Book: Japanese Short Stories – The Hell Screen

The Hell Screen


One of the great japanese classics. It was really painful to read. But I think that’s most likely a translation issue. I did manage to get through the entire story and enjoy it though. It reminded me very much of Vathek. It’s the mixture of supernatural and tragedy with strange plots afoot. What really sets it apart is the point of view which it is written from.

It’s brilliant because the narrator sees events unfold from a third party view. At the same time he has allegiance to one of the parties involved and the underlying sarcasm is just so intense. Starts off innocent enough, but gradually you realize that many things that have been said are probably laced with a tinge of annoyance. It was quite mind blowing, although the story in and of itself is nothing spectacular. I really enjoyed it and am looking forward to the adaptation that was done in Aoi Bungaku.

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