Kaiki : Uncanny Tales from Japan, Vol. 1 - Tales of Old Edo

4.12 (69 ratings by Goodreads)
Introduction by  , Preface by 

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Japan has a long history of weird and supernatural literature, but it has been introduced into English only haphazardly until now. The first volume of a 3-volume anthology covering over two centuries of kaiki literature, including both short stories and manga, from Ueda Akinari's Ugetsu Monogatari of 1776 to Kyogoku Natsuhiko's modern interpretations of popular tales. Selected and with commentary by Higashi Masao, a recognized researcher and author in the field, the series systemizes and introduces the scope of the field and helps establish it as a genre of its own. This first volume presents a variety of work focusing on pre-modern Japan, and includes one manga.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 288 pages
  • 127 x 203 x 16mm | 316g
  • Japan
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 4902075083
  • 9784902075083
  • 28,536

Review quote


...an outstanding set of publications. This is an invaluable contribution to scholarship on the supernatural in literature and folklore in Japan and elsewhere. The stories are accessible and entertaining; they could easily be used in an undergraduate class where they would illuminate some of the sources and motifs so prevalent in contemporary Japanese horror film, manga, and anime. Moreover, these stories provide an introduction not only to a variety of important authors--many of whom are under-appreciated even in Japan--but also tempt the reader to venture more deeply into the cultural and folkloric contexts that inform them. In short, the series is a perfect entree into some of the enduring traditions of Japanese supernatural folklore and supernatural literature, and the cross fertilization between the two.--Michael Dylan Foster, Journal of Folklore Research
The stories themselves are a wonderful mixed bag. Some tales are very odd in structure, sometimes without a conventional ending and with a lesson to be learnt. [ ... ] But be warned Western horror fans unfamiliar with Asian horror, these are not ordinary horror tales, not all involve terror and violence, they differ greatly from a collection of western tales of the same genre.----Elizabeth Vinton, Dark Matter
...a unique treat and a wonderful experience. [...] None of the entries here could be mistaken for horror. Although populated with ghosts and monsters, Japan's storytelling tradition lends more towards strange experiences and odd phenomena than chills and thrills. Kurodahan Press was very careful in choosing the term "uncanny tales" for the title."--Zack Davisson, Japan Reviewed
"Japanese genre fiction is largely unrepresented in English, and this book provides a taste of what we've been missing out on... there's something for everybody in this eclectic and unprecedented collection."--Adam Groves, fright.com
"Kaiki will cater to a clear gap in the market. Japanese supernatural fiction (in contrast to film and manga) is little known in the English language world. A whole new experience--yet one sometimes strangely familiar--is out there and waiting."--John Howard, Wormwood No. 13
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Rating details

69 ratings
4.12 out of 5 stars
5 38% (26)
4 36% (25)
3 26% (18)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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