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Natsuhiko Kyogoku




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Xue-Yun



Joined: 13 May 2010
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 2:18 pm Reply with quote
I've been reading Natsuhiko Kyogoku's first book--The Summer of the Ubume--and I've found it really interesting. I just wanted to know if anyone has read any of his other books, and if so, which ones would they recommend.
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cormacmacart



Joined: 08 Mar 2012
Posts: 15

PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2012 1:04 pm Reply with quote
Xue-Yun wrote:
I've been reading Natsuhiko Kyogoku's first book--The Summer of the Ubume--and I've found it really interesting. I just wanted to know if anyone has read any of his other books, and if so, which ones would they recommend.


If I recall correctly, only two of Mr.Kyogoku's books have been translated: THE SUMMER OF UBUME and LOUP-GAROUS (sort of a sci-fi mystery novel), so there's really not a lot of options. SUMMER OF UBUME did not do well with regards to sales. From what I understand, it's only recently that Vertical began seeing some profit from it. Likewise, they publicly stated they would not do another novel from the KYOGOKUDO series again because of the lackluster commercial reception. I'm sure more of Kyogoku's books will be released in time...but it's a tough market for this kind of literature to survive. Sad

Not necessarily related to your post, but if you liked the supernatural subject matter of SUMMER OF UBUME, you might be interested to know that (according to Dr. Noriko Reider, professor of Japanese studies) the KYOGOKUDO novels are one of the main contributors to the "onmyoji" (yin yang diviner) boom alongside Baku Yumemakura's ONMYOJI series and Hiroshi Aramata's novel TEITO MONOGATARI (TALE OF THE IMPERIAL CAPITAL aka DOOMED MEGALOPOLIS). There is Facebook group currently petitioning to get TEITO MONOGATARI translated into English and we one day hope to see all the onmyoji books translated into English (including the KYOGOKUDO novels). Check my other thread for more info.
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Xue-Yun



Joined: 13 May 2010
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 4:41 am Reply with quote
Wow, thanks for the recommendations! I'll have to check them out when I have some time. I personally have been doing my part to popularize Natsuhiko Kyogoku's novels and maybe if enough people read them and want more than the publishers will translate more of them! One can only hope, right?
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cormacmacart



Joined: 08 Mar 2012
Posts: 15

PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 4:43 pm Reply with quote
You're welcome! I also just finished reading the THE SUMMER OF UBUME and loved it. Besides the entertaining (albeit familiar) "Holmes and Watson" dynamic, Kyogoku's knowledge of Japanese folklore and supernatural motifs really shine throughout the novel. I can see why it was quite popular in Japan. But I think the same reasons it might have been popular over there might be off-putting to a lot of readers over here. The long stretches of dialogue combined with the heavy number of references might be intimidating to those who want a fast, suspense filled mystery story. On the other hand, because it is a culturally significant work of fiction and because it was really popular in Japan, I don't see any reason why it or the series it represents should not have a small following over here. Heck...the second novel (Mōryō no Hako) was even made into an anime, so where are the all the viewers of that show?

I'm glad to see that you have been trying to popularize Mr. Kyogoku's books! Indeed, if there was a sudden surge of interest in works like SUMMER OF UBUME, it would help a lot. What ways have you been going about trying to promote his novels? Are you fluent in Japanese?

This is the thread I created to appeal for support in getting TEITO MONOGATARI translated with more info. If you're interested, check it out when you get a chance:
animenewsnetwork.com/bbs/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=2310492#2310492
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Xue-Yun



Joined: 13 May 2010
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 10:50 pm Reply with quote
Mostly, I have been recommending the books and the author to everybody in my classes (I'm an English major) but I've also talked it up with my more bookish family and friends. So far everyone I've talked to has been interested and a few have even read them. I unfortunately don't know how many but even a few new readers is good.
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Vertical_Ed
Company Representative


Joined: 01 May 2009
Posts: 261
Location: New York, NY

PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 9:47 pm Reply with quote
cormacmacart wrote:


If I recall correctly, only two of Mr.Kyogoku's books have been translated: THE SUMMER OF UBUME and LOUP-GAROUS (sort of a sci-fi mystery novel), so there's really not a lot of options. SUMMER OF UBUME did not do well with regards to sales.


Well this info is wrong. Ubume sold well enough for a reprint. But not well enough to pay for the translation of the rest of the series let alone the next novel.

I hope people understand that these books are very long and the translation costs are through the roof (as we pay per word). So the big concern is not sales but the translation costs for Moryo (mid 5 figures).
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ridiculus



Joined: 16 Jul 2010
Posts: 72

PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 6:30 am Reply with quote
Vertical_Ed wrote:
Ubume sold well enough for a reprint. But not well enough to pay for the translation of the rest of the series let alone the next novel.

I hope people understand that these books are very long and the translation costs are through the roof (as we pay per word). So the big concern is not sales but the translation costs for Moryo (mid 5 figures).


That's great news... or not, depending which side you approach it from. Kyogoku is a very interesting writer and Moryo no hako is one of the most intellectually challenging anime ever, and heavily underrated.
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cormacmacart



Joined: 08 Mar 2012
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2012 2:51 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
Well this info is wrong. Ubume sold well enough for a reprint. But not well enough to pay for the translation of the rest of the series let alone the next novel.


Thanks for the correction. From what I understood, only relatively recently did Vertical break profit with the UBUME novel. I was told you were willing to translate more of Kyogoku's novels, just not his KYOGOKUDO books.

Quote:
I hope people understand that these books are very long and the translation costs are through the roof (as we pay per word). So the big concern is not sales but the translation costs for Moryo (mid 5 figures).


Yes of course. Still...the lack of a substantial demand certainly isn't helping (if the scarcity of this thread is any indication). I can't imagine having a large, reliable fanbase ready would do anything but help. Getting more people interested in the series would at least be a step forward.

Another thought...what about splitting the second book into two parts? Is there a policy against doing that? That would be a more conservative approach to see if the interest is ongoing.
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vanfanel



Joined: 26 Dec 2008
Posts: 587

PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 1:11 am Reply with quote
I saw the movie of "Ubume" but it didn't turn out so well. The creepiest notion I took away from it was the idea that spoiler[just because a Japanese youkai doesn't have any objective existence, it doesn't make it any less dangerous as a manifestation of psychological trauma/disorder.]

Shortly after seeing the movie, I was watching the news over here, and a crime was being reported in which a man had slashed someone with a knife in a shopping center for no apparent reason. The incident was being described as a "toorima case." I didn't know the word "toorima," so -- with Ubume still fresh in my mind -- I looked it up and learned that a toorima is a kind of youkai that slashes people while passing by.

That...was a creepy moment.
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Vertical_Ed
Company Representative


Joined: 01 May 2009
Posts: 261
Location: New York, NY

PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 12:01 pm Reply with quote
cormacmacart wrote:
Thanks for the correction. From what I understood, only relatively recently did Vertical break profit with the UBUME novel. I was told you were willing to translate more of Kyogoku's novels, just not his KYOGOKUDO books.


Actually we broke even last year. And yes, we keep on thinking about Kyogoku books. We just have a backlog of novels to go through, at this time. But we've got our eyes on one Kyogoku novel...

Quote:
Another thought...what about splitting the second book into two parts? Is there a policy against doing that? That would be a more conservative approach to see if the interest is ongoing.


Unfortunately, that's not possible.
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