Izumi Kyoka is sort of akin to the Edgar Allen Poe of Japan. Both writers are renowned for their highly influential dark romantic fiction conveyed through very complex and eloquent language. Unfortunately being a translation, the latter reason doesn't make it over here. Charles Shiro Inouye's translations of these stories is really good, but it's done in a style that relatively simple for modern English readers to follow. Still, that's not exactly a bad thing. These stories are classics...why shouldn't modern English readers be able to enjoy them at an accessible level? And structurally they seem to retain the complexity of their Japanese counterparts. I would say this collection is worth the money alone just for "The Holy Man of Mt. Koya", a classic supernatural adventure short story/novella. The other tales are more complex, but multiple read throughs reveal a lot of depth in them as well. Read slowly, cherish every sentence, and let the imagery stick in your mind for long after...
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