Translation Works
To Japanese
The 1st Selected Works
Growing Up, Troubled Waters, The Thirteenth Night
(Takekurabe, Nigorie, Jusanya)
GERMAN / Michael Stein (The 2nd) published
RUSSIAN / Elena Diakonova published
Originally Published by:
Chikumashobo (1987) (pb)
  • A collection of the representative works of Ichiyo Higuchi, the original progenitor of the women's literature genre whose works portrayed the Meiji Era; Higuchi died prematurely at the age of 25
Tragic tales of women who lived with the burdens of their destinies during the Meiji Era
Midori is a 14-year-old girl living in the Daikokuya section of the Yoshiwara red-light district. She has an older sister who is a popular geisha, and she is a charmingly vivacious and beautiful girl with whom all the neighborhood boys are infatuated. While she and Nobuyuki Fujimoto, the heir of Ryugeji temple, have a fleeting mutual love for each other, they are not able to express that love frankly in words. Finally, the moment of fate and destiny arrives. Midori becomes a prostitute, and Nobuyuki enters a school to prepare for Buddhist priesthood. Set against the backdrop of seasonal changes and scenery in the areas adjacent to the Yoshiwara district, this work nostalgically tells the story of the day-to-day lives of a young couple burdened by their destinies. ("Growing Up")
A beautiful young woman of good character, Oriki is the most popular geisha of the Kikunoi establishment, which purports to be a tavern but offers the services of a staff of geisha. Her wealthy customer Yuki asks about her past, and she tells the story stemming from three consecutive generations of failures, her life as an impoverished child, and a customer, Genshichi, with whom she had a mutually loving relationship. Previously the owner of a futon shop, Genshichi had patronized Oriki so excessively that he had gone bankrupt. He had then become a laborer and lived with his wife and child in a cheap tenement, but his affection for Oriki had not faded. He would still come to the Kikunoi, but Oriki would not meet him. This had driven Genshichi to insanity, but it was now too late to do anything about it, she sighed. Having reached the end of his tether, Genshichi threatened Oriki with a knife. The work describes the difficult life of women of low social standing. ("Troubled Waters")
GENRE: Literary fiction