04_ango_UnderCherries

04_ango_UnderCherries - The following story has been...

Info icon This 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 187-205 .
Image of page 1

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

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
SAKAGUCHI ANGO (1906-1955) IN T H E F O R E S T , U N D E R C HERRIES I N F U LL B LOOM Translated by Jay Rubin Nowadays, when the cherries bloom, people think it's time for a party. They go under the trees and eat and drink and mouth the old sayings about spring and pretty blossoms, but it's all one big lie. I mean, it wasn't until Edo, maybe a couple of hundred years ago, that people started crowding under the cherry blossoms to drink and puke and fight. In the old days - the really old days - nobody gave a damn about the view. They were scared to go under the blossoms. People today think they can have a wild time under the trees, but take the people out of the picture and it's just plain scary. Look at the old Noh play, the one about the mother who goes crazy trying to find her little boy who was kidnapped. She thinks she can see his ghost there, in the shade of the blossoms that stretch off into the distance. She dies crazy, buried in petals (all right, I made that part up). Without people, a forest of cherries in full bloom is not pretty, just something to be afraid of. When they crossed Suzuka Pass in the old days, travelers had to take the road that ran through a forest of cherry trees. They were all right when the trees were not in bloom, but under the blossoms they'd lose their minds. They'd race for green trees or dead trees, trying to get out from under the blossoms as fast as they could. When a traveler was alone, all he had to do was run out of there to find relief under ordinary trees, but it was harder for those traveling in pairs. No two people run at the same speed, so one would always fall behind. He'd scream for the other to wait, but the first one, crazed with fear, would leave his friend behind. Passing beneath the flow - ering forest of Suzuka Pass marked the end of many a friendship: the one who had fallen behind would never trust the other again. And
Image of page 2
Sakaguchi Ango so, to avoid passing beneath the blossoms, travelers quite naturally began to take a less direct route through the mountains, until the cherry forest was left in stillness. Years went by, and then a robber a cruel mountain bandit took to living in the hills. He'd swoop down on the highway, strip the clothes from travelers, and sometimes, if he had to, take their lives. But even he went crazy with fear when he stepped into the blossoming cherry forest. He hated cherry blossoms after that. They scared him. Underneath the blossoms, the wind wouldn't blow, but
Image of page 3

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

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

{[ snackBarMessage ]}

What students are saying

  • Left Quote Icon

    As a current student on this bumpy collegiate pathway, I stumbled upon Course Hero, where I can find study resources for nearly all my courses, get online help from tutors 24/7, and even share my old projects, papers, and lecture notes with other students.

    Student Picture

    Kiran Temple University Fox School of Business ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    I cannot even describe how much Course Hero helped me this summer. It’s truly become something I can always rely on and help me. In the end, I was not only able to survive summer classes, but I was able to thrive thanks to Course Hero.

    Student Picture

    Dana University of Pennsylvania ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    The ability to access any university’s resources through Course Hero proved invaluable in my case. I was behind on Tulane coursework and actually used UCLA’s materials to help me move forward and get everything together on time.

    Student Picture

    Jill Tulane University ‘16, Course Hero Intern