Kyoka's tales define Japanese Gothic: masterpieces of Japanese Ghost Stories and, at the same time, short stories about love which exceeds death's boundries. "The Surgery Room" is a vivid tale of a surgeon torn between saving his patient's life or letting her die with her secrets. In "Osen and Sokichi" a boy finds salvation in a prostitute only to learn later the terrible price of sacrifice. "One Day in Spring" chronicles the passion between two loves: one which transcends time and threatens to literally trap others in the flowing lines of their poetry. Finally, in "The Holy Man of Mt. Koya"--the best story--we learn of a mountain seductress who tempts a monk to forsake his vows and, possibly, his humanity. Unlike Banana Yoshimoto and other modern writers who can only write about their boredom with life, Kyoka gives us a compelling description of the Japanese and their culture: what they love to fear.