Monday, August 31, 2009

Koya Hijiri

My undergraduate thesis dealt with a 19th century Japanese Gothic short story, Izumi Kyoka's Koya Hijiri (The Holy Man of Mt. Koya). Half of the project involved analytical writing, and the other half was a comic book adaptation of the story. Oh man, Wikipedia has an excellently concise-to-the-point-of-disservice blurb:
Eccentric and superstitious, Kyōka developed a reputation for writing about the grotesque and the fantastic. "The Holy Man of Mount Kōya" (高野聖, Kōya Hijiri), is a tale about a monk's journey through a mountainous wilderness, encountering inexplicable and unsettling experiences. Borrowing and embellishing themes from Edo period popular fiction, folklore and Noh drama, more than half of Kyōka 's works incorporate some form of supernatural element. Kyōka's narrative style borrows from traditional rakugo storytelling, and also uses dramatic dialogues similar to that used in kabuki drama.
Hoo... that second sentence. Kyoka's definitely worth reading, don't let Wikipedia dissuade you. These four pages are just about at the end.

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