“Football of 1860” Oe in brief summary

“Football of 1860” Oe in brief summary


Nedokoro Mitsuzaburo, waking up to dawn, again and again tries to gain a sense of hope, but in vain. He remembers his comrade, who stripped naked, painted his head with red paint and hanged himself. A year before his death, he interrupted his studies at Columbia University, returned to his homeland and was treated for a mild mental disorder. Before leaving America, the comrade met his younger brother Mitsu-Takashi, who came there as part of the theatrical collective, who staged the play “Our own disgrace”. This group included participants in the political events of 1960, when students protested against the Japanese-American “security treaty” and thwarted Japan’s visit to the US.

Now the repentant participants of the student movement with their performance as if asked for forgiveness from the Americans. Takashi was going to come to America, quit the troupe and travel independently, but fearing that he would be expelled from the country, did not do so. Comrade Mitsu also took part in student speeches and received a blow with a club on the head – since then he developed symptoms of manic-depressive psychosis. After meeting with comrade Takashi really threw the troupe, and from him for a long time there was no news. And finally Takashi announced that he was coming. Mitsu thinks whether to tell his brother about his inferior child, who is in the clinic, thinks about how to explain to him the drunkenness of his wife, whom his brother is not familiar with yet. When Takashi arrives, Mitsu’s wife Natsuko quickly finds a common language with him.

In America, Takashi met with the owner of department stores in Shikoku. He wants to buy an old barn belonging to their family, transport it to Tokyo and open a national restaurant there. The brothers need to go home to watch his disassembly.

In addition, Takashi is interested in the past of their kind. He heard a story that a hundred years ago, in 1860, their great-grandfather killed his younger brother and ate a piece of meat from his hip to prove to the authorities his innocence of the rebellion raised by his brother. Mitsu heard another version: after the uprising, his great-grandfather helped his brother hide in the forest and flee to Kochi. From there the great-grandfather’s brother crossed the sea to Tokyo, changed his name and later became an outstanding man. His great-grandfather received letters from him, but did not tell anyone about this, because



many people were killed in the village through the fault of his brother, and his great-grandfather was afraid that the villagers’ anger would fall upon his family.

Takashi and his “guard” – very young Hoshio and Momoko, looking into the mouth of their idol – go to Shikoku. Two weeks later they are joined by Mitsusaburo and his wife. Natsuko decides to stop drinking. Takashi rejoices at the newly acquired roots. Village youth need a leader – a man who looks like the brother of great-grandfather Mitsu and Takashi. They can not do anything right: they decided to plant chickens, but before they started working awkwardly, several thousand chickens were about to rest from hunger. Jin – the former nurse Mitsu and Takashi – is afraid that she will not be evicted with the whole family, but Mitsu reassures her: he and his brother are going to sell only a barn; the land, the main house and the outbuildings will remain, so that no one will deprive her of housing.

In the village church, the urn is kept with the ashes of brother S – elder brother Mitsu and Takashi, who was killed in a skirmish with residents of a nearby Korean village. Koreans-speculators, finding out where unsold rice is hidden in the village, repeatedly stole it and took it away to sell it to the city. Peasants who harbored rice, it was unprofitable to apply to the police, so they began to incite the local youth to teach Koreans. During the first raid on the Korean village, one Korean was killed, during the second raid the Japanese should have died. Brother S did not try to defend himself during the fight and voluntarily sacrificed himself. Mitsu believes that Brother S painfully worried that during the first raid, he and his friends stole moonshine and spinach from the Koreans. Takashi seems as if he remembers how Brother S, dressed as a cadet in the school of naval pilots, leading the children from the village, causes the boldest guys from the Korean village to fight. Mitsu is sure that all this is the fruit of Takashi’s fantasy, which then, in 1945, was still small. The feeble mother, whom Brother S forcibly took to a psychiatric hospital, did not even want to say goodbye to the deceased, so he was simply cremated and his ashes remained in the temple. Sister Mitsu and Takashi, who was very fond of music, was also not quite normal and committed suicide. Their nanny Jin believes that Natsuko gave birth to an inferior child because of her husband’s bad heredity. Natsuko starts drinking again. so he was simply cremated and his ashes remained in the temple. Sister Mitsu and Takashi, who was very fond of music, was also not quite normal and committed suicide. Their nanny Jin believes that Natsuko gave birth to an inferior child because of her husband’s bad heredity. Natsuko starts drinking again. so he was simply cremated and his ashes remained in the temple. Sister Mitsu and Takashi, who was very fond of music, was also not quite normal and committed suicide. Their nanny Jin believes that Natsuko gave birth to an inferior child because of her husband’s bad heredity. Natsuko starts drinking again.

Chickens, bred by local youth, have died. Takashi goes to the city to consult with the supermarket owner, how to proceed. Young people hope that he will be able to persuade the supermarket owner not to bring a lawsuit against her. In addition, he expects to receive from the owner of a supermarket a deposit for a barn. The owner of the supermarket is a Korean, he is one of those who were brought here once for logging. Gradually, he bought up the land from his fellow villagers and became rich by harvesting all the trade in the village.

Takashi decides to organize a football team and train local boys in it. He becomes their leader. Mitsu recalls how in I860 the brother of his great-grandfather taught his fellow villagers to fight with bamboo peaks. Takashi wants to be like him. In the dream of Mitsu, the image of the great-grandfather’s brother merges with the image of Takashi. Mitsu heard from his mother that the uprising of 1860 was due to the greed of the peasants, led by the brother of his great-grandfather. The peasants destroyed and burned the main house in the estate of Nedokoro. They would have seized the barn where the great-grandfather had locked himself, but the peasants had wooden peaks, and the great-grandfather had a gun. The great-grandfather’s brother was in the eyes of the Naedokoro family a dangerous madman who burned his own house. Mother pointed out that the peasants had wooden peaks, and the great-grandfather had a gun.

The abbot brings Mitsu the notes of his elder brother, who died at the front, – brother S gave them to him shortly before his death. The abbot tells Mits his version of the events of I860. He says that before the uprising came a messenger from Kochi, who brought a gun. He met with his great-grandfather and his brother. Seeing the growing discontent of the peasants, they decided that the best thing was to give him a way out, that is, to raise an uprising. It is known that the leaders of the uprising were always arrested and punished. But the brother of his great-grandfather was promised that if he stood at the head of local youths, who were mainly second and third sons in families, that is, with extra mouths, they would help him escape to Kochi. The insurrection lasted five days, and as a result, the demand of the peasants to liquidate the pre-tax system was met. However, the rioters locked themselves in the barn and resisted the prince’s people. Great-grandfather came up with ways to get them out. They were executed by everyone, except the great-grandfather’s brother, who disappeared into the forest.

Mitsu refuses to read the notes of his older brother, they are read by Takashi. He sees in his older brother a kindred spirit, calls him “an active creator of evil.” Takashi says that if he lived in the time of his older brother, this diary could be his own.

In the river, the boy is drowning, and the football players under the leadership of Takashi save him. Takashi becomes the recognized leader of local youth. Mitsu wants to return to Tokyo. He is like a rat, who always aspires to his hole. He feels like a stranger in the village. Natsuko says that he remains in the village. Mitsu postpones leaving, but moves to the barn. Natsuko remains in the house with Takashi, Hoshio and Momoko. She again refuses to drink, for Takashi insists on this. Takashi tells the local youth about the uprising of I860, about how his instigators were forced to join them and other villages; young people gave vent to their wild temper, crushed everything in their path. The peasants were under the rule of cruel youths. Therefore, when the prince’s people came and the youth tried to resist, the adult peasants did not support it. The guys from the football team felt like youth, rebelled in I860, Takashi wants to revive the rebellious spirit of their ancestors. In the supermarket they arrange a New Year’s distribution of goods. Non-moving goods are distributed free of charge to local residents, each for one thing. A crowd gathers at the door, a crush begins. Through the efforts of Takashi, the distribution grows into a robbery, he tries to ensure that all the villagers take part in it. Events take a nationalistic character: after all, the supermarket owner is a Korean. The local youth leader, who breeds the chickens, wants to drive out the supermarket owner and create a collective board of the villagers. Takashi supports him. Local residents already repent that they robbed the department store, but Takashi filmed everything on film and deprived them of the opportunity to renounce robbery. Non-moving goods are distributed free of charge to local residents, each for one thing. A crowd gathers at the door, a crush begins. Through the efforts of Takashi, the distribution grows into a robbery, he tries to ensure that all the villagers take part in it. Events take a nationalistic character: after all, the supermarket owner is a Korean. The local youth leader, who breeds the chickens, wants to drive out the supermarket owner and create a collective board of the villagers. Takashi supports him. Local residents already repent that they robbed the department store, but Takashi filmed everything on film and deprived them of the opportunity to renounce the robbery. Non-moving goods are distributed free of charge to local residents, each for one thing. A crowd gathers at the door, a crush begins. Through the efforts of Takashi, the distribution grows into a robbery, he tries to ensure that all the villagers take part in it. Events take a nationalistic character: after all, the supermarket owner is a Korean. The local youth leader, who breeds the chickens, wants to drive out the supermarket owner and create a collective board of the villagers. Takashi supports him. Local residents already repent that they robbed the department store, but Takashi filmed everything on film and deprived them of the opportunity to renounce robbery. Events take a nationalistic character: after all, the supermarket owner is a Korean. The local youth leader, who breeds the chickens, wants to drive out the supermarket owner and create a collective board of the villagers. Takashi supports him. Local residents already repent that they robbed the department store, but Takashi filmed everything on film and deprived them of the opportunity to renounce robbery. Events take a nationalistic character: after all, the supermarket owner is a Korean. The local youth leader, who breeds the chickens, wants to drive out the supermarket owner and create a collective board of the villagers. Takashi supports him. Local residents already repent that they robbed the department store, but Takashi filmed everything on film and deprived them of the opportunity to renounce the robbery.

The abbot gives Mitsu several letters from his great-grandfather’s brother, written after his flight to Kochi. Hoshio moves to Mitsu’s barn: Takashi sleeps with Natsuko, and Hoshio can not stand it. Takashi says that they decided to get married with Natsuko. Local residents are making plans how to compensate the owner of the supermarket for damage from robbery and buy the store. They want to transfer it to the ruin of village shopkeepers, so that the economic power in the village falls into the hands of the Japanese. Mitsu gets the idea that rebellion can end for Takashi successfully, and even if it fails, Takashi will be able to leave the village and enjoy a peaceful married life with Natsuko.

At night, Natsuko comes to the barn and reports that Takashi tried to rape the village girl and killed her. The guys from the football team left Takashi and fled to their homes, and tomorrow the whole village will come to grab him. Takashi wants to defend himself and asks Mitsu to exchange places with him: Mitsu will sleep in the house, and he will be in the barn. In the barn Takashi tells Mitsu the truth about his relationship with an inferior sister. There was a love affair between them, and my sister got pregnant. Takashi persuaded her to say to the uncle, from whom they lived after his mother’s death, that a stranger raped her. Uncle took her to the hospital, where she was aborted and sterilized. She could not recover from the shock, and Takashi, realizing the seriousness of the operation she had suffered, moved away from her, and when she tried to caress him, she hit her. The next morning my sister poisoned herself.

Takashi says that even if his fellow villagers do not lynch him tomorrow, then all the same his days are numbered. He bequeaths his eyes to Mitsu – once in his childhood, Mitsu got his eye out. Mitsu does not believe that Takashi is really preparing for death. Mitsu is sure that Takashi did not kill the girl, he just wants to feel like a real criminal, he sees in it something heroic, so he gives out an accident for the murder, knowing firmly that the court will still establish the truth and will be released or at least given three years in prison, after which he will return to society as an ordinary, unremarkable person. Mitsu is overwhelmed by a wave of contempt for his brother. Takashi is discouraged. Mitsu goes into the house, meanwhile Takashi ends up with himself. Hosio and Momoko decide to get married and leave the village: now that Takashi is no longer alive, they need to stick together. The owner of the supermarket does not want to claim damages and did not report to the police. He sent a truck to the village with the goods and again opened his shop. He begins to disassemble the barn to transport it, and finds a large basement, which Mitsu did not even suspect. It turns out that his great-grandfather’s brother did not disappear anywhere after the failure of the insurrection, he spent the rest of his life in this basement, and his letters are the fruit of his imagination and reading books. The owner of the supermarket says that he was in the village when Brother S was killed in 1945. At the height of the fight, Brother S dropped his hands, that’s why he was killed, and it’s not even clear who it was: Koreans or Japanese, probably both. and finds a large basement, which Mitsu did not even suspect. It turns out that his great-grandfather’s brother did not disappear anywhere after the failure of the insurrection, he spent the rest of his life in this basement, and his letters are the fruit of his imagination and reading books. The owner of the supermarket says that he was in the village when Brother S was killed in 1945. At the height of the fight, Brother S dropped his hands, that’s why he was killed, and it’s not even clear who it was: Koreans or Japanese, probably both. and finds a large basement, which Mitsu did not even suspect. It turns out that his great-grandfather’s brother did not disappear anywhere after the failure of the insurrection, he spent the rest of his life in this basement, and his letters are the fruit of his imagination and reading books. The owner of the supermarket says that he was in the village when Brother S was killed in 1945. At the height of the fight, Brother S dropped his hands, that’s why he was killed, and it’s not even clear who it was: Koreans or Japanese, probably both.

Natsuko accuses Mitsu of forcing Takashi to face shame before his death and thereby making his suicide even more terrible. Natsuko is pregnant with Takashi and decides to save the child.

Mitsu read a book about the unrest in their village in 1871, which resulted in the suicide of the chief adviser. The insurgents behaved so artfully and skillfully that they achieved everything they wanted without smearing their hands with blood. The name of their leader remained unknown, and Mitsu suddenly realizes that this was the brother of his great-grandfather – after ten years of voluntary seclusion he, having considered the failure of the first insurrection, managed to raise the second and achieve the desired success. The abbot tells Mitsu that although at first glance the rebellion raised by Takashi failed, everyone realized the youth as a real force and even a guy from the youth group was even elected to the municipality. The affected village organism received a fundamental shake-up.

Mitsu climbs into the basement and thinks about Takashi, about their ancestors, about their entire family. Mitsu and Natsuko decide not to part.



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“Football of 1860” Oe in brief summary