Search Site
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.


Night Voices, Night Journeys (2002)

by Ken Asamatsu (Editor), Kenji Hisadome (Author), Satoshi Hoshino (Author), Masahiko Inoue (Author), Okina Kamino (Author)5 more, Osamu Makino (Author), Murata Motoi (Author), Yoshiki Shibata (Author), Masaki Yamada (Author), Yoshihiro Yonezawa (Author)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Lairs of the Hidden Gods (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
663349,482 (4)2
This massive collection of original stories and articles inspired by the 'Cthulhu Mythos' created by H.P. Lovecraft was published in Japan in 2002 as a two-volume set under the name Hishinkai. The list of contributing authors is a who's-who of Japanese horror fiction, featuring some of the finest writers in Japan today. In cooperation with Tokyo Sogensha, the Japanese publishers, and the anthology editor, Mr. Asamatsu Ken, we are proud to present these dark visions of the Mythos as interpreted by Japanese authors. You will find some stories that return like old friends, carrying on the Lovecraft tradition, while others will shock you with totally new and unexpected vistas of horror. Each story is accompanied by a thought-provoking introduction by Robert M. Price, the recognized master of the Mythos. The cover is by Yamada Akihiro, who has handled many of the covers for the Japanese-language editions of Lovecraft and other Mythos works, and has established a name for himself in the States as well.… (more)

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 2 mentions

Showing 3 of 3
My reaction to reading the fiction and introduction to this collection after reading it in 2007.

“Introduction: Rush Hour of the Old Ones”, Robert M. Price -- Price, who has edited several Lovecraft inspired anthologies and who has a degree in theology, purports to find some similarity in the broad mythology of the Cthulhu Mythos and Aum Shinrikyo: humanity must be purged from Earth to make way for supernatural beings who will be worshiped by the worthy members of the cult. Price also provides some interesting material on how the group’s theology evolved. he also looks at similarities between Budhhism and August Derleth’s corrupted interpretations of the Cthulhu Mythos. (Nov. 13, 2007)

“The Plague of St. James Infirmary”, Asamatsu Ken, trans. R. Keith Roeller -- This story shows what I’m told is a characteristic Japanese love of icon -- kami -- in their extreme form. This is sort of interesting melange of American icons fixed in the Japanese mind, specifically Chicago and its gangsters. Taro, the Japanese bodyguard, turns out to be Kaitaro Hasegawa (I assume a real Japanese writer) who created a beloved fictional one-armed, one-eyed samurai (which Taro temporarily is, due to injuries, in this story.) Price’s notes reveal Michael Leigh, the occultist character, to be a borrowing from Henry Kuttner’s foray into the Cthulhu Mythos. There is a certain unintended humor here -- besides the improbable assertion that Michael Leigh’s implied ancestor, Judge Leigh of the Salem Witch Trials, moved to Chicago (my research says the first whites arrived in the 1770s there) with it being noted that the Japanese “have an exceptionally keen spiritual sensitivity”.

“The Import of Terrors”, Yamada Masaki, trans. Kathleen Taji -- This story effectively combines the firebombing of Kobe -- and less obviously its devastating earthquake fifty years later -- with some of the elements of H. P. Lovecraft’s “The Whisperer in the Darkness” and “At the Mountains of Madness”. Two Japanese boys, fleeing the firebombing and starved, enter the mysterious house of a Russian immigrant. They encounter a strange creature who urges the boys to eat it. But they also see the maimed body of the Russian. Still living, he tells them not to eat the alien, that to do so will let a parasite live in their bodies for fifty years, and, when it emerges, catastrophe will result. He even kills one of the boys to stop him from eating the alien but then dies. The narrator, the surviving boy, tells at story’s end how he feels strange impulses and must return to Kobe. Price's brief introduction actually helps appreciate the story. He reminds us that Lovecraft’s tale linked the aliens in the Vermont woods with Indian myths and the Mi-Go of the Himalayas and that they feared other aliens. That enemy they feared is implied, believes Price, to be the parasite infecting the alien (seemingly one of the Old Ones from “At the Mountains of Madness”). Price also points out the timing of the narrator’s return to Kobe and the portent of disaster would have been understood by a Japanese audience to mean the Kobe earthquake. Price also compares the state of the boys to the “hungry ghosts” of Buddhism and Hindu reincarnation, a state two notches below being reincarnated as human. However, I don’t quite buy all of Price’s implications. Yes, the Mi-Go are linked to the Himalayas but they aren’t in this story though, admittedly, the parasite may be one they feared. (Russian Nikolai’s maiming seems to reveal a man, and not a Mi-Go, horribly injured by the parasite bursting from his body -- though how it got to be the size and shape of an Old One is really explained). Nevertheless, it’s an effective story. There’s no reason why a Lovecraftian tale has to slavishly and precisely link itself to the details of the Cthulhu Mythos to work.

’27 May 1945”, Kamino Okina, trans. Steven P. Venti -- An interesting mythos story set during the midst of the Battle for Okinawa. A priestess of the island’s Cthulhu cult undertakes a mission to release, seemingly, some nascent Deep One forms from beneath Shuri Castle. There is a nice bit at the end of the story tying the destruction, that day, of the castle by an American battleship, the secret nuclear testing two years later on a South Pacific island, and the reluctance of American to have a G8 summit in 1992 at the restored castle to the events of the story.

“Night Voices, Night Journeys”, Inoue Masahiko, trans. Edward Lipsett -- Forgettable story that invokes the old sex-death link to little effect. The story explicitly mentions Yog-Sothoth.

“Sacrifice”, Murata Motoi, trans Nora Stevens Heath -- An odd story with a happy ending. A lot of stock horror elements are there: an unfriendly village with a strange ritual/cult, an urbanite retreating to said village to heal an ill (bad skin), and the village has unusually large and prize vegetables due to their special soil. The protagonist fears his sick wife may be being prepared as some sort of human sacrifice to the Soil God who produces a soil so good that it may be eaten. Said soil may be the product of human sacrifice or, editor Price speculates, the excrement of the Soil God. Because of this speculation and because ingesting such large quantities of soil makes the protagonist’s wife youthful and beautiful and cures her dermatitis, I was reminded of the Japanese sexual fetish (not widespread) of eating human excrement.

“Necrophallus”, Makino Asamu, trans Chun Jin -- A sado-masochist tale that has a certain emotional believability and consistency. A sadist who likes to beat women encounters a mysterious alien, figured like a woman, who may have been born on Yuggoth, her mother disfigured by her grandfather wielding the alien dagger Necrophallus, which maims the narrator and gives him ecstasy at the same time.

“Love for Who Speaks”, Shibata Yoshiki, trans Stephen A. Carter -- A reworking of H. P. Lovecraft’s “The Shadow Over Innsmouth”. Both stories feature “people” who find that they are really hybrids of humans and Great Old Ones, heredity calling them back to the ocean and an acquatic existence in the deep. But, whereas Lovecraft’s story is a horrifying revelation, genes pulling the hero to a repulsive fate (his cousin, after all, shoots himself rather than go to the ocean with the inhabitants of Innsmouth), the protagonist here finds freedom in not only realizing her biological destiny but escaping from the control of her unloving husband. It is the character of the husband -- a gnostic like figure, editor Robert Price notes, who has become enamored with the pleasures of the surface world rather than attending to his calling of finding “women” who are daughters of the Great Old Ones --that has no comparable analog in the Lovecraft story.
( )
  RandyStafford | Jun 30, 2014 |
In summary, Night Journeys, Nights Voices, subtitled Lairs of the Hidden Gods volume one, is urgently recommended to all serious mythos aficionados.

Night Voices, Night Journeys is a publication of Kurodahan Press, and is, I believe, POD. One way to order it is from Amazon, where it is $20 plus shipping. The page count is a VERY generous 363. However, 14 pages are taken up by introductions by Asamatsu Ken and Robert Price, and each story has its own title page and brief introduction, also by Robert Price. And from page 289 onward the material is factual discussion of mythos manga and Lovecraftian fiction in Japan, with brief notes about the authors and translators at the end of the book. Production qualities are good. My copy had one printing error on page 301 where a crease led to a flaw in the typesetting, but the print was still readable. The cover has a lovely painting by Yamada Akihiro of a Japanese sea demon hidden amidst flowering plants. This is really quite different than the art style I am used to seeing on mythos books from the western world. I found it quite striking; most mythos novels illustrations do not depict horror concealed in exquisite beauty. This book was written a number of years previously for the Japanese horror market and I guess the success (or perhaps the quality) was sufficient to prompt an English language version. Hence the anthology was edited by Asamatsu Ken, a Japanese author and HPL fan rather than one of the usual mythos crew here in the west. For such a book to succeed in the west it is extraordinarily important to have an excellent translation, one that can not just change the words into English but can also portray the atmosphere the author was trying to convey, that can appropriately bring off the rhythm of the dialogue and use of slang, puns or other word play. In many ways the translation is an expression of the interpretation of these intangibles by the interpreter, and the work in some ways becomes their own. I know from reading The Iliad that two translators can derive entirely different language out of the same source work. I confess I have only ever read a few works of fiction written by Japanese authors before (one book Miyamoto Musashi was from my days taking karate), so I don't have a great deal of experience in this forum. The success of this book in the US will stand or fall with the quality of the translation as much as with the stories themselves. Happily these seem to be superb translations. The stories read seamlessly, naturally, allowing us to readily enter the author's worlds. For once I have no complaints about the introductions by Price, which were thoughtful, well written and informative. I would follow his advice, however, and not read the individual story introductions until after you have read the work in question, to avoid spoilers.

In some ways this book is both frustrating and tantalizing. These are new stories, written specifically for this anthology, much like with Horrors Beyond or Dead But Dreaming. This means there are other works already extant in Japan that we know nothing about. Here is an untapped mythos resource that I will only ever see as it is translated. In a way that means I'll probably only see the cream of the crop, but I can't help wondering about jewels known only to Japanese fans. And it makes me wonder about mythos fiction from other countries. We have many stories from the US and the UK, and now we are seeing some Australian fiction. What about India or China, or any African nations? Heck what about Russia or non English speaking Europe?? One thing HPL fans do is write their own mythos contributions. This has kept the mythos alive and squirming over the years. The tradition dates back to the days HPL first ever wrote a story and his friends leaped over themselves creating new entities and tomes. As we only see fiction written by English speakers we are missing out!! And this cuts both ways. I would imagine very little mythos fiction beyond the hoary classics is translated into Japanese so the revisionist view of Derleth is not extant in Japan. In fact it is HPL, the Lovecraft circle and Derleth, with of course whatever mythos heritage is native to Japan, that forms the basis of the Japanese mythos fiction here. I wonder what Asamatsu Ken would think of the stories in Eldritch Blue or Dead But Dreaming.

Fortunately for us English speaking fans this is the first volume of a projected 4 volume series. I fervently hope that they sell well so we do, in fact, get to see all 4 volumes.

Here are the contents:

ASAMATSU Ken - Foreword: "Recollections of Tentacles"
ASAMATSU Ken "The Plague of St. James Infirmary" translated by R. Keith
HISADOME Kenji "The Cthulhu Mythos in Japan" translated by Edward
LIPSETT HOSHINO Satoshi "Cthulhu Mythos Manga List" translated by Ryan
INOUE Masahiko "Night Voices, Night Journeys" translated by Edward
KAMINO Okina "27 May 1945" translated by Steven P. VENTI
MAKINO Osamu "Necrophallus" translated by CHUN Jin
MURATA Motoi "Sacrifice" translated by Nora Stevens HEATH
SHIBATA Yoshiki "Love for Who Speaks" translated by Stephen CARTER
YAMADA Masaki "The Import of Tremors" translated by Kathleen TAJI
YONEZAWA Yoshihiro "Four Decades of H.P. Lovecraft and Manga"
translated by Ryan MORRIS

I will briefly discuss the stories below, but not the nonfiction. As usual spoilers, small or large, may follow. When I relate my impressions of a story I like to place it in context with other related stories I have read. For reasons alluded to above I cannot do that here; all my very old Derleth paperbacks and books by other Lovecraft Circle authors are hidden away in boxes somewhere. I relied on Price's introductions to place each story in context, but only after I read it. I must also say that the tenor of the anthology was intangibly different than other anthologies I have read recently, perhaps relating to the Japanese approach? There was a sort of surreal, almost dreamy feel to many of the stories, even when they were graphic. In some ways the horror was more detached. And many of them were about love and had distinct, sometimes graphic, sexual overtone.

ASAMATSU Ken "The Plague of St. James Infirmary" - This is actually a lengthy novella, setting fire servants of Cthuga against water servant of Cthaat in gangland Chicago (an interesting setting for a Japanese author in a Japanese anthology!). Mr. Asamatsu uses a Japanese word "yoki" to good effect here; I doubt it translates well but it is rendered as gruesome feeling. Yoki suffuses the pages, no doubt as the
author intended. Dreamlike, ghastly and compelling come to mind when reflecting on this story. This is the one work where I did detect a bit of lecturing to Americans. I mean the few paragraphs on the bottom of page 62-63, where American hypocrisy and lack of insight is paraded into the narrative. This is, of course, old hat. It was the only time I ever discerned anything like that, and I only bring it up for the sake of even handedness.

*********spoiler follows!!!***********

One very cool thing about this story was weaving into it some true historical figures and a venerable mythos fiction character of Henry Kuttner. I never would have known about the latter except for Mr. Price's introduction as it has been ages since I read the Book of Iod. Now we know the truth about Elliott Ness and Al Capone. I wonder if the Japanese character Hasegawa Kaitaro is similarly a real person adapted for this novella.

YAMADA Masaki "The Import of Tremors" - Oh what a good yarn this was, about some unspeakable entity trying to acquire a new host in the twilight of WWII. I knew some of the history without prompting, like the Kobe earthquake, but I did not realize that Kobe was fire bombed like Tokyo was.

KAMINO Okina "27 May 1945" translated by Steven P. VENTI - I would gather that the time of the military collapse in Japan in mid 1945 is used to good effect by horror writers in Japan. This time is related to the American assault on Okinawa, and uses it as a smokescreen to a confrontation between Hastur and Cthulhu, very Derlethian!! Also very well written!

INOUE Masahiko "Night Voices, Night Journeys" - Surreal, beautifully written, this story gives the anthology its name. Some night journeys are eternal.

MURATA Motoi "Sacrifice" - In this story a yuppie-type's wife gets caught up in a cult that may use her as a sacrifice to a soil god. Robert Price was right on the money when he compared it to the movie (and novel) The Wicker Man. I was a bit bemused because that is what I came up with myself before I read his remarks. Any way, this was perhaps the weakest story here, not bad just not as powerful as the others were for me.

MAKINO Osamu "Necrophallus" - Oh my, wonderful! For me this is the best story contained in the anthology. And Horror Between the Sheets purports to be about mythos sex. Hah! Makino's work was visionary! "Necrophallus" probably outdoes anything in Eldritch Blue for combining sex and true mythosian horror.

SHIBATA Yoshiki "Love for Who Speaks" - This is a marvelous tale of what are essentially The Deep Ones. They call to their own. A superb close to the superb fiction in Night Voices, Night Journeys.

The rest of the book is nonfiction.

Need I say that I thought this was a masterful collection? Congratulations to Mr. Asamatsu and his authors. And thank you to Mr. Lipsett for bringing it to us. Really, everyone should read it. ( )
  carpentermt | Sep 13, 2010 |
My standard caveat for books like this is that they are a mixed bag, so you really don't know what you're getting prior to opening the covers. This was my first foray into the Japanese Lovecraftian world, although according to the chapters in the back of the book, the Japanese have been into the mythos for some time. There are mangas based on the work of HPL -- I took down the titles just in case I bump into them. Luckily I can read Japanese! Anyway, most of the stories in this book were quite fun to read, and I spent a couple of entertaining hours going through this first volume. I can definitely recommend the book to fans of Lovecraft and his imitators; the Japanese just have a different take on things.

Here's the contents list:
1. Ken Asamatsu -- "The Plague of St. James Infirmary" -- in which we discover who really runs the bad guys in Chicago. This one involves an occult detective known as Michael L. It's actually more novella sized, longer than any of the other stories. Fun.

2. Masaki Yamada - "The Import of Tremors" -- In running from incendiary firebombs in Japan at the end of WWII, two men take refuge at a shelter at a house owned by a man known only as "the white Russian," and end up wishing they hadn't. Another good one.

3. Okina Kamino - "27 May 1945" -- a very spectral and eerie story about the US and Japanese armies in a face off on Okinawa. The atmosphere in this one is awesome.

4. Masahiko Inoue - "Night Voices, Night Journeys" -- more of an erotically-charged story about a woman and the men she calls master. Very good, but read slowly. I had to do it twice.

5. Motoi Murata -- "Sacrifice" -- in which a couple move to the country for the wife's health and discover that organic living isn't all it's cracked up to be. This one was rather creepy.

6. Osamu Makino -- "Necrophallus" -- well, let's just say that Robert Price's introduction touts this one as the story that Lovecraft would never write. There's a reason. Definitely not one of my favorites.

7. Yoshiki Shibata -- "Love for Who Speaks" -- A young woman gets engaged to a young man, then finds out things about his past that she probably shouldn't know. This one's a bit predictable from the outset if you've read of lot of Lovecraft.

There are also two chapters in the back which detail the mythos in Japan, as well as a list of manga inspired by the work of HP Lovecraft.

Overall, a good collection, and it's off to Vol. 2 for me now. ( )
1 vote bcquinnsmom | Jul 30, 2008 |
Showing 3 of 3
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Asamatsu, KenEditorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hisadome, KenjiAuthormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Hoshino, SatoshiAuthormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Inoue, MasahikoAuthormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Kamino, OkinaAuthormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Makino, OsamuAuthormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Motoi, MurataAuthormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Shibata, YoshikiAuthormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Yamada, MasakiAuthormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Yonezawa, YoshihiroAuthormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Akihiro, YamadaCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Carter, Stephen A.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Chun, JinTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Heath, Nora StevensTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lipsett, EdwardTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Morris, RyanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Price, Robert, M.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Roeller, R. KeithTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Taji, KathleenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Venti, Steven P.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Yamada, AkihiroCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

Belongs to Series

You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
First words
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Volume one of a series of translated Japanese horror fiction modeled after the works of H. P. Lovecraft.

Originally published as "Hishinkai" by Tokyo Sogensha, 2002.
Publisher's editors
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

This massive collection of original stories and articles inspired by the 'Cthulhu Mythos' created by H.P. Lovecraft was published in Japan in 2002 as a two-volume set under the name Hishinkai. The list of contributing authors is a who's-who of Japanese horror fiction, featuring some of the finest writers in Japan today. In cooperation with Tokyo Sogensha, the Japanese publishers, and the anthology editor, Mr. Asamatsu Ken, we are proud to present these dark visions of the Mythos as interpreted by Japanese authors. You will find some stories that return like old friends, carrying on the Lovecraft tradition, while others will shock you with totally new and unexpected vistas of horror. Each story is accompanied by a thought-provoking introduction by Robert M. Price, the recognized master of the Mythos. The cover is by Yamada Akihiro, who has handled many of the covers for the Japanese-language editions of Lovecraft and other Mythos works, and has established a name for himself in the States as well.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary

Popular covers

Quick Links


Average: (4)
3 4
4 4
5 4

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

Kurodahan Press

An edition of this book was published by Kurodahan Press.

» Publisher information page


About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 177,337,233 books! | Top bar: Always visible