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The Inugami Clan (Stone Bridge Fiction) [Paperback]

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Item description for The Inugami Clan (Stone Bridge Fiction) by Yumiko Yamazaki Seishi Yokomizo...

In 1940s Japan, the wealthy head of the Inugami Clan dies, setting off a chain of bizarre, gruesome murders. Detective Kindaichi must unravel the clan's terrible secrets of forbidden liaisons, monstrous cruelty, and disguised identities to find the murderer.

Seishi Yokomizo is Japan's most popular mystery writer. His novels have been made into numerous movies and television dramas in Japan.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   309
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 7.32" Width: 5.28" Height: 0.94"
Weight:   0.57 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Sep 1, 2007
Publisher   Stone Bridge Press
ISBN  1933330317  
ISBN13  9781933330310  

Availability  0 units.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Mystery & Thrillers > General
2Books > Subjects > Mystery & Thrillers > Mystery > General

Reviews - What do customers think about The Inugami Clan (Stone Bridge Fiction)?

Features the Japanese Columbo  Apr 4, 2007
Reviewed by Cherie Fisher of Reader Views (03/07)

I have to admit that when I first began reading "The Inugami Clan," I was worried that the translation to English would be awkward and I would not be able to understand the Japanese culture. That never happened; the story was translated well and very enjoyable from start to finish.

"The Inugami Clan" was a best-selling book in Japan and the story centers around the legendary detective Kosuke Kindaichi. Upon appearance, Kindaichi seems to be a clumsy, stuttering detective with strange habits like constantly scratching his unruly head. Underneath all that is a brilliant detective with amazing deductive powers. He is always a few steps ahead of the local police. Sounds a bit like our lovable TV Dectective Columbo, doesn't it?

The story takes place in the mid 1940's as World War II is wrapping up on the estate of the famous Sahei Inugami, a wealthy entrepreneur who passes away leaving a very strange will for his family. He also leaves behind three daughters from three different mistresses and their families. Also in his residence is the very beautiful Tamayo, a descendent of the priest who saved his life by taking him in when he was starving to death. The will has some very bizarre stipulations for his family and descendents of those who helped them. These quickly lead to several brutal murders that will keep you turning the pages until the very end. I found it very interesting that the author tells you what is going to happen before it does and found out that that is common in Japanese novels.

The story is also not focused on the murders but on the bizarre relationships that the deceased Sahei Inugami had with his family and friends. Talk about the webs we weave.....this guy did it all! The book includes homosexual relationships, lost love and adultery.

I would definitely recommend "The Inugami Clan" to those who enjoy a good murder mystery. The famous Kosuke Kindaichi is certainly a memorable and entertaining character. And not only is it a very well written story but it is full of Japanese culture that the reader will enjoy. I hope to see more of Seishi Yokomizo's stories translated into English.
Inherit The Wind  Aug 22, 2004
Japanese popular fiction is much under-represented in the US, while film and anime do quite well. So out of interest in all things Japanese I sought out the few volumes of popular mysteries that have been translated. What I've found is that, while the Japanese approach to storytelling is different from what is common in the USA, it is equally interesting.

Japanese writers, of whom Seishi Yokomizo is a notable example, unfold their tales differently. For example, it's not uncommon for the reader to be told what is going to happen even before events begin to unfold. The narrative descriptions of the crimes, while often grim tend to be clinical by our standards. Thus, in the Inugami Clan, which was a Japanese best seller, a strange will will left by a wealthy man reveals a peculiarly twisted set of relationships and triggers four deaths and several other attempts. The killings are carefully presented, but never overwhelm the story.

And the story isn't the murders, but the unfolding of a complicated set of relationships that seem to shift with every glance. The crimes, investigated by Kosuke Kindaichi (a Japanese Sherlock Holmes) become the bitter framework, upon which three sisters and the heirs to the fortune perform a stately, yet terrible dance. The ghost of the end of World War II and a chilling winter add to the sense of desolation.

Yokomizo excels at descriptive moments, whether he is focusing on people or the settling. He brings the landscape to life in a fashion which has been lost to the action oriented writing of the west. This is true to such the degree that a reader, unused to the differences and expecting something out of a Hong Kong fight film is likely to blame the translation rather than realize that the small, chess-like motions of the tale are the intent of the author. The translator, Yumiko Yamazaki does a very good job of capturing this flow.

Hopefully we will see more tales by Seishi Yokomizo reach translation in the near future. This is an opportunity to experience something uniquely Japanese in an unexpected context. To see what can be done outside the western mystery story.
A paint by numbers mystery  Jul 15, 2004
On the look out for Japanese murder mysteries I came across this book by the Land of the Rising Sun's bestelling mystery writer. Despite the positive critiques by my fellow reviewers, I considered The Inugami Clan decidely average.

In this book the American public gets a first encounter with the legendary P.I. Kandaichi, who stutters, scratches his full head of hair frequently and -so the story goes- has an uncanny ability to always find his man or woman. The plot involves a serial elimination of heirs to a late silk magnate in the 1940s.

The story carries the epitath gothic and is not only laced with sadistic murders, but would further make the good old Marquis DeSade happy with elements like homosexuality, adultery and (attempted) incest.

However, Yokomizo provides little more than a Mystery 101. He follows an approach where each chapter follows a cycle of storyline anticipation, clues collection and "expert" analysis.
Unfortunately, the mystery has a gaping hole, that is about as large as our deficit or the one in the ozone layer after four years of dubleya. As such, the reiteration of the awesome cunning of the scratcher while humorous at the start, rapidly became nauseating. The resolution of it all could have taken half of the pages.

Last but not least, the translation is extremely clunky. In the event further translations of Yokomizo's work are planned, recruitment of a translator with high school level English languages skills would be highly recommended.

Keeping Murder in the Family  Jul 5, 2004
This is a good juicy murder mystery full of family secrets and grudges. It blends post-WWII noir with a pinch of Poeish grotesquerie and a good old-fashioned "house party" mystery. You also get to meet the famous series detective Kosuke Kindaichi, whose rumpled demeanor and unseemly headscratching cover a brilliant and kind mind. (His cases were the subject of many films, and his grandson is star of The Kindaichi Case Files manga, anime, and live action series.)

Btw, to the reviewer who thought this showed how Japan had changed for the worse thanks to Westernization? I think you'll find that's not the point at all, if you consider the timelines and motivations. Many of the vices that caused the trouble were part of pre-Meiji culture, sadly. But it's not a pro-Western novel, either. Anything this noirish is bound to be full of inconveniently gray areas.

A Japanese family disintegrates, violently  Dec 23, 2003
Set in the 1940's, this is the first in a series of mysteries featuring private detective Kosuke Kindaichi.

The elderly patriarch of a wealthy Japanese family of the title, dies, inexplicably leaving a will that virtually ensures a bloody battle for his fortune.

Kindaichi is summoned by the family's attorney to snow-covered northern Japan, where the gore-soaked feud plays out. Slowly, the family's sordid secret history is revealed as the members are ritualistically murdered, one by one.

Kindaichi is a likable character, an eccentric whose odd mannerisms (like a nervous tic of head-scratching) hide his superior intelligence.

The translation is a bit stiff at times, and some plot elements seem forced, but otherwise this is an enjoyable mystery. The atmospheric setting (the Inugami family's labyrinthine lakeside villa, in the winter) brings the reader to a region of Japan not well known in the West.


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