He-y, Come On Ou-t!

by Shinichi Hoshi

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How are the scientist and the concessionaire characterized in "He-y, Come on Ou-t!"?

In "He-y, Come on Ou-t!" by Shinichi Hoshi, the scientist is a proud fellow who doesn't like to admit that he cannot understand the hole and its apparent lack of a bottom. In his arrogance, he would rather hide what he cannot explain. The concessionaire is a shrew businessman who knows how to make a profit.

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In Shinichi Hoshi's short story “He-y, Come on Ou-t!” a scientist comes to look at a hole that suddenly appears on the site of a village shrine after a typhoon and a landslide. The hole seems to be endlessly deep, and no one can figure out what to do about it. The scientist arrives with “an all-knowing expression on his face.” He is cocky and condescending when he looks at the hole. He decides to use a bullhorn to check for an echo. He uses all kinds of sounds, but no echo returns to him. The scientist is confused, but he is also proud and doesn't like to admit that he can't explain the hole any more than anyone else can. Yet he refuses to give up his efforts since everyone is watching him.

Unwilling to claim defeat, the scientist tells the people, “Fill it in.” His manner suggests that the hole must have “a perfect plausible explanation” that isn't even worth talking about. Of course, he has no idea in the world what that explanation might be, but his pride will not allow him to say that. It is simply “safer to get rid of something one didn't understand.” This scientist is thus an arrogant fellow who would rather hide things he doesn't understand than concede that anything is out of his realm of knowledge.

The concessionaire isn't interested in understanding the hole, but he is more than ready to make a profit off of it. He tells the villagers that he will be glad to fill in the hole. He will even build a nice shrine for them elsewhere complete with a meeting hall if they give him that hole. This shrewd fellow has a clever plan. Indeed, his new “hole-filling company” receives plenty of business as his marketing campaign picks up. Contracts come in for the disposal of everything from nuclear waste to potentially embarrassing documents to failed experiments. The concessionaire keeps his end of the bargain and builds the shrine and meeting hall, but he also gets rich thanks to that hole and his astute business sense.

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