Translation Works
To Japanese
The 1st Selected Works
(Kajii Motojiro tanpenshu)
RUSSIAN / Ekaterina Riabova published
Originally Published by:
Chikumashobo (1986) (pb)
  • The highly rated magnum opus of Motojiro Kajii, hailed as a miracle of Showa Era literature
My heart was under pressure from an indeterminate but ominous lump that was attacking me…
Since my lung disease became evident, my life in Kyoto has been under attack by an indeterminate and somewhat sinister feeling of irritation and disgust. I go to stay at the lodgings of one friend after another, and when the friend goes off to school, I am left to pass the rest of the day in the vacuous air. Because of my illness, my body is beset by fevers and my nerves are debilitated—the beautiful poems and music I used to enjoy have become hard to tolerate. On the other hand, I am now strongly attracted by the wonderful beauty of marbles, beads, and other kinds of colored glass; bunches of cheaply decorative fireworks, and similar things, and gazing at those things gives me pleasure. I used to like the Maruzen store before becoming sick, but it now makes me feel tense, and I cannot bring myself to visit it.
One day, my eye was caught by the sight of lemons displayed in front of a greengrocer's shop on Teramachi street. The shop was neither grand nor shabby, a very ordinary greengrocer's shop. My heart was stolen by these lemons—with their simple color like that of lemon yellow paint squeezed out from a tube and solidified and a shape like that of a spindle slightly compacted lengthwise—and I decided to purchase just one. Excited by the pleasant coolness of the lemon against my hot body and enjoying its imported aroma, I abandoned myself to an uplifted mood and my feet easily made their way into the Maruzen store that I was supposed to be estranged from. But a melancholy feeling progressively grew, and I did something that I had never thought of doing before. ("Lemon")
GENRE: Literary fiction