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09 October 2006

The Blog novel "Japanese and Wars"

The below is the novel I am writing in my Japanese blog.

This is translation of Prologue of the novel. I wonder if you might be interested.

Please try.




Pentagon, Washington, USA,   July, 1944


A 44 year-old man named Richard Whiteriver was sitting in front of the old lady aged around 60, named Ruth Benedict. They were alone in the room. He was told that she was one of the most authoritative scholars for cultural anthropology. She started to talk about her mission assigned by the Department of Defense.

“Thank you for coming here from so far away. You may be surprised that a woman like me is part of war-time intelligence mission. I have to do the research on our enemy, oh sorry, it is my country.”

She seemed hesitant to use “our” because she was informed that a man was ex-Japanese national.

“No, ma’am, that is fine. In fact Japan is not my country from the beginning. The fact of the matter is I was not born in Japan. I wasn’t even raised in Japan.”

“Oh, really, I was told you were a journalist for Japan’s mainstream newspaper. Then you became a political advisor for the prime-minister prior to Pearl Harbor Attack. You  have witnessed Nanjing Massacre and then Pearl Harbour Attack. You have quite experiences for my project to complete.”

“Actually, my father was Japanese. But my mother was exiled Polish. I am mixed breed. The place I was born was Shanghai. I grew up there until 15 years old. Then my family moved to Japan later.”

His explanation seemed convincing to Dr. Benedict. He just looked like a pure white American man, but if his hair color is changed from light brown to dark black. He might look like a Japanese man.

“All right, Mr. Whiteriver, oh how should I call you? May I call you “Richard” like American way?”

“Oh, please call me by first name. You can even call me “Richey.” That was what I have been called.”

“Even by Japanese?”

“Yes. That was my nickname.”

“What was your name when you were Japanese before you became American citizen?”

“Shirakawa Ryuichi. The family name “Shirakawa” literally means “white river” in Japanese.”

“Interesting” she said.

Dr. Benedict stood up and walked to the sideboard. Richey and Dr. Benedict looked at two objects placed on the sideboard. One is chrysanthemums arranged on frog in flat vase. This kind of flower arrangement is called “Ikebana” in Japan. The other is traditional Samurai’s sword. Richey asked her why such things are placed on the side board.

“Because they seemed represent the nature of Japanese personality. The beautiful chrysanthemums arranged like this represent gracefulness. The sword represents aggression of military which we are fighting against. Japanese soldiers are so barbaric but easily to surrender themselves. I have collected and read so many things about Japanese culture and politics. But it is not good enough for me to make a complete book of Japanese culture which is to submit to the military intelligence. That is why you come in. I need your help.”

“Why does military assign you the mission like this? It is almost certain that sooner or later Japan would surrender. You do not need to interview with me for knowing Japanese culture. You’ve read so many documents, books, films and so on. The two countries have had almost a century long relationship. You’ve had enough sources.”

Richey talked laughingly.

“The military is thinking about what to do after the war. How to occupy Japan. You can’t just conquer the enemy. They should always be afraid of rebellion. In order to gently control the enemy land, you have to know what they are always thinking. Interviews are important because it is part of field work which I cannot do, as you know I am too old to get in the enemy field.”

Dr. talked as laughingly as Richey did. Then they both smiled each other.

After a moment of silence, they became serious and started talking.

“Well, first of all, tell me more about yourself. Things other than written on reference I was given” said Dr. Benedict.

“What would you like to know?” Richey said.

“How did you become a journalist for the newspaper? What was a lead?”

Her question started to remind Richey of his last month spent at the house in Kobe city, Japan. That was one of most shocking events of his life although he had worse later.

It was March 1918, Kobe City Japan, when Richey was only 18 years old.

A 18 year-old Shirakawa Ryuichi was looking out of the window viewing the whole of Kobe city. His house stood on the hillside of the city. He was also overhearing the record played in his father’s study, which is next to his room. The music was Italian opera, which was his father’s favorite.

Then he heard the sounds someone was knocking on the entrance door. The knocking sound was very loud.  


If you are interested in what will happen next and can read Japanese, please go to this page.  

21:50 Posted in My novel | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: journalism, war, literature

04 October 2006

"Brokeback Mountain" Best film I've ever seen

I've been moved by the film for more than a week since I saw the DVD of it. I playback it over and over.

 The story is that two young cowboys met in Brokeback Mountain in Wyoming and fell in love with each other. Even after they were apart and married to women, their love had never faded. Then they got into a big trouble.

The theme is not about homosexuality. It is about love and agony in life.

Besides love story element of the film, I could learn so much about American country life including what cowboys are doing for living. Cowboys are tough guys. They can live in a tent on the prairie. They have to be very strong to take care of livestocks.  

Country music played in the film were so great.

 I never experienced such wonderful feeling by other films. The feeling remained for more than a week. This can even change my way of living.   


20:45 Posted in Film | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: cowboy, gay