| This is a typical stateless story, set in an imaginative nation, which
vividly shows one aspect of post-war Japanese children's literature. The
names of people and places sound foreign, but not of any particular language.
Tsusui's purpose of this tale was to criticize Japanese society, written
in a few years just after the World War II. |
Dr. Korupusu, the protagonist, is a medical doctor who is very fond of thick syrup. Many people in his town become sick because of the sound of a bell placed by the king. The doctor advises town officers to stop ringing the bell, but Hebesu, a member of city council, opposes him, saying that the bell is a part of the cultural heritage of the town. The true reason of his opposition was that Hebesu was the owner of a hotel, and he feared that, without the bell, fewer people would came to the town for sightseeing. In the end, the bell is moved to a place near his hotel.
One day, a mother of a sick child comes to see Dr. Korupusu and ask him to come and see her son. After examining him, Dr. Korupusu thinks the boy is ill with a contagious disease. In the meantime, Hebesu goes to the station to receive some sightseers, but the train does not stop because of the contagious disease. Hebesu has lost his guests. He blames Dr. Korupusu and tries to make him lose his position, but children take the side of the doctor. After a while, Dr. Korupusu finds the virus of the disease. People in the town on the lower part of the river ask him to give a lecture on the virus. He leaves for the town, and the story ends.
A pre-war sense of value and corrupted bureaucrats are severely satirized. Stateless stories in general are said to be too farcical; however, this book has an amusing plot and is still enjoyable today.
Korupusu Sensei Kisha e Noru first appeared in the magazine Kodomo no Hiroba [Children's Square] in November 1947 as a short story. When it was published in book form, it was enlarged with an episode about the bell, and became five times as long as the original. In 1976, it was wholly rewritten when it became a volume of the Kaiseisha Pocket Book series.
Korupusu Sensei Kisha e Noru was wholly welcomed, but one critic pointed out that it lacks a sense of self-improvement, as no working class people appear in the story. There is a sequel to this story, Korupusu Sensei Basha ni Noru [Dr. Korupusu Gets on a Coach]. There is also the play Korupusu Sensei Dôbutsuen e Iku [Dr. Korupusu Goes to a Zoo]. Korupusu Sensei Kisha e Noru was made into a radio drama by Tsutsui Keisuke (1917 -) himself.