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Kafu Nagai Geisha in Rivalry


Geisha in Rivalry , first published as Udekurabe in 1918, has a secure place among Kafu Nagai's masterpieces. Set against the backdrop of Tokyo's Shimbashi geisha district, a company of vivid characters play out their drama of illicit love, shady intrigue, and unrelenting rivalry. In the forefront are the geisha: some powerful and spiteful like the imperious Rikiji, some crude and obvious like the gaudy Kikuchiyo, some naive and pathetic like the heroine Komayo, and all engaged in finding a place for themselves in a world that offers no easy route of escape from their profession. Here, too, are the patrons of the geisha: the playboys, the actors, the successful businessmen, and the «upstart gentlemen» of late Meiji society. And here, again, are those who make the machinery of this world function: the geisha house proprietors, the teahouse mistresses, the actors' retainers, the servants. And, finally, here are the parasites of the demimonde, who live off its other denizens through guile and deceit. Through this often sordid but fascinating pageant move the figures of the geisha Komayo, her lovers, and the women who conspire to steal them from her.

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Lane Dunlop Autumn Wind & Other Stories


"Lane Dunlop's translations read elegantly, and his selection of modern Japanese Stories is both fresh and persuasive." —Donald Keene, Japanese scholar, historian, teacher, writer and translator of Japanese literature.The fourteen distinct voices of this collection tell fourteen very different stories spanning sixty years of twentieth-century Japanese literature. They include a nostalgic portrait of an aristocratic Meiji family in Kafu Nagai's «The Fox,» a surprisingly cheerful celebration of postwar chaos in Sakaguchi Ango's «One Woman and the War,» a chilly assessment of the modern society in Watanabe Junichi's «Invitation to Suicide,» and much more.The writers also represent a wide spectrum, from renowned figure of Yasunari Kawabata, winner of the Noble Prize for Literature in 1968, to authors whose works have never before been translated into English. Westerners familiar only with stereotypical images of bowing geisha and dark-suited businessmen will be surprised by the cast of characters translator Lane Dunlop introduces in this anthology.Lovers of fiction and student of Japan are certain to find these stories absorbing, engaging and instructive.

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