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Kaiki: Uncanny Tales From Japan, Vol. 1 Tales Of Old Edo (Kaiki #1)

4.3  ·  Rating Details ·  30 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
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. Sele ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published November 1st 2009 by Kurodahan Press
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Jul 05, 2015 Holmlock rated it it was amazing
A wonderful collection of Japanese scary stories set during the Edo period. There has been a shortage of English language translations of Japanese ghostly fiction since the death of Lafcadio Hearn... OVER 100 YEARS AGO! Every tale in this book was a delight, some better than others, but not a bad one in the bunch. I found this collection to be an excellent reference for finding new authors. After reading Miyabe Miyuki's 'The Futon Room' I immediately purchased her book 'Apparitions: Ghosts of Ol ...more
Mar 18, 2012 John rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, review
This is the first of three volumes reprinting a selection of Japanese supernatural fiction old and new. The stories are arranged by the period and place in which they are set: this volume takes in Edo, the name for Tokyo during the Tokugawa Shogunate that ruled Japan between 1603 and 1868. Of the stories here, the earliest originally appeared in 1776; the most recent in 2005.

The editor contributes a highly informative Introduction, exploring the tradition of the strange and unusual in Japanese
David Agranoff
Oct 23, 2010 David Agranoff rated it liked it
This is a collection of weird tales, only a few of which I would consider horror that take place in ancient Tokyo that span the tradition of weird literature in Japan from 1776 to 2005. I am not sure this book is for everyone but those who are serious at knowing and understanding the roots of supernatural storytelling will learn a lot from this collection. I thought it was personally important not only as a fan of J-horror, and samurai movies but as a author who dabbles in stories that take plac ...more
Jan 14, 2016 Kimiko-K rated it really liked it
I picked this up after giving book 3 of this 3 part series a goal. As usual, the stories left a deep impression, some more than others (though not all in a good way, I'll get to that later), and to sum it up in a sentence, these are definitely stories that will linger in your mind and leave you wondering where the heck did these ideas come from?

Compared to book 3, which was set in modern Japan, this gave me a very different feeling and I was able to be swiped into each short stories with more ea
Adam Johnson
Sep 28, 2014 Adam Johnson rated it it was amazing
A fantastic collection of translated Edo Period ghost stories! I'm actually using this as a reference for my thesis. The author did a wonderful job with the critical introduction. The only thing I would say is that most of these authors actually adapted stories from an older collection of encounters called the Mimi bukuro 耳袋. If you compare the original stories to what is in ten scrolls containing 1000 stories, you will find that the names and geographical details are the same. Certain details w ...more
Feb 08, 2010 Woolrich13 rated it it was amazing
This is a truly excellent anthology of translations of Japanese weird stories, literary variety. It was edited by Higashi Misao, who really must be a genius of some kind to have such unerring taste in his selections. It contains works by some of the usual suspects (e.g., Lafcadio Hearn and Ueda Akinari), but it also holds many surprises for those not fluent in Japanese. In particular, I am now a fan of Tanaka Kotaro, whose "The Face in the Hearth" would be considered a masterpiece of supernatura ...more
Sep 14, 2011 Isidore rated it it was amazing
For any lover of weird fiction, this is an indispensable series. It allows English-speaking readers a glimpse (but no no more than than that) of the vast riches of Japanese supernatural fiction. The introductory essay by Higashi Masao is a wonderful bonus, furnishing an overview of the genre's history, and providing information about some of its more illustrious practitioners.
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Other Books in the Series

Kaiki (3 books)
  • Country Delights - Kaiki: Uncanny Tales from Japan, Vol. 2
  • Kaiki: Uncanny Tales from Japan Volume 3: Tales of the Metropolis

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