Retro Horror Radio: Live Ghost Story Readings
November 29, 2019
Stories and sounds of otherworldly Japan
Close your eyes and immerse yourself in the strange world of spooks, folklore and old-school horror with these readings of uncanny Japanese tales. The program features works from two of Japan’s biggest names in retro horror writing: Lafcadio Hearn (1850-1904) and Edogawa Rampo (1894-1965). With acoustic music and sound accompaniment, this performance fuses the style of a live radio play with the spirit of folklore and stories made for sharing. Grab a drink, grab a beanbag and enjoy some slow-burn spinetingles.
Narration: Arisa Yura
Sound: Terumi Narushima
Arisa Yura is an actor, voice-over artist, writer, director and taiko drummer working extensively across theatre, film and television in Australia, Canada, USA and Japan. She is also an ensemble artist with Clockfire Theatre Company. Arisa performed in the program for the Art gallery of NSW’s 2016 exhibition, One Hundred Aspects of the Moon, and has performed at various arts festivals around Australia with the show, Yasukichi Murakami: Through A Distant Lens by Mayu Kanamori. Arisa recently wrote and performed her first play, Confessions of A Custard Melon Pan, at Sydney Fringe Festival in September 2019, where she was nominated for two Sydney Fringe Awards: Best Theatre and NIDA Standout Actor. More recently, Arisa has read two short stories by Julie Koh, The Patternmaker (Sydney Noir) and Workers of All Lands Unite, for an OzGothic radio play produced by ABC Radio National. She is currently co-directing and performing in Night Parade of One Hundred Goblins as part of the Art Gallery of NSW’s Japan Supernatural exhibition, co-presented by Clockfire Theatre Company and Art Gallery of NSW for Sydney Festival 2020.
(Image courtesy of Mayu Kanamori)
Terumi Narushima is a composer, performer and sound designer whose work has been featured at festivals in Australia and overseas, as well as on radio and television. She writes acoustic and electronic music with a focus on microtonal tuning, and is a core member of Clocks and Clouds, an ensemble featuring retuned instruments built by fellow composer-performer Kraig Grady. Terumi plays mainly keyboard instruments and has studied koto with Satsuki Odamura. She has also worked as a musician and sound designer for various film, theatre and dance collaborations. In addition, Terumi is a senior lecturer in music at the University of Wollongong, where her current research explores the development of microtonal flutes using 3D printing. Terumi serves on the Board of Directors for Wollongong Conservatorium of Music.
(Image courtesy of Mayu Kanamori)
‘Diplomacy’ by Lafcadio Hearn
A condemned man swears to avenge his death.
‘The Human Chair’ by Edogawa Rampo
A woman receives a strange confession.
‘Mujina (むじな)’ by Lafcadio Hearn (in Japanese)
In the dark of night, things are not always as they seem.
‘Earless Hoichi (耳なし芳一)’ by Lafcadio Hearn (in Japanese)
A priest hatches a plan to save a blind man from evil spirits.
About Horror Storytelling in Japan
The Japanese tradition of horror storytelling dates back several centuries to the Edo period, when sharing frightening stories among friends emerged as a popular pastime. Known as ‘hyakumonogatari kaidan-kai‘ (lit., ‘gathering for 100 strange tales’), this involved group members taking turns to tell stories in a candle-lit room, extinguishing one candle as each story ended to create a progressively darker, spookier environment. The game would take place in summer, when the “chills” brought welcome relief on hot nights.
This event is part of the HORROR MANGA JAPAN event program and is related to the exhibition, RETRO HORROR: Supernatural and the Occult in Postwar Japanese Manga, on at The Japan Foundation, Sydney from October 18, 2019 to January 24, 2020. Concepts and curation of all events in this program (including Retro Horror Radio) by The Japan Foundation, Sydney.
An offshoot of this event, featuring different stories, will be held at Art After Hours at the Art Gallery of NSW on November 27, co-produced by The Japan Foundation, Sydney.
English-language stories were kindly provided by Tuttle and NewSouth Books.
GHOST STORY READINGS
November 29, 2019 (Friday)
6:15pm (English) &
Approx. 1 hour per session
Doors open 6pm
Free; no RSVP required.
Come for the English, stay for the Japanese!
The Japan Foundation, Sydney
Level 4, Central Park
28 Broadway, Chippendale NSW 2008
(02) 8239 0055
Top image: ‘Yuki Onna’ by Hideshi Hino.
Features in the exhibition, RETRO HORROR: Supernatural and the Occult in Postwar Japanese Manga.