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Contributor

Sakumi Tayama

Contributor

Sakumi Tayama

Sakumi Tayama was born in Miyazaki Prefecture in southern Japan in 1966 but moved to the northernmost prefecture of Japan, Hokkaido, at the age of three.  After studying English literature at Fuji Women’s Junior College in Sapporo she worked in the private sector for eleven years, before moving to Sendai city in Miyagi Prefecture.  Though she had been writing for some time, she did not start submitting her work to literary magazines until 2003.  She was awarded the Bungakkai New Writer’s Prize in 2006 for her story, “The Hole in the Garden” (translated here) and has since published five major works, including「かわいそうな鬼」(“The Poor Demon”) and「霊おろし」(“The Medium”) in 2008,「代理母豚」(“The Surrogate Sow”) in 2010 and「神さま」(“God”) in 2011.

Articles by Sakumi Tayama

Spirit Summoning, Part VI
By Sakumi Tayama
The next time we met, Yoko pretended that the Shikoku conversation had never happened. Following her lead, I didn’t bring it up either.After the summoning job was done, Yoko turned to me.“I’m…
Translated from Japanese by Mark Gibeau
Spirit Summoning, Part V
By Sakumi Tayama
Yoko asked my name. Usually I’d stop and think about it, make a point of recalling the name. This time I decided not to. I didn’t think, didn’t search for the name. Didn’t try…
Translated from Japanese by Mark Gibeau
Spirit Summoning, Part IV
By Sakumi Tayama
“You do want to go up on the roof, don’t you?”Emi hurried after me.I climbed the stairs and, copying Emi’s technique, unraveled the chain. When I opened the hatch, once again the…
Translated from Japanese by Mark Gibeau
Spirit Summoning, Part III
By Sakumi Tayama
My mother’s always been selfish and immature. She could be frustrating and drive me crazy from time to time but even I knew that there’s no such thing as a “perfect parent.” In…
Translated from Japanese by Mark Gibeau
Spirit Summoning, Part II
By Sakumi Tayama
My mother was sitting in front of the Buddhist altar as usual. She picked the habit up last winter and now spent most of each day there.“I’m home!” She turned, a vacant expression on…
Translated from Japanese by Mark Gibeau
Spirit Summoning, Part I
By Sakumi Tayama
It was Yoko who made me become a fake medium six months ago.
Translated from Japanese by Mark Gibeau
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The Hole in the Garden, Part IV
By Sakumi Tayama
Mrs. Okada seemed much thinner when I saw her at the next PTA meeting. Even from a distance I could see that she looked unwell. As we gathered in the meeting room some people made a point of not meeting…
Translated from Japanese by Mark Gibeau
The Hole in the Garden, Part III
By Sakumi Tayama
“Hello?” There was no answer. I put the phone back down. I turned to go back to the kitchen and it rang again. I picked it up, wordlessly this time. Again nothing. As soon as I hung up it…
Translated from Japanese by Mark Gibeau
The Hole in the Garden, Part II
By Sakumi Tayama
The woman showed up exactly one month to the day after the pigʼs arrival. I had just finished cleaning the house and was thinking about feeding the pig before I started waxing the floors when the…
Translated from Japanese by Mark Gibeau
The Hole in the Garden, Part I
By Sakumi Tayama
“Asako, how do you like this dream?” she asked, not turning her head from the hole.
Translated from Japanese by Mark Gibeau
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