The Counterfeiter: And Other Stories

The Counterfeiter: And Other Stories

The Counterfeiter: And Other Stories

The Counterfeiter: And Other Stories

Excerpt

Human pathos and suffering, loneliness and isolation, Oriental fatalism and Buddhistic concepts of predestination form dominant strands in the fabric of virtually all of the writings of Yasushi Inoue. Probably his own separation from his parents when he was a child set the pattern for the basic framework of these moods, particularly that of loneliness. Here, it is perhaps interesting to note that the usual Japanese word for loneliness, kodoku, is made up of two Chinese characters--ko, "orphan" and doku, "alone." And Yasushi Inoue as a child was an "orphan alone" in almost every sense except the legal one.

Born in 1907 the son of an Army physician in Hokkaido, the northernmost of the four major islands that comprise Japan, Yasushi Inoue was taken during his infancy to live with his grandmother in a small village on the Izu Peninsula, some hundred and thirty-five miles south of Tokyo. This area is obviously dear to him; he calls it "my native Izu Peninsula" in The Counterfeiter and opens Obasute with references to his childhood there. One cannot help but feel that his delicate sensitivity to all natural beauty harks back to that time when separation from his family and personal loneliness led him, even as a child, to seek solace in Nature, which surrounded him in that mountain village. While separation and isolation strike gloomy chords throughout Inoue's works, it is to natural and other visual beauty that he inevitably turns for release, comfort, and meditation. It is one of the . . .

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