Two elaborate tales written in the early 1960s by the Japanese author Tsutomu Mizukami (1919-2004) explore volcanic oedipal urges lurking just below the surface of unlikely love triangles. In The Temple of the Wild Geese, set at a Zen Buddhist monastery in the mountains, Jinen, an unhappy, disfigured and lonely orphaned novice, develops a filial crush on Satoko, a recent widow and the reverend Jikai’s new common-law wife, which she encourages. It’s a simple jealousy tale centered on a complex relationship, and Mizukami achieves remarkable psychological depth through detail and stylistic finesse. Bamboo Dolls of Echizen, set in 1924, similarly hinges on a maternal relationship gone sour when a young bamboo craftsman takes his father’s prostitute as a wife and insists on treating her as a mother rather than as a proper wife, to the detriment of her health.
|japanese title:||Gan no tera|
|notes:||Japanese title: Gan no tera. Contents: Temple of the wild geese, Bamboo dolls of Echizen. Postscript by Dennis C. Washburn.|
|subjects:||Social life and customs|
|publisher:||Dalkey Archive Press|
|publication place:||Champaign, IL|
|english publication date:||2008|
|description:||203 p. ; 24 cm.|