This short story tells the lives of a young couple, the lieutenant of the Imperial Forces, Shine Takeaway, and his fife Rookie, as well as their ceremonious and honorable deaths through the speedup ritual. In this paper I will analyze how Misaims uses and abuses of Japanese culture and rigor of ritualistic ceremonies of love and death to illustrate his dissatisfaction about the lack of traditional principles among Japanese people. In the beginning of the story, Yukon describes the clothing of the couple in their marriage.
Misaims wisely uses the contradiction between the bride and groom vests to show the cultural modernization, while Rookie uses the traditional kimono, Aleut. Takeaway vests are a regular military uniform. As the story goes, a controversial, yet traditional, element pops up in the story, the idea of an arranged marriage, “Rookie felt not the slightest surprise that a man who had been a complete stranger until a few months ago should now have become the sun”, and even though they were unknown to each other until a few months ago, they share an intense passion as well as a perfect bond.
Albeit many traditional and cultural elements are portrayed throughout the story, Misaims uses symbolism for deeper meanings in certain character’s actions. The honeymoon trip was dispensed with on the grounds that these were times of national emergency,” clearly shows that the Lieutenant’s commitment to his country was not only a matter of duty, but loyalty; the love to the tradition and love of family are almost inseparable, but loyalty comes first.
Another example is the scene that Shine is sitting with his sword laid in front of him and he tells Rookie that he can die soon or later and then asks her if she would accept it, and instead of answering with words, “Rookie rose to her feet, pulled open a drawer of the cabinet, and took out hat was the most prized of her new possessions, the dagger her mother had given her.
Returning to her place, she laid the dagger without a word on the mat before her, just as her husband had laid his sword,” although Rookie is described as delicate and beautiful, even compared to the moon occasionally, her action proves that she is a strong and courageous character, apart from being a person with traditional principles; she was prepared to follow her husband into death without failing. As the story goes to its climax, the speedup ritual, we can see that the author goes on to detail more deeply very action of the characters, causing everything to be part of a ritual.
While speedup looks horrible and grotesque for the people of the Western world, it is the greatest and most honorable death that a samurai could ever expect. As part of the ritual, Shine and Rookie make love for the last time, the ritual is ceremonious, and everything has a meaning. Speedup is not the act itself, and perhaps there is no real separation between the ritual of love and death in this case, but the state of mind achieved by the samurai during the ceremonial disembowelment.
The main characters have different functions during the ritual, he should dress his Officer clothes (does not matter if it’s a typical samurai clothing, or his military uniform), undress again, stroking up and mercilessly rip your abdomen, exposing his bowels in that scenario methodically cleaned and prepared for such an act. She must get dressed before the mirror and prepare the funeral makeup, wearing a white kimono, then settles in beside her beloved one, a moment later cuts her own throat as a sign of loyalty to her husband’s honor.
Therefore, this affection for the resurrection of a romanticizes samurai ideal is what Yukon Mish imam hoped that Japan would recognize and return to the imperial system. The key word of this history is loyalty, both Lieutenant Takeaway devotion to the imperial forces and fidelity of Rookie to her husband. With a profound and full of analogies writing, Misaims portrays the Lieutenant as a person completely loyal to the Emperor and who rather die than kill close friends.