Junichiro Tanizaki The Reed Cutter

3206 words - 13 pages

There is no doubt that Tanizaki Jun’ichiro (1886-1965) is one of the most prominent Japanese writers. He had won every major Japanese literary prize and received from the emperor the Order of Culture, the highest honor the government can bestow on an artist. The Reed Cutter is published at late 1932, and is one of Tanizaki ’s most famous narrative. The splendid setting and the multiple layer of the narrative made The Reed Cutter a truly masterpiece. In the following essay, numerous narrative strategies and techniques were being discussed. Which work as a guide in order to achieve a betting understanding of Tanizaki’s art of storytelling.The narrative opening with a splendid setting in a place called Yamazaki. A gorgeous place near the intersection of three province, Yamashiro, Kawachi and Settsu. The setting of The Reed Cutter draws the reader attention away from our everyday world. A place where “even today the thatched houses lining the road on both sides look terribly antiquated to an eye that is accustomed to the Westernized towns and villages along the Hankyu Line” . The primary narrator of the narrative is a man from Tokyo, he is a very knowledgeable man with antiquarian taste. His presentation of speech is lyrical and he often provide poems or texts as a sources of information about the region. Not only these poems and texts provide generally background information for the readers, but also generate impressive mood for the setting of the narrative. For instance, the narrator used a fourteenth-century historical narrative The Larger Mirror ( Masukagami ) to describe the magnificent Minase Palace :“Spring haze at the base of the mountain veils Minase River, Whatever made me think that evenings are best in fall ?” .The primary narrator also have analytical views of things. He used the text The Larger Mirror as a source of information to analyze the position of the Palace :“Form here the great Yodo River was visible, and the Minase flowing into it. All at one the strategic position of the detached palace came clear to me. The palace must have faced on the Yodo to the south and on the Minase to the east, and embraced a magnificent graden of many acres in the corner of land formed by their confluence. In that case, yes, the Retired Emperor could have come down by boat from Fushimi and moored below the balustrade of the angling pavilion, and he could have traveled freely between here and the capital. This is consistent with the text of The Larger mirror, which says that His Majesty came to spend much of his time at Minase Palace.”Although the primary narrator is from Tokyo, he is familiar with the geography and history of the area. He often provide detail information about the area :“The Yamashiro Plain around Kyoto to the east and the plain of Settsu, Kawachi, and Izumi provinces around Osaka to the west contracted here to a narrow passage, with a single great river flowing through it. Thus Kyoto...

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