Fumiko Enchi’s Masks (translated by Juliet Winters Carpenter) begins in Kyoto, where Tsuneo Ibuki and Toyoki Mikame, two university lecturers. Masks is a fascinating novel in which the author. Enchi Fumiko successfully demonstrates her remarkable skill of weaving classical literature into contemporary. The author of a highly praised modern translation of The Tale of Genji in addition to many novels and short stories, Fumiko Enchi is perhaps Japan’s most.

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While the main story is fairly straightforward, the underlying layers make it even more interesting – especially the references to spirit possession and the ideas of women and power in Japan. Miscarriage and monthly bleeding and maternal influence and call be a drag, but how do you think the human species continues in the first place? So we arrive at the end, and are still not quite sure which plan was in action the whole time, and whether or not it actually worked.

And it seems to me she must be one of the last women who lives that way still – like the masks – with her deepest energies turned inward.

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Buy the selected items together This item: Perhaps we will never know. You are commenting using your WordPress. On matters of style, Enchi’s prose moves a bit more fluidly than Kawabata’s at least in translation yet they both seem to enchj writing in the same spirit that dignifies the literature; they will describe the surroundings only if they see something poetic in it.


Yet no less woman than she was yesterday.

There must be a msks place in hell for this woman. All the world’s a stage, and the main character of this book – even though she is often behind the scenes – is a vicious, manipulative woman who controls those around her.

She is ryo no onnadescended from her demon-haunted hell. Okay, I don’t think that the revenge plans were all that interesting after the build up of inward soul searching of Mieko. I think it is important to recognize the sameness AND the differences for the chance of poetry.

They have a baby and the mistress doesn’t succeed in wiping out the line. We learn that she is mentally handicapped, that her mind is like that of a child and that she cannot care for herself.

I think that may be one of the more fumimo qualities of this story- how sex is handled. Perhaps the best place to begin the discussion is the title.

This review is next to impossible. I think that’s what made this book initially strange to me- this near academic attitude towards spirit possession. No hay furia en el infierno como la de una mujer despechada: It’s about spirit possession in the sense that is used within the Tales of Genji. Kindle Edition Verified Purchase. Yasuko demonstrates some inclination of a romantic bent towards Ibuki but signals her intention to marry the bachelor Mikame, for fear that her true feelings are being manipulated by her scheming mother-in-law, Mieko.


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: Masks (): Fumiko Enchi: Books

If you look for fuckery intrigue, especially tagged with such words as “women”, “revenge”, “manipulation” and “wtf is going on here” – pick Japanese! The implication, of course, fumi,o the three female characters of the novel each align with one of these masks. Her son has died and now she is controlling her daughter-in-law and her daughter-in-laws’ male admirers.

After a banquet dinner that evening, Ibuki returns with Yasuko and Mieko to the Togano household. She eventually manipulates everyone, including a retarded woman, to gain a grandson to re-create her All the world’s a stage, and the main character of this book – even though she is ufmiko behind the scenes – is a vicious, manipulative woman who controls those around her.

Not a single Noh mask in sight.

Masks by Fumiko Enchi | : Books

It may not simulate it in the prose but you get the feeling the poetry is definitely there. View all 11 comments. I haven’t read “The Tale” yet, but I didn’t feel as though I missed anything by not reading it, as the references are made with just the right subtexts.