OWL Magazine Korea

“Quatre-Septembre: A Sentiment-Stirring Short Story Collection”

I first encountered the book “Quatre-Septembre” by Japanese author Yoshio Ōsaki during the summer vacation. While attending school, I suddenly thought, “When was the last time I read a book?” Amidst writing blog posts, preparing for employment, and meeting people, I realized that I hadn’t read a book in a while.

Suddenly, with this thought in mind, I visited the library. Just by looking at the title, I borrowed the book, thinking that I should read a little whenever I had time. Among several books that caught my eye, “Quatre-Septembre” stood out.

“Yoshio Ōsaki, Quatre-Septembre”

The title “Quatre-Septembre,” which means “September 4th” in French, intrigued me, as I wondered why the book was divided by the fraction “1/4” when September typically has 30 or 31 days. Initially, the meaning behind this title eluded me, but as I progressed through the book, the significance of “September 4th” became apparent in the final story.

“Four Short Stories Enriching with Emotion”

The book comprises four short stories, each with its own title:

  • For Elysio Unrewarded
  • A Bouquet Offered in Kensington
  • Wings Absent Due to Sorrow
  • Quatre-Septembre

While each story features different characters, they share a similar narrative structure. The protagonists reminisce about past experiences while heading somewhere in the present, often based on a place or an item connected to their memories. The dynamic movement between the present and the past creates an engaging atmosphere, making readers curious about the next part of the story.

“For Elysio Unrewarded”

The first story revolves around college students and their experiences, with a focus on a chess game and a chess club. Despite being a love story entangled in a love triangle, the narrative provides ample food for thought.

“A Bouquet Offered in Kensington”

The second story, “A Bouquet Offered in Kensington,” centers around a British woman and a Japanese man, connected by the game of shogi. The protagonist, the editor of a shogi magazine contemplating retirement, receives a letter from a reader, leading to an intriguing plot.

“Wings Absent Due to Sorrow”

The third story, “Wings Absent Due to Sorrow,” explores the theme of “music.” The narrative unfolds around individuals connected to music, delving into their stories.


The final story, “Quatre-Septembre,” is about a fateful encounter in Paris. The title of the book finds its relevance and twist in this concluding tale, offering a satisfying ending with unexpected developments.

“Sartre’s Existentialism: Distinguishing Existence and Being”

The book delves into Sartre’s existentialism, discussing the distinction between “existence” and “being.” A conversation in the novel captures the essence of Sartre’s philosophy, emphasizing the unpredictability and undefined nature of human existence.

“Finding September 4th(Quatre-Septembre) in Paris”

The book’s background in Paris includes a real subway station named “Quatre-Septembre” (September 4th). The station commemorates an event in French history related to the fall of Napoleon III and the establishment of the Third Republic on September 4, 1870. The mention of this historical context adds depth to the stories.

In contrast to France, Korea lacks a similar tradition of commemorating historical events in subway station names. Considering the significant historical events in Korea’s democratic development, it might be an interesting idea to incorporate such commemorations into everyday life, as seen in the Paris subway.

“Evoking Emotions through Short Stories”

“Quatre-Septembre” presents short stories that, despite their brevity, leave a lasting impact. Even without prior knowledge of the Paris subway station or the historical event, the novel remains enjoyable. It successfully stimulates emotions and provides a unique reading experience.


  • Oh My News: “September 4th, There’s a Subway Station Named Like This”: Link
  • Joongdo Ilbo: “[Prism] Remembering ‘September 4th’ in Paris Subway Station”: Link


  • Author: Yoshio Ōsaki
  • Publication Date: September 26, 2006
  • ISBN13: 9788991312319
  • Yes24: Link