Twilight of a Crane

By referring to the text, compare and contrast the characters of tsu and yohyo in twilight of a Crane.

Junji Kinoshita’s text was written in post war Japan which was occupied by America. The culture of Japan which was heavily based on respect and traditions began to deteriorate as Japan assimilated the Western lifestyles and culture. Especially capitalism and consumerism began to change the lifestyles of people. In the play, Kinoshita uses the two main characters to explore two distinct lifestyles. Tsu represents the more simpler one which values human connection and love while YOhyo represents the more sophisticated, more Western concept of capitalism: profit, consumerism and the greed for more material objects. In this answer I will explore how he exposes this culture through the characters.

At the beginning of the play, the children gather a round Yohyo – they seem to like him, trust him and have no fear around him. Even though they seem to want Tsu, they also enjoy playing with him. We also notice that he enjoys spending time with the children. He displays warmth, love and kindness to them. Moreover, before Tsu enters the stage, Yohyo remembers to heat up the soup for her, while saying ‘cold soup is useless ????’. The fact that he is portrayed as someone who is rather absent-minded about things makes this even more impressive as it is a very mindful and loving thing that he does.

These details lead us to believe that he is in fact a genuine and tender person, who is well in tune with his emotions as well as priorities in life. He does not seem to value anything more than his relationship with his wife.

On the other hand, Tsu is a manifestation of nature – she is not human, even though she takes human form. This is why she cannot understand the language of exploitation – which is equated with capitalism. It should be noted that the writer was a left-wing writer, who was also jailed for his political beliefs.

I will finish the rest when I have time 😉

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