Translation Works
To Japanese
The 3rd Selected Works
(Akai hashi no shita no nurui mizu)
ENGLISH / Giles Murray published
FRENCH / Silvain Chupin published
RUSSIAN / Galina Dutkina published
Originally Published by:
Bungeishunju (1992)
(1996) (pb)
  • Adapted into a movie in 2001 by leading Japanese director Shohei Imamura that made a controversial appearance at the Cannes Film Festival
"When I accumulate water, I do horrible thingsā€¦"
One day in the supermarket I see a woman with a wonderfully long neck like a flamingo shoplifting some cheese. The image of the woman becomes imprinted in my memory like a photograph taken with an improper exposure setting, and I wait for another encounter with her, constantly expecting her to walk in every time a door opens.
Some time later, I meet her by accident, and she invites me to her house. Telling me her name is Saeko, she gives me half of the cheese she has shoplifted. We eat the cheese together, as though sharing the guilt, and then progress very naturally to making love. Every time her body surges, though, there is a sound like the murmur of a small stream. I lose myself in thought, wondering about the source of the sound and, when I come back to myself, I see Saeko's eyes shining brightly as she gazes at me. The next moment, there is a vigorous gushing sound, like water bursting through a tight membrane, and I am doused with luke-warm water.
I am at a loss to what has happened, and Saeko explains that water accumulates in her body when she is not having sex with a man and that this accumulation of water impels her to do bad things. Then she asks me to help her "get completely rid of all the water."
With this begins something akin to a contract between a woman who spouts water and a man who has to make her spout it.
A profoundly audacious world of sex portrayed by an Akutagawa Prize-winning author.
GENRE: Popular fiction