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The Book of Tokyo (Reading The World)

The Book of Tokyo (Reading The World)

Author(s): Jim Hinks, Masashi Matsuie, Michael Emmerich

Location(s): Japan

Genre(s): Fiction

Era(s): Contemporary

A shape-shifter arrives at Tokyo harbour in human form, set to embark on an unstoppable rampage through the city’s train network…

A young woman is accompanied home one night by a reclusive student, and finds herself lured into a flat full of eerie Egyptian artefacts…

A man suspects his young wife’s obsession with picnicking every weekend in the city’s parks hides a darker motive…

At first, Tokyo appears in these stories as it does to many outsiders: a city of bewildering scale, awe-inspiring modernity, peculiar rules, unknowable secrets and, to some extent, danger. Characters observe their fellow citizens from afar, hesitant to stray from their daily routines to engage with them. But Tokyo being the city it is, random encounters inevitably take place – a naïve book collector, mistaken for a French speaker, is drawn into a world he never knew existed; a woman seeking psychiatric help finds herself in a taxi with an older man wanting to share his own peculiar revelations; a depressed divorcee accepts an unexpected lunch invitation to try Thai food for the very first time… The result in each story is a small but crucial change in perspective, a sampling of the unexpected yet simple pleasure of other people’s company. As one character puts it, ‘The world is full of delicious things, you know.’

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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