• Pat

Love and Revolution / 恋と革命

Updated: Jun 9, 2020

Tama River after Typhoon Hagibis in 2019 / 令和元年東日本台風の後多摩川


"Humans were born for love and revolution"

I was thinking about the generalized instinctual traits of men and women and the almost sickening way we routinely fit these supposedly natural molds, as if it's one of our duties as human beings. How men automatically seek leadership, how they need a group of followers. How women look for safety and support so they can raise and care for others. How love is somehow synonymous with giving birth to children. And then I thought about this line from Dazai Osamu's "The Setting Sun".

Could this perhaps be a reference to the love and care that women spout, claiming their devotion to their husbands and families? And men have that constant urge to change the world, with whatever means they have at their disposal. So is it not the job of women to love men while they bury themselves under the weight of the revolutions they will never achieve?

Could in fact love not be an innate concept as we believe it to be? Could this instinctual love be a more primitive trait hardwired into our DNA, which urges the procreation and guaranteed survival of our species? In that case, what is this romance we speak of? The connection between star-crossed lovers has been a staple of human story-telling since our birth and an envy of all who do not feel it. This kind of revolutionary love is much different than love for survival. While evolution has lead to a stronger species, I cannot help the feeling that we are merely parasites. I wish my love to be revolutionary, and, in a purer sense, to be directed to those who deserve it.

Dazai san, am I onto something? Tell me if I misunderstood.





私たちが信じているように、実際には愛とは、生来の概念ではないでしょうか? この本能的な愛は、私たちの種の出産を促し、生存を保証するDNAに組み込まれた、より原始的な特性でしょうか?そしてその場合、「ロマンス」とは一体何なのでしょうか?星を超えて、障壁を超えて結ばれた、純愛の恋人たちの物話は、私たちの誕生以来、人間の物語を語る上で欠かせません。まだそのような愛にたどり着いていない全ての人々にとっては、羨望の的に他なりません。このような純愛、革命的な愛は、生存的な愛とは大きく異なります。進化はより強い種を生み出しましたが、私たちは単なる寄生虫であるという感覚は、仕方が無いのかもしれません。 私の愛が革命的な方に属し、またそのような愛に値するもまだ恵まれていない人々にも、革命的愛の芽が広がっていくことを、願っています。


翻訳編集: 杉浦愛

#太宰治 #dazaiosamu #人間失格 #nolongerhuman #斜陽 #thesettingsun #japaneseliterature #日本の文学 


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