“The Legend of the Paper Spaceship” (1975)
Yano Tetsu (writer).
Read in 2020.
Read in Speculative Japan.
The mindless whore of a remote Japanese village bears a psychic son.
The indirect writing style and fleeting focalization combine poorly with the mode of science fiction, which consists mainly of purposeful ufological misreadings of nursery rhymes in this dirty remake of “The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter” (ca. 900 CE) mixed up with recollections from Yano’s own time in the army. There are a couple of powerful scenes and turns of phrase and the young Emon’s talent is nicely done, but there’s a distinct lack of cohesion. It is not unlike Woman in the Dunes (1964) in its basic symbolism, with an added superhero mythology and conspiracy theory. This particular sort of eclicticism is rarely effective, but here it’s somehow mellow.