Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Master Darling and Kiyo

Yesterday, as I was moving through the maze that is Tokyo, I finished reading Botchan, written by Soseki Natsume, and translated by Yasotaro Morri, on my Amazon kindle.

The novel ends thus:

I forgot to tell you about Kiyo. On my arrival at Tokyo, I rushed into her house swinging my valise, before going to a hotel, with "Hello, Kiyo, I'm back!"
"How good of you to return so soon!" she cried and hot tears streamed down her cheeks. I was overjoyed, and declared that I would not go to the country any more but would start housekeeping with Kiyo in Tokyo.
Sometime afterward, some one helped me to a job as assistant engineer at the tram car office. The salary was 25 yen a month, and the house rent six. Although the house had not a magnificence front entrance, Kiyo seemed quite satisfied, but, I am sorry to say, she was a victim of pneumonia and died in February this year. On the day preceding her death, she asked me to bedside, and said, "Please, Master Darling, if Kiyo is dead, bury me in the temple yard of Master Darling. I will be glad to wait in the grave for my Master Darling."
So Kiyo's grave is in the Yogen temple at Kobinata.

As I perceive Japan to be in a great need of and actually in the process of serious transitions, and I myself have loads of things to worry about in my life, the last few weeks have been full of turmoil. After the storm, it was deeply rewarding to read the story of pure love (or "affection", should I say?) between Master Darling and Kiyo, who are not related and separated by age in a large number.


Tsumabenicho said...

" Please, Master Darling, if Kiyo is dead, bury me in the temple yard of Master Darling. I will be glad to wait in the grave for my Master Darling. "

Her wish touches me to the heart in spite of translation. No, each English word itself reaches me.

Through a political storm, I have come to see the opponent in a new light.
I remember Hegel's thought, a true tragedy is not formed by right and wrong. It arises from the conflict of comparable right.

It would seem that summer is really past and autumn has come.
Take care not to get a chill in your sleep.

砂山鉄夫(Tetsu Sunayama) said...

Soseki's works helped me overcome difficult situations in my life not once or twice.
I still learn various things from Soseki's works and his spirit. He is super!

I watched your TV program tonight with my family. They are super too!

yuzu said...

I think that pure love or affection story always give a power for life. I will repeat reading it.

(ma)gog said...

I am relieved as well to hear that you have found consolation in the relationship between "Botchan and Kiyo".

Here I'd like to introduce a poem which might help when one needs solace by Toshiko Takada.

"In the Rain"

In the rain,
There's a child,
Watering the flower
in the flowerbed,

With an umbrella in her hand,
Pouring the water onto that flower,
from the watering pot,

I am thinking of that girl,
Who I saw on the program
of the facility for the handicapped

I am thinking of that girl,
on this rainy day,

Each day the girl waters the flower
as it is her work

The water from the watering pot
curving gently onto the flower

Her leaning face
with her bobbed hair
looking towards the flower

I do wish, to be that flower.

(badly translated by me.)