A Lovers' Forest


Product Description

A Lovers' Forest, Koibito tachi-no mori

Mori Mari (1903-1987) was a Japanese author and daughter of famed novelist Mori Ogai. Born in Hongo, Tokyo, she began a movement of writing about gay male passion (tanbi shousetsu, literally "aesthetic novels") in 1961 with A Lovers' Forest, (Koibito tachi-no mori, which won the Tamura Toshiko Prize) and its sequels I Don't Go on Sundays (1961) and The Bed of Dead Leaves (1962). Mori Mari was greatly influenced by her father and in A Lover's Forest, the older man can be seen as imbued with the same virtues and honor as she saw in her father. New York University (NYU) Professor Keith Vincent has called her a "Japanese Electra," referring to the Electra complex counterpart put forth by Carl Jung to Sigmund Freud's Oedipal complex. The tanbi movement has spawned what is today known as Yaoi. An older man and younger boy are trademarks of Mori Mari's work. The older man is extremely rich, powerful, wise, and spoils the younger boy. In The Lover's Forest, for example, the older man, Guido, is 38 or so, and Paulo is 17 or 18. (However, he is not yet 19, the age that Mori was when her father died.) Paulo is extraordinarily beautiful, prone to lounge lazily, and has a lack of willpower in all but the field of his pleasure. (Guido dies when Paolo is 19, and Paulo subsequently falls in love with a man who's been waiting in the wings, another one just like Guido.) Her first husband was Yamada Tamaki, whom she married in 1919 and divorced in 1927. Her second husband was Sato Akira.

She won the Japan Essayist Club Award in 1957 for a collection of essays called My Father's Hat. In 1975 The Room Filled with Sweet Honey (Amai Mitsu-no Heya) won the Kyoka Izumi Prize.