By Shusaku Endo, Van C. Gessel
Endo Shusaku was once a popular twentieth-century jap writer who wrote from the weird standpoint of being either eastern and Catholic. His paintings is usually in comparison to that of Graham Greene, who himself thought of Endo one of many century's most interesting writers. A ancient novel set within the turbulent interval among the autumn of the shogunate and the Meiji recovery, Kiku's Prayer embodies subject matters important to Endo's paintings, together with faith, modernization, and the persistence of the human spirit. In Japan, the ebook is taken into account certainly one of his past due masterpieces and hasn't ever sooner than been translated into English.
Endo's novel is instructed in the course of the eyes of Kiku, confident younger lady from a rural village who falls in love with Seikichi, a loyal Catholic guy. practising a religion nonetheless banned by way of the govt, Seikichi is imprisoned and compelled to recant below torture. Kiku's efforts to reconcile her emotions for Seikichi and the sacrifices she makes to loose him replicate the painful, conflicting offerings Japan confronted because of publicity to modernity and the West. Endo's nuanced view of heritage is particularly a lot on show during this novel: Seikichi's persecution exemplifies Japan's insecurities towards the West, and Kiku's tortured but made up our minds spirit represents the nation's resilient soul. but Kiku's Prayer is way greater than a old allegory. It acutely renders one woman's stricken come across with ardour and spirituality at a transitional time in her existence and within the lifetime of her humans.
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Additional info for Kiku's Prayer: A Novel (Weatherhead Books on Asia)
21 22 t he se archer When he described this standoff to Father Furet, the priest responded, “Well, what did you expect? For a very long while they’ve been ordered to report to the police any friends or neighbors who are secretly practicing Christianity. ” “Then there’s no way to locate the descendants of the first Christians in this land,” Petitjean said with a defeated look. “Now, don’t give up. ” Father Furet grinned like a boy trying to encourage a younger brother who was stuck on a baffling homework problem.
That had also been his conclusion. All the more reason why the drunken Chinese sailor’s story came as such a shock to him. It might just be true. Perhaps the descendants of the original Christians in Japan continue to secretly preserve their faith. Unable to sleep, he arose from his crude bed and set a match to a dish filled with lamp oil. Outside it was raining, and he could hear the raindrops slapping the leaves of the hardy banana trees in the garden. Nights in Naha were muggy. Geckos clung to his ceiling.
This was how the Japanese always behaved. ” “It has,” the husband answered. ” The scene was just as Father Furet had described it. Atop the hill was a wooden building designed somewhat in the Western style. It was still only a frame, but a tiny, bluish-purple Gothic-style steeple soared overhead. “Bernard, this is the first house of God to be built in Japan. ” Father Furet’s voice brimmed with emotion. “You could see it more clearly if it weren’t nighttime. ” There was certainly a commanding view of the harbor from where they stood.