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moon in the water Blog Tools Rating: Rate This Blog
Creation Date: 04-26-2010 11:46 PM
the water does not try
to reflect the moon
and the moon has no desire
to be reflected
but when the clouds clear
there is the moon in the water
Blog Info
Status: Public
Entries: 155
Comments: 1,111
Views: 1,685,546


In General out by kirino | rashomon by kurosawa Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #112 New 04-28-2012 09:50 PM
out by kirino | rashomon by kurosawa
Out / Natsuo Kirino by Laura González

It's human to lie. Most of the time we can't even be honest with ourselves.

As a means of contrast with the sublime, the grotesque is, in our view, the richest source that nature can offer.
Victor Hugo, preface to Cromwell

Fate is what happens to you in spite of all your plans.
Natsuo Kirino, Out

In order to induce the process of decay, water is necessary. I think that, in the case of women, men are the water.
Natsuo Kirino, Grotesque

Last week I wrote about Izanagi and Izanami. A Japanese creation myth. O Sensei Morihei Ueshiba, the founder of aikido, spoke about this myth.

I just found out this week - to my surprise - that the popular Japanese crime writer Natsuo Kirino wrote about the myth as part of a series on world mythology. Three of Natsuo Kirino's modernist noir novels have been translated into English. Out, Grotesque and Real World. They are very dark psychological thrillers. A little like Jim Thompson or James M Cain perhaps. Ice-cold and matter-of-fact.

As her stories develop Natsuo Kirino likes to shift the perspective by using different narrators. This is a technique used in Rashomon, one of Akira Kurosawa's most famous samurai movies. Rashomon was based on two stories by Ryunosuke Akutagawa: Rashomon and In the Grove. Narrators do not always tell the truth. Or perhaps they do not understand the real truth. That is called an unreliable narrator. But innocently mistaken or deliberately disingenuous? To find out you'll have to read the books. And see the movie.

Natsuo Kirino's main characters are mostly powerful women. And many of her characters are somehow outsiders in Japanese society. Perhaps she even thinks of women as outsiders in Japanese society. She used the English word Out - with its many layers of meaning - as the title for her book in Japanese. But for example Out is also about Japanese Brazilian shift workers.

The story of the Japanese diaspora is very interesting. There were waves of emigrants from Japan at the end of the nineteenth century and in the early twentieth century. At the end of the twentieth century there were waves in the other direction as Japanese Brazilians and Japanese Peruvians and many others came to Japan to find work. First, second and third generation descendants of Japanese have certain rights to Japanese nationality or visa status. Famously invoked by Alberto Fujimori the former President of Peru in an attempt to escape prosecution. For a while anyway.

And of course the Japanese diaspora includes all the Japanese aikido teachers who left Japan. I talked about that briefly in exiles.


e-books | poems | texts | background articles

Victor Hugo, preface to Cromwell

Victor Hugo, Poems

Natsuo Kirino's home page

http://sites.google.com/site/renemalenfant/rashomon text of Rashomon
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_a_Grove links to texts of In a Grove

http://www.criterion.com/films/307 interviews about the movie Rashomon
http://akas.imdb.com/title/tt0042876/ Rashomon on IMDb

photo of book: Out / Natsuo Kirino by Laura González
photostream: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sheepie/with/3861838635/

my home page with a mirror of these blog posts plus other stuff:

my columns on aikiweb

I have an essay in a charity e-book put together by some writers and photographers to raise money for victims of the earthquake and tsunami in Tohoku on 11 March 2011. It costs $9.99.

© niall matthews 2012
Views: 4964 | Comments: 2

RSS Feed 2 Responses to "out by kirino | rashomon by kurosawa"
#2 04-30-2012 04:19 AM
niall Says:
Thanks Billy. Alberto Fujimori was a normal man - he was an academic - until he was apparently corrupted by the power of his office. He could have lived out his days quietly in Japan instead of taking his chances with the justice system. I think he over-estimated his popularity. Another politician of Japanese descent is US Senator Daniel Inouye. He represents Hawaii. He was a war hero. He is highly regarded in Japan. Glad you liked the quotes. They often give an interesting extra dimension.
#1 04-29-2012 02:03 AM
Makochan Says:
Hi Niall; I found this blog very interesting. I didn't know that Fujimori moved to Japan (for protection I presume), in better days for him, the press in Japan were very proud that he was of Japanese descendants and a Karate man. I loved the quotes especially one and four. I gave up planning my life due to three. Kindest your friend, Billy

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