I deeply apologize for the long silence. This is Nagaru Tanigawa. By the way, the preface of a chapter in Kokon Chomonjū titled ‘Monstrosities’ uses an excerpt from a poem by the famous Bai Juyi1: “Such men and not their homes are wretched”. Speaking in simple terms, in means, “When a calamity befalls someone, it is not the fault of the house they are living in, but it caused directly by that person”. The author of Kokon Chomonjū, Tachibana Narisue, expressed an opinion that “perhaps monstrosities should also be thought of in that way”, based on the poem.
Taken together with the preface of ‘Apparitions’, we can speculate that Narisue possessed a stance that was doubtful of occult phenomena. While I’m in wonder that there was a person who thought realistically and could say, “There is no such thing as ghosts!” in the Kamakura period, I also imagine that such a character could play the role of detective in an orthodox mystery set in the Heian period, although I might be alone in that interpretation. I’m sorry if such a mystery already exists.
First, congratulations for Haruhi’s 15th anniversary! My companionship with Kyon, Haruhi and the rest has gone on for quite long now, and they seem to have matured more in my mind than what has been covered in the stories. I drew the illustrations for this issue while looking at my past illustrations, thinking that such sentiments were captured in them. It would be wonderful if those traces can still be seen in the differences between illustrations. Also, I had fun reading about the SOS Brigade’s exchanges after such a long time!