The Crab Cannery Ship

The Crab Cannery Ship: and Other Novels of Struggle

Translated by ŽELJKO CIPRIŠ
With an Introduction by KOMORI YŌICHI
Copyright Date: 2013
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  • Book Info
    The Crab Cannery Ship
    Book Description:

    This collection introduces the work of Japan's foremost Marxist writer, Kobayashi Takiji (1903-1933), to an English-speaking audience, providing access to a vibrant, dramatic, politically engaged side of Japanese literature that is seldom seen outside Japan. The volume presents a new translation of Takiji's fiercely anticapitalistKani kōsen-a classic that became a runaway bestseller in Japan in 2008, nearly eight decades after its 1929 publication. It also offers the first-ever translations ofYasukoandLife of a Party Member,two outstanding works that unforgettably explore both the costs and fulfillments of revolutionary activism for men and women. The book features a comprehensive introduction by Komori Yōichi, a prominent Takiji scholar and professor of Japanese literature at Tokyo University.2 maps

    eISBN: 978-0-8248-3790-7
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Translator’s Preface
    (pp. ix-xiv)
    (pp. 1-18)

    Kobayashi Takiji was born on October 13, 1903, in the village of Shimokawazoi in Akita Prefecture, a snowy agricultural region of northern Japan. It was the year before the outbreak of the Russo-Japanese War. His father Suematsu was the second son of a small landholder, but his older brother Keigi had invested family funds in business and failed, leaving Suematsu to deal with the consequences after he himself moved to Hokkaido. In the Kobayashi family history we see that stage in the capitalist development of Japan when small landowners and independent farmers, driven into bankruptcy and loss of their lands,...

    (pp. 19-96)


    Leaning over the deck railing, two fishermen looked out on the town of Hakodate stretched like a snail embracing the sea. One of them spit out a cigarette he had smoked down to his fingertips. The stub fell skimming the tall side of the ship, turning playfully every which way. The man reeked of liquor.

    Steamships with red bulging bellies rose from the water; others being loaded with cargo leaned hard to one side as if tugged down by the sea. There were thick yellow smokestacks, large bell-like buoys, launches scurrying like bedbugs among ships....

    (pp. 97-220)

    THE SNOW-PLOWED street crunching beneath their feet was hard to walk on. By the time they reached the Sapporo Courthouse both Okei and her mother were drenched with sweat.

    Inside the gate some twenty policemen clad in overcoats stood about in clusters of two or three. Seeing the mother and daughter enter, a ruddy-faced policeman with a fearsome beard hurried over to them. “What’s your business here, ma’am?”

    Startled, Okei and her mother stopped in their tracks. Hurriedly removing the triangularly folded kerchiefs that covered their heads they bowed two or three times.

    “Well, sir . . . it’s ....

    (pp. 221-294)

    I WAS WASHING my hands in the bathroom when groups of guys from Factory Number 2 who were starting to come back from work passed just under the window, talking loudly and making a racket with their shoes and woodenzōri.

    “Not ready yet?” asked Suyama, bringing up the rear. He worked at Factory Number 2. My face covered with soapsuds, I turned around and frowned slightly. Suyama and I had agreed some time ago to avoid returning from the factory together. If we did, it would make us more noticeable and might even lead to a lot of people...

  8. Glossary
    (pp. 295-300)
  9. Works by Kobayashi Takiji
    (pp. 301-302)
  10. Back Matter
    (pp. 303-307)