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'Dendera': Yuya Sato on his fable about old women battling a bear
'Dendera': Yuya Sato on his fable about old women battling a bear

The Japanese legend of ubasute -- the custom of abandoning elderly loved ones to die in the wilderness to benefit the young during times of famine -- is explored in stark prose in "Dendera" by acclaimed Japanese author Yuya Sato. Originally published by Shinchosha Publishing in 2009, "Dendera" is now available to Western readers, with an English translation out this month from Haikasoru, a literary imprint of the anime and manga giant Viz Media. The story follows Kayu Saitoh, a woman who has long looked forward to her 70th birthday and with it her turn to Climb the Mountain, a ritual that allows her to pass into Paradise. When her son carries her up the snowy...

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