Natsuhiko Kyōgoku

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Natsuhiko Kyōgoku

Natsuhiko Kyōgoku 京極夏彦

Natsuhiko Kyōgoku (1963–)  cut a stylish figure in 1994 when he made his public literary debut wearing a kimono and black leather gloves, his long hair tinted with streaks of brown—a look he maintains today. After working as an art designer at an ad agency he struck out on his own, launching a design firm. His debut novel, a massive work he says he wrote “to kill time,” was snapped up immediately by the publisher whose editorial department he sent it to. The book was Ubume no natsu (The Summer of the Ubume, tr. 2009), which became the first volume in the long-running Hyakki yakō (Night Journey of a Hundred Demons) series of novels and linked stories featuring the used-book seller and occultist Kyōgokudō. The second work in this series, Mōryō no hako (Box of Goblins), won the Mystery Writers of Japan Award in 1996. He continued to win prizes after this, including the Yamamoto Shūgorō Prize in 2003 for Nozoki Koheiji (Peeping Koheiji), the Naoki Prize in 2004 for Nochi no kōsetsu hyaku monogatari (Still More Ghost Stories from About Town), and the Shibata Renzaburō Award in 2011 for Nishi no kōsetsu hyaku monogatari (Ghost Stories from About Town in the West), yet another sequel in Kyōgoku’s ghost story series. In 2010 Kyōgoku released Shineba ii no ni (Better Off Dead) in both print and electronic form, becoming one of the first Japanese authors to embrace ebooks. He unabashedly describes himself as “a journeyman writer of popular entertainments.”
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Books by Natsuhiko Kyōgoku
  • Book

    Peeping Koheiji

    Reminiscent of a love-hate drama on the Kabuki stage, this is a well-known, centuries-old ghost story adapted into a stylish novel. Koheiji Kohada is a washed-up actor approaching forty; ten years have passed since the big-name Kabuki star who had taken h …

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    Still More Ghost Stories from About Town

    A string of six ghost tales, this is the third collection in a series following Kosetsu hyaku monogatari (Ghost Stories from About Town) and Zoku kosetsu hyaku monogatari (Ghost Stories from About Town, Continued). The stories in the earlier volumes are s …

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    Ghost Stories from About Town in the West

    This fifth volume in Natsuhiko Kyogoku's "Ghost Stories from About Town" series, set at the end of the Edo period (1603?1867), contains seven linked stories in which the stage has moved to Japan's western "second city" of Osaka. The central character is l …

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    The Web of the Spider Woman

    This is the fifth installment in author Natsuhiko Kyōgoku’s series of mystery novels and stories featuring master sleuth Akihiko Chūzenji, a.k.a. Kyōgokudō, who runs an antiquarian bookshop and is also an occultist. Beginning in 1994 with Ubume no n …

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    Is Someone There?

    A boy has been sent to live with his grandmother for a while. Not surprisingly, living in a strange house takes some getting used to, and he feels uneasy. It doesn't help that it's a creaky, old-fashioned Japanese structure built all of wood, not very wel …

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