04 January 2010

the impersonal recipes

His father explained to Shigekuni that since all his familiarity with the law came from books, it would be extremely valuable for him to come in contact with the actual process of law in Japan and to experience it at a practical level. Justice Honda had more than this, on his mind, however. Truth to tell, his main concern was to expose his still sensitive, nineteen-year-old son to those elements of human existence that were dredged up in all their shockingly sordid reality in criminal court. He wanted to see what Shigekuni was able to draw from such experience.
  It was a dangerous sort of education. Still, when the Justice considered the greater danger of allowing a young man to form his character out of an assimilation from careless popular behavior, cheap entertainment and so on, from whatever might please or appeal to his immature taste, he felt confident of the advantages of this educational experiment. There was a good chance that it would at least make Shigekuni acutely aware of the stern and watchful eye of the law. He would see all the amorphous, steaming, filthy detritus of human passions processed right then and there according to the impersonal recipes of the law. Standing by in such a kitchen should teach Shigekuni a great deal about technique.

Yukio Mishimia, Spring Snow (1990: 200)