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there are two Ohimas in Japan (大島弓子と大島真寿美について誰も書いてないのはいかがなものか)

日記 読書 えいごでかいてみるよ

Yumiko Oshima, Masumi Oshima.

Ladies have the same family name, no blood connections.

Yumiko, who has been one of the prominent figure in Japan manga scene since 1970s, is like a Julian Moore meets Jodie Foster. Fame and fortune don't stop her quest for creative instinct.

Masumi, who has the bright future in the field of literary fiction, debuted in 1992 but little known until the turn of the century. Like, say... Anne Hathaway, many people ("mature readers", if I may say so) believe now that she will earn well-deserved praise in no distant future.


Before writing this, I googled and binged, found no one (come on!) had pointed these two Oshimas resemblance. My plan A before that was; admit what they have in common, and then try to distill the Masumi's essence -- thank you for imagining my disappointment.

Hoping a distiller comes later, let's get down on the resemblance of two Oshimas today. More precisely, I'd like to focus entirely on Masumi's early work "Watery Cocoon"(2002).

水の繭 (角川文庫)

水の繭 (角川文庫)


This is a luminous tribute to Yumiko's 1980's works such as "Dream Bug / Sheep Grass"(1983), "Dahlia Cincture"(1985), "Roughly Chopped Carrots"(1985) and "Sister and I; Water pillow, Feather Pillow"(1984).

All those lovely/serious pieces taught me much -- how far the manga can go, beauty of minimalism, enjoyment of solitude, who has been to the end of the earth and back won't triumph that trip, etc., etc.

 from "Watery Cocoon"
 去年の夏、父が死んだ。
 父が死ぬなんて思ってもみなかった。

 from "Watery Cocoon"
「うちの息子はこの世じゃなくて、あの世で大きくなってるんだけどね。死んじゃったから」
「え?」
「わたし、あの世のセージが時々見えるの。それはわたしの妄想なのかもしれないけれど、そうやって、わたしの妄想がつづく限り、あの子は、この世に時々来なくちゃならないみたい。解放してあげなくちゃならないのにね」



In some part, you can hear the song of Yumiko's works in the background.
(Oh, you can also SEE that!)
And in some part, needless to say, Masumi's original voice is audible/visible.

「きみがまさに実践しているそれが、すべてだよ。こっちの方がいいな、こっちの方がましだな。そうやって移動していけ。どうやらそれがきみの質らしい。それでいいんだ、それで。すばらしいじゃないか。あたし、ものすごくうれしかった。」

Masumi's girl, here, expressed "It warmed my heart."
On the other hand, a father in the "Roughly Chopped Carrots" never shows this kind of eloquence. Still, you know the aspiration very well via a daughter in the story.

They talk the same thing, from different sides.

ダリアの帯 (白泉社文庫)

ダリアの帯 (白泉社文庫)