The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

An Illustrated History of Vice #3

Prostitutes in Japan wait for clients (1947)


swac said...

Interesting how they're done up like American housewives...

Vanwall said...

There's an excellent Japanese murder mystery set during this period, "The Tattoo Murder Case", by Akimitsu Takagi, that has a very realistic take on post-war Japan and American influence, without losing the essential cultural differences. Creepy, too.

Cinebeats said...

Interesting how they're done up like American housewives.

It's the influence of the American occupation at work. I'm sure most of their clients at the time were American G.I.s since they would have been some of the only people who could afford prostitutes after the war.

The Tattoo Murder Case is a terrific mystery! Its nice to come across someone else who has read it vanwell. I've only read two of Takagi's books (the other was Honeymoon to Nowhere) but I enjoyed them both a lot.

Vanwall said...

Takagi is an excellent writer, and changes his styles often to suit the situation. I haven't read Honeymoon to Nowhere, but I have read The Informer, which is very good but unlike TMC in a lot of ways. I especially liked the undercurrent of his work - no one is innocent.