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RAINY DAY RAMEN and the COSMIC PACHINKO

RAINY DAY RAMEN and the COSMIC PACHINKO

Author(s): Gordon Vanstone

Location(s): Tokyo

Genre(s): Fiction, Magical Realism

Era(s): 2010

Location

Content

A delightfully debauched, spiritual quest through a hallucinatory Japan of cursed gaijin houses, seedy hostess bars, a Beatles-themed McDonalds, mysterious internet cafe denizens, and one seriously pissed off cat.
After three years in Japan, Fred Buchanan is broke, unemployed and engaged in a telepathic turf war with a feral cat behind an Okinawa convenience store. Thus begins his metaphysical odyssey back to Tokyo and search for meaning beyond the earthly path followed.
Along the way, symbols and sages materialise in the form of a two-fingered jazz musician, the faded tattoo on an ex-yakuza lover, the kite flyer of Kabukicho and Yukie, an alluring hostess with strips of delicious thigh and strange power imbued in the etched eye on her fingernail.
Charging through Shinjuku’s neon jungle, enveloped in a boozy, nicotine-stained haze, past and present collide as an empty orchestra croons a slow dance of people and place, memory and madness, loss and love. All the while, Fred struggles to be an agent of his destiny and not another ball bearing bouncing through the cosmic pachinko.
Rainy Day Ramen and the Cosmic Pachinko is told as a uniquely clever mix of Murakami-esque magical realism and gonzo Japan travelogue. Nimbly structured and loosely presented as a modern mash-up of Homer’s Odyssey and Murasaki Shikibu’s The Tale of Genji.

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Enter the 2021TripFiction 'Sense of Place' Creative Writing Competition!

A story in which the location plays as important a role as the rest of your words.

2,500 word maximum, 750 word minimum

Judges include Victoria Hislop and Rosanna Ley

First Prize of £1,000 / US$1,350

Prizes total £1,750 / US$2,362 

Winning entry published on TripFiction site and publicised on Social Media

Entries close 6th November 2021