stories

When The Shogun Awoke - Chapter 2 - page 2

"Right. Don't tell a patient about his disorder. It's the ABC of psychiatry." Kanasugi showed off a smattering of psychiatry in a loud voice, eyes glittering.
"I'm no longer a patient," he shouted back at the chiefof-staff, but suddenly froze in thought. He went limp and muttered, "So, you want to say that all madmen claim they are sane, don't you?"
The chief-of-staff nodded slowly. It seemed that both he and the nurse wanted to believe, for some reason or other, that Kinjiro was still insane.
"Then how much do you remember," asked Shimada, "about the time when you were still in your right mind?"
Kinjiro took a deep breath and started talking, his eyes closed. "I was a bright child. I began my studies at the age of nine and within four or five years I could read the Nine Chinese Classics. I was the kind of child who hated being behind others. While I was young, I was already arrogant and proud of my intelligence. Kids in the neighborhood hated me for that reason. When others did not recognize my talent, I got angry. By the time I was nineteen I was already a competent comb-craftsman. In fact I was already an expert. I presume everybody acknowledged that. But that made me even more arrogant. I suppose I thought I was the center of the universe. Nobody liked me for that reason, and my business started to suffer. So I took to drinking. One day I was drunk and got into a fight with a friend of mine. I got him injured. As a result I was sent to jail. I believe that was when I was twenty-two or three."
"Do you remember the time when you got separated from your wife?" The doctor interrupted.
"Yes, it was about a year after I got out of jail, half a year into the marriage. My wife ran away. She was probably disgusted with me. But memory gets blurred around this time." Kinjiro held his head in both hands.
Shimada looked at the chief-of-staff's face. "What do you think? There is no other way than to diagnose him normal, I suppose. He is capable of self-criticism. He is also aware of what might have caused his insanity. We cannot call him insane."
The chief-of-staff sulked with a glum look.
"Your memory is accurate. The memory that your memory got blurry around the time of separation from your wife is also accurate. Because the direct cause of your disorder lies in the separation." Shimada began to speak to Kinjiro face to face, "You did not want to admit that even your wife didn't want to recognize you. And that's why you began to live in the world of delusions. In other words you escaped into insanity. In that world, you were..."
"A shogun, you mean?" said Kinjiro, looking up at the ceremonious uniforms on the wall.