But before I go, my Japanese mom sent pictures of the new issue of Hayakawa SF in Japan, which features stories by Barth Anderson, Ekaterina Sedia, Benjamin Rosenbaum, Holly Phillips, Alan Deniro, and myself. Here are pics of the magazine, and also the illustrations for Alan’s story, Tetrarchs (originally published in Strange Horizons), and my story, The Guardian of the Egg (originally published in Salon Fantastique and then reprinted here, too, at The Journal of Mythic Arts). Art the illustrations way cool? If you’re in Japan, get a copy and let me know what you think of the issue. 僕は早川SFが大好き！
The editor of that particular issue, Mr. K., says he loves yours the most. He also wonders if it was inspired by an old Japanese rakugo story, Atamayama (Head Mountain) in which a guy has a tree on his head and people love it. When it becomes so popular, people have a lot of parties around the tree and become bothersome to him. He is very upset and eventually tears down the tree. There grows a pond after the hole and he regrets that act when he becomes lonely. Eventually he throws himself in that pond and kills himself. Rakugo is one of our most popular traditional performing arts, telling some comical stories before the audience in a rakugo theater. There’s an animation of that story, too, by one of our famous short animation artists, but I forgot his name.
Anyway it is a good story and I love working on it.
I’m so honored the editor liked my story best, Yoshio. It wasn’t inspired by the rakugo story you mentioned, but I did go look up that animated version of the story on YouTube after you described it, and it’s WONDERFUL! I can really see how Mr. K wonders about a possible connection. What inspired me to write “The Guardian of the Egg” was a painting by Leonora Carrington called “Baby Giant”. I can’t find a good image of it on the internet right now, but it’s used as the cover of her surrealist novel The Hearing Trumpet so you can get an idea of what it looks like by looking that up on Amazon.com. I saw that painting years ago and was immediately captured by it, and knew I had to write a story about it. “The Guardian of the Egg” is that story. I’m amazed at the similarities with the rakugo story, though. I loved that little animated film. Thanks for telling me about it. I might never have come across it otherwise!
That animation artist is Yamamura Koji and he made “Atamayama” in 2002.
And it is said that Rakugo Atamayama is from Yoshida Kenko’s “Tsurezuregusa ” Step 45, ” Horiike no Sojyo”
That is written in about 1330, Kamakura Era.