Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Japanese Tales of Mystery & Imagination” as Want to Read:
Japanese Tales of Mystery & Imagination
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Japanese Tales of Mystery & Imagination

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  2,347 Ratings  ·  260 Reviews
Collected in this chilling volume are some of the famous Japanese mystery writer Edogawa Rampo's best stories—bizarre and blood-curdling expeditions into the fantastic, the perverse, and the strange, in a marvelous homage to Rampo's literary 'mentor', Edgar Allan Poe.
Paperback, 222 pages
Published December 15th 1989 by Tuttle Publishing (first published 1956)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Japanese Tales of Mystery & Imagination, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Japanese Tales of Mystery & Imagination

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Bill  Kerwin

Edogowa Rampo--just say his pen name quickly three times to discover how much he loved Edgar Allen Poe--is considered the first and foremost writer of Japanese mystery fiction. He is also much more.

His stories, structured as popular "entertainments," are designed to convey all the pleasures of genre, and yet they possess an elegance and intellectual complexity greater than mere popular works. In this Rampo resembles Borges, and yet the two writers are very different. Borges is more philosophica
Apr 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: armiel
Recommended to Mariel by: ramlie
The perfect murder. Japanese Tales of Mystery & Imagination, or, as it should have been called, How to do the bloody deed and get away with it without facing criminal charges or the accusing finger of society (the bird, probably). No civil suits, no karmic payback! No coming back as a roach in the next life, that's right. It's essentially the same perfect murder in a lot of the stories. The getting away with it the appeal rather than the murder (wouldn't anything else work just as well?). It ...more
Scarlet Cameo
Feb 25, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: rtc, rc-18
Lectura con el grupo 221 b Baker street

Esperaba mucho y me supo a poco.

Jul 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Una maravilla, me quedé con ganas de más!!
Oct 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
Having just finished off The Science Fiction of Edgar Allan Poe, I wasn't quite ready to fully return to the world of novels. Luckily this book was recommended for this month's book club read and very perfectly the author's name is a pseudonym, a play on Edgar Allan Poe. Say it out loud: Edogawa Rampo. Get it?

These stories are certainly not as gruesome as some of Poe's, and they're certainly not as long as some of Poe's either. But these are good too, in their own right. If nothing else, they're
Estos son los nueve relatos incluidos en ‘Relatos japoneses de misterio e imaginación’ (traducción de la versión inglesa, Japanese Tales of Mystery and Imagination, 1956), del escritor japonés Edogawa Rampo, seudónimo de Hirai Taro:

La butaca humana. (****) La protagonista, escritora, recibe una extraña y fascinante carta. Gran relato, tanto en su desarrollo como en su final.

El test psicológico. (***) Fukiya, un joven estudiante, decide poner a prueba su inteligencia cometiendo el crimen perfecto
Nov 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Edogawa Rampo is the pen name of Taro Hirai, who is widely regarded as the father of Japanese mystery. It seems he was greatly inspired by Edgar Allan Poe, hence the name "Edogawa Rampo". In this collection of short stories, he takes us into the world of the strange and the macabre.

Some of the stories are more riveting than others, but the straightforward storytelling makes them all engaging throughout. His stories maintain more a sense of mystery and the bizarre, compared to Poe's which instill
Jan 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Como toda antología tiene relatos buenos y otros no tan buenos. Entre todos destacaré "La cámara roja" por su habilidad para jugar con el lector y que nos deja una sonrisa cómplice. Pero en todos los relatos se pueden encontrar ciertos rasgos de estilo y de temática que nos recuerdan a su querido Edgar Alan Poe.

Después de haber leído otra antología de cuentos de un autor japonés estaba esperando que siguiese ese esquema, muy del gusto oriental, de dejar los relatos en suspenso y cortarlos antes
Rebecca McNutt
These different strange and surreal stories reminded me a lot of stories like Dark Water and The Ring - very different and very well-written.
Oct 23, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 12, 2017 rated it liked it
The Japanese writer Hirai Taro (1894-1965) took the nom de plume Edogawa Rampo as a sign of his reverence for the work of Edgar Allan Poe, and is regarded as the first and greatest Japanese writer of mystery stories. This collection of nine of his stories, published in 1956, represents the first appearance of his work in English translation. Its title reflects, of course, the debt the author felt he owed to Poe.

Only one of the stories is a mystery in the "detective story" sense, "The Psychologic
I was expecting a more suspense and mysterious stories, but it was just okay. Fairly thrilled, fairly presented. I fancy the idea especially The Human Chair (I probably would think about the cabinet-maker every time I see a leather-covered armchair anywhere now, that was seriously spooky!), The Psychological Test and The Twins.

Not that much atmospheric, but the crime plotting stuff was quite fascinating.

Worth a read, somehow.
ชือหนังสือวา "สยองขวัญ" อาจไมตรงเสียทีเดียว แตนาจะเปน "ระทึกขวัญ" มากกวา เปนรวมเรืองสันทีอานเพลิน มีหักมุมหลายตอนเลยครับ ...more
Victoria Mars
A modo de introducción en la narrativa japonesa de misterio, este libro sirve de mucho. Son relatos cortos, precisos y cumple con el enunciado de su título: misterio y mucha imaginación.

Ahora, no esperen encontrar relatos para morir de susto estilo Ringu. Si lo leen con esa intención les digo desde ya que van por mal camino.

Oct 08, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Edogawa Rampo (say the name out loud) is one of the great literary figures in 1920's Japan. His short stories are a combination of erotica mixed with horror. Within Japan he is probably one of the most well-known writers - and rightfully so, because's he fanastic.

If you like gothic drug induced sexy stories - then this is for you. A must for those Opium nightmare nights!
May 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
You will never look at an armchair the same way again.
Feb 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Author: Edogawa Rampo
Edogaw Aram Po
Get it?
Sep 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
So dark and strange, yet so delicious.

This is the second Ranpo I’ve read following The Early Cases of Akechi Kogoro, but whereas that collection is more of a conventional detective story, this one feels more versatile and accentuates Ranpo’s storytelling strengths better.

The recurring theme of the nine stories in this book are the narrative style, in which a character recounts a strange story to another character (or to the readers), before a morbid twist is revealed in the end of these storie
Lee Foust
Dec 21, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent narrative craftsmanship shines forth in these tales. Quite enjoyable from the first story to the last in a crystalline manner. True to his American namesake, Edgar Allan Poe, a couple of these tales of Rampo's feature those weird moments of horrific imagery that makes Poe's tales so unique--even when there is little in the way of plot to recommend them--and in other tales, the careful step-by-step plotting of the mystery story is at work, revealing the narrative like a gallery worker s ...more
Favorite stories; The Human Chair, The Caterpillar, The Hell of Mirrors.

Loved The Caterpillar, a war veteran is so disfigured and maimed that he resembles a caterpillar. I read that it was banned in nationalistic war mongering Japan, wonder why. It was also recently made into a movie.
Valkyrie Vu
Hãy đọc thử mấy truyện như The Human Chair , The Caterpillar , The hell of mirrors , the red chamber với the traveller with the pasted rag picture và nói với mình là nó không ngập tràn tăm tối và hơi thở kinh dị đi.

Có cái gì đó rất đặc biệt trong truyện của Edogawa Rampo , người được coi là cha đẻ của văn học trinh thám kỳ bí hiện đại Nhật. Không biết sao nữa. Nó làm mình sợ và thu hút mình đi vào tận cùng nỗi sợ ấy. Rampo đưa người đọc vào trong bóng tối của sự xấu xa của con người , sự xấu xa
Mar 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: e-books, horror, fiction
Someone had reccomended this to me and I approached it with hesitation because. lot of times people recommend books and they turn out to be awful. I'm glad I read this though and found that once I started it, I simply couldn't stop. it's a great introduction to a writer few have heard of, but should read. Rampo had a gift for story telling and picking a genre for this is difficult.

Each story blends seamlessly into the next plunging you into a world that few writers delve into. It's a collectio
Dec 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: literature
Presented in short stories, these tales did not strive for technical complication in plots, but guided the reader through the entwining lane ways in the darker part of human psyche. There is a lot to miss about classic Japanese mystery writings in early 1900s, and this is an excellent introduction to Rampo's universe.

Many elements in this book are of typical fascination in this genre: mirrors, wells, twins, sleepwalking, obsessions… Not all the stories are about killing, and not all the killing
Nesa Sivagnanam
Jan 06, 2011 rated it liked it
This is apparently the first volume of its kind translated into English way back in 1956. There are nine rather odd stories. Certainly they are unlike similar tales coming out of the West.

There is a story of a quadruple amputee and his relationship with his wife. He's a war hero but is effectively a caterpillar now wrapped in his clothes. It's a tragic, terrible tale of two people bound and trapped together.

Then we have a very ugly carpenter who makes a chair destined for a hotel. The chair is
Mar 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: big-red-circle
I found this at an Oxfam bookshop in Manchester, and it made my day. Best find of 2011! And this isn't the Rampo book I have already ordered through my local bookshop (and has yet to arrive). How lucky is that?

The Human Chair: My favourite. It's all gone a bit "Roald Dahl's Tales of the Unexpected".

The Psychological Test: How to catch a criminal with word-association games.

The Caterpillar: Disturbing.

The Cliff: Not amazing.

The Hell of Mirrors: Nuts. I liked this line: "having now reached the age
Mar 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Ohhh señor que joyita de autor es esta eh!

Tiene todo para que sea mucho más famoso de lo que siento que es. Tal vez estoy en un error pero al menos aquí en México es muy desconocido.

Un autor que en todas sus historia tiene algún tipo de twist, muchas veces puedes intuir o al menos imaginarte que es lo que va a pasar pero en la mayoría los twist si son una gran sorpresa. Es demasiado sádico a veces pero nunca más de lo que la historia necesita.

Quiero más libros de él.

Y ahora Japón:
Amy Gentry
Jun 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Where has "The Human Chair" been all my life? I can't believe it took me this long to read the 20th-century Japanese weird-fiction writer Rampo. This short selection of stories was not only the first Rampo to be translated into English, but, according to the translator's preface from 1956, the first collection of any Japanese mystery stories to be translated into English. Some of the stories are truly disturbing, others silly; all of them are amazing in one way or another. For lovers of ETA Hoff ...more
Winter Branch
Aug 07, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: people that like weird stories
Shelves: fiction
Cool, creepy, nicely crafted short stories from Japanese writer Edogawa Rampo. Sadly, very little of his work has been translated. The only shortcoming of this collection is that the themes of the stories start to blend together. But most of the stories are 5 star status such as the two stand-outs The Human Chair (a guy hides himself inside a chair to experience contact with others), The Caterpillar (a limbless war veteran is slowly tortured by his resentful lover).
juan carlos
Jul 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Grandes cuentos de suspenso que te muestran lo retorcido de la mente humana, gustos macabros que te aterraran y te pondrán la piel de gallina. Estas historias van desde el arte sombrío hasta el romance trágico paranormal. Obsesiones y asesinos inteligentes navegan en estas paginas provocando risas macabras y sangre de victimas inocentes.

También los giros paranormales en estas historias dan un toque formidable que todo lector amante del terror aplaudirán.
ดินสอ สีไม้
เฉยๆ กวาทีคิดนะ
เปนรวมเรืองสันประหลาดๆ มากกวา
มีสืบสวนสอบสวนบาง หักมุมบาง
สำนวนคอนขางโบราณ เลยทำใหไมคอยระทึกตืนเตนเทาทีหวัง
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
221 b Baker street: Lectura de Febrero 2018 20 35 Mar 06, 2018 08:04PM  
  • Japanese Gothic Tales
  • Kwaidan: Stories and Studies of Strange Things
  • Tales of Moonlight and Rain
  • Blue Bamboo: Japanese Tales of Fantasy
  • The Summer of the Ubume
  • ZOO
  • Seven Japanese Tales
  • The Paper Door and Other Stories
  • The Curious Casebook of Inspector Hanshichi: Detective Stories of Old Edo
  • The Best Japanese Science Fiction Stories
  • Toddler-Hunting  Other Stories
  • Monkey Brain Sushi: New Tastes in Japanese Fiction
  • Japanese Ghosts and Demons: Art of the Supernatural
  • Palm-of-the-Hand Stories
  • The Oxford Book of Japanese Short Stories
  • Parasite Eve
  • All She Was Worth
  • Kappa
Hirai Tarō (平井 太郎), better known by the pseudonym Edogawa Rampo (江戸川 乱歩), sometimes romanized as "Ranpo Edogawa", was a Japanese author and critic who played a major role in the development of Japanese mystery fiction.
More about Edogawa Rampo...

Mystery & Thrillers Deals

  • Fractured
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Never Smile at Strangers
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Furious (Faith McMann Trilogy #1)
    $3.99 $2
  • A Burnable Book (John Gower, #1)
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Where Eagles Dare
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Stockholm Octavo
    $8.24 $1.99
  • Alone
    $17.99 $2.99
  • Cocoa Beach
    $13.99 $1.99
  • Moriarty (Sherlock Holmes, #2)
    $11.99 $2.99
  • Kingdom of Darkness: A Novel (Nina Wilde & Eddie Chase series)
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Period 8
    $6.74 $0.99
  • The Guns of Navarone
    $5.99 $2.99
  • Idaho
    $12.99 $1.99
  • Dead Letters
    $11.99 $1.99
  • The Dark Tide (Ty Hauck, #1)
    $6.99 $1.99
  • Phantom (Alexander Hawke, #7)
    $8.99 $1.99
  • What We Saw
    $5.99 $1.99
  • Working Fire
    $3.99 $2.00
  • The Barkeep
    $4.49 $1.99
  • Blur  (Blur Trilogy #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Her Last Day (Jessie Cole, #1)
    $3.99 $2
  • Moving Day
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Man-Eater: The Life and Legend of an American Cannibal
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Smoke
    $3.99 $1.99
  • When You Reach Me
    $7.99 $1.99