Artists are incorrigible. If it isn’t magnificently splendid, we don’t like it. According to
my plan, that thing would have been at least five meters high; it would have had to be
tempered glass, as lovely as the Crystal Palace. Moreover, at the very moment of its
operation it would fragment into splinters. . . . But I was ill, weak, and with no status
commanding that kind of money. It was rather like an ill person’s delusion. There was
no way I could make some tempered glass thing five meters high and two meters in
length. And as far as fooling a glass shop into thinking I was rich, there was no way
that anyone was going to buy it, since I’d be requesting illegal delivery to the [Imperial]
plaza. I was racking my brains over this. . . . There was nothing I could do, alas, so the
next day, the night on the eve of emperor’s birthday, I sat down in a daze at the moat by
Nijūbashi. Mercury lights dimly lit the fog. Right- wing students roved about, looking to
be the first arrivals for the celebratory palace visit. I was utterly exhausted. Aimlessly
casting my eyes over the students, I noticed that in the darkness, their outfits stood
out like black mourning garments.
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