mjj (flemmings) wrote,

Did I say Sugawara no Akitada was reminiscent of Judge Dee? So he is, and clearly deliberately so, for here in The Hell Screen is Akitada caught overnight in a rainstorm at a Buddhist monastery full of terrifying pictures of the afterlife, and wondering sniffily what use Buddhism is when Confucianism is so much wiser and more humane a system, and here is an anonymous Lady Macbeth-type lustful female urging her paramour on to murder and here, as required, is a naked mutilated female corpse, and and and.

Thus: perfect summer reading.

But I have to say, if you're modelling a hero on Judge Dee-- which is great and I'm all for it-- it helps to have some of Dee's magisterial always-rightness as well. Alas, that seems to be the point on which Ms Parker balked, because Akitada wibbles over everything. I suppose she wanted a nice decent chap, very aware of ningen kankei (unlike the by-the-book Confucian cold fish Dee) who can be browbeaten by his appalling mother, and is. At which he becomes less Dee than poor old Nakamura Mondo from Hissatsu Shigotonin, without the assassin side of things.
Tags: china, japan, reading_13

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