Showing posts from June, 2013

Under the Net

A couple months ago, I happened to watch a movie on TV. It was a very interesting movie, and I found out that the movie was "Iris". "Iris" was Iris Murdoch's biographical film, especially after suffering from Alzheimer's disease, based on the memoir by John Bayley, her husband. Iris Murdoch (1919-1990) is a novelist and philosopher, from Ireland.

This novel, Under the Net, is Iris Murdock's first novel. The protagonist Jake is a novelist, but he hardly has his original works and is translating French novels for a living. He and his friend Finn who is like Jake's shadow are thrown out of his girlfriend's house when she becomes to get married. He is poor and becomes homeless. Since then he wanders about over London in search of a place to live. He visits his old friends, but it doesn't work well.

Once Jake published "The Silencer" that was the philosophical dialogue with Hugo before without telling Hugo before and so Jake guiltily b…


Saturday is Ian McEwan's masterpiece published in 2005.

On one Saturday, February, 2003, the protagonist Henry Perowne, an excellent neurosurgeon, wakes up uneasily at 4:00 in the morning and finds an airplane breathing fire, approaching Heathrow. This prologue is implying the eerie day.

The huge anti-Iraq war demonstration is taking place on the day. Trying to avoid the crowds, Perowne has a minor accident with three blackguards. He notices that Baxter who is the leader of the blackguards contracted Huntington's disease and takes advantage of that in order to get through his danger. He hurt Baxter's pride.

After playing squash with his colleague and visiting his demented mother, he goes shopping for dinner, and goes home. Daisy, his daughter, fights over Iraq war with her father. She is against the Iraq war and he is against the Saddam regime.

His father-in-law comes to the family reunion. After that his son and his wife come home.  At that exact moment, Baxter intrudes i…


I met my elder daughter's boyfriend a year ago. At that time, they told me that they wanted to have a wedding overseas with only two. I told them it didn't matter.

I didn't even ask him what he did nor what education background he had. It is my daughter who will get married with him, not me.

I think that getting married is a personal matter, for neither the family nor the parents.

Since then, we call him Ken-chan. Ken-chan might not know either St. Augustine or Spinoza. He might not read The Tale of the Heike nor Soseki Natsume. But he is a nice guy. I like him.

We went to Kansai International Airport together by my car. Yumi, my younger daughter, came there in time.

They two set out for London for their wedding and honeymoon tonight.

Katsura Imperial Villa (2)

Katsura Imperial Villa was constructed by Prince Toshihito of the Hachijyo Family at first in 1615. He built Koshoin, after that his son Prince Toshitada took over and constructed the Chushoin, Shingoten, Gepparo, Shokintei, Shokatei and Shoiken. There is no evidence that Kobori Enshu (1579-1647) was directly involved in the creation of the garden, but Enshu probably gave some advice to the Hachijyo family. Katsura Imperial Villa that we can see today was completed in 1662.

Sotokosikake is a small hut that where visitors could wait until the host had finished preparing tea back then. The cycads were planted in here. It might be controversial, but this place is a microcosm where is not seen from any other places in this villa.

Passing Sotokoshikae, we walked near water along the pond and reached the Shokintei, the most important tea hut in this villa. The blue-and-white checkered pattern on the sliding doors ( husuma) are very famous. The color is fading now, but the original color was…