208 pages paperback
BUY on Amazon.com
Arguably the reading and interpretation of any text is by some degree necessarily subjective, but perhaps none more so than the work of Japanese avant-garde artist Kenji Siratori. Since the release of his acclaimed Blood Electric in 2002 (lauded by the likes of Dennis Cooper and David Bowie), Siratori has launched wave after uncompromising wave of looped, relentless prose that fully embraces the image onslaught and information overload of our digital age.
As with Blood Electric, Siratori’s latest ‘novel’ Mad in Japan also focuses on Japanese culture, presenting a ruthless, unyielding succession of linguistic loops that abandon all linearity and logic, inducing the very sort of fevered, dizzied madness suggested by the title. Indeed, the book could very much be read as a confrontation with Japan’s interior – an extreme, cyclical exploration of what it means to be going mad in Japan – and how we might try to decode, decipher or otherwise make sense of the madness (or information) this presents.
Of all the themes that recur in Mad in Japan (the ero guro artistic movement, murder, patriarchy, scatology, sexual fetishism and other obsessive interests) the most persistent is that of necrophilia; the text itself can be viewed as a corpus, with Siratori arranging and re-arranging the found language and debris of its decaying circulatory system. Each new linguistic cycle represents a new flowering of decomposition, offering new perspectives and insights:
They have a new geek penis pope.
His name is murder sex doll pussy algorithm cardinal formalin - stinking, nasty system.
Bukkake semen funds memory erasing pill
Akiba maid rape binary camp
The murder time to Akihabara gene scatology humanity - shit hallelujah
…we are programmed for sex doll submission.
…corpse fetish pussy gangbang economy.
pp. 14, 19, 41, 42
A strong sense of oppression and awareness of economic forces and motives permeates the text and we are left to ponder how the influence of these has changed and damaged us. In Mad in Japan there is a definite sense that Siratori is attempting to cut and re-arrange the very repeated glut of information that forms the basis of our induction and ongoing social conditioning and programming. Like all of Siratori’s work, Mad in Japan presents itself as a challenge that cannot be ‘read’ in a cursory, passive sense, but must instead be engaged with and experienced. In doing so though, we might just engage with and experience ourselves.
- A Kaleidoscope of Sex Death
My reading of Kenji Siratori’s Mad in Japan by A.D. Hitchin (writer)