never thought of Okon and Oiwa as terrifying monsters. If they were terrifying, so was I. If they were monsters, that meant I was a monster too.
Witty, inventive, and profound, Where the Wild Ladies Are by Matsuda Aoko (trs Polly Barton) is a contemporary feminist retelling of traditional ghost stories by one of Japan’s most exciting writers.
In a company run by the mysterious Mr Tei, strange things are afoot – incense sticks lead to a surprise encounter; a young man reflects on his mother’s death; a foxlike woman finally finds her true calling. As female ghosts appear in unexpected guises, their gently humorous encounters with unsuspecting humans lead to deeper questions about emancipation and recent changes in Japanese women’s lives.