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The Best Japanese Science Fiction Stories (1989)

by John L. Apostolou (Editor), Martin H. Greenberg (Editor)

Other authors: Kobo Abe (Contributor), Grania Davis (Foreword), Ryo Hanmura (Contributor), Shinichi Hoshi (Contributor), Takashi Ishikawa (Contributor)6 more, Morio Kita (Contributor), Sakyo Komatsu (Contributor), Tensei Kono (Contributor), Taku Mayumura (Contributor), Yasutaka Tsutsui (Contributor), Tetsu Yano (Contributor)

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1624166,239 (3.39)1
Thirteen science fiction stories deal with Japan's ability to cope with new technology, and the westernization of their culture.
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Early Sci-Fi, Nihon (にほん) Style . Science fiction has been published in Japan for over a hundred years, the first to really influence were the novels of Jules Verne, with the translation of Around the world in 80 days, published in 1878-1880, followed by his other works all of which were immensely popular. In fact the word kagaku shōsetsu (科学小説) was coined as a translation of "scientific novel" as early as 1886. Sci-Fi by japanese writers started to appear around the start of the twentieth century, with writers such as Shunro Oshikawa (1877-1914) and Junro Unno (1897-1949) who, inspired by Verne and H.G.Wells, wrote military style adventures combined with aspects of science, such as Oshikawa’ s The undersea Warship (1900) & Unno’s The Floating Airfield (1938). Prior to world war two most japanese Science Fiction were pale imitations of western fiction, placing the emphasis on techno future, with it’s reliance on machinery to solve any problems and was considered a sub literary form, normally placed within the mystery genre. After the war with the American army an occupying force, the Japanese were introduced to a wide range of writers through the magazines & paperbacks carried by the G.I’s. Exposure to this material led to a widespread revival in the genre, followed by translations of the works of Ray Bradbury and Isaac Asimov, which both made the bestsellers list.Two major events occurred in the development of Japanese Sci-Fi in 1950’s, the first being the - now considered legendary - fanzine Cosmic dust (Uchu-jin, 宇宙塵) was founded, although the first science fiction magazine in Japan was Seiun (星雲) in 1954, but this was discontinued after only one issue. The second Hayakawa Shobo, began it’s series of Sci-Fi books and it’s Hayakawa's S-F Magazine (S-Fマガジン) with the February 1960 issue, appearing in bookshops at the end of 1959. Under the editorship of Masami Fukushima it started publishing translations of English Language stories, although later it would be prominent in the publication of original Japanese Science Fiction.http://parrishlantern.blogspot.com/2012/03/early-sci-fi-nihon-style.html ( )
  parrishlantern | Jul 13, 2012 |
Early Sci-Fi, Nihon (にほん) Style .

Science fiction has been published in Japan for over a hundred years, the first to really influence were the novels of Jules Verne, with the translation of Around the world in 80 days, published in 1878-1880, followed by his other works all of which were immensely popular. In fact the word kagaku shōsetsu (科学小説) was coined as a translation of "scientific novel" as early as 1886. Sci-Fi by japanese writers started to appear around the start of the twentieth century, with writers such as Shunro Oshikawa (1877-1914) and Junro Unno (1897-1949) who, inspired by Verne and H.G.Wells, wrote military style adventures combined with aspects of science, such as Oshikawa’ s The undersea Warship (1900) & Unno’s The Floating Airfield (1938). Prior to world war two most japanese Science Fiction were pale imitations of western fiction, placing the emphasis on techno future, with it’s reliance on machinery to solve any problems and was considered a sub literary form, normally placed within the mystery genre. After the war with the American army an occupying force, the Japanese were introduced to a wide range of writers through the magazines & paperbacks carried by the G.I’s. Exposure to this material led to a widespread revival in the genre, followed by translations of the works of Ray Bradbury and Isaac Asimov, which both made the bestsellers list.

Two major events occurred in the development of Japanese Sci-Fi in 1950’s, the first being the - now considered legendary - fanzine Cosmic dust (Uchu-jin, 宇宙塵) was founded, although the first science fiction magazine in Japan was Seiun (星雲) in 1954, but this was discontinued after only one issue. The second Hayakawa Shobo, began it’s series of Sci-Fi books and it’s Hayakawa's S-F Magazine (S-Fマガジン) with the February 1960 issue, appearing in bookshops at the end of 1959. Under the editorship of Masami Fukushima it started publishing translations of English Language stories, although later it would be prominent in the publication of original Japanese Science Fiction.

By the 1960’s Science Fiction’s popularity had increased to such an extent that in 1962 the first SF Convention (Nihon SF Taikai (日本SF大会 Japan SF Convention) was held in Tokyo, although originally the majority of the fiction published in this period was translations of works written in English, a new wave of Japanese writers were surfacing, with their own take on what Science fiction should be and were not content on just imitating western models.

After the Meiji Restoration of 1868 Japan went into a programme of modernisation, rapidly transforming itself into the nation it is today, possibly at a speed quicker than any other nation. This process has left it’s shadow on the culture and on the mind of the nation as a whole, giving rise to conflicting issues concerning the rise of modernity and the traditional Japanese values and is often reflected in it’s mainstream authors, with writers drawn up on both sides of the debate. Although represented as the literature of change and of the young, Science Fiction was in a perfect position to express the concerns of this dichotomy and, by referring to it’s own mythology combined with a technology that was in constant flux, the writers were able to reflect the uneasy alliance of the old and new. This new wave of writers, by reflecting the concerns prevalent in their nation, found expression on a wider stage, reflecting the concerns of a planet.
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The first Japanese science fiction story to appear in English, was the short story Bokko-Chan by Shinichi Hoshi, which appeared in the June 1963 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. The first Japanese Sci-Fi novel to be Translated into English was Inter Ice Age 4 (1970) by Kobo Abe, the first first single author collection was Shinichi Hoshi’s The Spiteful Planet And Other Stories (1978). The first Anthology of Japanese Science Fiction Short Stories translated into English was
The Best Japanese Science Fiction Stories
Editors: John L. Apostolou and Martin H. Greenburg Publication Year: 1997
Publisher: Barricade Books
The Flood – Kobo Abe, Cardboard Box – Ryo Hanmura, Tansui – Ryo Hanmura, Bokko-Chan – Shinichi Hoshi, He----y, come on ou---t – Shinichi Hoshi, The Road to the Sea – Takashi Ishikawa, The Empty Field – Morio Kita, The Savage Mouth – Sakyo Komatsu, Take your Choice - Sakyo Komatsu, Triceratops – Tensei Kono, Fnifmum – Taku Mayumura, Standing Woman – Yasutaka Tsutsui, The Legend of the Paper Spaceship – Tetsu Yano.

http://parrishlantern.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/early-sci-fi-nihon-style.html ( )
  parrishlantern | Jul 2, 2012 |
Book Description: Dembner Books NY 1989. First edition. VG condition.
This review has been flagged by multiple users as abuse of the terms of service and is no longer displayed (show).
  Czrbr | Jun 7, 2010 |
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Apostolou, John L.Editorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Greenberg, Martin H.Editormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Abe, KoboContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Davis, GraniaForewordsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hanmura, RyoContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hoshi, ShinichiContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ishikawa, TakashiContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kita, MorioContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Komatsu, SakyoContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kono, TenseiContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Mayumura, TakuContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Tsutsui, YasutakaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Yano, TetsuContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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To the Honyaku Benkyokai
the group of translators
whose special contribution to this book
is gratefully acknowledged.
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Godzilla and the other wonderful, bizarre superheroes and monsters, represent the limited image that many people have of Japanese science fiction—but in Japan these creatures are intended for children. (Foreword)
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