Tag: Omedetaki Hito

Mushanokoji’s Good Natured Man 13

Herein ends the explicit narrative of the incorrigible Jibun’s hunger for a woman vis-à-vis the schoolgirl Tsuru. However, the book continues with several addenda, what Mushanokoji refers to as a ‘supplementary record, to be seen as something written by the protagonist of The Good Natured Man’. The supplementary […]

Mushanokoji’s Good Natured Man 11

What?! Tsuru has red hair? Like blonde hair, black hair has various shades, such as kite, rouge, purple, iron, and sandalwood. Jibun may discern such a fine detail, given the intensity of his focus upon her. However, his observation may be read primarily as a symbolistic gesture, standing […]

Mushanokoji’s Good Natured Man 10

A small group of foreign words in katakana (phonetic script) presented an initially worrying, but ultimately amusing and enlightening, knot to untie. Katakana is the means by which the Japanese writing system represents foreign words. It was first used to enable the pronunciation of imported Chinese texts (since […]

Mushanokoji’s Good Natured Man 9

Reflecting on his yearning for the beautiful young Tsuru—and reflecting on his reflections—Jibun invokes a classic Japanese love suicide, “a tragic tale of unrestrained desire” (Brownstein). The scandalous affair of Onatsu and Seijuro occurred in the mid-seventeenth century and inspired poetry, novels, plays for bunraku puppet theatre, and […]

Mushanokoji’s Good Natured Man 8

A Japanese character (kanji) compound, ‘mede’ (目出: “eye” + “go out”) is the basis for the expression, ‘good natured’ in Mushanokoji’s translated title Omedetaki-hito. The compound appears in the common congratulatory phrase, ‘omedetou gozaimasu’, as in, for example, ‘tanjoubi omedetou gozaimasu’ (Many happy returns of the day!) However, […]