Reading Japan

"Poking the Beehive" by Arai Ran

This program uses dramatic readings in English to introduce short stories by exceptional storytellers who have big followings in Japan. The stories make the culture and spirit of Japan accessible through imaginative drawings and animations interspersed between the readings like storybook illustrations.

The story is about an entomologist named F. His former university classmate introduces him to E, a rather unusual patient. It turns out bees have built a hive in E's abdomen. F is taken aback, but his curiosity as a researcher has been aroused and he decides to take E in. He then observes the bizarre co-existence of the bees with their host. And, a surprise ending awaits.

Arai Ran, "Poking the Beehive" (from Short Short Treasure Box, Kobunsha paperback)