Yumemakura Baku

Tagged: Author

(1951-    ) Writing name of Mineo Yoneyama, a fiercely prolific Japanese author whose work spans hundreds of volumes encompassing the depths of Pulp and the heights of literary awards. The concentration here is on his works as author, although much of his impact outside Japan is as the scriptwriter or original source for adaptations of his work into other media, including Manga, Cinema, and a theatrical collaboration with Yoshitaka Amano, as well as the Garō-den ["Legend of Hungry Wolves"] fighting games. Although the Checklist aims to include most of Yumemakura's works within the field of Fantastika, his output includes a strain of Hemingway-esque tales of sporting and exploration, such as his award-winning mountaineering fable Kamigami no Itadaki ["The Summit of the Gods"] (1997) and the period piece Ōedo Chokaku-den ["The Covert Anglers of Old Edo"] (2012), as well as several works at the crossroads between occultic Wuxia, simple martial-arts adventure and professional wrestling, beyond the scope of this encyclopedia. Many of his works are variants on the Shaggy God Story, resting on the supernatural and superstitious traditions of East Asia, local to Japan or drawn from farther afield through Chinese folklore or Indian mysticism.

His early fiction appeared in Fanzines, including Uchūjin (see Takumi Shibano) and Neo Null (see Yasutaka Tsutsui), from which his literary experiment in "typografiction", "Kaeru no Shi" ["A Frog's Death"] (1977 Uchūjin) was reprinted as his first professional sale in Kisō Tengai for August 1977. His first major success, however, stemmed from his admixture of occult horror with Buddhist legend in Genjū Shōnen Chimaera ["Illusory Beast Boy Chimaera"] (1982), the first of his Chimaera series, in which duelling martial artists act as vessels for Monsters (see Parasitism and Symbiosis). The Checklist below lists the original versions, not the post-2002 reprints and omnibus editions that have twice reformatted the series.

Beginning with Majūgari Inraku-hen (1984; trans Jonathan Lloyd-Davies with Thomas Gevantry as Desires of the Flesh 2013 ebook), the subsequent Psyche Diver series is even more of a bibliographer's nightmare, comprising at least three related serials, each nested within the others, numbered internally so as to suggest that the first three stand-alone volumes are, in fact one single novel, and with other volumes sometimes split, and sometimes not. Its name in Japanese was originally "Psycho Diver" – our usage here reflects the translators' decision on the short-lived English versions, made during the subsidized climate ushered in by the J-LOP initiative (see Light Novel). Its setting is similarly confused, a Far Future seemingly designed to allow for retellings of medieval legends with a fantastical spin, injecting sex-magic and high-tech McGuffins into old tales of samurai-era intrigue. A visceral, violent account of warring Pariah Elites, it also incorporates multiple elements of Buddhist iconography, alongside tall tales from Chinese history about the origins of Shapeshifters. Later volumes dwell at length on the eldritch and esoteric echoes of China in Japan, both through the ancient settlements and religious conversions brought about by colonists from the mainland, and the rich but confused cultural contacts of the early medieval period, when Japanese scholars travelled to distant China for technological exchange and religious instruction. Paramount among these is the real historical character Kūkai (774-835), a somewhat Promethean figure both in real-world Japanese Buddhism and in Yumemakura's subversion of it into the fantastic. Yumemakura would return to Kūkai as a bridge between China and Japan in his later Samon Kūkai Tō no Kuni nite Oni to Utagesu ["Samana Kūkai Feasts with Demons in the Land of the Tang"] (2004), in which the monk teams up with another real-life figure, the poet Bai Juyi (772-846) in order to investigate hauntings and murder in the Chinese capital, Chang'an. The story achieved wider recognition following its adaptation into the film Yao Mao Zhuan (2017 vt Legend of the Demon Cat), directed by Chen Kaige (see also History in SF).

Yumemakura's short story "Genshō to ifu Biwa-ki no tame ni toraruru koto" ["The Lute Called Genshō Stolen by a Demon"] (September 1986 All Yomimono) was based on a chapter from the medieval Konjaku Monogatari (c.1120; trans Marian B. Ury as Tales of Times Now Past 1985), a collection that also supplied the inspirations for Kaze no Tani no Nausicaä (1984), among others. It became the first instalment in Onmyōji, a long cycle of ghost stories, recasting the historical figure of Abe no Seimei (921-115) as a sorcerous detective in medieval Kyōto, luxuriating in the period's faith in magic and the afterlife, and delving deeply into Abe's commentaries on geomancy, exorcism and feng shui; less fantasy than a serious treatment of the period's belief system as a form of Pseudoscience. A world away stylistically from the violent martial-arts novels that Yumemakura was also writing at the time, the series has enjoyed multiple revivals, thanks in part to an award-winning Manga adaptation by Reiko Okano, two TV serials and two feature films. The ambient Brian Eno album Onmyōji (cd 2000) evokes the spirit of the manga, as divined by a composer working primarily on visual inspiration.

His success with Onmyōji was matched with the cycle of stories beginning with "Jōgen no Tsuki o Taberu Shishi" ["The Lion that Eats the Crescent Moon"] (1986 SF Magazine; fixup 1989), which won the Seiun Award in its novel incarnation, rich in resonances of Japanese literary history, particularly the Buddhist fantasies of Kenji Miyazawa. Beginning as an account of fossil hunters in north Japan, and the Amnesia of a wounded veteran, it comes to represent a series of overlapping manifestations of the Multiverse each impinging upon our world, prefiguring similar efforts by Haruki Murakami substantially more remarked upon in the literary mainstream. Yumemakura, however, was as much a celebrity figure in his own way, with his broad knowledge of world affairs and his appeal to diverse audiences securing him several 1990s ventures as a television presenter and travel writer. His journeys and his fiction would eventually dovetail in Hitsuji no Uchū ["A Cosmos of Sheep"] (1998), a series of whimsical dialogues for children on the universe and the building blocks of existence, framed as the conversations of an aging European physicist and a shepherd boy from Xinjiang in western China.

Billed in Japan as a single multi-part novel, and hence listed below as a single work in six parts rather than a six-part series, Ōedo Kyōryū-den ["Dinosaur Legends of Old Edo"] (2015) playfully unites Yumemakura's low- and high-brow interests by resituating the chaos and destruction of Gojira (1954) and sundry other monster movies to 18th-century Tokyo. The tale takes on a note of Alternate History, as factions within the samurai government manoeuvre to harness the power of these newly discovered "dragons" for political and military ends. [JonC]

Mineo Yoneyama

born Odawara, Japan: 1 January 1951

died

works (selected)

series

Chimaera

  • Genjū Shōnen Chimaera ["Illusory Beast Boy Chimaera"] (Tokyo: Asahi Sonorama, 1982) [Chimaera: binding unknown/]
  • Chimaera Rōhen ["Chimaera Phase Transformation"] (Tokyo: Asahi Sonorama, 1982) [Chimaera: binding unknown/]
  • Genjū Shōnen Garō-hen ["Chimaera Hungry Wolf"] (Tokyo: Asahi Sonorama, 1983) [Chimaera: binding unknown/]
  • Chimaera Maō-hen ["Chimaera Demon King Transformation"] (Tokyo: Asahi Sonorama, 1984) [Chimaera: binding unknown/]
  • Chimaera Bosatsu-hen ["Chimaera Bodhisattva"] (Tokyo: Asahi Sonorama, 1984) [Chimaera: binding unknown/]
  • Chimaera Nyorai-hen ["Chimaera Tathagata"] (Tokyo: Asahi Sonorama, 1985) [Chimaera: binding unknown/]
  • Chimaera Nehan-hen ["Chimaera Cataclysm"] (Tokyo: Asahi Sonorama, 1986) [Chimaera: binding unknown/]
  • Chimaera Hōō-hen ["Chimaera Phoenix"] (Tokyo: Asahi Sonorama, 1987) [Chimaera: binding unknown/]
  • Chimaera Kyōbutsu-hen ["Chimaera Mad Buddha"] (Tokyo: Asahi Sonorama, 1987) [Chimaera: binding unknown/]
  • Chimaera Dokugaku-hen ["Chimaera Self-Knowledge"] (Tokyo: Asahi Sonorama, 1989) [Chimaera: binding unknown/]
  • Chimaera Taizō-hen ["Chimaera Foetus"] (Tokyo: Asahi Sonorama, 1991) [Chimaera: binding unknown/]
  • Chimaera Kongō-hen ["Chimaera Diamond"] (Tokyo: Asahi Sonorama, 1992) [Chimaera: binding unknown/]
  • Chimaera Bonten-hen ["Chimaera Brahma"] (Tokyo: Asahi Sonorama, 1994) [Chimaera: binding unknown/]
  • Chimaera Enshō-hen ["Chimaera Pratityasamutpada"] (Tokyo: Asahi Sonorama, 1998) [Chimaera: binding unknown/]
  • Chimaera Gunrō-hen ["Chimaera Wolfpack"] (Tokyo: Asahi Sonorama, 2000) [Chimaera: binding unknown/]
  • Chimaera Shōgetsu-hen ["Chimaera Moonrise"] (Tokyo: Asahi Sonorama, 2002) [Chimaera: binding unknown/]

Psyche Diver

  • Majūgari Inraku-hen ["Demon Hunters: Desires of the Flesh"] (Tokyo: Tokuma Shoten, 1984) [Psyche Diver: binding unknown/]
    • Desires of the Flesh (Cupertino, California: Bikoo, 2013) [ebook: trans of the above by Jonathan Lloyd-Davies with Thomas Gevantry: Psyche Diver: na/Katsuya Terada]
  • Majūgari Ankoku-hen ["Demon Hunters: The Darkness"] (Tokyo: Tokuma Shoten, 1984) [Psyche Diver: binding unknown/]
    • The Darkness (Cupertino, California: Bikoo, 2013) [ebook: trans of the above by Jonathan Lloyd-Davies with Thomas Gevantry: Psyche Diver: na/Katsuya Terada]
  • Majūgari Kikoku-hen ["Demon Hunters: The Demon's Cry"] (Tokyo: Tokuma Shoten, 1984) [Psyche Diver: binding unknown/]
    • The Demon's Cry (Cupertino, California: Bikoo, 2013) [ebook: trans of the above by Jonathan Lloyd-Davies with Thomas Gevantry: Psyche Diver: na/Katsuya Terada]
  • Majūgari Gaiden Seibō Kyū Mandara ["Demon Hunters Side Story: Holy Mother Secret Mandala"] (Tokyo: Tokuma Shoten, 1986) [Psyche Diver: binding unknown/]
  • Mashō Bosatsu ["Magical Bodhisattva"] (Tokyo: Tokuma Shoten, 1986) [in two volumes: Psyche Diver: binding unknown/]
  • Bikū Mandara ["Mandala in Beauty Space"] (Tokyo: Tokuma Shoten, 1987) [Psyche Diver: binding unknown/]
  • Moriyō no Joō ["Queen of the Moths"] (Tokyo: Tokuma Shoten, 1987) [in two volumes: Psyche Diver: binding unknown/]
  • Ōgonjū ["Golden Beast"] (Tokyo: Tokuma Shoten, 1988) [in two volumes: Psyche Diver: binding unknown/]
  • Jukon Dōshi ["Master of Forbidden Magic"] (Tokyo: Tokuma Shoten, 1989) [Psyche Diver: binding unknown/]
  • Shin Majūgari 1 Kidō-hen ["New Demon Hunters: Demonway"] (Tokyo: Tokuma Shoten, 1992) [Psyche Diver: binding unknown/]
  • Shin Majūgari 2 Kujaku-hen ["New Demon Hunters: Peacock"] (Tokyo: Tokuma Shoten, 1993) [Psyche Diver: binding unknown/]
  • Shin Majūgari 3 Tsuchigumo-hen ["New Demon Hunters: Earth Spiders"] (Tokyo: Tokuma Shoten, 1995) [Psyche Diver: binding unknown/]
  • Shin Majūgari 4 Kyō-ō-hen ["New Demon Hunters: Mad King"] (Tokyo: Tokuma Shoten, 1997) [Psyche Diver: binding unknown/]
  • Shin Majūgari 5 Mashin-hen ["New Demon Hunters: Devil"] (Tokyo: Tokuma Shoten, 1998) [Psyche Diver: binding unknown/]
  • Shin Majūgari 6 Madō-hen ["New Demon Hunters: Devilway"] (Tokyo: Tokuma Shoten, 1999) [Psyche Diver: binding unknown/]
  • Shin Majūgari 7 Kimon-hen ["New Demon Hunters: Devil Gate"] (Tokyo: Tokuma Shoten, 2001) [Psyche Diver: binding unknown/]
  • Shin Majūgari 8 Ushitora-hen ["New Demon Hunters: Ushitora"] (Tokyo: Tokuma Shoten, 2003) [Psyche Diver: binding unknown/]
  • Shin Majūgari 9 Kyōryū-hen ["New Demon Hunters: Demonway"] (Tokyo: Tokuma Shoten, 2004) [Psyche Diver: binding unknown/]
  • Shin Majūgari 10 Kūkai-hen ["New Demon Hunters: Kūkai"] (Tokyo: Tokuma Shoten, 2006) [Psyche Diver: binding unknown/]
  • Shin Majūgari 11 Jiryū-hen ["New Demon Hunters: Earth Dragon"] (Tokyo: Tokuma Shoten, 2008) [Psyche Diver: binding unknown/]
  • Shin Majūgari 12 Kido-hen ["New Demon Hunters: Demonway"] (Tokyo: Tokuma Shoten, 2010) [Psyche Diver: binding unknown/]
  • Shin Majūgari 13 Yamato-Ō ["New Demon Hunters: King of Yamato"] (Tokyo: Tokuma Shoten, 2010) [in two volumes: Psyche Diver: binding unknown/]

Taitei no Ken (Sword of the Emperor/Sword of Alexander)

Onmyōji (Master of Yin and Yang)

  • Onmyōji ["Master of Yin and Yang"] (Tokyo: Bungei Shunjū, 1988) [fixup: Onmyōji: binding unknown/]
  • Onmyōji Tenma no Maki ["Master of Yin and Yang: Book of the Heavenly Horse"] (Tokyo: Bungei Shunjū, 1995) [fixup: Onmyōji: binding unknown/]
  • Onmyōji Tsukumogami no Maki ["Master of Yin and Yang: Book of the Mourning Ghost"] (Tokyo: Bungei Shunjū, 1997) [fixup: Onmyōji: binding unknown/]
  • Onmyōji Hō-ō no Maki ["Master of Yin and Yang: Book of the Phoenix"] (Tokyo: Bungei Shunjū, 2000) [fixup: Onmyōji: binding unknown/]
  • Onmyōji Ryūteki no Maki ["Master of Yin and Yang: Book of the Dragon Flute"] (Tokyo: Bungei Shunjū, 2002) [fixup: Onmyōji: binding unknown/]
  • Onmyōji Taiko no Maki ["Master of Yin and Yang: The Book of Tai-chi"] (Tokyo: Bungei Shunjū, 2003) [fixup: Onmyōji: binding unknown/]
  • Onmyōji Yakō Hai no Maki ["Master of Yin and Yang: Book of the Night-Glowing Cup"] (Tokyo: Bungei Shunjū, 2007) [fixup: Onmyōji: binding unknown/]
  • Onmyōji Tenko no Maki ["Master of Yin and Yang: Book of the Drum"] (Tokyo: Bungei Shunjū, 2010) [fixup: Onmyōji: binding unknown/]
  • Onmyōji Daigo no Maki ["Master of Yin and Yang: The Book of True Pleasures"] (Tokyo: Bungei Shunjū, 2011) [fixup: Onmyōji: binding unknown/]
  • Onmyōji Yōzuki no Maki ["Master of Yin and Yang: Book of the Drunken Moon"] (Tokyo: Bungei Shunjū, 2012) [fixup: Onmyōji: binding unknown/]
  • Onmyōji Sōzaru no Maki ["Master of Yin and Yang: Book of the Blue Monkey"] (Tokyo: Bungei Shunjū, 2014) [fixup: Onmyōji: binding unknown/]
  • Onmyōji Hotarubi no Maki ["Master of Yin and Yang: Book of the Fireflies' Light"] (Tokyo: Bungei Shunjū, 2014) [fixup: Onmyōji: binding unknown/]
  • Onmyōji Gyokuto no Maki ["Master of Yin and Yang: Book of the Jade Rabbit"] (Tokyo: Bungei Shunjū, 2016) [fixup: Onmyōji: binding unknown/]
  • Onmyōji Onnahebi no Maki ["Master of Yin and Yang: Book of the Womansnake"] (Tokyo: Bungei Shunjū, 2019) [fixup: Onmyōji: binding unknown/]

individual titles

  • Nekohiki no Oruane ["Oruane the Cat-Player"] (Tokyo: Shūeisha, 1979) [binding unknown/]
  • Harukanaru Kyojin ["A Distant Titan"] (Tokyo: Hayakawa Shobō, 1979) [binding unknown/]
  • Yamigari-shi ["Darkness Hunters"] (Tokyo: Tokuma Shoten, 1984) [in two volumes: binding unknown/]
  • Akumu Kurai ["Nightmare Consumption"] (Tokyo: Kadokawa Shoten, 1984) [binding unknown/]
  • Jōgen no Tsuki o Taberu Shishi ["The Lion that Eats the Crescent Moon"] (Tokyo: Hayakawa Shobō, 1989) [fixup: binding unknown/]
  • Chōsō no Yama ["The Mountain of Sky Burial"] (Tokyo: Bungei Shunjū, 1991) [coll: binding unknown/]
  • Kamigami no Itadaki ["The Summit of the Gods"] (Tokyo: Shūeisha, 1997) [binding unknown/]
  • Hitsuji no Uchū ["A Cosmos of Sheep"] (Tokyo: Kōdansha, 1998) [binding unknown/Shigeru Tamura]
  • Kurozuka ["Black Hill"] (Tokyo: Shūeisha, 2000) [binding unknown/]
  • Samon Kūkai Tō no Kuni nite Oni to Utagesu ["Samana Kūkai Feasts with Demons in the Land of the Tang"] (Tokyo: Tokuma Shoten, 2004) [in four volumes: pb/]
  • Ōedo Chokaku-den ["The Covert Anglers of Old Edo"] (Tokyo: Kōdansha, 2012) [in two volumes: binding unknown/]
  • Ōedo Kyōryū-den ["Dinosaur Legends of Old Edo"] (Tokyo: Shōgakukan, 2015) [in six volumes: binding unknown/]

nonfiction

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