In simple terms, “Phantasm Japan” is a fantasy anthology on the theme of “light and dark, from and about Japan.”
To outsiders, the overriding image of Japan is of some fantasy land, a place that is impossibly real. However, it’s restricting to place the 20-some works in this book under the single genre of fantasy; fantastical or not, Japan offers perplexing perspectives and gargantuan horizons.
Thus “Phantasm Japan” collects creepy stories about ghosts and demons, science-fiction thrillers and a revenge tale with a strong feminist tone. With titles such as “The Last Packet of Tea,” “Those Who Hunt Monster Hunters” and “Thirty-Eight Observations on the Nature of the Self,” it’s clear that nothing about Japan is black and white: Editors Nick Mamatas and Masumi Washington let you know so.