To Japanese

Literature Perusal: "The Calamity of Letters"

Reference images


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Left: A portrait of Atsushi’s father Tabito and mother Chiyoko, probably at the occasion of their wedding; Middle: Atsushi at the time of Daiichi High School, Tokyo. Both duplicated from Yoshihiro Murayama’s book; Right: Atsushi in 1940, from Wikipedia.




The cover and the contents page of Bungakukai No2,1942, in which “Mojika (The calamity of Letters)” and “Sangetuski (The moon over the mountain)” were first published, jointly as “Kotan (Old tales)”. The title: Kotan is seen in the fourth line in from the last (left), as the author  was a new face.



The literature monument of Atsushi Nakajima, inscribing the first part of  “Sangetuski (The moon over the mountain)”, erected at Shiokunizaka, nr. Yokohama Gakuen High Schook, in December 1975, from Yoshihiro Murayama’s book.




Ancient Babylonia and Assyria, from Encyclopaedia Brittanica.



Relief of Ashurbanipal hunting on horseback. Nineveh, Assyria, 645635 BC. Duplicated from:“Who was Ashurbanipal:




Stele depicting Ashurbanipal (right) and his brother Shamash-shum-ukin (left). 668 – 655 BC. Ibid.




Relief depicting Ashurbanipal hunting a lion. 645 – 635 BC. Ibid.




Relief depicting Ashurbanipal relaxing in his garden. The head of the Elamite king hangs from a tree on the far left. 645 – 635 BC. Ibid.




Detail of a relief showing the Assyrian siege of an Elamite fort. 645–635 BC. Ibid.




Relief depicting the Assyrian capture of Babylon. 638 – 625BC. Ibid.




Some of the tablets from the library of Ashurbanipal at the museum. Ibid., which Nakajima had likened to “a warehouse of chinaware store”. Ibid.




Fragment of a clay tablet, which tells the story of the flood from the Epic of Gilgamesh.

7th century BC. Ibid.




llustration of a hall in an Assyrian palace from The Monuments of Nineveh by Sir Austen Henry Layard, 1853. Ibid.




Illustration of Assyrian palaces from The Monuments of Nineveh by Sir Austen Henry Layard, 1853. Ibid. The Ashurbanipal Library is the large building in the right-hand side.




An Assyrian guardian Lion in the British Museum, which was once at the entrance to the Temple of Ishtar.  On the right is the statue of attendant god dedicated to Nabu by Adad-Nirari III and Sammuramat. From the present-writer’s digital album (Photo taken by him with Pentax k-3ii, 2017.04.07.).




An example of cuneiform inscription. British Museum - Library of Ashurbanipal Series, Fragment of a clay tablet: containing cuneiform captions for scenes of the Battle of the Ulai River. Neo-Assyrian.

Dupricated from: