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The temple of the wild geese ; and Bamboo dolls of Echizen : two novellas

Translated by Dennis C. Washburn

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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
genre: Fiction
ISBN: 9781564784902
OCLC number: 173659654
publisher: Dalkey Archive Press
publication place: Champaign, IL
english publication date: 2008
document type: Book
description: 203 p. ; 24 cm.