Saying no words makes things come about by themselves. (Ch.23)
Who is the best novelist ever in Japan?
Surely, the answers vary.
Some might say Murasaki shikibu (Lady Murasaki) who wrote «the Tale of Genji».
Other might say Yukio Mishima who committed Harakiri.
Haruki Murakami, the author of «Norwegian Wood», is certainly an up-and-coming star in Japanese literature.
It is a question without one definite answer, isn't it?
So, let's paraphrase the question.
Which Japanese novelist might you miss the most if he or she had not written any works?
My answer is Yasunari Kawabata and I guess that many fans of Japanese literature share the opinion.
Before his «Snow Country», the Japanese word Geisha was a pejorative. After his invention of the heroine Komako, the word has gained some divine power.
Komako the Onsen geisha (hot spa geisha) is the symbol of the pure and sacred womanhood in the collective consciousness of many Japanese and non-Japanese men and women.
"Not all the Japanese, though", I have to admit.
Mishima might have preferred a samurai boy to a geisha girl. Murakami may fancy a glass of gin and tonic with the author of «the Cather in the Rye» more than having Sake with Kawabata, served by a Komako at a snowy onsen ryokan (Japanese style inn).
But look at Japanese boys hanging around Akihabara who adore girls in a Maid Cafe. Aren't they looking for a Komako in a fantasized maid's cutsie wootsie costume?
Thank you, Mr. Kawabata. We are glad that you wrote it.
No matter how much Mishima tried to create his public image resembling the photo, his classmates at Gakushuin high school know who he was. Tough luck, Mishima-san.
-To read the text of Today's Tao, please visit Tao Te Ching Chapter 23-1 Say no words.
Tao answers your question!