Saying farewell to Odasaku...
I go to the Jiyuken Restaurant and eat the famous curry. I stroll the backstreets near Hozen Temple. I see a large red lantern emblazoned “Sweet Soup for Married Couples”, which puns on the title of one of Odasaku’s stories＊. When I think about it, I’ve been obsessed by Odasaku for a long time now. From Namba I walk through Sennichimae and climb Yuhi Hill. Just as Odasaku said goodbye to his youth while walking down Kuchinawa Hill, so I break free of him while descending it too. I will not walk up and down this hill again. To draw the curtain on him, I’ll gaze at Ikukunitama Shrine one last time.
It’s a long dragging walk up Gensho Temple Hill. I’m feeling utterly fed up. At Ikukunitama Shrine I come face to face with Odasaku’s bronze statue. With his soft hat and Inverness coat blowing open and the green patina of the bronze, he looks just like Peter Pan, light enough to carry under my arm. A strange foreboding runs through me. No, I don’t think I can do it... I speak to a taxi-driver having a cigarette in the corner of the shrine. “Sakunosuke Oda? Oh, the guy who wrote ‘Feet Soap for Married Couples＊.’ Ha, ha, ha.” His laughing voice seems to channel Odasaku’s.
Odasaku. Oda Sakunosuke. Born in Osaka. Wrote. Charged into Tokyo. Coughed up blood and died just three months later. How could I ever say goodbye to this melancholy man who pretended to be happy?
“To me a book of photographs is like a second passport”
Satoshi Machiguchi, designer and maker of books.
＊“Meoto Zenzai” is the title of one of Odasaku’s most famous stories. It can be read “Hurray for Married Couples” as intended in the story, but also as “Sweet Bean Soup for Married Couples,” as on the restaurant’s red lamp.
After Dazai and Daido Moriyama: Terayama, the third entry in Match & Company’s literary collaboration series with Daido Moriyama. Photographs by Daido Moriyama are paired with Oda Sakunosuke’s 1946 short-story “At the Horse Races” to pay tribute to one of Japan’s literary treasures.
“For this project, I paired photos of Osaka, taken by Daido Moriyama, with the short story “At the Horse Races”, written by Sakunosuke Oda in 1946, and edited them into this book. […]
I told Moriyama I wanted to create a book that, by pairing them together, would give an entirely new layer of expression to both his photographs of Osaka and the words of Sakunosuke Oda.
My trick to let two artists, each with a strong personality, meet within the space of a book to stimulate each other, has worked.”
— from designer Satoshi Machiguchi’s afterword