Translated and with an Afterword and Chronology by William N. Ridgeway
The lives and minds of three men come together in ways that are both commonplace and surprising
Shirai Dōya is a man of letters, a man of principles. His principles sometimes stand in the way of his teaching career, but his writing allows him to openly address “today’s youth” with stern conviction—although he is still unable to make a comfortable living from his writing. Two youths in particular show interest in his ideas: the tubercular impoverished Takayanagi, an aspiring writer himself (and former student of Dōya’s, as it turns out), and his rich friend, the dandy Nakano. The lives and minds of the three men come together in ways that are both commonplace and surprising. The setting—mainly Tokyo of one hundred years ago—and the preoccupations of these characters will appear distinctly familiar, even today.
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