Welcome to the Halloween (or spooky reads) Reading Club!
Last Halloween I had the idea to read a spooky story on the day. From this random idea a spontaneous reading club was formed, and we read 人間椅子 as the first pick of what will hopefully be a recurring reading event.
I realize Halloween is still many months away, but I’ve been on the lookout for suitable books and stories ever since, so I thought I’d better give them a home before I forget most of them! Please nominate anything you think might be suitable. Books, short stories or manga, anything goes as long as it fits the theme.
If we pick a longer work, we may choose to read it for the whole of October (or even longer), so length isn’t an issue. And if there is enough interest, we might even pick something to read in the summer - summer is ghost season in Japan, after all!
(copy and paste in a new post for each nomination)
# Insert Title Here
(Include cover if you have it)
Add Japanese summary here.
Add English summary here.
Insert link to book here
Insert link(s) to eBook here, or mention if an eBook is not available.
## Why do you recommend this book?
Why do you nominate this book? Any pros or cons you’d like to add?
## Reading Sample
Provide a link to an online reading sample, or insert photos of sample pages under a details tag like this:
Insert a few images here - try to make them representative.
Would you be interested in participating in a Halloween Reading Club?
Would you be interested in participating in a Spooky Summer Reading Club?
I actually went and found a bunch of Aozora scary short stories back in November or December for this purpose. I have to start work soon but I’ll dig them up for you later.
It might be a bit tedious to nominate them all though, especially as most I don’t know anything other than “have or have not read this author, written in/around X year, Japanese people called it scary”. Perhaps I could organize them by page count and make them a grab bag type deal of “Read at your own risk, freely available but uncharted territory”?
I remember that list! Since the stories are free and (probably) relatively short, I guess they could all go into one nomination post (possibly with a slightly different formatting)? Then we might choose to read all or some of them, depending on time and mood. If longer works are included, then they would probably benefit from an individual post just for them.
Four boys and a girl died at the same time on the same day, leaving behind expressions of anguish and astonishment. Asakawa, a magazine journalist, becomes suspicious of his niece’s death and begins to investigate. -And now Asakawa has a videotape in his hands. The boys died a week after watching it. Asakawa feeds the video into the deck with trembling hands. His face contorts in anticipation and fear. A light comes on the screen. Silently the video begins. … A milestone in horror fiction that leads you into the unknown with fear.
(automatic Deepl translation)
It’s probably the most famous Japanese horror book, so I’m curious to give it a go. The book was nominated for the Intermediate Book Club, but never had enough voters. Maybe this club is a better fit. (you can see the original nomination post -not mine- here)
The island of Kirikui in the Seto Inland Sea is the place where the psychic Utsugi Yuko, who once dominated the world, left her last prophecy.
Twenty years later, six spirits will fall into the underworld.
Jun Amamiya visits the island with his childhood friends out of curiosity, but the inn is cancelled for the unintelligible reason that ‘Hikita’s grudge spirit will descend’.
The next morning, one of the guests is found dead. But this was only the beginning of the tragedy. …
You will surely scream when all the mysteries are solved.
A masterful horror mystery with a 100% re-read rate!
(automatic DeepL translation)
Tahara Hideki is happily married when he receives a visitor at his office. He is horrified by the message from a junior colleague who intercedes. It was the name of his daughter Chisa, who was about to be born. The junior employee, who had suffered an unidentified bite wound, became exhausted at the hospital. Afterwards, Hideki receives suspicious phone calls and emails around him. Could the series of strange occurrences be the work of a monster called “Bogiwan”, which his late grandfather had feared? In order to protect his beloved family, Hideki follows a trail and meets a female medium named Higa Makoto. Makoto begins to visit the Tahara family, but discovers that the looming presence is extremely ferocious. Can she escape the clutches of the “bogiwan”? … Ghost stories, urban legends, folklore - an unprecedented, non-stop horror film filled with a variety of elements!
The winner of the 22nd Japan Horror Novel Award (Grand Prize), praised not only by the finalists but also by all the preliminary selection committee members.
(automatic DeepL translation)
Watching booktubers’ videos on scary books, this one was often recommended as truly scary. It has won the Japan Horror Award, and apparently it’s going to be made into a movie too. I just noticed that the writer is the same as in my previous nomination though, so if we get many nominations we might want to remove one of these two for variety.
There is something wrong with the transfer student in our class…"
Mio, the chairperson of the committee, is kind to Kaname, a transfer student who does not fit in with the class.
However, Kaname approaches her with a suspicious attitude.
She suddenly asks, "Can I go to your house today? and appears around the house. …
Mio is terrified by Kaname’s repeated bad behaviour and asks for help from Kanbara, a senior whom she admires…
The nameless malice that is close at hand multiplies and closes in on her. Entertainment in a single sitting!
(automatic DeepL translation)
This came recommended by people in this forum whose opinion I respect Apparently the tension is high and it gets quite scary. The author is 辻村 深月, who also wrote かがみの孤城, a very popular book in this forum.
Not sure whether I’d want to nominate it, but I noticed that currently 夜言 is on sale and has a coin cashback on Bookwalker, so it comes down to ~200 yen. It is labeled as Horror-Suspense so sounds appropriate. This offer is valid until 2023-02-23T14:59:00Z.
Actually everything nominated so far is on 50% coin back until tomorrow, and リング is also on sale, coinback aside. @pocketcat, you’ve read 夜言, right? What do you think, is it horror enough for this club?
Ya’ll had me so confused til I opened the link and saw it was 夜警
But no, it’s not horror. It’s 赤川次郎. It’s sex, violence, and a bit of supernatural stuff but it was popcorn the whole way through. I enjoyed it a lot, and it might be a good pick for people who want spooky-lite since there is zero gore and the book moves so fast it’s hard for it to hold suspense.
When you were young did they ever broadcast ‘scary’ made for TV movies aimed at kids around Halloween? They were creepy and scary for kids without being scary enough to keep the kids awake at night (aggravating parents), but were mostly good fun. That’s this book, except it’s aimed at adults.
That’s certainly true judging by my (very limited) experience so far. I’m still trying to understand what the characteristics of the books they’re labeling as horror are supposed to be. I’m sure I’ve read Japanese books that weren’t labeled horror that felt much scarier than horror ones.
Edit: Found a nice article on Horror that recommends horror books in various categories, starting with Horror-fantasy for horror beginners ( 夜市 is in there), up to truly scary stuff. One category is interestingly titled 日本と海外の怖さの違いを楽しめる. Apparently I’ve only been reading horror beginners so far?
One of the books in 現実系 is Rika, which I saw the TV drama adaptation of. I remember thinking it was absolutely hilarious, and then I watched the movie adaptation and it was… Unexpectedly brutal and I stopped watching as I wasn’t in the mood for something that dark.
Quick heads up for the Bookwalker fans: This book is currently discounted (as in, cheaper to buy) and on top it also benefits from the currently ongoing 50% coin cashback. Win-win-win
This ultra-price-reduction ends on 2023-03-27T00:59:00Z.
Summer is (nearly) here, and I thought I’d revive this thread to gauge interest in reading something spooky during the summer months, as is the custom in Japan. This can be anything from short stories to manga to a horror novel, but first, is anyone interested, and if so, when would you prefer to start?
Would you be interested in joining a Spooky Summer Reading Club?
If yes, when would you prefer to start?
Edit: I just realized it would have been better to have the month poll be multiple choice, or at least add a “whenever” option. Sadly I can’t edit the poll now, but we can discuss more in comments if need be.
The outlandish and haunting Inspector Onuki bravely pursues a murderer into the amusement park’s “House of Mysteries”. Waiting in the eerie darkness are vampires, a mummy man, a gorgon, and a werewolf. But there are more terrifying creatures in this world than these monsters. This is the eighth installment of the popular Inspector Onuki series, which contains four stories including the title story.
(automatic Deepl translation)
This looks like it’s likely to be a lot goofier than our more hardcore horror suggestions, but I thought it might be a nice item to toss into the pile for variety. It’s certainly got that monster vibe going on. I haven’t read any of the other books in the series, so hopefully it’s fine to jump around; I picked this specific one since I already own it, haha. It looks like it’s a collection of short stories, so it might be lighter fare. One drawback is that not all of them may be horror-themed, unfortunately, besides the title story.
(Whoops; this wasn’t supposed to be a reply to your specific post, omk3!)