Shitoyakana Keda Mono

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The intrigue inside the usual overcrowded apartment of an atypical Japanese family recalls the court intrigues of the glorious 11th-12th century Heian period when courtesans who were not allowed outside the court listened behind screens to keep up with current love affairs and manipulations for power (the two not always separate). In this case, the court nobility is exchanged for a mother and father out to get as much money as they can, and a son who has just embezzled millions from his boss. His boss is exceedingly upset not just at the loss of the money, but at the loss of Elvis Presley as well. It turns out he was going to use that money to bring Elvis to Japan and now how can he get government matching funds if he has no funds himself? The sister in the family is living with an up-and-coming writer who can keep her in a style to which she has never been accustomed. The son had given money to his mistress, and she set up a hotel for herself. Now she is the mistress of his recently impoverished boss, and feels she has to do something to get the poor man off the hook - and so she sleeps with the income tax man and manages to considerably lighten her boss's tax burden. All of these characters come in and out of the apartment, the only setting for the story except for one small excursion out to the stairway, and the spying and counter-spying by everyone concerned moves the story along on several levels at once.


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