I've read Isshou Yamamoto's "Hyakken doesn't die yet". As I wrote yesterday...when I was about 20 years old, I was a college student who wanted to be a writer. I had read a manual of making novels, and I had learned that Hyakken's "Meido" was a 'must-read' book. I bought it and read it soon. I had never known about Hyakken, so I thought that "Meido" was a sublime book that reminded me of Souseki Natsume's "Ten Nights of Dreams". It was a horrible and awful book. It was quite excellent.
From that, I read the paperbacks of "Meido" and "Tokyo Diary" every season. The paperbacks that I bought when I was about 20 years old became very worn out because I carried them in the pockets of the coat. It is never boring. Although I already know the stories themselves, they give me another fun anytime. His narrative is like the one of Rakugo I guess. It is based upon a great technique. This time, I read "Hyakken doesn't die yet" and I felt I have learned the piece of his huge greatness. A great book or I should say that it has 'deep taste'.
In my 20s, I didn't read classics well. I always followed 'new releases' and I thought that the books which were in 'Iwanami bunko' were too old to enjoy. Yes, they are exactly old (because they are 'classics'). Now I read those kinds of classics mainly. Why? It is because I've got used to reading them. I might build the skill of enjoying a kind of 'slow time' in classic in me. After enjoying it, the atmosphere in 'new releases' might be too rapid.
After reading "Hyakken doesn't die yet", I felt Hyakken's stubborn character and had respect for him again. Quite a sensitive and also a bold person. He had a job as a teacher in a college, so he had a certain income but he had been suffered from a huge debt. His life had been controlled by World War II so he had to live in an instant hut. He had lived at the bottom, and he had experienced the life of 'He doesn't die yet', which lets me enjoy his "Meido" and "Tokyo Diary" deeply. What can I take from him as heritage? They might be the wisdom of this broke life and the affair for cats.