[My Father, A Fragment]
Shinchōsha, 2012. 220 pp. ¥1,600. ISBN 978-4-10-456305-0.
Also published in: n/a
Throughout the stories, Tsujihara depicts moments of return and regeneration. In the opening piece, he conjures up an image of his father as he was when he was still alive. In the moving “Natsu no bōshi” [Summer Hat], the narrator suddenly has a vivid flashback of the face of a forgotten girlfriend from long ago. Other stories depart from first-person narrative, casting a spell with their beguiling depictions of remote times and exotic locales. In “Chipashiri,” a convict escapes from a series of remote prisons in northern Honshū and Hokkaidō. “Mushi-ō” [King of Insects] depicts a group of seventeenth-century Han warriors who dream of liberating China from Manchu rule.
All the stories depict moments of encounter or near misses with a returning figure, including the dreamlike piece that concludes the connection, “Tenki” [Weather], in which the first-person narrator’s parents return. In such moments, these new stories encapsulate what makes Tsujihara’s writing so appealing. (NK)
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