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The Masuda Affair

Sunday, August 21, 2016

The Masuda Affair (2011) I.J. Parker

The-Masuda-AffairAkitada is struggling to deal with the death of his son in a smallpox epidemic, when he comes upon a small abused boy alone in the rain. Rescuing the boy has far greater consequences than he could have imagined, when this draws Akitada into the death of a high-ranking courtesan.

The poets called it the ‘darkness of the heart’, this inconsolable grief a parent feels after the death of a child, a despair of life that clouds the mind and makes a torment of day-to-day existence.

On the homefront, Tora has fallen in love with a dancer and kept his marriage secret from Akitada, but her kidnapping places everyone in jeopardy.

the psychological concept called ‘the darkness of the heart’ serves to some extent as the theme of this novel. Almost a commonplace in the literature of the period, which made much of human emotions, it refers to the dilemma faced by parents who lose a child. Although Buddhist doctrine insists on denial of all worldly attachments, a parent’s love for and the bitter grief attendant on the loss of a child cannot be denied.

Akitada’s grief over his son, and how he and his wife come to terms with their grief and recriminations is very touching. It’s also interesting how Akitada learns to overcome his prejudices.
Rating: 7/10

Published by IJ Parker

Categories: Asian, Historical, Mystery     Comments (0)    



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