volved in the procedure that its complexities are not at once apparent. It may  take more than one or two  readings to realize that the author is  presenting us with a memory of an imagined movement, that of the carp in the pond, to which he then gives a different form in a memory of another event, and yet the whole set of experiences level of near-infantile perceptions.  is conveyed on  Tanizaki's skill in conveying  the  tac-  tile impressions developed at an early stage, most notably in the passage in "Yanagiyu no jiken" (1918), in which the protagonist thinks he feels the slitherings of a woman's long hair around his legs in the bathtub water, but in "Yume" the technique of relating sensations of tactility to others and  their affective value in the context of a child's perceptions  show the fully mature author at the height of sophistication in technique. The  phrase "land of dreams" returns when the narrator tells of  himself in late adolescence  reflecting on an extraordinary, incident which has  just taken place in the garden pavilion.  Urged on by his stepmother,  he has suckled at her breast like an infant: The moment I saw my mother's breasts before me, the world of dreams I had yearned for returned at once, and a host of memories came surging back to hold me in their grasp (XVIII, 186). The memory. cence.  destructive power of time can therefore be countered  In "Yume," the spatial element also functions to resist evanesOne  of the most salient features of the novella is its setting.  Tadasu's house and  its surroundings  are visualized so sharply and in  such detail that the reader can trace an actual map The  by  of the premises.  opposite is true for an earlier work like "Yoshino kuzu," in which  locale is also of essential significance to the work, but which keeps sending  the reader to consult a map  —  that i s , to a frame of reference  external to the text — metaphorical The  in order to follow the characters' physical and  journey.  descriptions of the house and garden do not exist for the  sake of heightened  realism.  They show how  Tadasu's mind lingers over  every detail of the scenes of his cherished past. inseparable from places:  The  past for him is  the pond where his mother used to dip her  feet, the pavilion, scene of rapturous encounters  at his stepmother's  breast (Gokantei, the name of the pavilion, means "pavilion of joys brought together"), the veranda room where she dies. scenes of Tadasu's dream world, have a solid existence.  The  locale, the  Childhood is  summoned up for him by the clacking of the bamboo water-pipe by pond, and  the  the "bridge of dreams" of the title is an actual bridge over  the pond as well as an allusion to the notion of evanescence.  His step-  mother, significantly enough, stands on this bridge to summon Tadasu to his first meeting with her in the pavilion.  The  house and grounds re-  present not only the stability of early childhood experience, but absolute stability.  After Tadasu's real mother dies and  her memory with the place, his father and  he begins to associate  stepmother die in turn; Take-  shi  is sent away, and Sawako comes only to depart not long after, and  yet  the locale survives. The  near past, Tadasu's childhood, is made to overlie a more re-  mote past through the allusions to places in the Kyoto area.  The  hero  is merged with the locale by his very name, Tadasu being the name of '* v  the forest where the house is situated, and that of a district in the Kyoto region.  his surname, Okotuhi,  being  That the narrator is keenly aware  of the locale: i s i e v i d e n t from\hi:s musings about the identity of the stream flowing in front of the gates of the family property.  His quotations from  152  Yoshida Togo's gazetteer and from Kamo no Chomei do not constitute erudite digressions, for they reveal how firmly Tadasu is anchored to the place.  His dreamland therefore projects far beyond the immediate  spatial limits of his childhood home. Neither is the long passage on Shizuichino, where Tadasu journeys in search of his infant half-brother, a digression.  The hero's observa-  tions on his itinerary are marked by a profound interest in the region for what it tells him of the past. ate on two levels.  Again, the references  to locale oper-  In the first place, Shizuichino is the habitat of the  Nose family, who have for generations had a close relationship to Tadasu's family.  Secondly, close attention is paid to the historical as-  sociations of the area.  Shizuichino is therefore a parallel to the Kyoto  locale, but at a further remove. For both Kyoto and Shizuichino, the allusions to locale are completely relevant,to the novella as a whole, since they confer a sense of timelessness  on i t . The excursions into local history are integral to the  structure and theme, because the central concern of the novella is the movement towards the past in the imagination  of the hero.  Thus the urge toward continuity has two faces: by  the care taken  Tadasu and his father to project their illusions into the future, and  the adherence to the past, where the dreamland is situated. case their struggles resist temporality.  In either  If earthly existence is a dream,  they deal paradoxically with the fact by embracing and cherishing i t . Chronologically, "Yume no ukihashi" intervenes three works most truly representing  in the group of  the tendency toward renewal, dis-  tillation and purification in Tanizaki's narrative art in this period. These are Kagi, Zangyaku-ki, and Futen rojin nikki,.  These works,  153  representing varied narrative approaches, are related to each other first through their record-keeping orientation — two are in diary form and one consists principally of relatively detached observation — and secondly through the treatment of a common situation, that of a male protagonist who equates sexual power with life itself.  84 Kagi  r  is an extremely stylized novel.  Its stark treatment of the  aging hero and his wife in a process of mutual victimization makes it the most hard-boiled study of.obsession in the work of Tanizaki.  The story  is related in two diaries, principally through alternating entries written by the husband and his wife,  Ikuko.  Maintaining the pretense that their  diaries are being kept for private purposes, they secretly read each other's writings, so that a manner of communication thereby takes place. The husband's journal is both a record of his obsession with stimulating his flagging sexual powers, and a continual incitation to Ikuko, to help him in doing so. vourer.  Ikuko's is a record of her growth into a sexual de-  At the end of the novel the entries from her diary contain a  comparison of the two novels, and judgments or conjectures as to their truth or falsity. To locate Kagi on the scale of the totality of Tanizaki's major works from the point of view of content and theme, we find a variation on a familiar, situation and its reversal.  The male protagonist brings about his  own destruction through the cultivation of his sexual desires.  His p h y s i -  cal deterioration, already present as the novel begins, is accompanied by an increase in his wife's sexual boldness, which he himself has inspired, and she comes to persecute him through her own desires, far more powerful than h i s .  The reversal of positions of dominator and dominated is a  constant in Tanizaki, beginning with "Shisei," but the process for the  154  hero of Kagi differs considerably from that of other obsessed male characters in Tanizaki. art  In "Shisei" the element of sexuality is only part of the  theme, and moreover what we see in this short story is the beginning  of the process of inversion of roles.  The young woman is brought to  self-awareness by Seikichi, and she is seen at the end at the point where her supposed domination begins.  In Chijin no ai a further step is taken;  Joji is sexually bound to Naomi, who  develops to the point where she be-  comes the subjugator, and Joji turns into a submissive cuckold. he has willed this state.  However,  In the works of the second period, the phase  of illusions perfectly realized through art, the theme of enthrallment to a fierce female principle goes underground, to appear only in "Shunkinsho," and even in this novella the physical bond between Shunkin and  Sasuke,  though surely present, constitutes only a part of Sasuke's adoring attitude to the heroine. In  Kagi the captivation of the hero by his desires is magnified to  the highest degree, for the husband uses his wife and Kimura, their prospective son-in-law, to urge himself on, and dies as the logical result of his acts.  Dissatisfied by Ikuko's modesty, he encourages her to urge  him and employs external stimuli, including visual incitation and jealousy. As Ikuko accedes to his request, at first with the excuse that she is doing what is expected, she turns into a force that tries to destroy him through  sex.  Despite his weakened condition he insists on relations with  her which culminate in a stroke from which he never recovers. Kagi further differs from earlier studies of obsession because the hero's very life is at stake. stricted one.  The novel is bleak; its world is a most con-  Though love is mentioned by both principals as a motive,  they live purely by sexuality; there is no consoling veil of joy, of  155  anguish, or of glamorization of the other character.  The husband's diary  contains these two significant entries, the first from March 10 running: "At last I have lost all self-restraint.  By nature I am a coward about  illness, not the sort of person to take risks.  Yet now at fifty-five I feel 85  that I have at last found something to live for" (XVII, 323). sexual passion is identified with the life force. April 15, "Now at last I have been, bewitched  Hence  In his last entry, from  into an animal that lives by  86 night, an animal good only for mating" (XVII, 355). The latter quotation is taken by one critic as "the essential image of The Key.  On a deliberately private and miniature scale, it is an alle-  87 gory of the major tragedy of our age, the bestialization of the soul." The perspective is that of Western criteria of absolutes of tragedy and of "bestialization" in the context of a universe in which the concept of a divine soul exists, but there is no question of tragedy or of soul in the context of Kagi, of Tanizaki's world in general, nor indeed in the Japanese tradition.  What does exist is the essence of obsession pure and simple,  emerging with particular force because of the conflict of the wills of the two principals. All four of the characters, the husband, the wife, their  daughter  Toshiko, and her prospective husband Kimura, are motivated by sex, jealousy, and to some degree by the desire to undo the others.  Kimura  and Toshiko plot in the background with the secret motive of preying on Ikuko.  Toshiko is an especially sinister creation, partly because she does  not appear too prominently, but is presented as a figuration of jealousy and hatred.  In the last sentences of the novel, Ikuko writes that Toshiko  and Kimura are to marry for the sake of appearances and that Toshiko is thus to become a sacrifice to her mother, but the implication is very  156 strong that these two will participate in a continuing process of destroying Ikuko.  The  last phrase i s : "That is what he tells me  . . ." (XVII,  H0H).  88  Kagi differs from earlier works dealing with obsession by its s t r i p p e d down quality.  There is no art theme, as in "Shisei" and  "Shunkinsho";  the melodrama of Chijin no ai and Manji is missing; so is the elaborate, sometimes conventional language of the former novel, which interposes itself between the reader and in a reduced  form.  The  the character.  hero is the embodiment of sexual frenzy.  author refrains from surrounding  ment, and cialty.  The  husband is not given a  is thus comparable to the woman of "Shisei."  the husband is his age,  All we  know of  important to the plot, theme and character develop-  his occupation as a professor, but we  The  The  him with the trappings of reality which  usually individualize a fictional character. name, and  Here the characters appear  never learn of what spe-  lack of specification is all the more striking as elsewhere in  the novel the author provides the reader with brief notations of the titles of movies, the name of the American actor whom Ikuko admires, and brand of the cognac she drinks.  the  He is in short an elemental force.  diary entries show his furtiveness, and  The  the workings of his will to live.  Even when paralyzed he keeps mouthing the words "beefsteak"  and  "diary," the first being a reference to his consumption of meat in an effort to keep up with Ikuko physically, and  the second indicating his  continuing desire to be stimulated by reading her diary.  Thus on the  verge of death his desire for life continues. Ikuko is the most nearly particularized character in the novel.  We  learn of her upbringing which explains her reticence, details of her clothing and her body.  In the last two cases she is clearly an object.  Though  the greater part of the novel consists of two diaries, and though two points of view develop continually, the standpoint is essentially that of the narrator-husband  himself.  In "Shisei," the woman as a creation of  Seikichi is unnamed and therefore depersonalized, but this time the unspecified husband is the creator force. Kimura and Toshiko exist both as tools and aggressive impulses, like Ikuko. in Kagi.  Tanizaki's conception of characters as types reaches a peak  The novel stands as one of the best illustrations of the author  refraining from giving characters too much relief in detail, so that they will stand out as forces, free of distracting conventional; realistic traits, whether in inner life, their conduct, or outward appearance. Thus the thematic and character elements are distilled to a harsh essence.  In absolute contrast, the narrative method employed by Tanizaki  is extremely  intricate, showing the author at his most complex, techni-  cally, in this period.  The basic four-cornered situation calls for compari-  son with Manji, which also has a similar basic element of mutual deception. In Manji, Tanizaki deploys his narrative virtuosity, but compared to Kagi, its complexities are gratuitous; furthermore, the intricacy lies in the events more than in the means of narration.  Kagi is the novel of the  third period for which nobody would dispute a high level of technical skill, though Ito Sei comments that Tanizaki's writings, in his seventies, while giving proof of conservation of the author's rational, emotional and descriptive powers, suffer from a certain instability of structure (kozo no fuanteisa) and arbitrariness in relation to the effects (koka ni taisuru 89 dokudan). and  Arbitrariness is perhaps present, in the sense of schematism  stylization in Kagi, but it exists for an appropriate novelistic effect.  It is difficult to see, however, why Kagi should be criticized for structural instability.  158  Tanizaki has plotted and  arranged the.novel tightly; nothing is in  excess, just as the characterizations are lacking in extraneous elements. The  work revolves around diary entries made by  the husband and  the first two-thirds of the novel consists of alternating entries. lapse in this section is between January 1 and made by  The  1, the day  final third of the novella is made  pare the two diaries. journal and  be divided, from  parts, the first from April 17 to  before the husband dies, and  tries for June 9, 10 and  time  helpless; this  up of Ikuko's continuation of her diary; this in turn may the chronology of events, into two  The  April 15, the last entry  the husband before the stroke which leaves him  is the last entry from his diary.  Ikuko;  May  the second made up of the  en-  11, written as a retrospective attempt to com-  In these last pages the disclosures as to Ikuko's  her duplicity become apparent; we  told as she comments on the journals and multiple use of the diary form.  learn of the lies she  interprets them.  has  Tanizaki makes  In the first place-:.he plays with i t , up-  setting the reader's trust in the form.  The  diary by definition is a genre  of ultimate veracity.  In this case two  kinds of diary emerge:  band's confession, we  take i t , turns out to have been substantially true,  but Ikuko's turns out to have been false in many respects.  the hus-  The  final  disclosures indicate a detective story ending brought to a higher level of refinement by The  Tanizaki.  structure compels the reader to reinterpret the events of the  novel in the new  light of the motivations exposed in the last pages.  plots exist in the work, based on falsity and  truth.  One  Two  is the work  we  read for the first time, up to the June 9 entry, unaware that the statements previously made are not all true; thus the statements made have been taken at face value, and  the work is valid from this standpoint  until  June 9, but the true plot is the one we must reconstruct on reading the novel.  Because of Ikuko's; revelations it becomes almost imperative to re-  read the entire work.  Hence this novel is not like a conventional detec-  tive story with a twist at the end. The structure of the work is a triumph of authorial deception, like the subterfuges of the characters within the plot. nesses the culmination of the author's tendency he is ready for disclosure. detective stories, but we  Here the reader wit-  to conceal motives until  The technique is at its most obvious in the  have also observed  in this study that Tanizaki  from the beginning of his career gives proof of skill in a technique of recall whereby plot or motif elements assume considerable retrospective value.  In "Shisei," to take only one example among the short stories of  the first phase, the ending is tied to the beginning.  In "Yoshino kuzu,"  from the second period, the recall technique occurs in the establishment of a network of motifs.  And  as trifling as the example may  sode of the supposedly highborn lady in Rangiku monogatari,  be, the epiwho  dupes  a gullible country samurai and is then exposed at the end, is a closer example of deception of the reader at the same time as a character in the novel.  Mystification, as already noted, takes place in "Shunkinsho" as  well, but in that case the reader shares in the narrator's doubts. it is a case of deceit on the part of the author.  Here  Manipulation of the  reader succeeds partly because of the close, compact manner of writing of Kagi. The plot runs in a sequence of steadily intensifying events. the husband's initiating of a new  From  diary on the subject of his relations  with his wife, to Ikuko's discovery of the key to the drawer where it is hidden, the first fainting spell of Ikuko, with Kimura brought by the  160  husband into his scheme, the plot is swiftly conducted.  The husband then  gloats over Ikuko's unconscious body under the light of a fluorescent lamp; in subsequent repetitions of the scene, the lamp is replaced by a Polaroid camera, then by a Zeiss Ikon.  The last incident has plot significance, as  the husband urges Kimura to have the film developed so that the young man's desire for Ikuko, and therefore the husband's jealousy, will increase. At this point he declares he has found a reason for living. tances then increase gradually between the couple.  Spatial dis-  Ikuko starts her  drunken fainting spells not at home but at Toshiko's house, and it is here that the affair with Kimura begins.  Her growing audacity is reflected in  the increasing distances, since she starts going to a hotel in Osaka to meet him,.,and also, incidentally, in her outward appearance:  she is wear-  ing Western clothes when she does so. Her comportment with her husband becomes bolder to the point where she no longer needs the protection of shadows during the sex act. lessly risking her life.  Finally she declares she is ill and is reck-  This last statement is found to be untrue, but  the husband, believing it, reaches a state of frenzy during her encounters with him. After this entry everything is seen from Ikuko's viewpoint.  On  April 17 she tells of the day of his stroke in the course of sex performed with him just as she had shortly before with Kimura.  The entries until  May 1 record, along with the reports on his decline, his will to live, as registered by his desire for meat and for a look at her diary, then the visits of Kimura late at night are briefly noted.  Finally, there is a con-  cern that Toshiko is taking Ikuko's^ diary to read to her father.  This  phase of the novel is a relative plateau, a levelling off from the intensity of the events, just before the final disclosures which send a shock back  161 through the novel. For a closer look at the shaping of the plot, the husband begins a new  diary on New  Year's Day.  The exposition is economically written,  the first pages packed with allusions to crucial factors, such as Ikuko's profound furtiveness and also her modesty, the situation of the flagging hero and the wife with greater sexual appetites, and above all the suggestion that she will read the diary.  Addressing Ikuko, the hero says:  " . . . i f you should [read this], please believe.. .that every word of it is sincere" (p. 6).  This is the only case in the work of a character apostro-  phizing another, and it is an important one, for it tells us that the diary is being kept as a means of communication with this woman whose reticence forbids direct dialogue with her husband.  The entry is a direct  plea for her to listen and enter into collusion with The plot develops swiftly.  him.  In Ikuko's first entry on January  4,  she notes she has found the key to the drawer holding his diary, and swears she would never read it, but we is indeed doing so.  Though on February  do not wait long to realize she 27 the husband says he found  her diary sealed with tape, which he removed carefully, he claims not to have read it.  On March 7 Ikuko notes for the second time that the key  has beenkleft by the bookshelf, and  sees he intends her to read his diary  while maintaining the pretense that she is not.  This time she opens his  diary, also sealed with tape, and sees the photographs he has taken of her. A patternoof repetition thus develops with the sealing of the diaries by both characters, and the second appearance of the key.  There  are other repeated acts in the novel, the most prominent being the sequence of events in which Ikuko drinks too much brandy, sinks into a  162 bathtub,  and -faints.  The  reiteration of these binges may  strain credu-  lity, but when associated with other repetitions in the novel, they take on the look of near-ritual, thus in keeping with the stylized aspect of the novel and  its characters.  Other examples of repetition make it clear that Tanizaki is employing  the diary form to make notations peripheral to the affair between  Ikuko and Kimura which convey in a very reduced manner the relationship between them. 3, 4 and  First of all, the entries in her journal for April 2,  5 consist solely of the comments that she went out and  by evening.  returned  A second series of abbreviated references to the affair be-  gins as Kimura visits the house after the husband's stroke.  From April  20 the visits are resumed as footsteps in the garden at eleven o'clock. They continue to the April 29th entry. Perhaps the most important aspect of the uses of the diary form is their epistolary significance, for the journals are a sort of communication. The effect is not of dialogue with reciprocal understanding  except in the  limited sense that the husband lets Ikuko know what he wants.  The  final  disclosures reveal them as the ultimate in communication perverted, for Ikuko deliberately plants falsehoods, such as the dialogue invented between herself and Kimura for the day she surrendered to him. The characters are not really in collusion except at first; they are essentially isolated from each other. ing  Isolation is effected in the contrast-  use of different type faces distinguishing his diary from hers, the  husband's diary employing katakana and  Ikuko's, hiragana.  Not only are  the two types of kana the visual equivalent of the male-female interplay basic to the novel; the visual effect permitted by the diary form shows an approach very different from that of previous works in which typographical devices were used for special effects.  In Momoku monogatari.  163  hiragana were predominantly used in order to convey the speech rhythms of an old man narrator.  In "Shunkinsho" the prose appeared to be in a  state of elegant suspension,  approximating the monogatari style.  the effect is that of bleakness,  Here  lying in the relationship of one diary to  the other. It is notable that Ikuko's revelations at the end do not have to be in diary form, since in this section she is interpreting past events and motivations.  However, in this section, we must assume that she is tell-  ing the truth, in antithesis to the false diary of the main part of the work. Tanizaki takes the use of the diary to the extreme.  The work is  not only a presentation of diaries written by two people; it is also a novel about diary writing, as witness the scrupulous care taken by each of the two main characters in writing, in concealing.  The diaries are weapons,  letters, substitutes for dialogue, and most concretely, they are physical objects.  Ikuko specifies the thickness of her diary and the texture of  the paper contrasts with the hard surface of her husband's. see her buying  We also  paper and rebinding the diary to make two different d i -  aries, one true and one false.  The diaries become expressions of stealth;  the extraordinary furtiveness of husband and wife and the length to which they go in concealing and searching make their acts take on the look of a sinister child's game, an adult hide-and-seek game of a most menacing kind; this is the length to which the ludic aspect of Tanizaki's writing has been The  taken.  treatment of the diaries as objects gives rise to another aspect  of the novel related to the principle of distillation. of extraneous elements, so austere and concentrated,  In this work so free objects stand out  164  as objects.  Concerning the key, one of the principal objects, one c r i t i c ,  Jaime Fernandez, states:  "Clearly a phallic symbol: the key (penis)  opens the lock (vagina)," in connection with his treatment of sex as a 90  basic theme in this novel.  The suggestion cannot be dismissed, and  neither can another suggestion:  one could think of "key" in the sense of  the crux of a problem, or the means to its solution, but it must be remembered that the physical key is important as one of a number of objects.  The tonality of this novel does not permit objects to give off  resonances as in "Yoshino k u z u " ; the world of Kagi is a closed one. is true that the diaries in material form correspond to their  It  respective  owners — the soft paper of ikuko's diary and the hard black cover on the husband's diary, and therefore are another expression of the malefemale polarity, but the reader remembers in particular their as objects, particularly  existence  the Scotch tape placed over their covers, and  the magnifying glass used to see whether it has been removed.  Precision  in physicality is probably more important than the connotation of the objects. Two other objects, the fluorescent lamp and the Polaroid camera, also point to a new austerity  in Tanizaki.  His liking for light and shadow  effects is evident from the beginning of his writing career.  In "Shisei,"  brilliance is predominant, but in the second period shadows convey much of the mysterious atmosphere, as in "Shunkinsho" and the final scene of Shigemoto.  In Kagi the lighting is transformed into the harsh artificial  glare of the fluorescent lamp and the Polaroid flashbulb. The photographing scenes recall an episode of Chijin no a i , already discussed in Chapter I,  Section D.  J o j i , like the husband of Kagi, has  placed photographs of Naomi's body in his diary.  In his eyes she becomes  165  a work of art, like a Greek statue or a Buddha image. and  Ikuko undergo objectivization —  Thus, both Naomi  but especially Naomi, for Joji is not  looking at her as a living woman, but as a set of photographs, in order to receive this impression.  Furthermore, Ikuko in these photographs is  an object inspiring sexual passion; the effect only lurks in the background of the passage in question from Chijin no a i . lar purity making the woman-idolizing  Kagi thus assumes a singu-  tendencies in earlier works look  like euphemisms. We  have now  this novel.  touched on the crux of the discussion of objects in  Tanizaki makes the characters themselves join the overall  pattern of objects.  Not only is Ikuko an object for her husband; in her  April 17 entry, she writes of her ability to maintain a cool detachment at the same time as she and her husband are driven into spasms of desire. It is this objectivization of character in the context of the sexual theme which would mislead some observers into calling the novel  The  pornographic.  unfinished novel Zangyaku-ki also has a hero who  potency with life. of a crime story.  identifies  It shares with Kagi the use of an early genre, that Mystery and crime lurk as undercurrents  in much of  Tanizaki's work and occasionally appear in the use of the detective story genre of the first period.  In his second phase, the tendency is trans-  formed into mystery in the most general sense, with "Yoshino kuzu" dealing in part with the solving of a question about the identity of Tsumura's mother, Bushuko hiwa purporting to be a revelation of secrets, and  "Ashikari" and  motivations.  "Shunkinsho" raising questions as to identity  and  In period three the crime theme returns with the greatest  force in Kagi.  166  The opening of Zangyaku-ki  reads more specifically than Kagi like  a return to the early genre, with its report on a police investigation. The narrator is a lawyer appointed by the state to defend a woman charged with abetting her husband in his suicide.  The lawyer is writing  to his friend "T," an author, giving an account of the incident which will provide good material for a novel.  As in the early short story  "Ninon  ni< okeru Kurippun-jiken" (1927) the narrator comments that the incident was not widely reported in the newspapers at the time, being considered simply as a suicide arising from the problems of a triangle relationship. Also as in "Kurippun," the author's interest bears on the impulses motivating  the hero, Zokichi. The central interest in "Kurippun" is the maso-  chism of the hero, even more than the crime he commits; in Zangyaku-ki there is no crime on the part of the protagonist.  The novel, or what we  have of it, develops very differently from the police-case manner of the opening. Despite the violence of the hero's act and his motivations, his story comes to the reader through a filter. from the characters than in Kagi.  We are kept much further away  Since the narrator is the lawyer whose  first concern is with the presentation of the facts, we see the events principally through his eyes.  In the opening sections, the detachment of  author from text is particularly pronounced.  The narrator labels the i n -  cident by precise date and hour, and the report on the phone call to the police by a Dr. Kawabe about a suspicious death in the restaurant owned by Zokichi. Kawabe. ing,  Within the lawyers, narration emerges the viewpoint of Dr.  He specifies in detail the circumstances of the death by poison-  types of poison used by the victim in two previous attempts on his  own life.  Kawabe even conjectures the death may be due to murder, and  167  senses that the wife Murako may be in league with the cook, Tsuruji. The  lawyer's perspective returns with reports on the police questioning  Murako and the letter she produces,  written by her husband who explains  how he desires to die, sacrificing himself to his wife's future happiness with her lover, and how he will take a slow-acting poison to make him suffer for several hours before death. tion:  He sets an extraordinary condi-  his wife must sit beside him until he dies, for his greatest happi-  ness will be to have her watching  him while he dies in agony.  All the while, the distancing effect of the narration suppresses the emotional significance of the incident for Murako. a suspect in the opening  She appears only as  section; and furthermore, it is not Murako but  the lawyer who interprets the letter.  The narrator gives the reader one  of the most important factors in Zokichi's motivation.  The letter, he  says, omits the crucial fact that its author was suffering from the effects of atomic radiation, and the lawyer conjectures that he did so deliberately so that the fact would not detract from sacrifice as the motive for suicide. The  police-case aspect of the novel begins to recede as the narra-  tor turns to Murako's story. becomes evident.  Here something of a departure for Tanizaki  It is exceptional to read in his work of a conventional  account of a character's background, but here we are told how Murako came to work for Zokichi's father, how she married him, what the couple did during the war, and how he came to be in Hiroshima on August 6, 1945.  The telling of the incidents is deliberately flattened.  A t this  point the bombing is conveyed to Murako indirectly and she understands the implications of the event only dimly.  Later, when the couple is re-  united and he refuses her sexual advances, it becomes clear that the narration of incidents up to this point has been factual and explanatory  168  because the subsequent explanation of Zokichi's refusal has a contrasting emotional content. A significant change of narrative perspective occurs.  Zokichi's  confession to Murako is a first-person account which stands out from the surrounding narration.  After the bombing he crawls out from the rubble  to perceive the mushroom cloud, the remains of buildings, and piles of victims wounded or dying — these elements of the scene are mentioned very briefly — but at the same time, images of Murako's body rise up in his mind.  All her physical attributes appear to him distinctly in the a i r ,  like the mushroom cloud (XVIII,  36-37).  The reader is at first astounded. be taken any further?  Can the portrayal of obsession  Here is the Tanizaki hero amid the ruins of Hiro-  shima, minutes after the bombing, in thrall to sexual desire. spective of the hero is at issue.  But the per-  It is impossible to analyze an unfinished  story with any certainty, but the mushroom cloud as a symbol of atrocious death is perhaps associated with Murako and therefore the beginning of his own violent death.  A t no point in the completed portion of the novel,  after the suicide letter, does the author refer to the hero's masochism; it is obviously a point to develop later.  Soon after the bombing, at any rate,  Zokichi notes that Murako has metaphorically left him; he has become impotent; at the root of the hero's motivations. After the confession the narrative returns to a mode of reporting very rare in Tanizaki's fiction.  Of special interest is the extensive  account of the black-market shops in Kobe, where the couple establish themselves in their former occupation.  Tanizaki's detachment as an author  seldom extends to the description of social realities as here; it was done before only in the case of "Neko to Shozo,"  also dealing with urban  169 lower-middle-class  characters.  With objective reporting now  dominant,  the emotional responses of the characters are driven underground. Zangyaku-ki breaks off not long after the introduction of Tsuruji, who  is to become Murako's lover, and before the development of Zokichi's  acts which would bring about the tragedy as reported at the opening of the novel. for The  Even though unfinished, this work is an example or renewal,  Its narrative approach is very distinct from that of all previous works. author seems to be forever seeking new  directions in writing; this  is a tendency even more marked than for the second period. minded of his reluctance, expressed in "Ono  We  are re-  no Takamura," to embark on  a second novel with a Heian background immediately after Shigemoto. is probably  It  no accident that after abandoning Zangyaku-ki he next wrote  "Yume no ukihashi," antithetical in theme, narrative perspective,  and  tone. — — "91 With Futen rojin n i k k i , the last major work of Tanizaki, renewal and  purification are intensified.  This is the crowning work of his career,  from the standpoint of one of the major questions of this study of his development:  the fictionalization.of the self.  turns to the shi-shosetsu viewpoint, earlier, and  It is here that Tanizaki re-  which he had found so troublesome  finds the ultimate answer to the problems of the relationship  between life and  fiction.  ist's contemporary self.  Here, we are firmly in the realm of the novelThe  expression of his experience  the filter of the fairy tale or the romance. and his extraordinary vigor and  The  no longer needs  author places himself  resistance to death in the person of old  Utsugi, the protagonist. Futen rojin,, like other works of the third period, is a record, this time a diary with no falsehoods, a record of the old man's will to live.  170  His basic urge to live, equated his  daughter-in-law  with the sexual impulse, is abetted by  Satsuko, herself a remarkable creation.  The diary  kept by the old man breaks off soon after a climactic scene showing the frenzy of his will to live at its height, and the brief remaining portion of the novel consists of notations on his ensuing illness, made by the , nurse attending him, a doctor, and one of his daughters. Throughout his entries the reader sees Utsugi constantly in pain and ready for death.  Though he specifies early in the diary that the  only interests sustaining him are sex and food, it is clear that the theme of art is also in the background, and the development of motifs relating to these three aspects of life noted by him gives shape to the novel. Unlike Kagi, this journal is not constructed with obviouscschematism, but with deceptive naturalness.  The vigorous breath of the old man is com-  municated with a curiously youthful energy, and a mad lucidity sometimes extending to self-irony. In contrast to the well-defined opening of Kagi, with its New Year's day announcement made by the husband concerning his decision to start a new kind of journal, the opening of Futen rojin appears to be casual, as does the work as a whole.  However, Tanizaki has taken full advantage  of the formlessness of the diary genre. appear in seemingly  The elements of the first entries  random notations but if they are closely examined in  relation to the development of the novel, a certain arrangement is perceptible.  The author has made sure to plant all the seeds of his plot  early in the work. The novel begins with the old man's notes in his diary about his visit to a Kabuki performance in the company of his wife, their son Jokichi, and daughter-in-law  Satsuko ( E n t r y of June 16.  For the sake  171  of convenience we use the dating of entries in the Hibbett translation, though the original text does not give reference to months, only the day of the month for each entry in the old man's diary, perhaps the better to convey his sense of surviving from day to day).  His remarks on the  performance deal in the main with the appearance of actors, and soon turn to memories of one homosexual experience in his youth with a skilled onnagata.  The return of this impulse, he thinks, means that despite  hisi impotence at the age of seventy-seven he still has some sort of erotic feeling. Thus, acting, or generally speaking, art, is associated with eroticism.  In contrast to the excessively self-conscious and abstract discus-  sions of A r t in many of the short stories of the first period, the use of art  motifs associated with the central theme of the sexual urge keeping  the hero alive in this novel is rendered without the author directing the reader's attention to his ideas or his The  techniques.  theatre scene in the second e n t r y may recall, if faintly, the  first one in Tade kuu mushi.  In Futen rojin the scene is not fully de-  veloped as in the earlier novel, and no explicit connections are made, such as that of the situation on stage linked with a situation in life, but similar undercurrents among the characters attending the play are noted. The  two principals are clearly in collusion, with Satsuko quick to under-  stand the old man's cantakerous temper and his perversity. The cant.  restaurant episode noted in the June 18 entry is most signifi-  Food, and Satsuko's manner of consuming it, assume a singular  importance for the old man, who senses she is giving him a message in offering him her leftover portion of eel, and also her plum sauce, which, he thinks, she has deliberately made untidy.  172  On  the 19th, the old man  notes almost incidentally that he is only  kept alive by an interest in sex and food, and by Satsuko.  It is notable how  this specification follows the eating scene,  bu.tiis separated from it by another element: The old man  that this is sensed only  thoughts on his own  death.  thinks of arranging his funeral rites, expressing interest in  the esthetic arrangement of the ceremony, even giving a few lines of the song he wants sung. The June 20 entry presents the foot motif which is to be an tial part of the climax of the work.  essen-  Also present is the first of the three  references in the novel to Satsuko's flower arrangement in his sickroom, with a quotation of the poem written on the scroll accompanying it.  The  notations of the flowers and  the scroll are made with no indication of the  old man's attitude to them.  His lack of expressed  reaction is even more  extreme than his reference to the Kabuki actors' appearance and his thoughts on his own tastes. a new  A new  funeral arrangements, in which he expresses personal  reticence has developed  simplification and  in Tanizaki's use of art motifs,  purification.  Entries for July 3 and  10 concentrate on the hero's physical condi-  tion, with discussion of his blood pressure, his intense pains, and mechanical  devices used to help him.  this novel are extremely  the  At times the clinical notations in  detailed,, in order to produce a diametrical con-  trast between the old man's intense physical suffering and his energy of spirit.  One  connection between them is, significantly, a sexual pleasure  deriving from pain. A plot element, however subdued, enters the novel with the July 12 entry.  The old man  plans to go to Kyoto to choose a grave.  The  "plot" consists of the old man's movement toward death; the novel, or  173  his section of it is a literal movement to Kyoto, and a physical grave. At this juncture Satsuko is not associated with the trip, but their interaction develops with progressive intensity.  The  same entry, however,  continues in typically random diary fashion a dialogue on the boxing matches whose violence gives Satsuko pleasure, and he derives from watching her cruel face. proach to the grave, and  the resultant pleasure  These two elements, the ap-  Utsugi's pleasure in imagining Satsuko's cruelty,  later turn out to be intimately associated, but in this entry the two merely coexist.  Of secondary importance is his wish to change his affiliation  from the Nichiren sect because of the clay image on the shrine of the household.  Here is another forecast of the ending  eroticism, art and The  with its linkings of  religious motifs.  old man's relations with Satsuko develop casually, it would  seem from the diary notes.  In passing, it should be said that the diary  is being written for the old man's own  sake, because he enjoys writing  it and does not intend to show it to anyone else.  Thus a creation motif  joins the sequence of art motifs, for diary-keeping, however minimally, is an act of creation giving him pleasure. keeping  His observations on diary-  occur in the July 23 entry which also contains an oral-satisfaction  motif to be associated with the eating scene at the beginning of the novel. The old man in hisr.mouth;  asks Satsuko to give him his pills by placing them directly this she does, though he slyly suggests she pass him  pills from her own  the  mouth.  The entry for the next day has Satsuko giving the old man  an idea,  when she says she never locks the door on taking a shower; this is the genesis of the comic shower scenes. approaches her in the shower and  In subsequent reports he repeatedly  is soon rewarded with him  succeeding  174 in kissing her foot. The  rest of the family has been cleared away for the month of .  August so that attention concentrates on Satsuko and the old man.  The  shower scenes just begun are interrupted by Haruhisa, a young relative suspected by the protagonist of. having an affair with Satsuko.  The  shower ritual resumes, and with greater force, on the August 11 entry; this time he jams three of Satsuko's toes into his mouth. anticlimatically as Satsuko suddenly the old man  The scene ends  turns on the water and  drenches  under the shower.  After this incident his blood pressure shoots up alarmingly, but out of cunning he remains silent to his nurse's questions as to the possible cause. One  of the most extraordinary aspects of this novel is the lack of  grimness or even pathos in the self-portrait of a man death.  on the verge of  His attraction to Satsuko's foot is a most dangerous one —  he is  actually braving death — a s he,.himsel,f realizes and yet he will not interrupt his intense, excited actions.  The mood of the novel is devoid of  darkness; the hero views himself with a detachment which, if not always humorous, is full of energy, and shower  sometimes playfulness. He soon calls the  rituals "semi-porno thrillers (pinki s u r i r a ) , " as if he were up  to mischief. Satsuko, who  The notion of playfulness has a different meaning for has been urging him on gradually; once,, after she allows  him to indulge himself, she chooses the moment to ask for a jewel costing three million yen. Subsequent diary entries are more withdrawn in tone.  Early in  September Utsugi notes that Satsuko has arranged autumn plants and changed the scroll in his room.  Again, the record is factual, but  Satsuko  175  is more closely associated with the scroll, for it. is she who  has changed it  this time. The man  September 4 entry provides more amusement.  hears a cricket chirping in his room.  thoughts about childhood and  The  At dawn the old  sound evokes a series of  the sound of crickets in the garden, with  his nurse telling him of the season.  He  remembers the smell of starch  on his clothes, as well as the feel of the cotton night-garment against his skin.  This is a familiar Tanizaki device of enlarging on the implica-  tions of one  sensory experience.  But anticlimax results as he  that the chirping sound comes from his own  discovers  old, parched throat.  He notes  the discovery! with the ingenuousness typical of his mode of writing. Here the treatment of associations reflects self-irony on the part of the hero, and author.  The  even some degree of self-parody on the part of the  balance between humor and  the gravity of the basic situa-  tion returns soon after, for a memory, in the form of a dream of the old man's mother comes to him. ing.  His comments on his mother lead to an association with Satsuko,  first by contrast. two  In this dream she is clothed as if for visit-  A logical, conscious contrast is made between these  images, the difference resting especially on the form of their feet.  For the very first time in a Tanizaki work of any cally opposed images of woman as represented brought together. tween the two.  importance the diametri-  throughout his writing are  No judgment emergesjas a result of the contrast  be-  It is significant, however, that the mother's feet are  likened to those of the Kannon statue in the Nara, and this comparison prepares the Buddha footprinting scene near the end the novel.  For now,  we  may  of  note that though Tanizaki uses religious  imagery at times to help define the male characters' attitude toward women  176  characters, he does not do so with the mother figure in mind. or bodhisattva  imagery  The buddha  is associated with figures like Naomi, Mitsuko,  Louise, Shunkin and Ikuko.  We recall that Mitsuko in Manji was the ;.t  model for Sonoko's Kannon portrait and that her image was set before the three (like a Buddhist triad) lying down to die at the end of the novel. Louise in Tade kuu mushi was compared to Lamaist statues, and so forth. All of these have to some extent either sculptural or emotional  resonances,  not primarily spiritual values, but the association is inescapably present: woman is an idol.  Here in Futen rojin is the only significant association  of the mother as a religious object.  The footprint-taking^scene is to  shed light on this assimilation of two antithetical poles of character conception. The novel progresses with old Utsugi's devotion to! life, meaning attachment to Satsuko, reflected in quarrels with his family, and resistance to every objection made by others.  His perversity and sophistry  in defending his purchase of a ring for Satsuko is doubled as he announces plans to build a pool for her.  It is at this point in the novel —  mately halfway through the old man's diary — family.  approxi-  that he flabbergasts his  In fact he anticipates them by calling himself a madman (September  5) to resume his extravagant behavior, thus revealing a decided selfawareness.  A n early madman, Joji of Chijin no ai, shows signs of a cer-  tain consciousness of his own condition at the ending, but this old man "lunatic" revolts against i t . A mood of playful self-awareness is heightened in the entry of September 16 as the old man expresses his jealousy of Satsuko's dog because it rides beside her in the car. hero of Kagi.  His; own comment:  Here Utsugi joins Shozo, not the  I wouldn't mind being injured if that would bring Satsuko pleasure, and a mortal injury would be all the better. Yet to think of being trampled to death, not by her but by her dog . . . (XIX, 97-98). 92  This passage, remembered by the reader in the final episode when the old man imagines Satsuko trampling on his grave, will take on a special value. We note an ascending order of intensity in the movement of the work.  After entries from September 28 to October 9, dealing with his  suffering from illness which exacerbate his desire to see Satsuko, the old man begins slyly to consider a device to bring her to him.  When his  pain'is at its peak, he will throw a childish tantrum and demand her in exclusive attendance upon him. The On  regression to childhood is a significant expression of his state.  October 13 he writes that he does indeed scream and c r y for Satsuko;  he has turned into a child again.  Reality, however, turns into acting.  Since early in his writing career Tanizaki often uses the childhood theme; before this, itiihas represented escapism, a retreat to dreams of the past, an idealized state, but here in this novel which tends toward the shishosetsu, the protagonist is represented as a real child without idealization.  There is no beautiful dream; Utsugi is a screaming  brat.  The ob-  servation is to be linked to the game-playing aspect of the work ("semiporno thrillers").  Reversion to childhood also means wilfulness, a life-  giving resistance to his condition, a complete abandonment of the usual constraints of adulthood. Satsuko is momentarily unnerved by the violence of the tantrum; her significant since it shows him overpowering her, if for but a short while, but she recovers with ironic comments about his becoming a real madman.  His childishness turns specifically to an infantile  178  condition, as Satsuko lets a:drop of saliva fall into his mouth.  The i n -  cidents involving oral sensation have been placed at regular intervals in the novel, like the art motifs, and  like the moments of comedy, so that  the reader never has a sense of disproportion (he may  not be aware that  there is proportion in the sense of structural ordering, but that is a result of the insidious naturalness of the work). The  state of childhood in old age, however, is a special one,  as  the reader, sees in the October 29 entry, when a real child, the old man's grandson Keisuke questions him about the state of his hand. man,  caught off guard, succumbs temporarily to sentiment,  The old  which in him  coexists with a normal indifference to other people's concerns.  The  epi-  sode is of interest because sentimentality is a potentially weakening factor, and  indeed old Utsugi soon reacts with exasperation at his own  tears.  There follows a sequence of recorded events which represent a plateau:  a new  treatment for the old man's illness which he is willing to  undergo when he thinks of Satsuko (October and on his return home he finds a new  21).  The  flower arrangement and the old  scroll replaced by Satsuko by another with a Man'yoshu the third of the flower arrangement and in which the old man  for him.  poem.  This is  scroll scenes and the only  expresses a reaction:  of Satsuko's special concern  procedure fails  one  he wonders if this is a sign  The Man'yoshu poem is also the r  only one of the three with a love theme. The action now  speeds to its climax.  The  last portion of the old  man's diary consists of entries from November 9 to November 18, beginning with his expressed  intent to go to Kyoto to make arrangements for  his grave, and to take Satsuko with him.  The visit to Kyoto as a burial  place is a spatial return to the area of his more remote ancestors.  The  emphasis lies on the fact that he has seen Tokyo's beauty destroyed and finds Kyoto more congenial.  His remarks are a simplification and  tion of the Tokyo-Kansai polarity schematized in Tade kuu His concern for the design of his own  resolu-  mushi.  tombstone brings together  the religious imagery, the art motifs, and the erotic attachment to Satsuko continually appearing in the novel.  A book on temples with photographs  of an Amida triad gives him the idea of having Satsuko's; features carved on his tombstone like an image of Kannon or Seishi.  The conversion of  Satsuko into an art object signifies that she will be on his grave.  "...  93 My  only conceivable divinity is Satsuko" (XIX,  145).  The idolizing tendencies of Tanizaki heroes reach their highest level in the old man.  On  November 15 he writes of consulting a stone-  cutter with the secret intention of having Satsuko appear on his tombstone.  Without telling the reader his motives, he reports buying  paper,  a stick of vermilion, and silk for a dabber, in order to take rubbings. He then packs off his nurse to Nara, with his Kyoto daughter  Itsuko,  telling the latter to look at the Buddha footprint stone in the Yakushiji, a stone carved with the imprint of the feet of Sakamuni.  Satsuko learns  at the same time as the reader the reasons for these preparations —  but  f i r s t , in a scene pointing back to another near the opening of the novel, Satsuko is represented as eating the eel sushi left over from the old man's breakfast.. The  roles of dominator and dominated are about to be  94 reversed. about to do:  At the end of the November 16 entry we  learn what he is  he is to ink the soles of her feet with vermilion and make  prints of them for a Buddha's footprint stone to be carved on their model. The technique of delayed significance so often before employed by Tanizaki is appropriately used here in a novel whose pacing is far more  180  deliberately conducted  than apparent.  There is yet more:  the old man  has yet to explain the motives for his act; these are expressed in the entry for the next day. his  She would, he thinks, feel joy at treading on  remains in the grave. At the very thought of those Buddha's footprints modelled after her own feet, she would hear my bones wailing under the stone. Between sobs I would scream: "It hurts! It hurts! ...Even though it hurts I'm happy .. .much: happier than when I was alive! Trample harder! Harder! (XIX, 156)95 The old man's brief objection previously made to being trampled by  Satsuko's dog, instead of by her, may now be remembered in proper perspective.  Self-irony coexists in this novel with a fierce desire to live  even beyond the grave, in the sensations of this life. The effect is entirely different from that of a parallel situation in one^of the worst of Tanizaki's early stories, "Fumiko no ashi" % $z ("Fumiko's Feet," 1919, VI, 355-394). a word play on the verb fumu.  The naming of the heroine involves  The old man protagonist dies while his  young mistress Fumiko places her foot on his forehead; it appears to him like a purple cloud descending from Heaven to receive his soul. Futen rojin  is not about the end of life but survival, even beyond  the fact of death.  It is the ferocity of the imagination, magnified to the  point of "madness," not sexual experience pure and simple, which makes this result possible.  The novel deals not with death and an old man's  efforts to deal with it, but with a projection of life beyond the grave. The means to achieve this survival of the senses is art, and thus Utsugi is implicitly the supreme figuration of the artistic impulse in the work of Tanizaki. The force of the old man's will to live is enough to defeat one of the most powerful of Tanizaki heroines.  The morning after the full  181  day of footprinting, he discovers that she has returned in haste to T o k y o ; when he too returns she tells him the situation was intolerable, and the old man's diary ends at this point. It is fitting that little more should be heard directly from him after the climactic scene of footprinting.  Three brief reports from outside view-  points now take over, to conclude the novel.  F i r s t , the record of Nurse  Sasaki has the function of informing the reader briefly of Satsuko's reactions.  Highly agitated, she has explained her father-in-law's  to a psychiatrist.  behavior  Second is D r . Katsumi's even more detached account  of the old man's hospital stay.  The reader is removed to the furthest  point possible from the old man, who is in these notes shown in his purely physical condition.  The last notations are by Itsuko; they reveal him  still with his old impulses even after recovery from a grave illness, since she reports that Satsuko cannot stay too long near him because of the danger of over-exciting him.  He has even requested the footprint impres-  sions left behind in Kyoto, and asks that they be carved on his tombstone. At this point it is not only Satsuko's person which enraptures him but the footprints as well.  At the very end of these notes, signs of renewal  appear; the pool intended for Satsuko by ;U.tsug"i is under construction. The novel ends in Jokichi's words as quoted by Ikuko:  "The old man's  head is full of daydreams, just watching them work on that pool.  And  96 the children are looking forward to it, too" (XIX, thus indicates a continuing state of anticipation.  174).  The ending  Since this period is  one of non-fiction and fiction approaching each other, it may not be pointless to compare this ending to that of "Shichijukyu no h a r u . " This essay, composed, not long before the author's death on July 30, 1965, concludes with a looking into the future, also related to a  childhood motif;  .he. has placed an order with a Kyoto shop for dolls for  the hinamatsuri for his granddaughter,  to be filled by the spring of  next year. Futen rojin nikki Jorings Tanizaki's line of shi-shosetsu-like fiction to an end.  Besides the early shi-shosetsu one thinks of Chijin no ai  and even Tade kuu mushi; the first narrator of "Yoshino kuzu" is also the author and thus the^work partakes of the genre.  But in this last  novel Tanizaki has achieved the ultimate in the presentation of the self. It is also a prime example of sophistication in narrative art, the antithesis of Kagi, an obvious artifact.  Futen rojin has the freshness^of  what is apparently unfabricated, but it is in truth a work which manipulates the reader even more surely than does Kagi.  The  reader might  take the manner of its writing to be spontaneous and desultory; authorial deceit can go no further.  Tanizaki does not stop after this achievement; after Futen rojin he produces two more works of fiction which show him in a state of constant renewal.  Daidokoro taiheiki (1962-63) presents something quite  different from the concerns of the works previously discussed in this chapter.  The narrative artist is still seeking other areas to explore.  This work is a chronicle consisting of a series of portraits of the best-remembered maids in the service of the Chikura family from  1936.  The mock-heroic title is an accurate indication of the content, with its many ^humorous character portrayals and anecdotes.  Particularly in the  opening pages of the work, the author takes care to stress that this is a fiction, and as if to underline the fact, conducts the narration in the conversational form of the verb, with an occasional use of honorific language,  perhaps recalling the tradition .of comic story-telling.  183  Though insisting on one hand on the fictional aspect of the work, the author places himself in i t .  The ages of the master of the house,  Raikichi, and his wife, Sanko, correspond to those of Tanizaki and his wife.  Raikichi is moreover a writer, and one of their houses. In Kyoto,  is obviously one he lived in himself.  The author is clearly playing with  fact when he tells us that Y u r i , one of the most colorful of the maids, is a reader of the Tanizaki translation of the Genji, and leaves the Chikuras to work for their actress/friend "Takane Hidako." The structure.  "chronicle" c o n c e p t i o n ^ the work is principally related to the The maids are arranged in chronological order and traced in  their individual histories from the time they enter the Chikura until their departure.  household  It is therefore comfortably loose,in composition  but the author does take care to conclude the novel in a clear-cut fashion. The final scene is that of a reunion of the maids remaining closest to the Chikuras, so that a ceremonial, congratulatory cast is given to the novel, appropriately for a chronicle. The characterizations are highly individualized.  The  reader learns  of the maids' origins, their personalities, their appearance, their problems, all conveyed in a mode of domestic realism infrequent for Tanizaki.  The  only major examples previously are the characters of "Neko to Shozo" and  Zangyaku-ki. The viewpoint is very decidedly that of the employers regarding  their servants with amusement.  Thus, despite the high degree of parti-  cularization the reader still senses a basic view of servants as comic types, like Oharu in Sasameyuki.  2  184  Tanizaki. continues to s u r p r i s e the reader by the variety of his narrative expression in his last work of fiction, " O s h a b e r i . "  Though an 1  insignificant piece, p e r h a p s , it shows, in its low-keyed manner, the novelist in a s p i r i t of renewal. The "chatter" of the title is that of a young matron, recounting her experiences with two foreign men to a f r i e n d , presumably another woman. For the f i r s t time since Manji the reader is constantly aware of a woman's speech being reproduced.  A scattering of English words in Roman type  indicates her modernity. The story deals with male-female relationships but there is no thematic element of great import and no arresting incident.  The most the  narrator tells us is her refusal of the not v e r y outrageous advances of the second Westerner who appears in her s t o r y , and her subsequent mortification.  C l e a r l y , this character is not a Naomi nor a S a t s u k o ; she does  not fulfil our expectations of a Tanizaki woman character.  In the back-  g r o u n d , however, is a portrait of a modern marriage, as the chatterbox appears to have a husband she may discuss these experiences in detail. The story gives the impression of a b r i e f , episodic glimpse into a situation with far greater fictional possibilities. T r i v i a l though it may b e , this story joins the other fictional works of this period through its decidedly contemporary aspect.  It should also  be briefly noted for the total withdrawal of the author from his material, in a period of a developed "I" in fiction. Just before the end of his life Tanizaki was embarking on another 97 work of f i c t i o n .  He left only a few scattered notes, and there is no  means of interpreting them, but one wonders what other k i n d of renewal was in store for his readers.  185  CONCLUSION  This study has been based on the assumption that the making of Tanizaki as a major novelist can only be explained by close attention to the author!s. view of his subject matter and sistency of theme throughout  to his techniques.  The  con-  his career makes the shifts in narrative  method all the more significant. The fictionalization of the author is a major question in the first period of his work especially, for a dichotomy in his writing, more conspicuous than at any other stage of his life, shows his inability to produce high-quality fiction when he is too close to his material, that i s , when he is representing himself in the shi-shosetsucmanner,  and  success  when he escapes into an illusory world of his imagination. In his second phase, the element of fantasy, still very active, is at  the base of his best works.  Almost all the fictional works of this  period are in fact major accomplishments, from Tade kuu Shigemoto no haha. tween reality and  mushi to Shosho  In Sasameyuki he achieves a perfect balance  be-  illusion, but most of the works are basically appeals to  history. In old age, Tanizaki turns to the record, abandoning the history and  romance of his second phase, and  shosetsu tendency.  Nevertheless we  returns to himself, to the shimust not state that all illusion is  gone; it is just that the author no longer uses fantasy as a crutch. force of the imagination expresses; itself in different ways and,  The  in any  case, appeals to the past, as in the second period, are still present in "Yume no ukihashi."  186  A progressive attitude of authorial detachment is observable through the career of Tanizaki as a fiction writer.  The  passage from "Shisei"  to Futen rojin nikki might be summed up in the phrase "from self-consciousness to self-irony."  His evolution is also marked by the tendency  to move from the fictional to the less fictional genres; from the fairy tale, Tanizaki moves through the detective story to the romance, and  and  the  shi-shosetsu  then to the record, or journal.  There are different kinds of technical development.  Narrative  perspective, relatively simple in the first period, the phase of the short story, evolves significantly in the second, with Tanizaki making a particularly effective use of the author as narrator in such works as no kuzu" and  "Ashikari," and  of view in "Shunkinsho."  "Yoshi-  with extremely complex changes in point  In.period three the novelist, though  a variety of areas to explore, is basically conveying his own  seeking  experience  through his narrator. Structural concerns are of prime importance in the evolution of this novelist.  The  first period contains some works revealing a well-  developed sense of form on the part of the novelist.  In his maiden work,  "Shisei," Tanizaki displays a very firm grasp of basic aspects such as transition, movement and shosetsu,  pacing.  Other stories, especially the shi-  show an author struggling unsuccessfully with form.  Longer  works tend to be diffuse because the author has problems with large canvasses. In his second period Tanizaki moves on to build firm structures for his works though not in the clearcut, simple manner of "Shisei" and Chijin no a i .  Now,  he makes much more subtle techniques work for him  in the composition of Tade kuu  mushi and  "Yoshino kuzu," in which  187  development relies on correspondences of themes and motifs.which assume full significance only when the reader has completed the whole work. The concept of a work of fiction as a rounded the third period, with two notable tendencies.  whole continues into  One is the rather loose  structure of "Oshaberi" and Daidokoro taiheiki, where development proceeds through anecdote and episode.  In contrast, the most important of  these later works are tightly organized.  Nothing in "Yume no ukihashi"  is otiose; the form of Kagi is obviously a craftsman's triumph; and in contrast, Futen rojin with its appearance of utmost naturalness and its inner sophistication in structure is the most successful fictional treatment of the diary as a genre. The most eye-catching techniques are those of the better works of the first period, particularly in the area of style.  "Shisei" and " K i r i n , "  among others, are far easier to analyze than those of the later phases. There is a flashy use of figurative language, which Tanizaki later abandons.  Diction is also a prominent point of difference; the first period  contains many signs of ostentation, like Romanized foreign words and difficult Sino-Japanese terms.  The style, of. the second  less ornamental, monogatari type  phase is of the  with long, ample sentences, at their  best representing what one thinks of as the distinctive Tanizaki style. The style of the third period tends to be less highly-colored; indeed the journals are terse and direct, with no conscious evocative effect. tion and description prevail.  Nota-  Tanizaki begins to use foreign words in  Roman type again, but this time without the ostentation of his youth. In the third period, "style" has blended into the structure of the works. Character creation is an important point of technique.  Because of  Tanizaki's perspectives and choice of genres, his early characters are  188  bound to be types.  In the art stories, they are moved by the artist's  passions, and even in the more realistic works like Chijin no ai, the characters are still abstract forces.  In the second period they need  hardly be any more, though they are far more clearly delineated, especially in Tade kuu mushi and Sasameyuki.  The  idealizing tendency in  Tanizaki pervades even the works with realistic settings, so that we emerge from a reading of the latter novel with a curious impression of having been moved by a universal type who  also possesses a social reality.  In the third period, the characters tend to be "I's," in prey to ferocious passions, as in Kagi, or preoccupied with the projection of the author's urges, like the mad  old man.  The characters in Kagi are the  best instances in Tanizaki's work of creation of characters entirely persuasive as embodiments of abstractions; in short, they are convincing puppets.  Old Utsugi is undoubtedly  the most compelling creation of this  phase, and indeed in all of Tanizaki's work.  He too is a type; though  quirks of personality set him apart from the others, at the end of the novel we are sure that he is vital energy  personified.  I this not surprising that so much Tanizaki criticism bears on aspects of the man  extraneous to considerations of his art, for Tanizaki and  reader are in a singularly close relationship.  the  It is easy, for example, to  ridicule psychoanalytical readings of his work, but they do tell us much, if indirectly, about reader response to Tanizaki.  They suggest that he  is wortking in areas of primal appeal to the reader, such as physicality, especially  tactility, showing that he is never  tions of childhood, and even infancy. obvious.  out of touch with the sensa-  The connection with the mother is  Expanded and generalized, the regressive impulse toward the  ideal state lost after childhood is associated with the search for a perfect.  unattainable country, home of the, perfect, unattainable woman, who may or may not be the mother figure. But all of these factors would amount to nothing at all if Tanizaki did .not appeal to another universal instinct, the thirst to hear a story, and without his extraordinary skill in satisfying it.  Tanizaki's readers  are bewitched; not by the content but by the telling of the tale.  190  NOTES  191  NOTES  1  Japanese characters are provided in this thesis for names of authors  and titles on first appearance, with one exception. reappear though they may the  Characters for titles  have been given before, in the chapters where  works concerned are discussed at length.  Thus, they are given twice  for "Shisei," once in the Introduction and again in the body of Chapter I. 2 Overviews of Tanizaki's writing career from the standpoint of literary history and themes include: (Tokyo:  Rokko shuppan,  Nomura Shogo, Tanizaki Jun'ichiro no sakuhin  1974) and Hashimoto Yoshiichiro, Tanizaki Jun' -  ichiro no bungaku (Tokyo: Ofusha, 1965).  For a critical approach to the  works, see Ito Sei, "Tanizaki Jun'ichiro" in I to Sei zenshu, XX  (Tokyo:  Shinchosa, 1973), pp. 8-150. 3 For  example, Sumie Jones, "How  Tanizaki Disarms the Intellectual  Reader," Literature East and West, 18(1974), 321-29, and Keiko I. McDonald, "Rhetorical Stance in Tanizaki's The Key," The Japan Interpreter, 11 ( 1976) 203-212. English titles are those of the standard versions, if the works have been translated. the  If more than one translation exists, the title closer to  Japanese has been selected.  "Shisei" has been translated by Howard  Hibbett, "The Tattooer," in Seven Japanese Tales (New  York:  Knopf,  1963), pp. 160-169, and by Ivan Morris, "Tattoo," in Modern Japanese Stories (Rutland, Vermont and Tokyo: 5  Tuttle, 1962), pp. 90-100.  T h e figures are based on the Tanizaki Jun'ichiro zenshu,  (Tokyo, Chuo" koronsha,  1966-68).  28 vols.  See Appendix for a list of the works  cited in this thesis. Edward C. Seidensticker, "Tanizaki Jun'ichiro, 1886-1965," Monumenta Nipponica, 21 (1966), 253-254. 7  Donald Keene, "Tanizaki Jun'ichiro," in Landscapes and Portraits  (Palo Alto:  Kodansha  International, 1971), p. 171.  ..Volume and page numbers after titles or quotations refer to the 1966-68 Chuo koronsha edition of Tanizaki's collected works.  192 g It was actually his fourth published work (November, 1910), but was composed before Tanjo, the first to appear in print.  See Hashimoto  Yoshiichiro and Oshima Maki, ed., Tanizaki Jun'ichiro" shu, Nihon kindai bungaku taikei, V o l . X X X  (Tokyo:  Kadokawa shoten, 1971), p. 434, n. 1.  ^ T r a n s l a t i o n s of quoted phrases or passages are mine, unless otherwise indicated. 11  — As emphasized  Reader,  by Tanizaki himself, in Bunsho dokuhon (A Style  1934), XXI, 170.  .  12 — Oshima Maki has listed the sources for this story in "Tanizaki Jun'ichiro no debyu  to Anatoru Furansu:  'Kirin' wo meguru shomondai,"  in Tanizaki Jun'ichiro, ed. Nihon Bungaku Kenkyu Shiryo Kankokai (Tokyo: 13  Yuseido, 1972), p. 173,  n.28.  B u n s h o dokuhon, XXI, 155.  14 A free translation. by "sensuality."  It is possible to replace "...a beautiful woman"  James Legge translates:  virtue as he loves beauty."  "I have not seen one who  loves  I'Corifucian Analects," in The Chinese Classics  (Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 1960), I, p. 298. 15 — — — Hashimoto and Oshima, ed., Tanizaki Jun'ichiro shu, p. 437, n. 17. 1g Okamura Kazue, "Tanizaki Jun'ichiro no buntai," in Bunsho to buntai, ed. Morioka Kenji et ah, (Tokyo: Meiji shoin, 1963), p. 248.  Hinatsu  Konosuke comments on the novelty of the style of " K i r i n , " emphasizing the contrast with the subject matter drawn from ancient sources, '"Kirin buntai," in Tanizaki 17  XXI,  "Watakushi  bungaku (Tokyo:  1  no  Asahi Shimbunsha, 1950), p. 103.  no bimbo monogatari" ("A  Tale of my  Poverty," 1935),  252. 18 19  Trans. Zenchi Iwado, A Springtime Case (Tokyo: Japan Times, — — — "Taishu bungaku no ryuko ni tsuite" ("On  1927)  the Vogue for Popular  Literature," 1930), XXII, 290-91. 20  — Kanamaru Tomio, "Tanizaki Jun'ichiro no gikyoku," in Tanizaki  Jun'ichiro kenkyu", 2 1  ed. A r a Masahito (Tokyo:  l b i d . , pp. 411-412.  Yagi shoten, 1972), p. 410.  193 22  — I to Sei, "Tanizaki Jun'ichiro," p.  23 "ibid. 24  54.  -  Mishima Yukio, "Tanizaki Jun'ichiro ni tsuite," in Mishima Yukio zenshu;, XXXII (Tokyo:  Shinchosha, 1975), p.  25  448.  — For discussions of the shi-shosetsu,  see Howard Hibbett,  Portrait of the Artist in Japanese Fiction," Far Eastern Quarterly, (1955), 347-54; The  Masao Miyoshi, " T i l l Death Do  Setting Sun,"  Us Part:  in Accomplices of Silence (Berkeley and  University of California Press, "Akutagawa Ryunosuke and  1974), pp.  122-40; and  "The 14  Dazai Osamu: Los Angeles:  Kinya  Tsuruta,  I-Novelists," Monumenta Nipponica, 25 (1970);>.  13-27. 26 "Itansha no kanashimi hashigaki" ("Foreword to 'Itansha no kanashimi,'" 1917), XXIII,  23.  27 We  have relied on the standard  Shogo, Denki: 2 8  Tanizaki Jun'ichiro  l b i d . , pp.  biography of Tanizaki, Nomura  (Tokyo:  Rokko shuppan, 1972).  91-95.  29 Trans. Howard Hibbett, "Terror," in Seven Japanese Tales, pp. 85-94. 30 — — — Hashimoto Yoshiichiro and Oshima Maki, ed. Tanizaki Jun'ichiro shu, pp. 454-55, n. 97. 31 The  stories of Edgar Allan Poe and  Conan Doyle were available in  translation in Japan since the Meiji period. nized to have begun in 1923, ("The  Native detective fiction is recog-  when Edogawa Rampo published  Two-Sen Copper Piece").  Rampo was  impressed by  "Nisen doka"  Tanizaki's short  story "Konjiki no s h i , " for he realized its affinities with Poe's "Domain of Arnheim" and  "Landor's Cottage."  See Nakajima Kawataro, "Tanizaki to  mi.suteri," in Tanizaki Jun'ichiro" kenkyu, ed. Ara Masahito (Tokyo: Yagi shoten, 1972), p.  419.  "Kon'jiki no shi" is actually a turgid philosophical work about the need to identify life with art, but similarities do exist with the Poe stories. Noriko Mizuta Lippit, "Tanizaki and  Poe:  the Grotesque and  See  the Quest  for Supernal Beauty," Comparative Literature, 29 (1 977), 231-32. Since Tanizaki published most of his detective and fore 1923,  crime stories be-  the landmark date for the origin of Japanese detective fiction.  194 he is a .precursor of Rampo and an influence on him; he is certainly one of the earliest practitioners of the genre. 32  — Nakajima Kawataro, "Detective Fiction in Japan," Japan Quarterly, 9 (January/March, 1962), 52. 33  " S h u n k a n " ("The Cold of Early Spring," 1930), XXII, 271.  34 Trans. Howard Hibbett, "The Thief," in Seven Japanese Tales, pp. 170-185. " S h u n k a n , " XXII, 35  3 6  lbid.,  273.  37 Trans. Thomas J. Harper and Edward G. Seidensticker, In Praise of Shadows (New  Haven, Conn.:  Leete's Island Books, 1977).  Contains  excerpts previously translated by Seidensticker, "In Praise of Shadows," Japan Quarterly, 1 (October/December,  1954), 46-52; rpt. Atlantic Monthly,  195 (January 1955), 141-44. 38 Trans. Howard Hibbett, "Aguri," in Seven Japanese Tales, pp. 186-204. 39  — "Shunkinsho gogo ("Afterword to 'The Story of Shunkin,'" 1934),  XXI, 80. 40 "Setsugoan Yawa" ("Evening at Setsugoan," 1963), XIX, 397-98. 41 For Tanizaki's ideas on literature, see Ueda Makoto, "Tanizaki Jun'ichiro," in Modern Japanese Writers and the Nature of Literature (Stanford, California:  Stanford University Press, 1976), pp. 54-84.  42 "Sasameyuki kaiko" ("Looking Back on The Makioka Sisters," 1948), XXII, (365-66. 43 — — "Taishu shosetsu Rangiku monogatari hashigaki" ("Foreword to Rangiku monogatari, A Novel for Popular Entertainment," 1930), XXIII, 130. 44 Trans. Howard Hibbett, "A Blind Man's Tale," in Seven Japanese Tales, pp. 205-98. 4 5  | b i d . , p. 245.  46 Suzuki Kazuo, for one, while admitting that the difference between the monogatari and the shosetsu is similar to the romance-novel distinction  195 in the West, warns against applying the comparison too rigorously.  "Kaisetsu:  Monogatari bungaku no keisei," in Taketori monogatari, Ise monogatari, Ise monogatari, Yamato monogatari, Heichu monogatari, ed. Katagiri Yoichi et al., Nihon koten bungaku zenshu. Vol. VIII (Tokyo:  Shogakkan, 1972), p. 7.  Nomura, Sakuhin, p. 168. 48  — Keene, "Tanizaki Jun'ichiro," p. 182. 49 Philip Thomson, The Grotesque (London: Methuen, 1972), p. 2. 50 — Seidensticker, "Tanizaki Jun'ichiro," p. 257. 5 1  l b i d . , p. 261.  52 Nomura, Denki, p. 340. _  53  Tanizaki Matsuko, Ishoan no yume (Tokyo:  Chuo koronsha,  1967),  p. 153. 5 4  l b i d . , pp. 155, 157.  55 Trans. Roy Humpherson and Hajime Okita, in Ashikari and the Story of Shunkin  (Tokyo:  Hokuseido, 1936), pp. 2-67.  56 Tale 148 of Yamato monogatari, in Taketori monogatari, Ise monogatari, Yamato monogatari, ed. Abe Toshiko and Imai Gen'e, Nihon koten bungaku taikei. Vol. IX (1957), pp. 316-20, and Book 30, No. 5 of Konjaku monogatari, ed. Yamada Yoshio et a l . , Nihon koten bungaku taikei. V o l . XXVI (1963), 224-26. "Setsugoan yawa," XIX, 422. 57  5 8  l b i d . , 421'.  59 Anthony  Chambers, "Tradition and Innovation in Tanizaki's 'Ashi-  kari,'" Studia Asiatica:  Essays in Felicitation of the Seventy-fifth A n n i -  versary of Professor Ch'en Shou-yi, CMRASC Occasional Series No. 29 (San Fancisco:  Chinese Materials Center, Inc., 1975), p. 392.  60 Trans. Humpherson and Okita, p. 34. 61 Trans. Howard Hibbett, "A Portrait of Shunkin," in Seven  Japanese  Tales, pp. 3-84, and Roy Humpherson and Hajime Okita, "The Story of Shunkin," in Ashikari and the Story of Shunkin (Tokyo: pp. 69-169.  Hokuseido,  1936),  196 62  The function of the unreliable narrator has been pointed out by  Sumie Jones, "How Tanizaki Disarms the Intellectual Reader," Literature East and West, 18 (1974), 322-23 and 325. 63 Chapters IX and X have been partially translated by Edward G. Seidensticker, "The Mother of Captain  Shigemoto," in Anthology of  Japanese Literature, ed. Donald Keene (New York:  Grove Press,  1955),  II, pp. 387-97. 64 - — Ikeda Tsutomu,"Shosho Shigemoto no haha no tenkyo ni tsuite," Kokubungaku, 32 (February 1967), 43-44. 65 Trans. Edward G. Seidensticker, Some Prefer Nettles (New York: Knopf, 1955). 66 Keiko I. McDonald,  "A Reassessment of Some Prefer Nettles,"  Journal of the Association of Teachers of Japanese, 12, No. 2 (1979), 196. 67 For example, there is no comic treatment of a similar situation in La Chatte (1933), a novel by Colette, in which a wife jealous of her husband's cat attempts to kill i t . 6 8  T r a n s . Edward G. Seidensticker, The Makioka Sisters (Tokyo:  Tuttle, 1957). 69 Silvino V. Epistola, "One Who Preferred Nettles (A Note on Tanizaki as Novelist)," Asian Studies, 11, No. 1 (1973), 5. 7  ^ F o r example, Saigusa Yasutaka, Tanizaki Jun'ichiro ronko (Tokyo:  Meiji shoin, 1969), p. 207. 71  N o g u c h i Takehiko, "Sasameyuki to sono sekai," in his Tanizaki  Jun'ichiro" ron (Tokyo:  Chuo koronsha, 1973), pp. 223 and 250. Trans.  Teruko Craig, "Time in the World of Sasameyuki," Journal of Japanese Studies, 3, No. 1 (1977), 6 and 29. 72 — A view held by Nakamura Shin'ichiro, "Tanizaki to Sasameyuki," in Tanizaki Jun'ichiro", ed. Nihon Bungaku Kenkyu Shiryo Kankokai (Tokyo: Yuseido, 1972, p. 57, and by Wayne Falke, "Tanizaki: Naturalism,"  Opponent of  Critique, 8, No. 3 (1966), 20.  73 Tanizaki began writing Sasameyuki in 1942 (Nomura, Denki, p. 412), The first installment appeared in January, 1943, and the second in March, but publication was suspended by the military authorities.  He continued to  197 work on the novel throughout the war; of the war  Book II, completed before the  (Nomura, p. 424), ..was. not published until 1947.  end  Book III  was  serialized in 1947-48. 74 The XXII, 366).  novel was  written according to a plan ("Sasameyuki kaiko,"  Thus, though part of the novel was  written after the  war,  the relationship of author to text had long since been established. 75  — I to Sei relates the figure of Yukiko to the archetype  hime in Taketori monogatari.  "Tanizaki Jun'ichiro," p.  of Kaguya  117.  76 "Sasameyuki sadan," ("Brief Notes on The Makioka Sisters," 1949), XXXIII, 237. 77... . Ibid. 78 The distinction made by Northrop Frye is relevant here: The essential difference between novel and romance lies in the conceptioncof characterization. The romancer does not attempt to create 'real people' so much as stylized figures which expand into psychological archetypes... . The novelist deals with personality, with characters wearing their personae or social masks... . The romancer deals with individuality, with characters in vacuo idealized by revery... ." Anatomy of Criticism (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1957), pp. 304-5. 79 Nomura, Sakuhin, pp.  256-47.  80 It could be said that Kagi overlaps slightly with the very end of the second period, if we consider that one of Tanizaki's notebooks from shows the novel in outline. of Tanizaki Jun'ichiro,"  1949  See Anthony Chambers, "Tradition in the Works  Diss. University of Michigan 1974,  p. 21.  Its  spirit, however, places it with the works of the third period. Ol  Another fictional work of this period, "Oto kidan" East of the Kamo River," 1956) Tanizaki's complete works.  does not appear in the 1966-68 edition of  Its publication was  ments in Shukan shincho" (Feb. of privacy by the individual who  (A Tale from  suspended after six instal-  19-March 25) because of claims of invasion served as the model for the main charac-  ter (Nomura, Denki, pp. 453-54). g2 TanizakLJun'ichiro no bungaku (Tokyo: Ofusha, 1965), p. 83 Trans, by Howard Hibbett, "The Japanese Tales, pp. 95-159.  272.  Bridge of Dreams," in Seven  198 84  Trans. Howard Hibbett, The Key (New York:  8 5  l b i d . , p. 72.  8 6  l b i d . , p. 122.  Knopf, 1961).  87 George Steiner, "Silk Jungle," The Reporter, April 13, 1961, p. 54. Trans. Hibbett, p. 183. 89 — — Ito Sei, "Tanizaki Jun'ichiro," p. 137. 90 Jaime Fernandez, "A Study of Tanizaki's The Key," in Approaches to the Modern Japanese Novel, ed. Kinya Tsuruta and Thomas E. Swann (Tokyo: Sophia University, 1976), p. 229. 91 Trans. Howard Hibbett, Diary of a Mad Old Man  (New York: Knopf,  1965). 9 2  l b i d . , p. 97.  9 3  l b i d . , p. 144.  94 Role reversal is discussed in my paper "The Figure of the Old Man in the Fiction of Tanizaki," in Life, Death and Age in Modern Japanese Fiction, ed. Reiko Tsukimura, University of Toronto-York University Joint Centre on Modern East Asia Publications Series, Vol. 1, No. 3 (Toronto: Joint Centre on Modern East A s i a , 1978), p. 19. 95  Trans. Hibbett, p. 155. 9 6  l b i d . , p. 177.  97 Nomura, Denki, pp. 483-86.  BIBLIOGRAPHY  BIBLIOGRAPHY I A.  Primary Sources  Editions:  Tanizaki Jun'ichiro shu &J<~i*] 7  $J/M"-#P  and Oshima Maki < | > | ^  tf yfs ijW\X'f ^ & •  taikei  . Ed. Hashimoto Yoschiichiro  V  o  L  X  X  X  .  >  Tanizaki Jun'ichiro zenshu y ^ l - ^ y f i j -  Nihon kindai bungaku Y ° : Kadokawa shoten, 1971.  T o k  .  28 vols.  Tokyo:  Chuo  koronsha, 1966-68. B.  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Contains "A Portrait of Shunkin," "Terror," "The Bridge of Dreams," "The Tattooer," "The Thief," "Aguri," and "A Blind Man's Tale." Some Prefer Nettles. Knopf,  New  York:  1955.  A Springtime Case. "Tattoo."  Trans. Edward G. Seidensticker.  Trans. Zenchi Iwado.  Trans. Ivan Morris.  Tokyo:  Modern Japanese Stories:  Ed. Ivan Morris, Rutland, Vermont and Tokyo: pp. 90-100.  Japan Times, 1927. An Anthology.  Tuttle,  1962,  201 11 Chambers, Anthony.  Secondary Sources  "Tradition and  In Studia Asiatica:  Innovation  Essays in Felicitation of the Seventy-fifth Anni-  versary of Professor Ch'en Shou-yi. No.  29.  Ed. Laurence C.  pp.  Novelist)." Falke, Wayne.  San  Francisco:  Chinese  381-97.  "Tradition in the Works of Tanizaki Jun'ichiro."  Diss. University of Michigan Epistola, Silvino V.  CMRASC Occasional Series,  Thompson.  Materials Center, Inc., 1975, Chambers, Anthony.  in Tanizaki's 'Ashikari.'"  "One  Who  1974.  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Tokyo:  Shinchosha, 1973,  pp. 8-150. Jones, Sumie. East and  "How  Tanizaki Disarms the Intellectual Reader."  West, 18 ( 1974), 321-329.  Literature  Kanamaru Tomio %T&$[  "Tanizaki Jun'ichiro no gikyoku"  "  •/?{} ^ $f Wll  ff  <9  .  ,  In Tanizaki Jun'ichiro kenkyu  Ed. A r a Masahito  £ A*  .  Tokyo:  Yagi shoten,  1972, pp. 387-418. Keene, Donald.  "Tanizaki Jun'ichiro."  In his Landscapes and Portraits:  Appreciations of Japanese.Culture.  Palo Alto, California:  Kodansha  International, 1971, pp. 171-85. Konjaku monogatari shu il*  tfj^^t  et al.  Vol. X X V I .  &ty 1 $ ,  Ed. Yamada Yoshio  Nihon koten bungaku taikei  Tokyo:  Legge, James, trans. Hong Kong:  5.  K<?>  $-fc-$T£. f ;  Iwanami shoten, 1963.  "Confucian Analects."  In TheCChinese Classics.  Hong Kong University Press, 1960, pp. 137-354.  Lippit, Noriko Mizuta.  "Tanizaki and Poe:  for Supernal Beauty." McDonald, Keiko I.  the Grotesque and the Quest  Comparative Literature, 29 (1977), 221-40.  "A Reassessment of Some Prefer Nettles."  Journal of  the Association-of Teachers of Japanese, 12 (1977), 195-210. .  "Rhetorical Stance in Tanizaki's The Key."  The Japan In-  preter, 11 (1976), 203-212. Merken, Kathleen.  "The Figure of the Old Man in the Fiction of Tanizaki.  In Life, Death and Age in Modern Japanese Fiction.  Ed. Reiko  Tsukimura, University of Toronto-York University Joint Centre on Modern East Asia Publications Series. V o l . 1, No. 3.  Toronto:  Joint Centre on Modern East Asia, pp. 13-20. Mishima Yukio  t?) & ii^K^  - $f i ; ->  X.  • .  "Tanizaki Jun'ichiro ni tsuite"  |n Mishima Yukio zenshS  Ed. Saeki Shoichi - ^ f t - j f a —  et al.  5 I)  *  V o l . XXXII, Tokyo:  $.LX£&. Shin-  chosha, 1975, pp. 445-455. Miyoshi, Masao.  Accomplices of Silence:  Berkeley and Los Angeles: Nakajima Kawataro.  the Modern Japanese Novel.  University of California Press, 1974.  "Detective Fiction in Japan."  (January/March 1962), 50-56.  Japan Quarterly, 9  203 .  f |)  yfJK  .  $f  T a n i z a k i to misuterT"  ^  In T a n i z a k i Jun'ichiro" k e n k y u , ^T^'pfjiV] — jff fi S£-K.  Masahito  Tokyo:  ^^f^f^  Noguchi Takehiko Tokyo:  .  u  °>  Ed. Ara  £~J»^  if t$t  )ft\  C h a p t e r 6, " S a s a m e y u k i to sono s e k a i "  h a s been t r a n s l a t e d b y T e r u k o C r a i g ,  .  .  1972, p p . 419-433.  Tanizaki Jun'ichiro" ron  C h u o k o r o n s h a , 1973.  ^l9*S*j * *  *L. .  Rokko shuppan,  .  : * f •) -  *  i n t t h e W o r l d of S a s a m e y u k i . "  "Time  J o u r n a l of J a p a n e s e S t u d i e s , 3 ( 1 9 7 7 ) ,  1-36. Nomura S h o g o • .  .  Tokyo:  Tanizaki Jun'ichiro  Kazue  R o k k o s h u p p a n , 1972.  .  (£)^^flv^  ^ ^  *  a  " T a n i z a k i J u n ' i c h i r o n o b u n t a i " 4r  t ^iJh.  In B u n s h o to b u n t a i  A. *Q^L^ l  Oshima M a k i  4 Ztilufi''*'^)  R o k k o s h u p p a n , 1974.  )fL\-if*X$:  e t  -  a l  Tokyo:  J^tc} %  Furansu:  .  1iVk 0-M>  .  ^  E d . Morioka Kenji  Meiji s h o i n , 1963, p p . 249-51.  " T a n i z a k i J u n ' i c h i r o " n o d e b y u to A n a t o r u  fc*b4f  ' K i r i n ' wo m e g u r u s h o m o n d a i " .  U  r  Ed.  Denki:  T a n i z a k i J u n ' i c h i r o n o s a k u h i n J^J*'t>J>f'V| "*  Tokyo: Okamura  •  ^'j"^>t$^t"  i  n  5 ft] $f  ~" ^- 7 ^ '  f" ^  Tanizaki Jun'ichiro  - if  .  N i h o n B u n g a k u K e n k y u S h i r y o K a n k o k a i $ j^K^t J*l £  •*'Mi"**.  Tokyo:  Saigusa Yasutaka §f$fel$> Seidensticker,  Tokyo:  .  .  Monumenta  249-65.  ~~ Mi .  Tanizaki Jun'ichiro" ronko  " T a n i z a k i J u n ' i c h i r o , 1866-1965."  "Silk Jungle."  S u z u k i K a z u o -f^J^.  $\  .  Meiji s h o i n , 1969.  21 ( 1 9 6 6 ) ,  Steiner, George.  1972, p p . 158-175.  c&)  S-  Edward G.  Nipponica,  XjT  Yuseido,  .  The Reporter,  13 A p r i l 1961, p p . 52-54.  "Monogatari b u n g a k u no keisei"  fflirti  " K a i s e t s u " to T a k e t o r i m o n o g a t a r i , Ise m o n o g a t a r i ,  Yamato m o n o g a t a r i , H e i c h u m o n o g a t a r i  K4*W&*-f'?* l>l£&  .  E d . Katagiri Yoichi  X^'^f  Nihon koten bungaku zenshu Tokyo,  Shogakkan,  Tanizaki Matsuko Tokyo:  Chuo  )i^|3]^ -  etal. •  V o l . VIII.  1972, p p . 5 - 2 2 . \  koronsha,  .  Ishoan no yume  1967.  \^  £'A*  °> ''f*  .  204 Thomson, Philip. Tsuruta, Kinya.  The Grotesque.  London:  Methuen, 1972.  "Akutagawa Ryunosuke and l-Novelists."  Monumenta  Nipponica, 25 (1970), .1:3-27. Ueda, Makoto.  "Tanizaki Jun'ichiro."  the Nature of Literature.  In his Modern Japanese Writers and  Stanford, California:  Stanford University  Press, 1976, pp. 54-84. Yamato monogatari  4** ^0  •  4f*}-Wk$  Yamato monogatari Abe Toshiko bungaku taikei 1957.  ffi£f4f^}-  1° Taketori monogatari, Ise monogatari,  and Imai Gen'e  ^^j[4btt<#»  .  Vol. IX.  •  K^M'^  tfliti  Tokyo:  . .  Ed.  Nihon koten  I wanami shoten,  205  APPENDIX  206  APPENDIX The following is a chronological list of the works of Tanizaki cited in the text. All are short stories or novellas, unless otherwise indicated. 1910  Shisei  jjhj-jj"  Tan jo  1  Zo  , play  £  , play  The Affair of Two Watches Kirin Mxhrf 1911  Shinzei Hoko  tjll  Shonen  5 -r  Hokan  ?jf fs]  Hyofu  Jf(&>*L  Himitsu 1912  , play  Akuma  fii & ,4  Atsumono J~ 1913  Kyofu  , novel  7&t$  Zoku-Akuma 1914  Jotaro Kon'jiki no shi tL^ y  1915  Otsuya goroshi Hojoji monogatari Osai to Minosuke  1916  Shindo  •£ fo^ ^ £4  * P Y la  frjtLl.^  i t *t  Kyofu jidai 1917  f<L  $ t$  Ningyo no nageki  ' P V la  *  APPENDIX - continued 1917  Itansha no kanashimi  -fA-fU'<)t4  Jugoya monogatari 1918  ?c ^ ^ , play  Futari no chigo ~ K € M i %J Kin  to Gin  ^  ifc 4?~$i%t.~Pjr  Hakuchu kigo  Ningen ga saru ni natta hanashi\  ?  >hi 4 £ <D  Chiisana okoku  Yanagiyu no jiken 1919  &  ~$  Haha wo kouru ki ^  $ |g  £ il,  Norowareta gikyoku o ^ t i iliz >|3(v# Fumiko no ashi % % . \ ^ ^» 1920  Tojo  i£  i  Kojin 1921  Watakushi Ai  1922  • novel  f l j i * i *C  sureba koso  Aoi hana  » P'  a v  -f\s^lL  Okuni to Cohei  , play:!  t A -f  1924-25 Chijin no ai  «D 'f^  , novel  1926  Tomoda to Matsunaga no hanashi  1927  Nihon ni okeru Kurippun-jiken Dorisu  ic * v H £  Kli*  Jozetsuroku  ^  , essay  1928-30 Manji  , novel  1928-29 Tade kuu mushi j ^ * ^ " 1  %  , novel  .y7V  \  208 APPENDIX - continued I K  1929  Sannin hoshi  1930  Shunkan jjj-'j^.  W , essay  Taishu bungaku no ryuko ni tsuite K%*'*/$ ® Rangiku 1931  monogatari  Yoshino kuzu  ^  £ f-f  Momoku monogatari Kii  |j t] #6}  , novel  no kuni no kitsune urushikaki ni tsuku koto %£  , novel  Seishun monogatari. Ashikari  1933  , novel  $  Bushuko" hiwa jt^ #| 'A 1932  jjfj ^  ^  JJL  , essay  ']  14  ^ _ H » ft  Shunkinsho. Kaomise jf Jj ^  , play  1933-34 In'ei raisan I £fy]? 1 i I T 1934  essay  f  Shunkinsho" gogo jj^i^jji'fjt;*-!, essay Bunsho dokuhon j ^ * ^ ^ . , essay -fA ^9 if I, %") t4i  1935  Watakushi no bimbo monogatari  1936  Neko to Shozo to futari no onna J $ * M i l K -  , essay  1943-48 Sasameyuki  ^tf? *§*  , novel  1949-50. Shosho Shigemoto no haha 1951  Chino monogatari Ono  * y f f i * > ,  1'^ %^ i^) %\  novel  , essay  no Takamura imoto ni koi suru koto  'M*1U'*I3®1%  f  . essay  , essay  209 APPENDIX - continued  1955  Kasanka mangan-sui no yume i i l f j ^ i ' L ' t V j ^ y ' K . <9  1956  Kagi  1957  Rogo no haru ^ . ^ ^ ^ h  , essay  1958  Zangyaku-ki  , novel  1959  Yume no ukihashi ^  , novel  |J£/}.  ;'f -fl}  1961- 62 Futen rojin nikki  'iff,  , novel  K. $ $L.  1962- 63 Daidokoro taiheiki  , novel  £jSij  '^i'i^>\tK.b&  1963  Setsugoan yawa  1964  Oshaberi  1965  Shichijukyu no haru X.^K^">J^  •  essay  ^1-^X^0  , essay  , essay  


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