A Japanese Nightingale , livre ebook

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After her performance at a beautiful tea house, Yuki, a Japanese dancer, is followed and harassed by a businessman. Claiming that they could make a lot of money together if Yuki went to America with him, the man does not intend to take no for an answer. When Jack, an awkward but friendly man, witnesses the harassment, he steps in to encourage the man to leave her alone. They then part ways, and Jack assumes they will never see each other again, but Yuki has a plan. Jack is one of the wealthiest foreigners in Japan, which Yuki learns through a mutual friend. When that mutual friend reintroduces Jack and Yuki, Yuki declares her intent to marry Jack. This was a common tradition among Western men—they would marry a Japanese woman, use her, and then leave the country without a second thought. Aware of the discrimination and racism that his fellow Americans practice, he tries to be careful not to partake in such heinous beliefs; therefore, he initially is opposed to the idea. Yuki, however, is persistent. Arguing that it would be mutually beneficial, Yuki admits that she is seeking financial stability. Upon her insistence, Jack finally gives in and agrees to marry. The two decide that it will be an open and honest relationship; Yuki is interested in Jack’s money, and he is interested in her appearance. But as they grow closer, the couple realize that their no-strings attached arrangement might not work out as planned.


Onoto Watanna’s A Japanese Nightingale explores themes of gender, race, and sexuality, as well as addressing the constructs and exploitation of Asian femininity. With descriptive prose and powerful themes, A Japanese Nightingale empowers Asian identity and influenced current cultural movements. Published in 1904, A Japanese Nightingale became Onoto Watanna’s claim to fame. The novel was a big commercial success, and even inspired a silent film adaptation. However, despite its popularity, A Japanese Nightingale is rarely found in print.


This edition of Onoto Watanna’s A Japanese Nightingale features an eye-catching cover design and is printed in a contemporary font, making it both readable and modern.


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Date de parution

23 février 2021

Nombre de lectures

0

EAN13

9781513276328

Langue

English

Poids de l'ouvrage

3 Mo

A Japanese Nightingale
Onoto Watanna
 
A Japanese Nightingale was first published in 1904.
This edition published by Mint Editions 2021.
ISBN 9781513271323 | E-ISBN 9781513276328
Published by Mint Editions®
minteditionbooks.com
Publishing Director: Jennifer Newens
Design & Production: Rachel Lopez Metzger
Project Manager: Micaela Clark
Typesetting: Westchester Publishing Services
 
C ONTENTS
I. T HE S TORM D ANCE
II. I N W HICH W OMAN P ROPOSES AND M AN D ISPOSES
III. A N A PPOINTMENT
IV. I N W HICH M AN P ROPOSES
V. I N W HICH THE E AST AND THE W EST ARE U NITED
VI. T HE A DVENTURESS
VII. M Y W IFE !
VIII. Y UKI’S H OME
IX. T HE M IKADO’S B IRTHDAY
X. A B AD O MEN
XI. T HE N IGHTINGALE
XII. T ARO B URTON
XIII. I N W HICH TWO M EN L EARN OF A S ISTER’S S ACRIFICE
XIV. A S TRUGGLE IN THE N IGHT
XV. T HE V OW
XVI. A P ILGRIM OF L OVE
XVII. Y UKI’S W ANDERINGS
XVIII. T HE S EASON OF THE C HERRY B LOSSOM
 
I
T HE S TORM D ANCE
The last rays of sunset were tingeing the land, lingering in splendor above the bay. The waters had caught the golden glow, and, miser-like, seemingly made effort to keep it with them; but, inexorably, the lowering sun drew away its gilding light, leaving the waters a dark green. The shadows began to darken, faint stars peeped out of the heavens, and slowly, unwillingly, the day’s last ray followed the sunken sun to rest; and with its vanishment a pale moon stole overhead and threw a seraphic light over all things.
Out in the bay that the sun had left was a tiny island, and on this a Japanese business man, who must also have been an artist, had built a tea-house and laid out a garden. Such an island! In the sorcerous moonlight, one might easily believe it the witch-work of an Oriental Merlin. Running in every direction were narrow jinrikisha roads, which crossed bewildering little creeks, spanned by entrancing bridges. These were round and high, and curved in the centre, and clinging vines and creeping, nameless flowers crawled up the sides and twined about the tiny steps which ascended to the bridges. After crossing a bridge shaped thus, a straight bridge is forever an outrage to the eye and sense. And all along the beach of this island was pure white sand, which looked weirdly whiter where the moonbeams loitered and played hide-and-seek under the tree-shadows.
The seekers of pleasure who made their way out to the little island on this night moored their boats here in the shadows beneath the trees, and drove in fairy vehicles, pulled by picturesque runners, clear around the island, under the pine-trees, over miniature brooks, into the mysterious dark of a forest. Suddenly they were in a blaze of swinging, dazzling lights, laughter and music, chatter, the clattering of dishes, the twang of the samisen, the ron-ton-ton of the biwa. They had reached the garden and the tea-house.
Some pleasure-loving Japanese were giving a banquet in honor of the full moon, and the moon, just over their heads, clothed in glorious raiment, and sitting on a sky-throne of luminous silver, was attending the banquet in person, surrounded by myriad twinkling stars, who played at being her courtiers. Each of the guests had his own little mat, table, and waitress. They sat in a semicircle, and drank the sake hot, in tiny cups that went thirty or more to the pint; or the Kyoto beer that had been ordered for the foreigners who were the chief guests this evening. This is the toast the Japanese made to the moon: “May she with us drink a cup of immortality!” and then each wished the one nearest him ten thousand years of joy.
Now the moon-path widened on the bay, and the moon itself expanded and grew more luminous as though in proud sympathy and understanding of the thousand banquets held in her honor this night. All the music and noise and clatter and revel had gradually ceased, and for a time an eloquent silence was everywhere. Huge glowing fire-flies, flitting back and forth like tiny twinkling stars, seemed to be the only things stirring.
Some one snuffed the candles in the lanterns, and threw a large mat in the centre of the garden, and dusted it extravagantly with rice flour. Then a shaft of light, that might have been the combination of a thousand moonbeams, was flashed on the mat from an opening in the upper part of the house, and out of the shadows sprang on to the mat a wild, vivid little figure, clad in scintillating robes that reflected every ray of light thrown on them; and, with her coming, the air was filled with the weird, wholly fascinating music of the koto and samisen.
She pirouetted around on the tips of the toes of one little foot, clapped her hands, and courtesied to the four corners of the earth. Her dance was one of the body rather than of the feet, as back and forth she swerved. There was a patter, patter, patter. Her garments seemed endowed with life, and took on a sorrowing appearance; the lights changed to accompany her; the music sobbed and quivered. It had begun to rain! She was raining! It seemed almost as if the pitter-patter of her feet were the falling of tiny raindrops; the sadness of her garments had increased, and now they seemed to be weeping, at first gradually, then faster and still faster, until finally she was a storm—a dark, blowing, lightning storm. From above the light shot down in quick, sharp flashes, the drums clashed madly, the koto wept on, and the samisen shrieked vindictively.
Suddenly the storm quieted down and ceased. A blue light flung itself against the now lightly swaying figure; then the seven colors of the spectrum flashed on her at once. She spread her garments wide; they fluttered about her in a large half-circle, and, underneath the rainbow of the gown, a girl’s face, of exquisite beauty, smiled and drooped. Then the extinction of light—and she was gone.
A common cry of admiration and wonder broke out from Japanese and foreigners alike. They called for her, clapped, stamped, whistled, cheered. One man’s voice rose above the clatter of noises that had broken loose all over the gardens. He was demanding excitedly of the proprietor to tell him who she was.
The proprietor, smirking and bowing and cringing, nevertheless would not tell.
The American theatrical manager lost his head a moment. He could make that girl’s fortune in America! He understood it was possible to purchase a geisha for a certain term of years. He stood ready on the spot to do this. He was ready to offer a good price for her. Who was she, and where did she live?
Meanwhile the nerve-scraping dzin, dzin, dzin of a samisen was disturbing the air with teasing persistence. There is something provoking and still alluring in the music of the samisen. It startles the chills in the blood like the maddening scraping of a piece of metal against stone, and still there is an indescribable fascination and beauty about it. Now as it scratched and squealed intermittently and gradually twittered down to a zoom, zoom, zoom, a voice rose softly, and gently, insinuatingly, it entered into the music of the samisen. Only one long note had broken loose, which neither trembled nor wavered. When it had ended none could say, only that it had passed into other notes as strangely beautiful, and a girl was singing.
Again the light flashed down and showed her standing on the same mat on which she had danced, her hands clasped, her face raised. She was ethereal, divinely so. Her kimono was all white, save where the shaft of moonbeams touched the silk to silvery brilliance. And her voice! All the notes were minors, piercing, sweet, melancholy—terribly beautiful. She was singing music unheard in any land save the Orient, and now for the first time, perhaps, appreciated by the foreigners, because of that voice—a voice meant for just such a medley of melody. And when she had ceased, the last note had not died out, did not fall, but remained raised, unfinished, giving to the Occidental ears a sense of incompleteness. Her audience leaned forward, peering into the darkness, waiting for the end.
The American theatrical manager stalked towards the light, which lingered a moment, and died out, as if by magic, as he reached it. But the girl was gone.
“By Jove! She’s great!” he cried out, enthusiastically. Then he turned on the proprietor. “Where is she? Where can I find her?”
The man shook his head.
“Oh, come, now,” the American demanded, impatiently, “I’ll pay you.”
“I don’ know. She is gone.”
“But you know where she lives?”
The proprietor again answered in the negative.
“Now, wouldn’t that make one of this country’s squatty little gods groan?” the exasperated manager demanded of a younger man who had followed him forward.
“She’d be a great card in vaudeville,” the young man contented himself with saying.
“There’s a fortune in her! I’m going to find her if she’s on this island. Come on with me, will you?”
Nothing loath, Jack Bigelow fared forth behind the theatrical man, whom he had never seen before that afternoon, and whom he never expected to see again. They hurried down one of the narrow, shadowy roads that almost made a labyrinth of the island. But fortune was with them. A turn in the road, which showed the waters of the bay not fifty yards ahead, revealed just in front of them two figures—two women—both small, but one a trifle taller than her companion.
“Hi there! You!” shouted the manager, who, though among a people whose civilization was older than his own, considered them but heathen, and gave them the scant courtesy deserved by all so benighted in matters theatrical. The two figures suddenly stopped.
“Are you the girl who sang?”
“Yes,” came the answer in a clear voice from the taller figure.
The manager was not slow in coming to the point.
“Would you like to be rich?”
Again the positive monosyllable, uttered with much eagerness.
“Good!” The manager’s face could not be seen, but his satisfaction was revealed in his voice. “Just come with

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