Despite being able to somehow retain a bunch of Japanese words and grammar, my memory is not one of my stronger points. In particular, I tend to quickly forget many of the details of stories I’ve read in a relatively short period of time. For Japanese, where I spend extra effort on trying to understand the text, my retention is even worse. But I’ve found out the most interesting, dramatic, or unique stories tend to stick in my mind for long after I’ve read them while the others get washed away by the currents of time.
“The Face” （あの顔） by Hayashi Fubo (林不忘) is one such story that I originally enjoyed in audiobook format, which left such an impact upon me that it kept popping up whenever I thought about what to translate next. It’s a classic mystery story that blends the line between dreams and reality, and could even be called Hitchcock-esque in how things play out. I also really like the imagery in this work, and think it would be wonderful to see a short film made for it someday.
I generally like to translate and publish a mix of well-known authors who are likely to gather readers, and ones nobody has heard of––the latter because of the satisfaction of introducing an author to an audience that likely has never experienced him or her before. Hayashi Fubo is clearly in the latter category, and I’m proud to say that this appears to be his first work that has been translated into English.
Like many of my books, “The Face” contains both English and parallel English/Japanese versions of the story. I also added a few translation notes about the story, author, and a few other related topics.
I’d like to give a big thanks to author and educator Kaimai Mizuhiro (開米瑞浩) for helping confirm some of the meanings of the tricker passages. Also thanks to Jim Miles (of Annotranslate) for help proofreading.
You can find it on Amazon here for a limited-time sale price of $0.99 USD (or equivalent).