Red Ghost, White Ghost: Stories and Essays
Translator: Masako Inamoto
T his volume introduces short stories and essays by Kita Morio (1927-2011), one of the most significant, prolific, and beloved postwar writers in Japan. Also known by his literary persona, Dokutoru Manbō (Doctor Manbō), Kita was a remarkably versatile writer who produced both serious and comical works in a wide variety of genres.
The short stories and essays included in this collection have been carefully selected from Kita’s large body of writings to exhibit the breadth of his work. These include his autobiographical fiction, comical essays, science fiction, somber fictional stories, and stories for children. “Death,” a work of autobiographical fiction, depicts the death and the writer’s memories of his father, Saitō Mokichi, one of the most important poets in modern Japan.
Being a psychiatrist and bipolar patient himself, Kita comically talks about his behavior during the manic phase in the essay “I Am Manic.” The story “The Red Ghost and the White Ghost,” from which the title is taken, is a children’s story about two ghosts who are incapable of scaring people. Although it is a story for children, Kita subtly includes his criticism of modern society where people only value scientific and tangible things.
- Cornell East Asia Series
Publication Year: 2018
Publication Number: 188