Motojirō Kajii (梶井 基次郎 Kajii Motojirō, sometimes written Motojirou Kajii or Kajii Motojirou, February 17, 1901 – March 24, 1932) was a Japanese author of the Shōwa period. He wrote several famous poetic short stories such as "The Lemon", "Winter Days", and "Under the Cherry Trees".
He died at young age and wrote few works, but his stories have become influential in Japanese culture. For example, many high school students imitate the protagonist of his short story "Lemon", leaving a lemon in a department store. And his first line " Dead bodies are buried under the cherry trees! " (桜の樹の下には屍体が埋まっている！ Sakura no ki no shita ni wa shitai ga umatte iru!) is usually said by Japanese people about the cherry-blossoms-watching custom of hanami.
References[change | change source]
- " I read an article about Maruzen closing its business in yesterday's Asahi Journal Evening Edition. It claims that many people are leaving lemons in the department store, just like the main character in Motojiro Kajii's short story titled Lemon. Coincidentally, I learned that many people are buying Lemon from the bookstore inside Maruzen. Lemon is featured in school textbooks; there are not many Japanese who do not know the story. I am fond of the story myself. I learned the name Maruzen for the first time through Lemon. To be perfectly honest... I left a lemon in Maruzen when I was a high school student. My friend did the same. It must have been a nuisance for the people who worked there. " – Hideo Kojima (creator of the Metal Gear Solid video games for Konami), in the Sunday, 2 October 2005 entry of his English blog
- " On October 10th Maruzen will close their Kyoto shop which is associated with this novel Lemon. After they announced their closure, store staff found lemons on the books. They had lemons before a few times in a year, but this year they have found 11 lemons already. " – Mari Kanazawa (notable Tokyo blogger), in the Monday, October 03, 2005 entry "A lemon on books" of her English blog "Watashi to Tokyo - Me and Tokyo"
- "Why is the Cherry Blossom (Sakura) cherished?"
Other websites[change | change source]
- A complete list of stories by Kajii (with literal English and Romaji titles) at Griffe - World's Literature
- "An Inner Landscape" (tr. Tony Gonzalez)
- "Caress" (tr. Ursula Owen)
- "The Feeling on the Bluff" text and annotated Word format (tr. Ursula Owen)
- "Lemon" plus a comment (tr. Candace Seu)