|The Red Gate of Tokyo University, not far from the campus guest house where we stayed in 2011.|
"Okada had regular routes for his daily walks. He would go down the lonely slope caled Muenzaka and travel north along Shinobazu Pond. Then he would stroll up the hill in Ueno Park. Next he went down to Hirokoji ... he would go through the compound of Yushima Shrine...after passing the gloomy Karatachi Temple. ... There was another route. he occasionally entered the university campus by the exit used by the patients of the hospital attached to the medical school because the Iron Gate was closed early. Going through the Red Gate, he would proceed along Hongo-dori..." (p. 15)
|A Shrine or Temple near Tokyo University Medical school, 2011.|
My husband attended a conference on this campus in December, 2011. We stayed in a guest house owned by the medical school. As I read the story, my mind flooded with vague images from my own walks in that neighborhood. The old narrow streets, rickshaws, and various types of traditional houses have mainly disappeared, but my memories include an amazing number of city features from Mori's story.
|One of the ponds on the way from the Tokyo University campus to Ueno Park.|
Finally, the story gets back to the relationship of Okada and Otama. I'm not going to tell how it ends, because that would spoil it if you decide to read it. I'll just say that it's a beautifully built-up story with a really interesting ending, and a very enjoyable read about Old Tokyo.
|A traditional restaurant in Tokyo, 2011.|
I was inspired to read this book by a blogging event titled "Japanese Literature Challenge 9."