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"The Dancing Girl" (舞姫 Maihime?) was the first published short story by the Japanese writer Mori Ogai. The story first appeared in Kokumin no Tomo (国民之友) in 1890, and is based on Mori's own experiences as a medical student in Germany. In some ways, this tale foreshadows Puccini's Madama Butterfly, which deals with a similar theme but with a slight role reversal: in Madama Butterfly, a Western man abandons a Japanese woman, while in The Dancing Girl a Japanese man leaves a Western woman.

There is an animated adaptation that was released in North America by Central Park Media.[1]


The story is the account of the star-crossed romance between a German dancing girl, Elise, and the protagonist, Toyotarō Ōta a Japanese exchange student who must choose between his career and his feelings for the dancer. The Japanese student eventually choses his career, sending the dancing girl into a nervous breakdown. He leaves the girl alone and pregnant with his child, ending the story.


  1. ^ "New Video Releases." Central Park Media. February 8, 2003. Retrieved on October 10, 2009.

External links

  • "The Dancing Girl" in The Columbia Anthology of Modern Japanese Literature: From 1945 to the Present, Volume 2. Richard Bowring, trans. Via Google Books.


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