Princess Kaguya, Other Classic Japanese Tales Reimagined as Boys-Love
posted on by Karen Ressler
A new book series is reimagining literary classics for a modern audience... as boys-love stories. The first volume of BL Selection Classic Literature launched last October with its own rendition of The Tale of Princess Kaguya and The Tale of Ise. A second volume shipped in January with a reimagined version of The Kojiki.
The first volume is "translated" by Emma Yukifune, which in this case means swapping character genders and retelling the story in modern language. Kaguya-hime (Princess Kaguya), the title protagonist of the classic The Tale of Princess Kaguya, is replaced with a handsome boy named Kaguyahiko ("-hiko" is a common ending for boys names in Japan). The story plays out much the same way as the original tale, with princes and the emperor himself coming to Kaguyahiko as suitors.
Likewise, the new version of The Tale of Ise focuses on the life and romance of the courtier Ariwara no Narihira, just like the original classic series of prose and poetry, but presumably his love interests have been replaced with men. Meanwhile, "translator" Meron Uminekozawa took The Kojiki (Record of Ancient Matters), Japan's oldest existing record of history and mythology, and reimagined it as a romantic comedy.
The cover illustrations nevertheless evoke a classic feel. Tomoko Yamashita illustrated the first volume, while Harada provided illustrations for the second.
Uminekozawa and writer Hirarisa will appear at an event in Tokyo on February 25 to discuss the series.