Cover image for A cat, a man, and two women
A cat, a man, and two women
Tanizaki, Jun'ichirō, 1886-1965.
Uniform Title:
Neko to Shōzō to futari no onna. English
Publication Information:
Tokyo ; New York : Kodansha International : Distributed in the U.S. by Kodansha International/USA, 1990.
General Note:
Translation of: Neko to Shōzō to futari no onna, and other stories
Format :


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FICTION Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks
FICTION Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



What distinguishes this wonderful new collection--the title story and two shorter pieces--is its lightheartedness, its comic realism. The 'man' in the title piece is a typical Tanizaki hero--spoiled, self-indulgent, and obstinately ineffectual--caught up in a war between his vindictive former wife and her willful young successor, both rivals of the fourth party in the title: Lily--seductive, elegant, and magnificently in control--a tortoiseshell cat.

Author Notes

Jun'ichiro Tanizaki was born in Tokyo, Japan on July 24, 1886. He was a modern Japanese novelist, whose writing is characterized by eroticism and ironic wit. His novels include Some Prefer Nettles, The Makioka Sisters, The Key, and Diary of a Mad Old Man. In 1949, he won the Asahi Prize and was awarded the Order of Culture by the Japanese government. He died of a heart attack on July 30, 1965.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Jun'ichiro Tanizaki (1886-1965) is a writer less known in the West than he patently deserves to be. The three fictions felicitously translated for this new collection may do something to redress that wrong, one hopes. The title novella concerns what may accurately be referred to as a love quartet; however, the salient difference is that the most important constituent of the foursome is Lily, a cat. Tanizaki's delicately shaded account of Lily's impact on the relationship between a weak-willed male and his former and present wives makes this one of the finest pieces of literature concerning cats ever written. "The Little Kingdom" is ultimately a chilling account of a pupil's ability to organize a school's system for his own purposes; its date of publication (1918) makes this a prophetic vision of all systems, left or right, that have offered order in place of freedom in this present century. Finally, the two-part fiction "Professor Rado" tells of the obsession and fetishism that can lurk behind the standard academic facade. This collection of the work of three decades, flawlessly edited and printed, is surprisingly contemporary: little, it seems, has changed in Tanizaki's society (or our own) to make his work any the less compelling. Readers of all persuasions should find this graceful writing to their tastes, and certainly all collections of Japanese writing will need to acquire it. -J. M. Ditsky, University of Windsor