A Moonflower in Heaven
Author: Yoichi Nakagawa
About: This sad and beautiful love story has been widely read and loved
especially by young people in Japan. A young friend of mine once told
me that he wished he could marry such a woman as Akiko-san, the
heroine of this story, and I have heard young girls express their wish
to be loved as was Akiko-san.
This story may seem to resemble “The Sorrows of Young Werther,” but there is this
important difference: that while Werther's psychology and character are
of various elements and more complex, and his disposition was rather
melancholy and pessimistic even before he fell in love with Lotte, here
in this story we find love pure and simple from beginning to end. It is
the story of love passionate and enduring, concentrated yet unselfish.
There are no alien factors, and it does not bore us.
I was shown upstairs. The city lights of Osaka flickered here and
there beyond the sea.
She pointed to call my attention to them. They seemed to be sadly gay
and to give a lonely, glimmering light to man's work in the midst of
the immense darkness of Nature.
Soon Ren-chan was tied into his little night dress and sent to
sleep, and we were left alone.
“It's a wonder you could find this house.”
“I wanted to see you by all means.”
“But I am firmly determined.”
In her eyes tears she could not suppress were glistening, and yet her
resolution seemed to be as immovable as before.
“But I took out your letters every night and read all of them from
the first to the very last. I could not go to sleep unless I read them
and re-read them.”
“Then shall I tear them all up?”
I spoke as if I were trying to follow her own decision. I am that
kind of man. My character is such that it likes the fortitude which
carries out everything with firm resolution as the motivating power in
Then she brought the bundle of letters as if she were enjoying the
whole business, and set them down before me. I took them up and in her
presence, tore them one after another with more than necessary
strength. But I cannot deny that I had some latent desire that by so
doing I might still be able to hold her mind. She kept watching me at
it fascinated, tears rolling down her cheeks. “At least one, please,”
she said in a low voice. But I did not spare even one and destroyed
all, carried away by a violent outburst of temper.
And then, because of that new source of excitement, I did not want to
go back. She herself must have been afraid of my leaving.
But soon afterwards, as the last car was soon to start, I had to
“Then—if it must be— ”
“Then, this is our last meeting, isn't it?”
And when I was going down to the stairs from her room, and we stood
face to face, I saw her body suddenly twist and writhe, though
momentarily, as if by an electric current. Simultaneously I felt the
same; I felt something dreadful run through my own self.
Yet I at once turned, and went down the stairs. At that moment we two
must have been tautened to leap to each other, regardless of
remonstrances of reason. But in the fact that we did not lies the form
of our love which has lasted till now.