Excerpt from The Reed Cutter by Jun'ichirō Tanizaki. thought the view would be like this. It was not a landscape that anyone would call a beauty spot or a scenic masterpiece, featuring craggy precipices or rapids that chewed at the boulders. Gentle hills and tranquil streams softly veiled in the evening mist - it was a genial, refined, and peaceful scene, like those in old Japanese paintings. Natural scenery will be viewed differently by different people, and there are probably some who would not consider a place like this worth a glance. But I am more apt to be lured into sweet daydreams by ordinary hills and streams like these, neither majestic nor unique, and find myself wanting to linger on and on. A scene like this one welcomes the traveler with a friendly smile, instead of startling the eye and enthralling the spirit. At a glance it would seem to be nothing, but standing here for a long time one is moved by a gentle affection, like the warm embrace of a loving mother. On a lonely evening, in particular, one longs to be drawn into those upstream mists, beckoning from afar.
I had always
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