A little book that will charm the curious and lovers of Japan and its art of living.
There is an art of living well and aging well in Japan. The author invites us to discover it in Ogura, a small village nestled in the hollow of a valley at the foot of the mountains around Kyoto. Hubert Delahaye spent his professional life at the Collège de France in the field of sinology. He was attached to the Chair of Social and Intellectual History of China by Jacques Gernet and then to the Institutes of the Far East as a lecturer. It is natural that he was also interested in Japanese neighbors, those islanders so close to the Chinese and at the same time so different. For years, Hubert Delahaye has regularly immersed himself in this miniature world where, despite the passage of the seasons and a world in full mutation, time seems suspended. Borrowing the gaze and voice of one of his inhabitants, an old lady with confounding benevolence and wisdom, he brought back these letters, an impressionist painting of an intimate Japan. The evocation of a nature overflowing with life where men and beasts coexist in a delicate harmony is accompanied, in a subtle counterpoint, by reflections on the relations between generations, respect for religious traditions, social assistance, the abandonment of the countryside, but also the memory of a painful past, the upheaval of climate or cracks in family ties, all stakes for contemporary Japanese society. The old lady seems to be telling us: "I was born, so I'm here, and no matter how bad the world is, it's good to live, grow old and even die in Ogura."
Rites and rout of rural Japan
"... Ogura is a pier. We interfere in this universe where nature is sovereign and man a simple companion of passage ... "
"... One hundred and twenty pages of zen, calm, beauty, frequentation of this charming old lady who does not complain. One hundred and twenty positive pages tinged with a light humor that take you out of the everyday ... "
Chronicles of Eternity
"... He knows how to restore this padded atmosphere, specific to the Land of the Rising Sun, made of communion with nature and beings. A moment of total escape, in the sweetness ... "
Tale of old ladies with broken backs
"... Impressionist painting of a 'Japan which owes a lot to old ladies with broken backs', this brief, delicately chiseled story reveals the Japanese unalterable faculty of forgetting ..."
“... With this literary text, Hubert Delahaye testifies with great tenderness of a preserved place in Japan. While evoking the traditions of the past, mentalities, ways of living, the author touches us with this old lady who seems so happy and serene to enjoy her last days away from the noise of the city ... "
Hubert Delahaye spent his professional life at the Collège de France in the field of sinology. He was attached to the Chair of Social and Intellectual History of China by Jacques Gernet then at the Institutes of the Far East as Lecturer. It was only natural that he was also interested in the neighbors Japanese, these islanders so close to the Chinese and at the same time so different ...