Takashi Atoda in Tokyo

by Rob Keast

A reader visits the setting of a short story, not only because it is there but because he is there.

Some points to consider before we begin...

One: Takashi Atoda is the most important Japanese author of the twentieth century.

Two: Atoda's "Floating Lanterns" is a short story of global importance.

Three: Senzoku Pond is the most culturally significant body of water on mainland Japan.

True? None of it. Atoda is well-known in Japan, but nobody is placing him alongside Mishima and Kawabata in the pantheon, and "Floating Lanterns" is not even Atoda's best story. As fo...

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