Image: PHOTOGRAPHER HAL, Flesh Love #27_Lim&Kyohei, 2010, 1201 X 900mm, archival pigment print. Image courtesy of the artist.
Guest Editor Michael Emmerich,
This month and next we're showcasing writing from Japan. In the wake of the events of March 11, 2011, the boundaries between real and unreal, solid and fluid, seem to have shifted; guest editor Michael Emmerich has selected pieces that resonate with the country's new mood. The pieces in this first part have the texture of a dream, unstable, fleeting, fantastic. In tales of shape-shifting, Jin Keita finds new life in a different form, and Kawakami Hiromi pursues a girl who turns into a pearl. Kurahashi Yumiko takes flower arranging to a new level. Akutagawa Prize winner EnJoe Toh spins a yarn about an oddly familiar galaxy. Nakai Hideo follows an illusionist and finds himself part of the act. Medoruma Shun receives voice mail from the beyond. Poet Yotsumoto Yasuhiro plays with rhyme and rhythm. And Furukawa Hideo's young office worker stumbles upon a new world only steps away. The issue is produced in partnership with the British Centre for Literary Translation. We thank the BCLT, and David Karashima and the Nippon Foundation, for their generous support. Elsewhere, we present three views of the current Greek crisis from Amanda Michalopoulou, Petros Markaris, and Auguste Corteau.
The Reality of Dreams: An Introduction
It is as though there is a real world and a world of eerie dreams.
It required a certain focus and concentration in order to vaporize.
For the time being I set the head in a shallow porcelain bowl, the kind used for flower arrangements.
The History of the Decline and Fall of the Galactic Empire
Galactic Empire, you're my only hope.
“Please kill me. Kill me, like you killed your wife.”
Record of a Night too Brief
The girl finally grew incredibly small, about one centimeter wide.
Stories from the Streets of Koza
The next afternoon I saw Granny Nabi pushing a dog in a stroller.
All journeys explore this side of the atmosphere
And the woman who died—the victim, I mean—looked just like you.