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Endo, Shusaku

japanese century samurai seventeenth

(Japanese, 1923–96)

Among the foremost Japanese novelists of the twentieth century, Endo was an early convert to Catholicism. Begin with The Girl I Left Behind (1963), the story of a factory girl's enduring love for a young professional who ditches her after a one-night stand. Silence (1966) is based on the persecution of seventeenth-century European missionaries in Japan. Also set in the seventeenth century, The Samurai (1980) concerns a journey made from Japan to America and Europe by four Samurai and a Spanish missionary. The Japanese return home Catholic converts, but without the trading rights they have sought. Foreign Studies (1965) draws on Endo's experience of studying in France in the 1950s for its portrayal of a Japanese student baffled by an alien culture.

Kazuo Ishiguru, Yukio Mishima, Graham Greene  DH

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