“Embrace me of water to my soul” Oe in brief summary

One Japanese industrialist, under the influence of American fashion, decided to start building individual nuclear shelters, but the mass production could not be established, and the only constructed shelter was abandoned. Five years later, the construction company, using a bunker as a foundation, erected a three-story building, the back of which was closely adjacent to the slope. In this house, a man who voluntarily left the community settled. In the recent past, he was the personal secretary of a well-known politician, married his daughter and was engaged in advertising atomic shelters in a construction company controlled by his father-in-law.

But one day he took from his wife a five-year-old son, whom the doctors considered mentally retarded, and together with the child he began to live as a recluse in a shelter. He himself appointed himself an attorney of those whom he loved most in this world-trees and whales. He changed his name to emphasize his new essence, and began to

call himself Ooki Isan. He is concerned with looking at photos of whales, watching through binoculars growing outside trees. To be closer to nature, he made a hole in the floor of the bunker 30 × 30 centimeters and plunges into reflections, putting his bare feet on the real earth. Isana taped the voices of various birds, and his son Jin learned to recognize them unmistakably: it turned out that the boy has an unusually sharp hearing.

Once in a swampy lowland, which is visible from the windows of the shelter, an incident occurs. A young girl seduces a police agent, and her friends attack him and take out a pistol. To escape, the agent selects the most puny of the attackers and, contrived, puts his handcuff on his hand, while the second handcuff he snaps on his hand. Teenagers beat the agent, and the boy tries to cut off his arm to run away. The police agent unfastens the handcuff and runs away, and the adolescents rush after him for a long time with screams.

Seeing that the trees are covered with young foliage and have gained a sense of complete safety, Isana, spiritually connected with them, also feels protected

and leaves shelter. He, like plants, awakens from hibernation and looks for an outlet for accumulated energy in it. Together with Dzin he gets on the bus and goes to the park, but they come too late: the park is already closed and the attractions do not work. The watchman still misses them, and in a deserted park they meet a group of aggressive teenagers, one of whom has a bandaged arm. Isana feels unaccountable fear and hurries back to the shelter. Going to the store and leaving Jin at home alone, Isana also feels fear. At night, he dreams of nightmares. He has a feeling that they are being watched all the time. Once he discovers a drawing on the wall of the house – a circle and a cross. Isana draws next to this drawing eye. He meets a girl near his house, who offers him to sleep in the dressing room of a well-known actress in an abandoned film studio, standing at a distance from the boggy lowland. Isana does not answer anything and leaves, and at night he hears the tramping of teenagers on the roof and worries about Jin, whose fragile peace of mind is so easy to break.

The next day Isana looks through binoculars at the ruins of the studio and sees a naked girl in the pavilion window. Suddenly, he notices a group of teenagers who accuse him of spying on them. They ask why Isana and Jin live here, not communicating with anyone. Isana explains to them that he is an attorney of trees and whales. Threatened with violence, the teenagers make Isan go to his house Boya – a teenager whose wound began to fester, and Inago – the very girl who asked Isan to sleep with her. Isana goes to the pharmacy for medicines for the patient, and Inago looks after Dzin. To Isan’s surprise, the girl treats the baby carefully and attentively.

One of the teenagers – Takaki – tells Isana about the Whale tree. As a child, Takaki heard about him, dreamed about him, but he never saw it. The name “Whale Tree” gives Isan a warm feeling, he also begins to think that such a tree exists. Returning from the pharmacy, Isana falls off the bicycle. Teenagers laugh, not thinking about what might hurt him. Isana is amazed at their cruelty. Takaki comes for Isan on a stolen car and continues the tale of the Whale tree. A few days later, Takaki shows Isana the secret of adolescents: they settled in an abandoned film studio. They dismantled the schooner, which one of them had to guard, piecemeal dragged it to one of the pavilions, and there they collected and began to study the marine business, so that later on they could sail.

Seeing that Takaki led Isan, Boy, who almost recovered and returned to the schooner, wants to shoot “this crazy”: no stranger should know about their cache. Isana is not afraid of death: Inago takes so much care of the boy that he can do without his father. But Isana must fulfill her mission – tell the aliens from other worlds that the earth was reigned not by man, but by whales and trees. The fight is afraid that Isana will inform the police on them, but all the other teenagers get confidence in Isan and invite him to join them.

A man named Short, who is already forty years old, so that he is even older than Isana, says that at thirty-five he suddenly began to shrink and contract until now. Indeed, his limbs seem too long compared to an overly short body. He was sent to a psychiatric hospital, but he escaped from there. He has no place in the world of ordinary people, and he feels normal in the company of adolescents. Listening to Isan’s arguments about trees and whales, adolescents come to the conclusion that he has what they lack: the ability to put his thoughts into words. They believe that his excellent knowledge of the word can be of use to them.

Isana confesses to adolescents in her sins: when he was his secretary of the father-in-law, he brought the boys to him, indulging his perversions. Once they accidentally killed a boy, and since then Isana has no peace. As a “specialist in the words” Isana begins to engage in English with teenagers, choosing for this “Moby Dick” and Dostoevsky in English translation. At first he fears that the conversations of the elder Zosima will seem to teenagers too moralizing, but they listen with great interest, and the word “prayer” literally captures them. To Isan’s surprise, the teenagers really fell in love with Jin and listen with pleasure to serious music. Isana lives in anticipation of the end of the world, and teenagers are waiting for the Great earthquake – they have much in common.

Teenagers are attracted to the Union of Free Mariners by a soldier of self-defense forces – beloved Inago. They want him to teach them how to handle weapons. Isana asks her wife Nabi to find a place on the coast, where he and his friends could live two or three weeks. Naobi finds them such a place in Izu, but there the Short Commits a betrayal – photographs the military teachings of the Union of Free Mariners and sells photographs to the weekly. He wants to force teenagers to kill him, believing that the crime will rally them and turn the Union of Free Mariners into a combat organization. Teens arrange a trial of the Short, during which one of them – Tamakiti – accidentally injures Korotkov. Realizing that the wound of Short is deadly, adolescents decide to execute him. Each of them throws a stone at him. Isana and the soldiers stand apart. Soldier, taking a loaded machine and throwing Inago, sits on a motorcycle and runs away, the teenagers are chasing. One of them – Tamakiti – throws a grenade into a fishing schooner. The schooner lights up, and suspicion falls on the soldier. The soldier ends up with himself. Inago becomes the mistress of Isan, Isan, Jin, Inago return to Tokyo, in the shelter. There they are met by teenagers: the studio is destroyed, they had nowhere to go, and they broke the window and climbed into Isan’s refuge.

In the pavilion at the film studio there was only one Boy: he never agreed to leave the schooner. So that she does not fall into the wrong hands, he blows it up. Workers who are destroying the film studio are beaten up by the Battle. Tamakiti takes the dying comrade to the clinic of Tokyo University and leaves in the arcade. Teenagers are thinking how to proceed. Isana asks Nabi to help get money for the ship to go with the teenagers to sail. Nabi nominated her candidacy at the elections, and Isana hopes that it is more advantageous for her husband and son to sail on the sea, protecting whales, and not sitting in an atomic shelter. Nabi promises to offer the construction company to buy Isana’s asylum and land – the proceeds will be enough for the planned enterprise. Just in case, adolescents make food supplies – if they have a siege, they will need them in the shelter, if they are to be sailed, they will take them with them. In order not to endanger the child, the teenagers suggest that Isan and Jin leave the shelter, but Isana wants to tell her that she and Jin are taken hostage – then she will certainly give them a ship. Police cars are visible from the window of refuge. A motorized detachment surrounded the building. Teens shoot, police let tear gas. They call the besieged to surrender.

Teenagers are waiting for the arrival of Isan’s wife. Nabi comes, but declares that even in the name of his child’s life he will not enter into a deal with criminals. Teenagers fight bravely, but the strength is not on their side, and they perish one after another. It becomes clear that they no longer need a ship: they still could not go sailing, because both the navigator and the radio operator perished. Tamakiti intends to fight to the end, but he does not want the Union of Free Mariners to disappear without a trace. He offers Takaki to leave and revive him. Isana resigns from the duties of a specialist in the words of the Union of Free Mariners, now he is fully committed to the duties of an attorney of whales and trees. Takaki admits that his story about the Whale Tree is fiction, but Isana objected that since he can not go to Takaki’s homeland and be convinced of this, nothing prevents him from counting, that the Whale tree exists. Takaki comes out of the shelter with a white flag, followed by Inago with Dzin in his arms and a doctor. While they go to the car, the police beat them.

When the car takes away those who have surrendered, a fire truck with a crane approaches the shelter and begins to destroy the building. Only Isana and Tamakiti remained in the shelter. Isana descends into the bunker. Putting his feet to the ground, he listens to the film with the whales screaming. From the ground, water splashes with a fountain: it is thrown out by the fire engine, it leaked under the foundation and scored in the place where there was a hole in the floor. The hatch cover rises, shots are heard. Isana fires back. The water rises higher and higher. Turning to the souls of trees and whales, Isana sends them the last one to forgive and perishes.

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“Embrace me of water to my soul” Oe in brief summary