“The Young Companion” and modern China

First published the same year Hugo Gernsback came out with his legendary science fiction magazine, Amazing Stories, in 1926, The Young Companion《良友》catered to the tastes of young middle class people, but it was also a force for social change. This fascinating article (in Big5) talks about 《良友》the “natural breast movement” 「天乳運動」 among young women in the 1920s-30s, and this sohu article (GB) discusses the fashion sense displayed in the pages of the magazine. In this pic you can see that the bobbed, flapper hairstyle we associate with the West was popular in China of the 20s also. The Young Companion is often thought of as product of Shanghai’s hybrid culture, but this article talks about its founding by a Guangdong native, Wu Lian-de (伍聯德).




Japanese Strange and Ero Guro

Ero Guro and Macabre Eroticism – by C. Bertherat
Beauty without Poison is Boring (about Toshio Saeki)
Momo is dead (self harm meme based on Keisuke Aiso sculpture)
Tabaimo (aka Ayako Tabata)
Suehiro Maruo, and also here.
The erotic Japanese art movement born out of decadence
– Review of Erotic Grotesque Nonsense: the Mass Culture Japanese Modern Times, 2006.

Japanese kaidan (links)

“The Emergence of Kaidan shu: the Collection of Tales of the Strange and Mysterious During the Edo Period”
– “The Appeal of ‘Kaidan’, Tales of the Strange” (jstor login)
– “What are Kaidan?
– “Hyakomonogatari Kaidankai ~” (Japan Times article about the above author)
– “Why so Sad Sadako?” (Female vengeance ghosts in Japanese lit/film)

Daijiro Morohoshi – Weird Manga Hero

Daijiro Morohoshi諸星大二郎)is definitely a weird precursor of Junji Ito but, unfortunately, very difficult to find in English (and even in Chinese). His most famous work is the Yokai Hunter (妖怪ハンター) series of the 1970s-80s.

A good overview of his stuff can be found here (Big5), along with a selection of “four favorites” (Big 5). Not altogether unrelated, some good horror manga recommendations from Silberstein here. Ito isn’t the only one who owes a debt to Morohoshi, legendary anime dude Miyazaki’s Princess Mononoke borrows heavily from the sylvan tribes of Mud Men.

Chinese sf stories from Clarkesworld: 2014-15

Xia Jia “If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler,” trans. Ken Liu (Nov 2015).
Liu Cixin “Another Word: Chinese SF and Chinese Reality,” trans. Ken Liu (Nov 2015)
Han Song “Security Check,” trans. Ken Liu (Aug 2015)
Chen Qiufan “Coming of the Light,” trans. Ken Liu (Mar 2015)
Zhang Ran “Ether,” trans. several (Jan 2015)
Xia Jia “Tongtong’s Summer,” trans. Ken Liu (Dec 2014)
Xia Jia “Spring Festival: Happiness, Anger, Love, Sorrow, Joy,” trans. Ken Liu (Sep 2014)
Cheng Jingbo “Grave of the Fireflies,” trans.Ken Liu (Jan 2014)