A new selection and translation of short stories by a hugely prominent classic Japanese writer, filled with eroticism and fantasy
The sage Confucius travels to a kingdom ruled by a struggling duke, whose pursuit of virtue is threatened by his consort's desire for pleasure. A naive servant elopes with his master's daughter, only to be plunged headlong into a world of murder and corruption. Exhausted by a lifestyle of never-ending debauchery, a young prince finds himself in possession of a dazzling, beguiling mermaid.
These three short stories, in a gorgeous new translation by Bryan Karetnyk, distil the essence of Jun'ichiro Tanizaki's shorter fiction: the co-mingling of Japanese and Chinese mythologies, the chillingly dark side of desire and the paper-thin line between the sublime and the depraved.