Opening paragraph (and then some) from “Dokushin” (Bachelor) by Mori Ogai.

“Winter in Kokura is not something one would call winter. A cold wind blows from the sea to the northwest and grazes one edge of Nagato, sending the withered leaves of the tangerine trees over the sandy surface of a yard–with a rustling sound the wind makes play with the leaves for a time before finally blowing them under the veranda. As the dusk deepens on such days every house shuts its doors while the night is yet young.

Soon the land is white with snow. Then can be heard from time to time the sound of the denbin‘s bell as he trots along, cutting through the snow with each step…”


Mori Ogai is another well-known Meiji writer. I read a different story of his at Cal and decided to take a stab at translating something of his. 独身 Dokushin is conveniently split into 6 segments, so I will be publishing my translation here in 6 installments (minus this one). As always, thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy this story!


PS: “What the hell is denbin?” the proverbial reader may be asking. Well, I’m glad you asked. Please read the rest of the story as it’s published here to find out! 😉

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