Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Life is one depressing thing after another

Shigematsu fastened this account away as an appendix to his "Journal of the Bombing." Then, at Shigeko's request, he set off for Kotaro's place with rice dumplings for the Mass for Dead Insects. The lacquer box containing the dumplings was inside the metal wash-bowl in which Kotaro had brought the loach, and the whole was encased in a wrapping-cloth.

The Mass for Dead Insects was a rite performed on the day after the festival, when farmers would make rice dumplings as an offering to the souls of the deceased insects they had inadvertently trodden on as they worked in the fields. On the same day, custom also demanded that they should return any articles that they had on loan from their neighbours.

from Black Rain by Masuji Ibuse

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