02_kafu_peony - The following story has been scanned from...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–4. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
1 (Nagai Kafu, “The Peony Garden” in Oxford Book of Japanese Short Stories, ed. Goossen). The following story has been scanned from The Oxford Book of Japanese Short Stories edited by Theodore W. Goossen (Oxford UP, 1997). The below text is the result of first scanning the original then using OCR software to convert those scans to text. While I have attempted to catch any errors in spelling or formatting (such as italicizing foreign terms and such), I cannot guarantee that the text is an exact replication of the original. Also, font choice and formatting do not try to imitate the original. The original text appears on pages 45-51.
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
2 (Nagai Kafu, “The Peony Garden” in Oxford Book of Japanese Short Stories, ed. Goossen). NAGAI KAFU (1879-1959) THE PEONY GARDEN Translated by Edward Seidensticker Once, on the impulse of the moment, the geisha Koren and I decided to have a look at the peonies in Honjo, and took a fast boat from under Ryogoku Bridge. It was late in May. Perhaps the peonies would already have fallen. We had run into each other at a play the evening before, and spent the night at a Yanagibashi inn, and rain had kept us from going home, as we had planned, early in the morning. It had not stopped until after noon. Because we had been shut up in a cramped little room all day, the street gave us a feeling of release, and the breeze that blew down the rows of houses from the river was indescribably fresh against faces recovering from overindulgence. We found ourselves leaning against the railing of Yanagibashi Bridge. It may have been because the rain had stopped that the day seemed far longer than the days before had been. Wisps of cloud from the storm trailed across the sky, like stylized Kano-school clouds on a temple ceiling. The deep, glowing blue of the sky was especially beautiful, and the fading colors of evening. The rich green of the Kanda Canal in the rising tide shone like a freshly polished sheet of glass, catching the sun as it sank into the grove of the Kanda Shrine. At the mouth of the canal where barges and little boats were collecting, the waters of the Sumida spread before us, the more radiant for the depth of the scene. Along the measured lines of the stone embankments, straggly willows waved in the breeze, quiet and languorous beyond description. Samisen practice in the geisha houses near the river had died away. The moving clouds grew brighter by the minute, despite the advance of evening. The faces of passersby and the stripes of their kimonos floated up in the evening light. The whole city, washed of dust by the rain, seemed clean, relaxed, pleasant. Women on the way back from the bath, towels and cosmetics in hand, would strike up conversations as they passed one
Background image of page 2
3 (Nagai Kafu, “The Peony Garden” in Oxford Book of Japanese Short Stories, ed. Goossen). another, their throats astonishingly white. Bats were already out, and
Background image of page 3

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Image of page 4
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Page1 / 8

02_kafu_peony - The following story has been scanned from...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 4. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online