Inspired by The Tale of Genji, Enchi wrote a story full of passion, ardent feelings, want, and intrigues, set in the middle of the 20th century. The mask motif was borrowed from nō theatre — each character metaphorically puts one of them on and plays the role assigned by the author. This compact novel is an exceptional study of manipulation mechanisms — from the perspective of the manipulator as well as the victim. It’s also a great introduction to Japanese culture.
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