Artificial beauty

(paperback page258 -)
Hard cover
Compact book

Cosmetic surgery...
Even though respectable doctors wearing clean white coats perform plastic surgery in well-equipped hospitals, people feel it is conducted at a black magic house not a medical facility. People also cannot help drawing an odd and horrifying picture such as the hospital sign written in creepy letters resembling a horror movie title. And they feel a terrifying atmosphere like that of a freak show circus company come to carry them off somewhere.

Although cosmetic surgery clinics advertise in trendy fashion magazines and on TV and billboards with their open and bright waiting room photos in order to show their positive atmosphere, actual cosmetic surgery is far from those advertisements. It might rather be concealed and dark, the antithesis of open and bright.

Many women who had the surgery state their reasons cheerfully and positively: "I did it to be positive about the future and to have a cheerful disposition"; "It is the same as makeup or a hair perm." But those comments might be a self-vindication or self-denial.

But despite its cutting, cutting, cutting and cutting of the skin, cosmetic surgery cannot separated itself from its image of deception.

Cosmetic surgery is constantly associated with feelings of untruthfulness and a base mind. Those feelings are carried into one's feet, hands and neck.

Then, Abel-ko cannot help hiding her artificial beauty. She kept silent a week, and then Wednesday comes.

While Cain-ko is....

This is a philosophical story based on the Old Testament, Cain and Abel chapter. It questions what is human happiness interweaving truth with the fear of cosmetic surgery.

A leading Japanese - Russian interpreter genuinely commented on this book, "I think she is a genius. Why didn't this win any prizes? When I think about the reason, I recalled my bitter experience at a cultural exchange meeting. I had to interpret many disappointed opinions such as that there is no interesting modern Japanese literature these days." As the opinion of the J-R interpreter indicated, not only this book but also all of Kaoruko Himeno's books required sophisticated readers.

Under the usual publication assembly line: writer, the publishing company's editorial department, the publishing company itself, the critics and the general publication market, the ordinary consumers, the readers, her novels make it only half way along the line I guess. I mean her works are not adequately delivered to her prospective readers and critics who might recognize them for their excellence. So now, her unprecedented excellent works are not widely recognized in general, but they are fascinating and enthusiastically received by the dilettantes set. Such enthusiastic fans, including me, really hope she follows her own path.

Translation Toshie Takakura