Translation Works
The 5th Selected Works
One Day : Bars of Dreams and Other Stories
One Day : Bars of Dreams and Other Stories
(Ichinichi, Yume no Saku)
ENGLISH / Giles Murray
RUSSIAN / Alexey V. Zinov
Originally Published by:
  • This book received the Noma Literary Prize for its superlative portrayals of vivid and curious reality.
  • Powerful masterpieces by one of the leading figures of the Japanese literary world.
  • The book includes magnificent pieces about the truth and richness of a life of a man in the later stage of his life.
One rainy day, a man was on his way to his 90 year old mother's to celebrate her birthday, but instead turned in the opposite direction and headed for downtown Tokyo to visit a photo exhibition of his friend's son. All the pictures at the exhibition were taken using a digital camera, with an exposure time of one second. Each picture showed how a person moved within a second, and although their images were blurred around the edges, the image of the area around the person's shoes was always clear. It was because his or her foot was still on the ground while the other foot was stepping forward. He thought, "Aha, one foot is left behind." He was impressed by that fact in a funny way, but wondered where on earth the person would be at the instant when one foot still remained on the ground. One second is a long exposure time in the case of a photograph, but it is just one instant moment in one's life. While he was repeating in his mind, "One foot remains, one foot remains," his body was also pushed forward on that day toward his mother's house, toward the art gallery, and, as if stumbling, he toppled forward and forward. (One Day)The book contains 12 portrayals of vivid and curious realities of life, such as: "One Day," the title piece; "A Record" kept by the narrator, a detached observer, in the forms of letters and diaries about the last year of his old friend who died; "Yozo's Night", about a man who unconsciously took out a cigarette at an intersection and was caught by a fierce glance of a young man with a gloomy face. The man subsequently experienced a terrifying night, being followed around by the young man. The observant eyes of a man in the later stage of his life have grasped the sense of light and darkness in the depth of everyday life, and he sublimates the essence of life into literature. This collection of short stories includes powerful masterpieces by one of the leading figures of the literary world.
2018 International Translation Forum on Contemporary Japanese LiteratureJLPP Translation Workshop 2018