Japanese Literature : Seishi Yokomizo – Part 2 –
Kousuke first appeared in “Honjin Satsujin Jiken”, the Case of the Honjin Murder, which was a serialization in a magazine in 1946.
“Honjin”, in this case, was a hotel for officers of the government, top samurais like “daimyou” who were directory under the Shogun and noble people in the Edo period.
He looks rather dull and untidy, so people who don’t know about him tend to feel he is unreliable and criminal(s) think it’s easy to outwit him.
This reminds me of old TV detective “Columbo”, although Kindaichi was created much before.
In “Honjin”, there is a description that Kindaichi probably looks like Tony Gillingham from “The Red House Mystery” by A. A. Milne.
I have got no idea how similar they are because I’ve never read the Milne’s novel, although I have the book somewhere in my house.
Other descriptions about him in “Honjin” are:
- Looks like 25-26 years old.
- Medium (actually, rather small) build, fair-skin, shaggy hair, and a non-descript face.
- Wearing kimono and haori (a Japanese coat) which has too many wrinkles, “hakama” (a Japanese traditional trouser) which is too loose to distinguish its pleats, “tabi” socks on feet (almost worn-out with a hole at a toe) , worn-out “geta” (a Japanese traditional footwear), and a battered hat.
- Holding a walking stick.
His appearance is now seemed to be peculiar, but in “Honjin”, it is said this kind of fashion was not rare in Tokyo back then.
However, he kept this traditional fashion until his supposed-to-be last case, which is set in 1973.
His favourite hat is an “Okama-bou”. (okama shaped hat)
“(O)kama” is a Japanese deep pot with a round bottom.
“Tabi” is ankle-high socks with a separation between the big toe and other toes.
They are suitable when you wear a Japanese traditional footwear like “zouri” and “geta”.
“Geta” is a wooden clog with usually two wooden pieces (“Ha”, tooth in Japanese) below the base board and two thongs called “hana-o”.
Common “geta” have two teeth, but a “Tengu”, a Japanese monster, wears one tooth “geta”.
Also, there are “geta” with a shoe-like sole.
Kousuke’s name is from “Kyousuke Kindaichi” (1882-1971), who was a famous Japanese linguist from Iwate prefecture in north east area of Japan.
(I once had a Japanese dictionary edited by his son “Haruhiko”, who was also a linguist.)
The linguist “Kyousuke” is also referred in “Honjin”.
The detective “Kousuke” is probably from the same area as the linguist, because he has a strong accent of the area.
“Kousuke” has habits to scratch his head hardly and stutter badly when he get excited.
According to Yokomizo, the authour had a scratching habit himself.
Japanese Sherlock who can’t prevent murders
Kindaichi is often involved with a serial murder.
Despite his reputation as a “great” sleuth, he almost always fails to prevent murders as long as I know.
In “Yatsuhaka-mura” for example, six people were killed after Kindaichi’s arrival, and surprisingly he later boldly said “I knew who the killer is from the start”.
Still, he keeps his good name as long as he solves the case no matter how useless he is to save the intended victims.
Other sleuths created by Yokomizo
“Ningyou Sashichi” (“Ningyou” means puppet or doll) is probably the second best known character.
It’s set in the Edo era, and said to be one of the five great Edo-period mysteries.
There are 180 stories in total, and adapted to TV and films.
Actually I didn’t know it was written by Yokomizo, although I’ve heard of the name “Ningyou Sashichi”.
I have bought three e-books with short stories, so I’m going to read them some time in the near future.
“Rintarou Yuri” is also created by Yokomizo, but I even didn’t know the name.
#Seishi Yokomizo (1)
Latest posts by kara (see all)
- Basic Japanese : “Sumimasen” – “Thank you” in Japanese - June 24, 2015
- Basic Japanese : “Arigatou” – “Thank you” in Japanese - May 29, 2015
- Basic Japanese : “Go-chisou sama” – Phrase after meal - May 27, 2015
As kids, we all played games and while living in Japan I wondered what sort of games do kids here play. Were the games they played similar to the games I used to play growing up back home? Do they also roll over the dirt, enjoy playing catch or maybe play hide and seek? Or […]
Yesterday was April 1 which is celebrated as April Fools’ Day. It is the day where people play practical jokes and hoaxes on each other. April Fools’ Day in Japan before, is not that well observed. Thanks to the advent of technology, every April Fools’ Day in Japan is a day to look forward for pranks […]
Live, die, repeat – this is what happened to Major Bill Cage after killing an alien and unknowingly absorbed the alien’s blood and gaining the ability to turn back time. But this comes with one condition, he has to die. The following two tabs change content below.BioLatest Posts harorudo Latest posts by harorudo (see all) […]
A friend told me that he had sort of traveled the world at a very affordable cost. He showed me the pictures he got from his travel. At first, I thought the structures from the pictures were real but realized they were smaller scale models of famous architectures worldwide. Inside the Tobu World Square The images […]
It was December last year when I had my first time in a Japanese movie theater. The movie we watched was Studio Ghibli’s Kaguya-hime no Monogatari. Though my Japanese is limited, the movie never failed to amazed me somehow. From The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter Kaguya-hime no Monogatari(かぐや姫の物語) or The Tale of Princess Kaguya […]
My visit to Japan would not be complete without traveling to the city of Kyoto. I have been there so many times before that one might wonder what is there more to see? This time around I came to see not the cherry blossoms, the temples, nor the momiji leaves that where in season (though […]
As the year ends, it is great to go back and reminisce the events that happened in the outgoing year. Just like in other countries, TV shows in Japan during this time of the year will be of special episodes, year-ender features, and others. In this post, we will introduce to you, our dear readers, […]
Kaizokuou ni Ore wa Naru! (I’m going to be the pirate king!) is the battle cry of the protagonist of the manga/anime series, One Piece. Finding the One Piece, said to be the greatest treasure out there for pirates, is what this series is about. But it does not mean the story is just all […]
October’s about to end in few days and that means Halloween parties are held in different parts of the world. Spooky stories and scary costumes are what Halloween is synonymous to nowadays. Halloween in Japan, though not celebrated for tradition, is loved by many Japanese people. Last October 26, the biggest Halloween event in Kanto […]
Have you ever tried watching a movie that didn’t have a clear ending? Have you ever tried listening to someone’s story, only to stop half way through? Does it bother you? In this post, I’ll share some anime flicks that I wish would continue and give us a last episode. Warning! Spoiler Alert. List of […]