2《Tale of the First Moon》
Publication date: 1999/04/15
Written as the second work and companion piece to The Eclipse , this story depicts the illusionary beauty of nature and the eternity that lies within it.
In year 30 of the Meiji era, the young man Masaki becomes a poet after facing devastating defeat in the Movement for Liberty and People’s Rights in Japan. On his journey to heal the fraying of his nerves, he follows a single, beautiful butterfly until he is lost in the mountains of Totsukawa in Nara prefecture. Barely surviving a bite from a poisonous snake, Masaki’s chance meeting with the woman of his destiny steals his heart away.
This mythical story, which uses the moon as symbolic imagery, pursues aesthetics more than any other work by Hirano. Elegant prose depicts a young man trying to live passionately within the serendipity and conflict and Byron-esque romanticism.