Thursday, May 27, 2004

Raiden Hongi

Finished reading ”黄金旅風”,the latest novel of Kazuichi Iijima whos's novels are mostly about people in Edo era in great depth and great historical detail. He writes them at very rare intervals. But no doubt that he is one of the best Japanese novelists of this age, though his name is not known well as high reputation against all his novels. I hear he refuses to be nominated to any literary awards because he dose not want to be disturbed his writing. As a fan psychology, I am torn between feeling pleased him being known in high-mind people only and other feeling sorry that his name is not known as should be...

Anyway I just found that amazon.com used to one of his best book "Raiden hongi"
It's say Text: Japanese, Edition: Unknown Binding and Availability: Out of Print...
seems Amazon.com once dealt Japanese books and have given up already?

I think "Raiden hongi" is worth to be translated in English and published worldwide. The story is about "Raiden" a mighty Sumo wrestler in end of Edo era who founded modern Sumo style. Author Kazuichi Iijima means not just about Raiden himself but described people in great depth and this age in great detail. This book is the book which gave the little insight to Sumo to me who had no interested in Sumo or any fighting game at all. From this book, I gained insight that, in the era of Edo, when majority of Japanese are poor small peasants living in the fair of bad harvest and heavy tribute and epidemic, what dose means a person of big and fat body.

In modern days still in rural Shinto shrines variety of traditional events concerning Sumo wrestlers and children remains. What such events mean?
Well-minded sumo wrestlers in Edo era knew that what mean for them to bless little babies of poor families. Babies of poor parents who could not be nourished well were also week and easily died. When such baby got sick, if mother could nurse with strong belief that my baby must recover well because this baby had such a luck as blessed by Sumo Wrestler, this baby would have more chance of surviving.
"Raiden" went to countryside with his pupil to show the open practice. In a small peasant village where peasant had been suffering from years of bad harvest, heavy tribute and epidemic and lived without hope as if just waiting for death, showing Raiden's practice dose work to remind people "gut" . Next day they hunted in mountain to treat Raiden with festa. Hunting was prohibited at this era, but they don't care punishment otherwise they just waited to die of hunger.. There is a pleasure of reading tale of another people in another era in this book.