Japanese Gothic Tales

By Izumi Kyōka; Charles Shirō Inouye | Go to book overview
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The Surgery Room

Kyōka's first published work was Crowned Yazaemon (Kanmuri Yazaemon), which appeared serially in the literary column of the Kyoto Morning News (Kyōtō hinode shinbun). Beginning its run on October 1, 1892, it turned out to be far from the great success for which Kyōka had hoped. In fact, so poorly was the novella received that Iwaya Sazanami (1870-1933), a Ken'yūsha writer who had become the literary editor of the newspaper, immediately received over twenty letters from disappointed readers, all asking that the story be discontinued. Sazanami implored Ozaki Kōyō (1868-1903), who was Kyōka's mentor and the one who had recommended him for the job, to "change to another writer if possible, and to come up with some way to release the present one." Kōyō refused to comply on the ground that such an action would be a crushing blow to his student. 1 Protected from any knowledge of just how poorly his work was being received in Kyoto (Sazanami claimed to be losing readers by the day), Kyōka had the satisfaction of seeing his manuscript printed in full. The final installment appeared on November 18, with two afterwords following in December.


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Japanese Gothic Tales


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