Clarissa Johal: Guest Author: Keith Yatsuhashi Takes You on a Journey

Monday, January 19, 2015

Guest Author: Keith Yatsuhashi Takes You on a Journey

by Keith Yatsuhashi

When eighteen-year-old Keiko Yamada’s father dies unexpectedly, he leaves behind a one way ticket to Japan, an unintelligible death poem about powerful Japanese spirits and their gigantic, beast-like Guardians, and the cryptic words: “Go to Japan in my place. Find the Gate. My camera will show you the way.”

Alone and afraid, Keiko travels to Tokyo, determined to fulfill her father’s dying wish. There, beneath glittering neon signs, her father’s death poem comes to life. Ancient spirits spring from the shadows. Chaos envelops the city, and as Keiko flees its burning streets, her guide, the beautiful Yui Akiko, makes a stunning confession--that she, Yui, is one of a handful of spirits left behind to defend the world against the most powerful among them: a once noble spirit now insane. Keiko must decide if she will honor her father’s heritage and take her rightful place among the gods.


“The Aokigahara Jukai,” Yui said, as if coming to some decision. “That’s where we’ll go. My father put a Gate there. We should be able to lose Fiyorok in its magnetic storms.” She pointed toward the vast forest in the West. “It’s further than the Gate I wanted, but it’s the only place I know that confounds Fiyorok’s Searching.”

“How far?” Keiko croaked.

The fires had reached Shibuya—close enough to feel their heat, close enough to hear the screaming. The famed crossing in front of Shibuya subway station collapsed. Smoke soared up through the breach, a flaming pillar rising within. Red-golden scales glittered at its base. Keiko held her breath as she watched Fiyorok rise from the ground in a sphere of incandescent fire.

“Far enough,” Yui said, her voice tight. She turned their shield to the Southwest and accelerated. Behind them, Fiyorok lifted its head and bayed like some monstrous wolf. Windows shattered and neon tubes exploded.

Keiko was glad she couldn’t see the carnage up close. People died there, probably many. Those who survived would carry their wounds with them for the rest of their lives—both the physical and the psychological. Her heart went out to them and their families, just as it had when the monster first appeared. She wished she could do something—anything—to help. But she was small, insignificant—a lone leaf in a hurricane.

Buy links

Musa Publishing

*Musa Publishing is celebrating the one-month release anniversary of Keith Yatsuhashi's second book, Toriiwith a special promotion for Musa Publishing readers! Torii is free, but with the coupon code e80d707f85, you can get Keith's first book, Kojiki, 50% off! Just purchase both books together on Musa's website, and apply the code at checkout. This offer will run until February 12.

Amazon Ebook
Amazon Paperback
Barnes and Noble

Author Bio

Keith Yatsuhashi was born in 1965 in Boston, MA. He graduated from Northeastern University in 1989 and is currently the Director of the U.S. Department of Commerce Export Assistance Center in Providence, Rhode Island.

Keith was a competitive figure skater for ten years, winning the U.S. National Junior Dance Championships in 1984, a bronze medal in the 1983 World Junior Figure Skating Championships, and a silver medal in 1984.

In addition to his love of writing, Keith enjoys many hobbies such as golf, reading, and playing football and hockey with his sons. Keith currently lives in Massachusetts with his wife, Kathleen and three children—Caitlin, Jeffrey, and Justin.

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