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My Five Favourite Books of the Japanese Supernatural.

Stephen King once said, “If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.” I couldn’t agree more. When I’m not writing, I’m reading. What I read depends on what I’m writing. When I’m working on a particular type of book, I read books in the same field to create an atmosphere that I can totally immerse myself in. I extend this to listening to related music while I’m actally writing to maintain the atmosphere. When I was recently editing the anthology Ghost Stories for Christmas, Volume one, I listened to Victorian and Edwardian Christmas music. When I was writing Ghostly Tales of Japan, I listened to a CD I’ve had for about 25 years, Zumi-Kai – Koto Music of Japan, on continuous repeat play. When I wasn’t writing, I visited places here in Japan, where I live, associated with ghosts and the supernatural and I read many books about or featuring yurei, yokai, Japanese folktales and Japanese tales of horror and the supernatural.

I was recently invited to make a list of my five favourite books on the Japanese supernatural by the book review website Shepherd. The books which I chose were Kwaidan: : Ghost Stories and Strange Tales of Old Japan by Lafcadio Hearn, Ugetsu Monogatari (Tales of Moonlight and Rain) by Ueda Akinari (Translated by Leon Zolbrod), Tales of Mystery and Imagination by Edogawa Rampo (Translated by James B. Harris), Ring by Koji Suzuki (Translated by Glynne Walley), and Kaiki: Uncanny Tales from Japan, Volume One: Tales of Old Edo, edited by Higashi Masao. If you’d like to find out why they are my favourites, please visit my list on Shepherd.  


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