Zen no henreki [Zen’s Pilgrimage of Virtue]

“The 1974 novel Zen no henreki [Zen’s Pilgrimage of Virtue], Takahashi’s longest piece of fiction to date, also deals with a young man in Tokyo who spends a time exploring the city’s sexual underground. For instance, he spends a month masturbating with men in the crowded trains of Tokyo, a month working in a gay bar, a month staying in a steamy bathhouse, and a month having sex with the members of a private army headed by a muscle-bound military man that strongly resembles Takahashi’s friend Mishima Yukio. Over the course of the novel, however, the protagonist slowly falls into a state of humiliation, impotence, and spiritual exhaustion, and only with his death in the final scenes is he able to achieve a mystical union with that great masculine power that he has been seeking all along. At the same time Takahashi was celebrating the world of anonymous promiscuity seen in the queer underground of New York and Tokyo, he was also conscious that this culture allowed and even promoted the superficial worship of ‘young gods,’ without ever attending to the deeper desire for existential confirmation that lay behind these actions” A homoerotic and often extremely humorous reworking of a legend of Sudhana found in the Buddhist classic Avatamsaka Sutra. Cover design by Tadanori Yokoo

Text: Takahashi Mutsuo. cm 14×20; pp. 288; hardcover with dust jacket. Publisher: Shinchosha, Tokyo , 1974.

 150,00

ID: 14025

Product Description

“The 1974 novel Zen no henreki [Zen’s Pilgrimage of Virtue], Takahashi’s longest piece of fiction to date, also deals with a young man in Tokyo who spends a time exploring the city’s sexual underground. For instance, he spends a month masturbating with men in the crowded trains of Tokyo, a month working in a gay bar, a month staying in a steamy bathhouse, and a month having sex with the members of a private army headed by a muscle-bound military man that strongly resembles Takahashi’s friend Mishima Yukio. Over the course of the novel, however, the protagonist slowly falls into a state of humiliation, impotence, and spiritual exhaustion, and only with his death in the final scenes is he able to achieve a mystical union with that great masculine power that he has been seeking all along. At the same time Takahashi was celebrating the world of anonymous promiscuity seen in the queer underground of New York and Tokyo, he was also conscious that this culture allowed and even promoted the superficial worship of ‘young gods,’ without ever attending to the deeper desire for existential confirmation that lay behind these actions” A homoerotic and often extremely humorous reworking of a legend of Sudhana found in the Buddhist classic Avatamsaka Sutra. Cover design by Tadanori Yokoo