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Unformatted text preview: is a person absorbed with his emotions—with his fears, forebodings,
and fantasies. He has dark suspicions, for example, about his birth, suspicions that prove to be well founded when his brother informs him that
his supposed father is not his real parent; he has incestuous recollections
of his mother, who died when he was a child; and he is assailed with
anxieties when his wife, almost inadvertently, has a brief love affair with
her cousin. The anxieties over the wife’s infidelity lead to a shocking incident at a railway station. Naoko, the wife, causes them to be late for a
train, and Kensaku, his anger rising uncontrollably, charges ahead and
leaps aboard the train as it is pulling away:
. . . Naoko ran alongside the train toward the doorway where Kensaku was
standing. The train was moving no faster than a man walking.
“Idiot!” shouted Kensaku. “Go home!”
“But I can get on! If you take hold of my hand, I can get on without any
trouble!” She had to run faster now to keep up with the train. She looked at
Kensaku with pleading eyes.
“It’s too dangerous! Just go home!” . . .
Naoko, refusing to give up, got hold of the handrail. Half-dragged along
by the train, she at last managed to get one foot on the step, then pulled herself up. Just at that moment Kensaku’s free hand shot out, as in a reflex
action, and hit Naoko’s chest. She fell backward on the platform, rolled over
with the momentum, then lay still, once more face up.18 Naoko is only slightly hurt, but Kensaku is left to wonder what kind
of demon possessed him and caused him to do such a ghastly thing:
He could find no answer, except that he had had some sort of fit. That he
had done Naoko no serious physical injury was fortunate. But he dared not
contemplate what his action had done to their future relationship.19 The Taishò period in general, and the years following World War I in
particular, witnessed the emergence of a truly mass or popular culture in
Japan. Further advances in public transportation, communication, higher
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This note was uploaded on 02/08/2013 for the course ANTH 142 taught by Professor Hans during the Spring '13 term at The University of British Columbia.
- Spring '13