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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Masks is anything but emchi uplifting story; centered around themes of jealousy, revenge and the grief process, it is meant to be a psychological exploration. Ibuki and Mikame are two men fascinated by the same women, Yasuko. Please provide an email address. Tosh a most excellent goodreads reviewer wrote in a review of another book I think it was a Yukio Mishima book of noh plays?

Try the Kindle edition and experience these great reading features: Aug 23, Jeanette rated it really liked it. 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.

By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. In T’ang and Sung paintings of beautiful women or in a Moronou print of a courtesan, the main figure is always twice the size of her attendants.

Lists with This Book. Here, the mask is used as a metaphor for hidden feelings of resentment, jealousy and bitterness, which the mother-in-law feels toward the others. To find out more, including how to control cookies, see here: Mieko rereads an old letter sent to her by her soldier lover, who expresses his delight at having fathered Akio and Harume and his firm conviction that he shall return to Japan, given his status as a non-combatant.

MASKS by Fumiko Enchi | Kirkus Reviews

ehchi This woman, who had lost her chance for lasting love many years before, machinates to destroy her daughter-in-law’s prospects of happiness. Togano Meiko, a poet and mother of the recently killed Akio and of Akio’s retarded twin sister, Harumetoys with the emotional leash of Akio’s Young widow, Yasuko.


There was praise for her work from such authors as Junichiro Tanizaki and Yasunari Kawabata, towering figures in Japanese literature.

In a trance she reached out amsks covered the face on the mask with her hand, while her right arm, as if suddenly paralyzed, hung frozen, immobile, in space. The frosty exterior concealing a burning mas,s asphyxiating long nurtured desires with astound tranquillity. I guess that’s the old high school debate of to be or not to be uniforms? 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.

Amazon Restaurants Food delivery from local restaurants. Views Read Edit View history. Her son has died and now she is controlling her daughter-in-law and her daughter-in-laws’ male admirers. Thank you very much. Ch’io vada in fondo al mare! She who relegates Genji to the sidelines. The Tale of Enchi- Fumiko Enchi started her career as a dramatist; she was influenced by Ibsen and Strindberg, and cultivated an interest in kabuki.

Enchi Fumiko’s prose is deep, complex, and elegant, reminiscent of, and often compared to, Mishima Yukio.


Add all three to Cart Add all three to List. Recommended to me by a colleague, this is the last of my January in Japan reviews. Fumiko suffered from poor health as a child and spent most of her time at home. She eventually manipulates everyone, including a retarded woman, to maske a grandson to re-create her deceased son. She has loves and fears and has sadness.

The doctor recommends abortion since Harume has a severely retroflexed womb and cannot be expected to survive childbirth.

While I do not rumiko Masks to be in the same ranks as other Japanese works I’ve read, it’s very different and very much an enjoyable read.


Women today have lost this quiet gracefulness. Oct 04, Caro the L. Where would the man stand in the indicted arena of being either an accomplice or rather a culprit? The daughter of a linguist, Fumiko learned a lot about French, English, Japanese and Chinese literature through private tutorage. Page 1 of 1 Start over Page 1 of 1. The Woman in the Dunes. Sadako visits Mikame at his home to reveal that she has hired a private investigator and has it on good authority that her husband and Yasuko are sleeping together.

Meiko’s malevolent strategies of using men as pawns for the fulfilment of her own aspirations is downright fascinating when perceived with ironical display of men bestowing the equivalent treatment to women masjs decades. I prefer junichiro tanizaki’s books. I mqsks tell it was fake even before I knew about that incident She designed for Mieko to be killed she survived, the baby did not.

With sly wit and sophisticated design, Masks is an extraordinary work of art. Does he not play a single enchii in the crime? And though they realise they are being manipulated, they cannot work out by whom, and if it really is all for the best. It also highlights the masks that they constantly wear, shifting from one to the other, constantly to keep revealing their true face.

Yes, the element of surprise in a novel is always a much-anticipated treat mxsks me. Not only are women multi-faceted, apparently they are sort of enigmas too, unknowable to the cumiko characters: She comes to understand the crime she has perpetrated, realizes the result of her revenge and fummiko effect on herself and others. Well, I’ve got a very mixed feelings about this book.

Last modified: November 20, 2020