some Japanese stories end violently. Others never end at all, but only cut away, at the moment of extreme crisis, to a butterfly, or the wind, or the moon.
This is true of stories everywhere, of course: Their endings can be abrupt or oblique. But in Japan, where suicide is historically woven into the culture, where an awareness of life’s evanescence is the traditional mode of aesthetics, it seems truer than in other places. Continue Reading