My creative writing assignment is based off of the book Thousand Cranes by Yasunari Kawabata. This novel is about the power of different types of relationships and how those relationships affect characters’ life decisions. In this post World War II story, tragedy strikes more than once. People die, relationships diminish, and sadness arises. This novel sparks the idea that children are just like their parents, in the good ways and most definitely in the bad ways. The abandonment of those that you love is a common theme in this book while feeling the shame of those you love is another.
The journal of Fumiko, a main character in the book, is an important point of view in the story that could be used for a better understanding of the text. This journal will describe what Fumiko is really feeling, not only through her actions and openly displayed emotions, but also through her thoughts. It displays foreshadowing while also describing the thoughts of a character who is connected to everybody in her own right. Because Fumiko is affected by most everything that occurs in the book she has so many different opinions that are important to know. This journal also describes why Fumiko did some of the things that she did, and what the thought process behind all of her actions were. Anyone who has read this book will benefit greatly from reading the journal because it opens up a lot of insight about the real story.
The aspects of Thousand Cranes that I intend to focus on are the relationships that Fumiko has with her friends, family, and lovers, as well as the relationship she thinks she has with herself. I will speak about Fumiko in relation to her mother, and how many people “in round, soft face saw her mother” (78). I will mention Kikuji’s relationship with Fumiko, and the different encounters that occurred between the two. I will talk about the different tragedies that Fumiko had to go through and the different events that ended up defining her life. Furthermore, I will talk about how Fumiko viewed herself and about what ultimately led to her death. Fumiko is arguably the most important person in this book because of the numerous relationships and connections she has with all of the characters. Fumiko’s story is an interesting one, and by understanding her story, understanding the novel will be simple.
My Complicated Life
I am a very reserved girl; a quiet, a shy girl. I had a family. My dad was once with us and my mom was once sane. Now my relationship with my mother has deteriorated and my sense of comfort has diminished. Life as I know it has become very complicated. Diary, my emotions may be fierce but I will try my best to explain my feelings as life goes on.
My name is Fumiko Ota and this is my story–
Journal Entry 1: Rebound
My mother found a new man to love in Mr. Mitani, a relationship that I want to take no part in. I feel as if this man is drowning my father’s memory, that he is crushing my poppa’s soul. Mother is extremely selfish for bringing this man in to my life without warning. She is sleeping with a married man and doesn’t even think twice about the ramifications. Mommy is breaking my heart.
Journal Entry 2: Acceptance
As time goes by, and their love still exists I have come to realize that there is nothing I can do to bring my father back. I know that my mother has the right to escape her sorrows and be happy. I have to accept the fact that the man that my mother now loves is going to be in my life. Yes, what my mother is wrong, but life isn’t always black and white.
Journal Entry 3: Sorry
After accepting Mr. Mitani in to my life I decided to make amends, and actually attempt to create a relationship with him. I discovered that he is a good man, a plain man, and a man with a lot of love to spread. My mother is happy when she is with Old Mr. Mitani and her happiness is all I care about. I’m finally glad that my mother has found another man to love, but if it were me, I would never be able to love another man. However, I am nothing like my mother.
Journal Entry 4: The Loss of Another
I am writing today because another death of someone close to me has occurred. Old Mr. Mitani died of a terrible illness. I can’t believe it. He was somewhat of a father figure to me, he was a friend who would always listen to me when I had something to say, he is gone. Despite our slow beginning, we had a bright relationship. “ didn’t mind taking risks” (25) so I would help him get home “during the raids” (25) and he would help me turn any bad day in to a good one. Why are the men in my life disappearing before my eyes? I don’t want to bask in my own self pity but it’s just so unfair. The pain that my mother and I feel is unimaginable and now it is my job to get my mother through this tough time. I’m sorry diary, but this could be goodbye for a long time.
Journal Entry 5: Surprise, Surprise
Diary, its been 20 years since the last time I wrote you. Life has been pretty boring, pretty normal, until the other day. The other day I discovered that my mother is sleeping with Kikuji, Old Mr. Mitani’s son. Words can’t even describe the pain that I feel at this very moment. I feel hurt, deceived, and most of all, embarrassed. When I first found out “ was determined not to weep” (68). I can’t help but think that my mother is sleeping with Kikuji because he is so similar to his father. This whole situation is messed up, it just doesn’t seem right.
Journal Entry 6: Ashamed
I am ashamed, so ashamed to call my mom mother. She gives our whole family a bad name by continuing with the relationship. At first I thought it was just a fling, a one-night stand, but she and Kikuji have now become more, and although their relationship mostly consists of sex, it is still a relationship. My mom loses the man she loves and then sleeps with that same mans son. How is that not wrong? I wish there was something I could do to make it stop. But there’s nothing, it is a lost cause. This relationship continues until it ends.
Journal Entry 7: Tragedy
All week I have felt sick, depressed, and saddened. For the past week I have “presented a shrunken, helpless figure” (80). Why? Because my mother is gone and she is never coming back. She took her life about a week ago and no one seems to know why. It could have been because of the shame that her relationship with Kikuji brought upon her. Or it could have been because she thought she was a token of bad luck, being emotionally involved with two men that have died. I can try to understand it or I can just accept it and move on. It’s easier said than done. My family has left me, I am alone.
Journal Entry 8: Like Her
I’m her, I’m just liker her, and I can’t help it. “I’m like my mother in all sorts of trivial ways” (102). I hadn’t realized the comparisons until now, until I too got involved with Kikuji. Almost every connection that I had to my mom was destroyed, but Kikuji kept me close. My mother used Kikuji to remind her of Old Mr. Mitani and now Kikuji is using me to remind him of my mother. Although I know I am being used it is really out of my control; “ had become absolute, beyond comparison. had become decision and fate” (145). I was ashamed of my mother and now I am ashamed of myself.
Journal Entry 9: The End
What can I do? Life seems hopeless and living seems useless. Nothing ever gets better and things only get worse. I thought I had severed all ties with my mother by breaking her shino but Kikuji still exists. To truly end our comparisons, and destroy the Ota legacy I must cheat fate. Everyone dies sometime and I felt that “death was at feet” (147). I am fine with ending my life as long as every bad thing I have done leaves with me. Death is inevitable and once I’m gone I will never be in pain again, I will never feel ashamed again.