SHAYO


SHAYO
   Shayo (1947; tr. The Setting Sun, 1956), a best-selling novel by Dazai Osamu, is set in postwar Japan. Mirroring Dazai’s riotous lifestyle and deep interest in suicide, the tragic narrative is told by Kazuko, a young woman from a once-noble lineage. Her impoverished life after the war is further complicated by the loss of both her mother and drug-addicted brother. Kazuko’s loss of identity and emptiness deepen as she tries to adopt new Western fashions, despite her fundamentally traditionalist soul. Ultimately, after taking up with Uehara, a self-indulgent writer, she willfully becomes pregnant in an attempt to bring hope to her dismal life.
   See also WOMEN IN LITERATURE.

Historical dictionary of modern Japanese literature and theater. . 2009.

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