March 23rd, 2013

hasui moon at magome

The Plum-rain Scroll

The Plum-rain Scroll is by far the best 'borrowed from Japan' book I've ever come across. (Which isn't hard, she says snottily, when you're stacked up against the likes of Clavell, Salmonson, Van Lustbader et al. Have not read Tales of the Otori but probably them too.) So it's a salmagundi of Japanese folklore set in an AU Japan. Not trying to get it right results in something rather like a Makiko manga, that also has bogles and not trying to get it right. Thus we have poetry-loving oni and roof-guarding half-kappa and a ghost with a thing about umbrellas and Inagi-the-deity and the Great Tengu doing a God the Father stand-in and long-necked youkai and several figures from the Kojiki and and and.

The sequel, The Peony Lantern, can be had for a mere $350 from the second-hand dealers. The public library system has never heard of Ruth Manley. But-- the university library system has a copy. If I ever feel like undertaking a Quest, I will try seeing if they'd even let a member of the public look at it. (Time was, when Robots Library was first built, the public had a right to order books from it on account of partly paying for the thing or something. I'm sure that's totally in abeyance now.)