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Intermediate Japanese Language Learning with Dazai Osamu

Complimentary Japanese Reading Lessons From Maplopo Schoolhouse

Season ONE—水仙 (Page Eighteen)

 

EP18. Paragraph 5 Summary, Part ONE, Dazai Osamu (太宰治), Daffodil (水仙)

Video file / Audio File / Online Intermediate Japanese Course

Read the full EP18 transcript, Summary: Paragraph Five, Part ONE | Intermediate and Advanced Japanese

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Dazai comments that these days he’s starting to  doubt his interpretation of the story and he’s, he’s having trouble sleeping. He’s wondering to  himself…: “Could the lord have been a master? Maybe the retainers didn’t actually let him win, and maybe their gossiping was just them griping  about not being able to win.”

And Dazai thinks: “Maybe this is possible…” because, Dazai and his  friends would do this as well—with someone senior to them in their profession. Their senior would  come—and very sternly criticize them—and they would listen attentively… but, as soon as they  were separate from the senior… and together, alone… they’d kind of dig at him. And, they’d  say things like: “Well, he’s a kind of spry as of late. We don’t have to coddle him anymore.” And then they’d all laugh.

So, Dazai admits to nights like this—filled with these kind of sneaky remarks like that. “Sour grapes are real,” he thinks… Then he says: “The retainers and their  personalities are kind of low as it is,” and… “Could it be that this sneaky exchange is  just meant to soothe their wounded self-esteem?” If so, Dazai says: “That would really  leave him kind of terrified.” … “The lord lost his mind,” he says, “trying  to get to what he thought might be the truth but the truth was really right in front of him.”

He wonders again: “The lord must have been a  master swordsman, and the retainers must not have been losing intentionally. They couldn’t even hold  a candle to the lord,” he thinks… “If the lord was better, and the retainers not so, it would make sense, then, that he would win and that they would lose. And that would have been the end of it. But things happen, and something tragic was to result.”

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