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Jedi Book Group - Japanese Short Stories

  • Jan 6, 2013 · 3:00 PM
  • Angelus' Sanctuary

For this book club, we will be meeting at a member's house. We will send out the exact location to Yes RSVPs the day before. If you need a ride, say so in your RSVP and we'll make sure you get there. We will be discussing two very thought provoking short stories by Japanese author Ryonosuke Akutagawa. Links are provided below for English translations of both short stories. Each story should take less than an half hour to read, but you may want to give yourself some time to think about the stories and take notes afterwards. You may also want to come back and read them again after you've thought about them some.

These stories both bring up deep philosophical questions that are valuable questions for Jedi to consider. They promise a very interesting discussion. After the discussion we may try to do some lightsaber work and we'll almost certainly find a place to get a bite to eat.

Some of you may have seen the Japanese movie called, "Rashomon". Though these stories have very different topics, parts of each make appearances in the movie. If you have seen the movie, parts of the stories may seem familiar. However, the movie changed some significant parts of the stories, so if you have seen it, please forget all about it. Consider these stories to be similar but a different thing and evaluate the stories for their own merits. And if you haven't yet seen the movie, please wait until AFTER the book club to see it.

The stories are both available in a book for people learning to read Japanese called Breaking into Japanese Literature. However, both stories are also available for free online in EPUB, Kindle and PDF formats.

In a Grove
A short story consisting of seven varying accounts of the murder of a samurai, Kanazawa no Takehiro, whose corpse has been found in a bamboo forest near Kyoto. Each section simultaneously clarifies and obfuscates what the reader knows about the murder, eventually creating a complex and contradictory vision of events that brings into question humanity's ability or willingness to perceive and transmit objective truth.

A short story about a servant who has lost his job due to the poor financial state of his city. He is considering whether or not to become a thief when he meets a woman who is surviving through her own nefarious methods. Their conversation explores the morality of theft in desperate situations.

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  • Boom D.

    This was an EXCELLENT Meetup! The discussion of the short stories was intense and fascinating. If you missed the Meetup, but haven't read "In a Grove" and "Rashomon," you might want to read them anyway. Thanks to Master Angelus and his family for being wonderful hosts!

    January 6, 2013

  • Thomas P.

    sorry I couldn't make it I've another meetiup this evening in my area but I plan on making the next meeting on the 20th

    January 6, 2013

8 went

  • Jeremy C.
    Jedi Knight, Jedi Sentinel, Assistant Organizer,
    Event Host
  • Ross G. +2
    Jedi Master, Jedi Guardian, Assistant Organizer
  • Boom D.
    Jedi Knight, Jedi Consular, Assistant Organizer
  • Steven M
  • Gabriel +1
    Jedi Master, Master of the Chicago Order, Organizer

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