Halloween/ 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. :smiley:

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”. :sweat_smile: 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”?

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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.

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リング

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Author: 鈴木光司
Page count:330
Natively level:リング | L34

Summary

Japanese

同日の同時刻に苦悶と驚愕の表情を残して死亡した四人の少年少女。雑誌記者の浅川は姪の死に不審を抱き調査を始めた。――そしていま、浅川は一本のビデオテープを手にしている。少年たちは、これを見た一週間後に死亡している。浅川は、震える手でビデオをデッキに送り込む。期待と恐怖に顔を歪めながら。画面に光が入る。静かにビデオが始まった……。恐怖とともに、未知なる世界へと導くホラー小説の金字塔。

English

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)

Availability

Amazon, Bookwalker
ebook: yes

Why do you recommend this book?

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)

Reading Sample

Read the first 60 pages on Bookwalker

9 Likes

予言の島

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Author: 澤村伊智
Page count: 320
Natively level: 予言の島 | L30??

Summary

Japanese

瀬戸内海の霧久井島は、かつて一世を風靡した霊能者・宇津木幽子が最後の予言を残した場所。
二十年後《霊魂六つが冥府へ堕つる》という――。

天宮淳は、幼馴染たちと興味本位で島を訪れるが、旅館は「ヒキタの怨霊が下りてくる」という意味不明な理由でキャンセルされていた。
そして翌朝、滞在客の一人が遺体で見つかる。しかしこれは、悲劇の序章に過ぎなかった……。

すべての謎が解けた時、あなたは必ず絶叫する。
再読率100%の傑作ホラーミステリ!

English

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)

Availability

Amazon, Bookwalker
ebook: yes

Why do you recommend this book?

I have seen this book on several “Best of 2022” lists, and reviewers agreed that it reads like a mystery the first time, and like horror the second, which I found intriguing.

Reading Sample

Read the first 60 pages on Bookwalker

7 Likes

ぼぎわんが、来る

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Author:澤村伊智
Page count: 347
Natively level:ぼぎわんが、来る | L36

Summary

Japanese

幸せな新婚生活を営んでいた田原秀樹の会社に、とある来訪者があった。取り次いだ後輩の伝言に戦慄する。それは生誕を目前にした娘・知紗の名前であった。正体不明の噛み傷を負った後輩は、入院先で憔悴してゆく。その後も秀樹の周囲に不審な電話やメールが届く。一連の怪異は、亡き祖父が恐れていた“ぼぎわん”という化け物の仕業なのだろうか? 愛する家族を守るため秀樹は伝手をたどり、比嘉真琴という女性霊媒師に出会う。真琴は田原家に通いはじめるが、迫り来る存在が極めて凶暴なものだと知る。はたして“ぼぎわん"の魔の手から、逃れることはできるのか……。怪談・都市伝説・民俗学――さまざまな要素を孕んだ空前絶後のノンストップ・ホラー!!

最終選考委員のみならず、予備選考委員もふくむすべての選考員が賞賛した第22回日本ホラー小説大賞〈大賞〉受賞作。

English

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)

Availability

Amazon, Bookwalker
ebook: yes

Why do you recommend this book?

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.

Reading Sample

Read the first 60 pages on Bookwalker

6 Likes

闇祓

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Author:辻村 深月
Page count:416
Natively level:闇祓 | L30??

Summary

Japanese

「うちのクラスの転校生は何かがおかしい――」
クラスになじめない転校生・要に、親切に接する委員長・澪。
しかし、そんな彼女に要は不審な態度で迫る。
唐突に「今日、家に行っていい?」と尋ねたり、家の周りに出没したり……。
ヤバい行動を繰り返す要に恐怖を覚えた澪は憧れの先輩・神原に助けを求めるが――。
身近にある名前を持たない悪意が増殖し、迫ってくる。一気読みエンタテインメント!

English

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)

Availability

Amazon, Bookwalker
ebook: yes

Why do you recommend this book?

This came recommended by people in this forum whose opinion I respect :slight_smile: 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.

Reading Sample

Read the first 30 pages on Bookwalker

5 Likes

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.

Summary

巨大な複合施設〈Kヒルズ〉の夜警である栄田雄一郎は、深夜の巡回中にまるで幽霊のような少女と出会う。少女はヒルズ内の住居で行われている殺人計画の現場に栄田を連れてゆく。その後、栄田と関わる人間たちが次々と不可解な死を迎えるが、いずれも少女が関わっていた。震撼の長編ホラーサスペンスの新装版。

Maybe somebody is interested in picking it up or even nominating it?

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Actually everything nominated so far is on 50% coin back until tomorrow, and リング is also on sale, coinback aside. :slight_smile:
@pocketcat, you’ve read 夜言, right? What do you think, is it horror enough for this club?

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I’m behind on every book club I’m in (ok, not シャドーハウス because I keep reading ahead).

And I just bought 2 more random books.

(I did vote for リング in the IBC, watched the American movie years ago and it scared me…bought that)

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Ya’ll had me so confused til I opened the link and saw it was 夜警 :rofl:

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.

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I knew the title looked somehow unfamiliar :face_with_raised_eyebrow:
Serves me right for being too lazy to change keyboard language and copy-pasting instead. :sweat_smile:

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OMG how embarrassing :flushed:
Seems like I can’t hold a single kanji in my brain for more than ten seconds :sob:

Haha for me it was “Serves me right to be too lazy to copy-paste” :rofl: To each their own, as they say…

Seems yet another case of Japanese “horror” and Western “horror” being two totally unrelated things I guess.

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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.

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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? :eyes:

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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.

I wonder which one is truer to the book :thinking:

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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 :slight_smile:
This ultra-price-reduction ends on 2023-03-27T00:59:00Z.

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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?
  • yes
  • no
  • maybe

0 voters

If yes, when would you prefer to start?
  • June
  • July
  • August

0 voters

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.

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Okay, so we’re looking for a possible start in July or August (the votes are totally divided so far).

So far we have four novel nominations. If anyone is interested in nominating manga, short stories, or more novels, now is the time!

I’m thinking of running a poll for which book to read at the end of this month, and then we can talk again about the most convenient start date.

3 Likes

妖怪変化殺人事件

妖怪変化殺人事件

Author: 赤川次郎
Page count: 308
Natively level: Ungraded; L30 as a placeholder

Summary

Japanese

傍若無人・神出鬼没のあの大貫警部が殺人犯を追って勇猛果敢、遊園地の〈怪奇の館〉に突入。不気味な闇に待ちうけるのは吸血鬼・ミイラ男にゴーゴン、そして狼男――。けれどもこんな怪物たちよりもっと恐ろしい生きものが、この世にはいたのである。表題作を含め四編収録の大人気・大貫警部シリーズ・第八弾。

English

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)

Availability

Amazon, Bookwalker
ebook: yes

Why do you recommend this book?

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!)

Reading Sample

Bookwalker

4 Likes

I have a ton of stories I bookmarked as “horror”, need to go find them. I even set a reminder on this post and still forgot.

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