There is no shortage of perversity in SCANDAL by Shusaku Endo about a well-known Japanese writer in his 60’s that is suddenly accused of frequenting a bad part of Tokyo and being involved in all manner of perverted activities.
This is a huge surprise to the writer who has no recollection of ever doing anything like that….Like Endo, the writer in SCANDAL is a Catholic and a pious one at that….The life he has with his wife (they have no children) is organized and full.
The diligence of a reporter reveals that either he or someone who looks like him is visiting brothels, attending orgies, etc….In addition, the writer feels himself growing closer to a young girl he has hired to clean his office.
This book reads like a well-constructed mystery not like the usual pre-destined narratives filled with doom that are a lot of Japanese literature which is both bad and good….It’s not as deep as you are led to believe but it is a fun book to read.
SPOILER ALERT – DON’T READ THIS IF YOU WANT THE ENDING TO BE A SURPRISE – There is some debate about the ending. I interpreted it to mean the writer had a sort of split personality and didn’t remember anything he did. His normal personality saw the bad personality committing these acts as if he was a bystander but was really watching from inside his mind.