Thank you to everyone who took part in the Hello Japan! mini-challenge for October. October's Hello Japan! task was to read or watch something scary, spooky, or suspenseful.
Here's what you came up with:
Novroz of Novroz' Favorite Things definitely showed her enthusiasm for all things Japanese and spooky by sharing 4 posts with us! I love it when people get excited about a topic!
First she commented on the anime series of Yuyu Hakusho: The Dark Tournament (Yuyu Hakusho translates into English as "Ghost Files").
Next she wrote her thoughts on the manga Doubt by Yoshiki Tonogai, about a deadly game the characters are forced to play.
Then she wrote a review of the detective crime novel The Tokyo Zodiac Murders by Soji Shimada. A serial murder story that she couldn't put down!
And finally, she tells us about a Japanese vampire movie, Moon Child.
Thanks also to The Parrish Lantern for his multiple posts!
He read some of Ryunosuke Akutagawa's short stories, focusing first on the story Hellscreen, and then reviewing the rest of the stories in the collection, Rashomon and 17 Other Stories.
Plus he also shared his earlier review of Out by Natsuo Kirino, which is just like he says, a gritty, thought-provoking page-turner.
Teresa talked about Kwaidan by Lafcadio Hearn, which if you remember is also the October prize.
I read "Kwaidan" by Lafcadio Hearn. The book is divided into 2 sections, the longer one called "Kwaidan," which means 'weird tales' (there are 17 of them) and a shorter section called "Insect-Studies," which is comprised of 3 different essays about butterflies, mosquitoes and ants. All the writings are from a Japanese perspective, though Hearn points out where the tradition is even older and likely comes from an earlier Chinese telling.And Litera of Litera-tour reviewed the Japanese horror movie, Dark Water, based on the book by Koji Suzuki.
In the "Kwaidan" section I was reminded of other folklorists who've done the same kind of 'archiving' for other communities. The details in the stories may be very different from other traditions, but many times the fears embodied in the stories seem the same, giving them a universal feel. Certain stories even helped explain the modern-day Japanese horror stories and movies in which the spirit cannot rest because of a grudge it held at the time of its earthly death.
I previously knew how much at peace Hearn felt in Japan, knowing that here is where he found his true home, becoming a citizen and marrying a local woman. The well-written essays with his philosophical musings show how much he had embodied the essence of Japan.
I'd hoped to read Ring by Koji Suzuki last month but never quite managed to fit it in. As I think I've said before I'm quite a wimp as far as horror movies go, but Novroz convinced me that the book is less horror and more thrilling than the movie so I ordered a copy and will have to give it a try before too long.
Now on to the prize, which like I mentioned above, is a copy of Kwaidan: Ghost Stories and Strange Tales of Old Japan by Lafcadio Hearn. And the winner, thanks to a little help from random.org, is ... The Parrish Lantern! I'll be in touch soon for your mailing address.
I hope you all had a great October and if you celebrated it, a Happy Halloween!
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