MametFilter: 10000 Yen?
June 20, 2007 7:26 PM   Subscribe

Do you recognize this short story, possibly written by David Mamet? A Japanese couple scrimps and saves so they can incrementally improve their lives, and they go to a shopping mall/set of stores for fun, where they purchase candies/cookies that look like 1000 or 10000 or 1000000 yen. (More inside.)

We find out later that the couple, whose love is as pure and as true as can exist, earn their money by performing simulated sex acts at parties. That's the irony, you see, their love is pure and they are poor, but they earn their meager but measured existence by faking love for people who are rich and needy. I recall that the title of the short story may be something like "10000 Yen," and I also recall that it may have been written by Mamet.

I will be impressed if the hive mind can help me with the title and, even better, a link to the name of the source or the source itself. I will be depressed, on the other hand, if this request is so pedestrian and my google skills are so weak that this is a really lame first time askme question. Thanks in advance.
posted by Slap Factory to Media & Arts (5 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: It sounds like it might be Three Million Yen by Yukio Mishima, from the book Death in Midsummer and Other Stories.
posted by iconomy at 8:08 PM on June 20, 2007

Best answer: Here's the wikipedia description of Three Million Yen:

Three Million Yen. A young couple roams a department store, bickering about finances and trying to kill time until they meet with an unknown woman. They talk of children and saving enough to begin their adult lives. When the reader finally encounters the unknown woman, it transpires that the couple are being paid to have sex in front of upper-class clientele. The story plays on the contrast between the conservatism of the young couple and the disreputable way in which they make their living.
posted by iconomy at 8:13 PM on June 20, 2007

Best answer: Just for confirmation, here's a pdf of Three Million Yen, trans. Edward G. Seidensticker.
posted by zamboni at 8:47 PM on June 20, 2007

Best answer: Interesting that you thought this might be Mamet. I am an enormous fan of both Mamet and Mishima and have been since I was a kid, and after talking to dozens of people I've never found anyone else who found them as similar - both stylistically and in content - as I do.

That is indeed a terrific story, and one of his better short stories. I know a lot of people think he's unsubtle and heavy-handed, a sort of conservative George Bernard Shaw of Japan, but I always thought his characters were very well-drawn and interesting, like the couple in that story.
posted by luriete at 10:32 PM on June 20, 2007 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Amazing. Thanks all. It is comforting to know that there is such a well-read place, and I appreciate the responses.
posted by Slap Factory at 5:55 AM on June 21, 2007

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