Season of the Sun

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1956 edition

Season of the Sun (太陽の季節 Taiyō no Kisetsu?, published in English as Season of Violence) is a Japanese novel written in 1955 by Shintaro Ishihara, who later became a politician and was governor of Tokyo for 13 years from 1999-2012. It is the source of the name of the rebellious, taiyozoku (太陽族) youth culture which emerged after World War II.[1] The novel won the 1956 Akutagawa Prize.

In 2012 it inspired the name of Ishihara's short-lived national political party, the Sunrise Party (taiyo no to).[2]

Plot[edit]

Tatsuya Tsugawa, a college student who enjoys boxing, meets Eiko when he and his friends pick up some girls. Him and Eiko start casually dating, and Tatsuya finds himself emotionally attracted to her, declaring his love by poking a hole through a shōji with his penis. Eiko, who is "determined to take from men and give nothing in return", reacts to his love by being reticent. One night while sailing on Tatsuya's boat, the couple makes passionate love, activating Eiko's love for him. After this, Eiko becomes devoted to him, resulting in her being jealous of his other casual relationships, and Tatsuya starts taking advantage of this to be cruel to her. One day while sailing with friends, Tatsuya takes the virginity of a university student while Eiko has sex with Tatsuya's brother Michihisa. Michihisa informs Tatsuya that he will "take over" Eiko for him because she doesn't love him anymore, and Tatsuya sells her to him for five thousand yen. When Eiko discovers this arrangement, she pays the money back to Michihisa, and again when Tatsuya renews it, resulting in her paying twenty thousand yen in total. After a few months, Eiko meets Tatsuya to inform him that she is pregnant with his baby, and he tells her on a whim that it is not a bad idea to have a baby. However, after seeing a newspaper picture of a boxer holding a baby, he changes his mind and tells her to have an abortion. Because she was already four months pregnant, Eiko has to have a Caesarean operation, and dies four days later from peritonitis. After seeing Eiko's photograph at her funeral, Tatsuya finds her smile to be a challenge and angrily throws a container of incense at it. He then goes to his college gymnasium to box and recalls Eiko asking: "Why can't you love me in a more straightforward manner?"

Adaptations[edit]

Adaptations of the novel include:

References[edit]