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A disillusioned scholar wanders off to the western desert frontier of eleventh-century China and participates in the struggle between the Hsi-hsia tribes and the powerful Sung dynasty
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Yasushi Inoue was born in 1907 in Hokkaido, the son of an army medical officer. He graduated from Kyoto University in 1936, and joined the staff of Mainichi Newspapers as a reporter. In 1948 he published his first stories, The Hunting Gun and The Bullfight, which won him the Akutagawa Prize, a much coveted literary award. He is the author of numerous works of historical fiction, the best known being Wind and Waves, The Emperor Go-Shlrakawa, A Strange Tale of Russia, and a book of short stories entitled Lou-Lan and Other Stories. In 1976 Inoue was decorated with the Cultural Award, the highest honor bestowed by the Japanese government. He died in 1991.
The translator, Jean Oda Moy was born in Washington State and spent her early years in Seattle, moving to Japan shortly before the outbreak of World War II. She has combined her studies in Japanese with a career as a psychiatric social worker, and has a practice in California. She travels to Japan frequently on teaching and lecturing trips and is also the translator of Inoue's Chronicle of My Mother, published in 1982.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
The sound of the neighing of horses and hoofbeats approached the two men with a roar like that of raging surf. Hsing-te saw them come. A huge group of soldiers, who had apparently come from behind a hill, suddenly appeared about thirty yards in front of him and charged forward, covering the surface of the earth like ants. In the vast desert, their direction left no room for doubt that the soldiers were advancing at the two men.
Suddenly Hsing-te felt the necklace snap at his fingertips, then he somersaulted backward and fell. The next moment, he was knocked over by the violent impact of the gigantic force which rushed forward; Hsing-te rolled over a few times down the gentle slope and landed in a ditch. Above him, the black hordes flowed by thunderously. Only a short time had passed, but to Hsing-te it had seemed interminable.
When he regained consciousness, he found that he was completely covered by sand in the ditch. He tried to get up, but he couldn't. He wasn't sure whether he had been run over by horses or had been bruised as he rolled down the slope. His whole body ached. It was miraculous that he had survived at all. Hsing-te looked up at the sky as he lay there. He couldn't move, but discovering that only his right arm was mobile, he moved it slowly around and felt himself. As he did this, he was startled by something and instinctively raised his arm. The broken string of the necklace had caught round his fingers and hung limply. Not a single stone was left on it. No doubt the stones had scattered the instant the string had snapped.
Night fell slowly. The pale moon gradually grew brighter and soon shone with a reddish glow. Hsing-te felt faint as he stared fixedly at the sky. The stars began to glimmer around the moon, then filled the heavens. His mind was blank. For some reason, he did not even feel the cold. But he was hungry. If only he could get a drop of water. He looked around, but naturally there was nothing in sight. There was only the vast sandy plain.
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Book Description Kodansha International, 1983. Paperback. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110870115766
Book Description Kodansha International, 1983. Paperback. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX0870115766
Book Description Kodansha International, 1983. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0870115766