Some years ago in Kyoto a mosquito bit me at night and settled on the sliding doors of the bedroom. I nudged it with a sock, thinking only to knock it to the floor, but it exploded there and then with a great streak of my red blood, all over the immaculate white paper. On the straw mats it lay and wriggled, so I finished it off, and there was still more blood, soaking a minute patch (it was after all only a mosquito) on the tatami floor. – I think of the floor always when reading of assassinations in Japanese stories. For the rest of the day I was worried by the incident. My own blood at so early an hour, and in another animal, had a strangely perturbing effect upon me. It was as if I had been able to look back upon my corpse and the vultures and jackals now playing round it, fighting for scraps of my carcass.