Fiction | March 01, 1988

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On the high ground of the Yamanote district of Tokyo, there is a crossroads which is an intersection for trolley cars.  Branching off straight and narrow from this crossroads, a slope road leads towards a valley and downtown Tokyo.  Midway along this road, facing the shrine of the God of War, there is a small restaurant whose specialty is mudfish soup.  Across the top of the doorway, which is framed by delicate latticework, wiped and polished, there hangs an old shop curtain.  On it is printed, in white and in the style of calligraphy used for public documents of the Edo period, the ideogram for ‘life’.

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