Numa Shōzō

Tagged: Author

Pseudonym of a controversial Japanese author, whose identity was never confirmed, but believed by many, including the National Library of Japan, to be a pen-name for Tetsuo Amano (1926-2008), an editor at the Shinchōsha publishing house. Amano once admitted to being Numa, but later retracted his confession. Other candidates, largely discounted, have included the authors Tatsuhiko Shibusawa and Ryūichi Tamura, as well as Yukio Mishima, who publicly praised Numa's best-known book, comparing it to the pornographic stories of the Marquis de Sade.

Numa's most prominent work is the fixup that began with Kachikujin Yapū ["The Human Livestock Yapū"] (December 1956 Kitan Club; fixup 1970), a Near Future account of a wrecked Spaceship in West Germany, that is later revealed as a lost vessel that has travelled in time (see Time Travel) from two thousand years in the future. The vessel hails from an era of Galactic Empire, named (in English) as the Empire of a Hundred Suns, and symbolized by its tricolour flag of Black, White and Yellow. In this Far Future scenario, white women are the dominant class; white men are effeminate and idle, while blacks are a slave class (see Race in SF; Slavery). The worst fate, however, is reserved for the "livestock" race of Asians (in fact, Japanese), who have been transformed into heavily specialized chattels, including living human toilets, furniture, and sex toys. Intentionally grotesque and shocking, Kachikujin Yapū allegorizes its author's sense of overwhelming desolation following the end of World War Two and the subsequent dismantling of the Japanese imperial state by the Allied Occupation powers. The protagonists are an interracial couple, a German woman and a Japanese man, whose roles are reversed in the course of the long novel, until the man "accepts his fate" as a non-human object for use by his mistress.

The story has been adapted into Manga form on several occasions, including once by Shōtarō Ishinomori as Gekiga Kashikujin Yapū (graph 1971), again by Sugar Satō as Kashikujin Yapū: Akumu no Nihon-shi ["The Human Livestock Yapū: A Nightmare History of Japan"] (graph 1984) and again by Tatsuya Egawa as Kashikujin Yapū (graph 2003). Most variants have concentrated on the story's more sado-masochistic elements and depictions of perverse sexuality (see Sex). [JonC]

Tetsuo Amano

born Fukuoka, Japan: 19 March 1926

died Japan: 30 November 2008

works (selected)

  • Kachikujin Yapū ["The Human Livestock Yapū"] (Tokyo: Toshi Shuppan, 1970) [binding unknown/]
    • Gekiga Kashikujin Yapū ["The Human Livestock Yapū: The Graphic Novel"] (Tokyo: Gentōsha, 1971) [graph: in four volumes: comic adaptation of the above by Shōtarō Ishinomori: pb/]
    • Kashikujin Yapū: Akumu no Nihon-shi ["The Human Livestock Yapū: A Nightmare History of Japan"] (Tokyo: Tatsumi Shuppan, 1984) [graph: comic adaptation of the above by Sugar Satō: pb/]
    • Kashikujin Yapū (Tokyo: Gentōsha, 2003) [graph: in nine volumes: comic adaptation of the above by Tatsuya Egawa: pb/]
  • Masochist M no Igen ["Testament of Masochist M"] (Tokyo: Chikuma Shobō, 2003) [binding unknown/]

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