A Place That is Not There by nishioka bro. & sis. (そうではないところへ/西岡兄妹)

The following short opens the collection 地獄 (hell) by nishioka bro. & sis. (which is how their name is translated on the cover from 西岡兄妹). Like most of my Japanese-language books, I found 地獄 at a bookstore while studying abroad in Japan (when I came back home after three months, my suitcase was ridiculously heavy). I was drawn to their surreal artwork and bizarre stories that, in some cases, such as the example that follows, are more like poems.

Click on the images to enlarge, and read from right to left:







A daruma, or Dharma, is a Japanese doll that is associated with Buddhism, good luck, and wish fulfillment.

Arhat is a Buddhist term referring to someone who has reached enlightenment.