Monday, September 17, 2012

Yes or No?

My proposal went something like this: "It looks as if we are going to lose the war, and if it comes to the point of the Honorable Death of the Hundred Million, we all have to die anyway. It's probably not a bad idea to find out what married life is like before that happens."

The answer was that she would think about it. To ensure that things would go smoothly, I asked a very close friend to intercede with her on my behalf. I waited and waited and no reply came. I got fed up with trying to keep cool. Finally I went to her and demanded, "Yes or no?" like General Yamashita Tomoyuki demanding surrender as he occupied Singapore in 1942.

She promised that she would reply very shortly, but the next time we met she handed me a thick stack of letters. She told me to read them and said, "I can't marry a person like this." They were all letters from the man I had asked to plead my case with her. I read them and couldn't believe my eyes. I was horrified.

All these letters contained were slanderous statements about me. The variety and caliber of the phrasing of these terrible things were positively ingenious. The fullness of the hatred for me expressed in these letters sickened me. This fellow, who had accepted the job of aiding me in my suit, had been doing his utmost to ruin my chances. And on top of that, he had frequently accompanied me to the Yaguchi home and sat at my side wearing an expression of sincerest concern and cooperation in my efforts to persuade Miss Yaguchi to marry me.

Apparently Miss Yaguchi's mother had observed all this and said to her, "Which are you going to put your faith in, the man who slanders his friend or the man who trusts the person who slanders him?"

Kurosawa, Something like an Autobiography


Space Bar said...

These quotes from Kurosawa's autobiography made me think of linking you to Raul Zurita's Dreams for Kurosawa (review here:

In the meantime, I am rationing what remains of The Last Samurai & deciding which lines to livetweet. Enternal gratitude for writing that book.

radian said...

After your first entry on the Kurosawa autobiography I was intrigued; after the second, I tried to find it in the New York Public Library.

They only have it available for in library reading.


I'll find it somehow.

radian said...

Have found and read book. Thank you.