Top: Cover of The Winter Fisherman Lodge / In The Chest...
Bottom: Proof print of the book’s inner cover.
The Winter Fisherman Lodge / In The Chest is Gengoroh Tagame’s brand new Japanese-language collection, coming out July 25th, 2013 from Pot Publishing. The three medium-length stories in this collection are each instant classics: The Winter Fisherman Lodge, In The Chest, and ACTINIA (Man-Cunt).
The Winter Fisherman Lodge in particular is a favorite of mine. It's an ethereal, quiet and romantic tale of “a timid youth and a white-bearded bear father” who find solace in each other, ensconced in a tiny cabin amidst winter’s relentless snowfall. We nearly included it in The Passion of Gengoroh Tagame, but it was a bit too long to fit in the book.
Tagame describes In The Chest as a “dark, dark fairy tale” set during the Taishō period. It tells the tale of a boy trapped in a box and tortured by his father-in-law.
ACTINIA (Man-Cunt) is a sci-fi tale involving military medical experimentation: a favorite theme of Tagame’s that’s distilled here into its most pure, extreme, brutal form. Certain images of anatomical horror from this story are seared into my mind forever! I think David Cronenberg should direct a live-action adaptation of Man-Cunt– he could really do it justice.