Translation Works
To Japanese
The 4th Selected Works
The Mandala Way
The Mandala Way
(Mandara do)
ENGLISH / Wayne P. Lammers published
FRENCH / Sophie Refle
RUSSIAN / Evgeniya Saharova
Originally Published by:
Bungei Shunju (2001)
  • An immense human drama played beyond time and space.
  • Overlapping love and hate relationships that never end between men and women.
  • A destiny full of the ups and downs of a woman who came to Japan from the Malay Peninsula.
Having lost their jobs, Asafumi and his wife, Shizuka, come back to Toyama together to help the family business, a vendor of drugs and medicines. In Toyama, Asafumi finds a note left by his grandfather, Rentaro, and comes to know about the existence of "Mandara do" (Mandala Way). During the war, Rentaro went over to the Malay Peninsula where he began to live with a girl named Saya from an indigenous tribe. He had met her at a drug store in Kota Bharu. After Rentaro had gone back to Japan, Kota Bharu was occupied by the Japanese army, and Saya was raped by Japanese soldiers. Soon after the end of the war, Saya came to Japan with a child whose father was Rentaro and became Rentaro's mistress.
At the present time, Asafumi, the grandson of Rentaro, travels to a road that led to the Mount Yakushi in the Tateyama mountain range while suffering from the relationship with his wife, Shizuka, and walked into Mandala Way, which would reach nowhere forever. Shizuka actually had had an intimate relationship with another man for a long time before her marriage to Asafumi, and she is not satisfied with her relationship with Asafumi because of the burden of guilt.
In the story, Asafumi and Shizuka were living in the present world on one hand, and Rentaro and Saya were going through the hardship after the war on the other hand. The lives of the two couples separated by time would then intersect at "Mandala Way". This is an immense love-and-hate drama played beyond time and space. The author has written about men and women tossed around by sex, love and hate, about family and about the harshness of war with powerful pen, which gives irresistibly dense and strong impressions.