's classical novel
, The Wild Geese
or The Wild Goose
(1911–13, 雁 Gan
) was first published in serial form in Japan
, and tells the story of unfulfilled love set against a background of social change. The story is set to 1880 Tokyo
, where a girl who becomes the mistress of an old bill collector, but falls in love with a medical student. The novel contains commentary on Japanese mentality in the drastic changing situation between the Edo
and Meiji period
. The characters of the novel are diverse, including not only students preparing for a privileged intellectual life and members of the commoners who provide services to them, but also a pair of highly developed female characters. Especially Mori's sympathetic portrayal of the dilemmas and frustrations faced by women in this early period of Japan's modernization makes the story interesting.
The novel was filmed by Shiro Toyoda in 1953 as The Mistress, starring Hideko Takamine as Otama.
Suezo, a moneylender, is tired of life with his nagging wife, so he decides to take a mistress. Otama, the only child of a widower merchant, wishing to provide for her aging father, is forced by poverty to become the moneylender's mistress. When Otama learns the truth about Suezo, she feels betrayed, and hopes to find a hero to rescue her. Otama meets Okada, a medical student, who becomes both the object of her desire and the symbol of her rescue.
- The Wild Geese, trans. Ochiai Kingo and Sanford Goldstein. Boston: Tuttle Publishing, 1959, 128 pages, ISBN 0-8048-1070-2
- The Wild Goose, trans. Kingo Ochiai and Sanford Goldstein, Charles E. Tuttle Company, Inc, 1991, 119 pages, ISBN 0-8048-1070-2
- The Wild Goose, trans. Burton Watson. 1995. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Center for Japanese Studies, 1998, ISBN 0-939512-70-X