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11 October 2012

Translated Novel: "Let's Fundoshi" Chapter 5

A Candadin man experiences FUNDOSHI, Japanese traditional male underwear, swimming suit and custume for festival.

Read Chapter 1 first.

“Hi, Taro” Jacques greeted him. He met him in a situation he never wanted to meet in. But surprisingly Taro wore Fundoshi swimwear as well. Red Fundoshi.

Jacques asked him “you came here for swimming” in English.

“Yes, in this traditional swimwear, Why are you wearing it?”

“I came to Japan so I thought of trying it” he pretended to be casual.

“Nowadays, even Japanese don’t wear it as swimwear. Most Japanese do not know how to wear it. Even I recently learned that” said Taro unhappily.  

“Why did you want to wear it?”

“Not to lose identity as Japanese.”

Taro said glaring at Jacques and then ran towards the sea. His muscular strong body and ass in red Fundoshi tells what he wanted to tell. Jacques followed Taro.

“Are you jealousing me? You think I took away Yuriko from you.”

He reached where Taro was in the water. The two bathed to the shoulder.

“Westerners came to Japan and showed their superiority to plant inferiority to us. They made us think everything west is better and got down Japanese traditional culture.”

Taro said in Japanese.

“What has to do with Yuriko? Do you think she chose me because I am westerner.”

Jacques replied in Japanese.

Taro kept silent for a while and then spoke out.

“I am sorry. I never meant to blame you. But I just couldn’t accept this. I loved her for a very long time. I thought I could marry her. But it ended up like this. I am so ashamed. But you being foreigner makes me so hard. Kind of inferior complex. I lost to you because of culture. When I was in England, westerners don’t really know things other than the West and looked down upon us. I thought you are one of them, that makes me so hard.”  

“I am not. I studied Japanese and Japanese culture. I like Japanese and Japan. Yuriko is Yuriko. She is wonderful. Not because she is Japanese. Can’t you understand? I was attracted to her and fell in love. She gladly responded to my love for her. That’s all.”

Jacques explained desperately. Suddenly Taro smiled to him.

“You are right. She just chose you. That is the fact I have to accept. I understand.”

Taro went back to the beach. Jacques looked at his back while bathing. Jacques felt comfortable. It is because of Fundoshi. In the water, it made him feel better than modern swimwear. He could feel water on his bare ass. This is nice swimwer!

When Taro got to the beach, he looked back to see Jacques and said,

“Fundoshi suits you, Jacques-san. You look handsome.”

Then Taro went away from the beach.

Jacques thought bathing in water. Do Japanese feel inferior complex to westerners? That is the reason why they don’t wear Fundoshi any more? Functionally western way should be better. But when it comes to succeeding tradition, one should have different thought.
Speaking of succession of tradition, Jacques had mutuality. That was Jacques being French Canadian. French descendants were minority among Canadians. In State of Quebec, many immigrated from France. But they were on unfavourable status compared to British descendants that accounts for majority. It had been that way since foundation of the country. Outside Quebec was English speaking only in North America.

Those who spoke French as mother tongue always had problems. Sometimes independence movement arose. Jacques’ parents sent him to English schools taking account into such status. He chose to attend college in Toronto to learn things in English. It was better for him but he could not help thinking that might have resulted in losing his national identity somehow.

That was strange mutuality with Japanese.

Jacques told Yuriko about what happened on the beach with Taro.

Yuriko seemed surprised and said, “Taro wore Fundoshi.”

“Oh, Funshoshi swimwear. I wore that as well in my childhood. All the kids had to wear that. In Fundoshi, if a child got drown, someone could easily catch his cloth. We also wore it in festival” said Taizo.

“Festival, Summer Festival every year?” Yuriko said that with surprise.  

Continued to Chapter 6.

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