First of Dr. Gerbert wrote an outstanding introduction to these two stories. She not only gives the reader detailed background information on the writer himself, but she also paints a wonderful picture of the time period in which the author wrote. She also gives detailed information on the various types of writing styles and writing groups that were popular at the time. I, myself, am mainly a reader of very modern Japanese fiction, but reading these stories warped me back to a different time. No i do not mean the time ofsword weilding samurai, but of a time when Japan's encounter with Matthew Perry was in the recent memory. Uno is an interesting man because his family unlike many of other authors' families was not very privledges. He started off that way but when his father died early his mother was forced to become a waitress, and because of her low income he was forced to live with other relatives, and because of this he met people he would have normally never saw such as fishmnongers and prostitutes. His early life made him different than the polished Nagai Kafu, and he became sort of an outsider, but after becoming sick, he became a more standard writer, and a very important one at that, becoming the head of the Akutagawa prize. The stories in this book are vastly different than the other. The first one is quite short and deals with a selfish 40 year old man who i obsessed with his old clothes that he stored in a storehouse. He even visits his old clothes. the second story deals with a writer who pines for the affection of a young geisha and the people he meets along the way. those are the stories in a nutshell. one must read them to really experience them
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