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#CBR6 Review #6 – Apparitions: Ghosts of Old Edo

Apparitions Ghosts of Old EdoTarget: Miyabe Miyuki’s Apparitions: Ghosts of Old Edo.  Translated by Daniel Huddleston

Profile: Horror, Ghost Stories

After Action Report:

Japanese horror ranges pretty heavily from mild ghost stories to some incredibly creepy and dehumanizing body horror.  Apparitions fortunately falls into the former citatory, chronicling a series of stories that walk a fine line between scary and sentimental.  These tales capitalize on the cornerstone of Japanese spirituality: that every object and creature is imbued with a sprit.  At their core, these stories are more cautionary tales, advising the listener to act with honor and respect or risk the wrath of the Kami.

Apparitions consists of nine stories, all of which take place what would be ‘middle-class’ households in Edo-period Japan.  The stories are as much historical as they are fantasy or horror, and these historical elements set the tone for the whole collection.  The book is steeped in nostalgia, and a longing for simpler times when people were held accountable, not only for their actions, but for their attitude and personal honor.  It’s through this sepia colored lens that these ayakashi, or spirits, emerge into view.

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