The piece had begun with an assault on contemporary literary scholars, and it had ended with praise for Professor Hirota. It was particularly severe in disparaging the Western faculty members in the college of arts and literature. Qualified Japanese nationals should be called up immediately to deliver lectures becoming of higher academics. Otherwise the university, which represented the pinnacle of scholarship, would find itself on a level with the temple primary schools of old, nothing more than a mummy swathed in bricks and stone. It would be one thing if there were no capable candidates, but here was Professor Hirota. The Professor had toiled at the high school level for ten long years, content to teach for meager pay and with a dearth of recognition. This was a genuine scholar. He was a man representing the new face of global scholarship, a man intimately connected to Japanese society, and a man worthy of a professorship. -- This, in a nutshell, was all it said. However, this 'all it said' was padded excessively with high-sounding prose and brilliant quips that stretched it to twenty seven pages.
The piece included an abundance of noteworthy passages. "Only old men take pride in a bald head." Or, "Venus was born of the waves, but no shrewd gentleman is born of the university." Or, "To regard men of learning as a product of academia is akin to regarding jellyfish as a product of Tago Bay." However, there was nothing more. One particularly curious thing was that, after likening Professor Hirota to a great dark void, it likened other scholars to dim round lanterns, incapable of throwing light more than a meter. These were the very words Professor Hirota had used to describe Yojirō. Then the piece went out of its way to incorporate Yojirō's comments of the other day, disparaging round lanterns and goose-neck pipes as outdated relics, of no use to today's young men.
Reflecting back on it, Yojirō's piece was packed with energy. He presumed himself the representative voice of a new Japan, and he pulled the reader along in this premise. However, there was no meat on the bones. It was like a war with no base of operation. Furthermore, his style of writing, if so regarded, could easily come across as politically intentioned. Sanshirō, green from the country, couldn't articulate the specific flaws, but his reflections left him uneasy. He picked up Mineko's card and gazed again at the two sheep and the devil man. His reaction to this work was wholly agreeable. This agreeable reaction threw his unease with the prose into sharper relief. He contemplated Yojirō's piece no further. He thought he should reply to Mineko. Regrettably, he couldn't draw. He could answer in words, but his words would have to be worthy of her picture. He couldn't think what to write. He dawdled away the time until four o'clock.