By Kafū Nagai
Initially released in 1918, Rivalry is considered the masterpiece of Nagai Kafu, a eastern novelist recognized for his marvelous renderings of Tokyo within the early years of recent Japan. Stephen Snyder bargains the 1st English translation of the entire, uncensored textual content, which has lengthy been celebrated as some of the most convincing and sensually wealthy pics of the geisha profession.
Rivalry tells a sweeping tale during which sexual politics compete with sisterly affection in a global governed through fabric transaction. Komayo is a former geisha who, upon the demise of her husband, needs to go back to the "world of flower and willow" to flee poverty. an opportunity stumble upon with an previous consumer, Yoshioka, ends up in a courting within which either enthusiasts desire to learn: Yoshioka believes Komayo can repair his misplaced innocence; Komayo plans to exploit Yoshioka's patronage to compete within the complicated track and dance performances staged by way of her fellow geisha.
Yoshioka is raring to ransom Komayo, yet as she considers his provide, Komayo falls in love with Segawa, a tender actor who provides to show the gifted geisha into the best dancer within the Shimbashi area. although her emotions for Segawa are actual, Komayo is raring to exploit her lover's place to develop into the lead performer between her friends. Her ambition even tempts her to tackle a 3rd consumer recognized in simple terms because the "Sea Monster," a repellent yet filthy rich antiques broker whose deep wallet promise to shoot Komayo to the peak of famous person.
Though she reveals herself on the top of a glittering occupation, Komayo however turns into the objective of a sour contention among her 3 enthusiasts that leaves her either delighted and exhausted, either brutalized and redeemed. Kafu's compelling story takes readers from the intimate corners of the geisha condo to the again rooms of assignation, from the dressing components of the nice kabuki theaters to the lonely state villa of a theater critic and gourmet of Shimbashi ladies. His lush depictions of structure and costumes and his incisive descriptions of city existence and person rationale offer a vibrant backdrop for Komayo's struggle-one woman's soaking up quest to discover popularity, affection, and fiscal defense within the sophisticated yet ruthless theater of Shimbashi.
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The people seemed to be paying little attention. Indeed, of what use was it to rush to another place when one place was as likely to be bombed as another? For Canton appeared to have no air-raid shelters for the population, although Government offices all had their dug-outs and important officials also had them in their homes. There are so many people in the cities; impossible to build shelters for them all, so of what use to build a few? Or that, at least I suppose, is how the argument went. I was in time to get accustomed to official callousness or negligence of the mass of the people.
Rents and hotel prices within the French Concession, and only to a slightly smaller degree within the Special Districts, naturally soared. When I arrived it was almost as difficult to secure accommodation as it is in Moscow. I came to Hankow by air from Hong Kong, a lovely flight first over high hills and then over the vast and intensively cultivated plains of Hunan province. _.. ----a. &ague. and to see the work of the Chinese Red Cross Medical Commission, and went on to Changsha after a few days.
No one in the streets paid any attention to them as they marched past. These soldiers had no bands or drums to cheer them, no girls to throw them flowers or give them cigarettes. All the pageantry of war familiar in the West was absent in China. At night the Bund was crowded with the soldiers sleeping side by side sprawled out upon the scanty grass or the hard pavement, their rifles stacked at intervals and watched over by a sentry. The gay life of the city to defend which they were going to give their lives was unknown to these peasant boys, or to the junior officers who slept alongside them.