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6: Beyond the Realm of Asura in ‘The Twin Stars’ (Futago no Hoshi) and ‘Wild Pear’ (Yamanashi)

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Chapter Summary

This chapter explores the ontological questions raised in 'Futago no Hoshi' (The Twin Stars) and 'Yamanashi' (Wild Pear) and demonstrates interpenetrative existence as reliant on the acceptance the light and dark aspects of all life. Makoto and asura reflect two contradictory aspects of life, the idyllic and the brutal. Any redemptive innocence (or, in Niwano's terms, buddha-nature) is not one-dimensional, but involves a phenomenal or noumenal acknowledgement of the coincidence of such opposites. 'Futago no Hoshi', henceforth 'Futago', was one of Kenji's first dowa (children's tales), written and read to his family in about 1918, although he later modified it. 'Yamanashi' was the first that Kenji wrote after the death of his sister Toshiko in 1923. It was published in the Iwate Daily in the same year on 8th April, Buddha's birthday. This story represents Kenji's attempt concerns with the cycle of life and death as part of nature.

Keywords: Buddha; Futago no Hoshi; Iwate Daily; Miyazawa Kenji; Toshiko; Yamanashi



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