Kirsty Allison in 3AM Magazine:
Tokyo’s streets are a homage to sci-fi fantasy, seventies style. Fields of mirrored skyscrapers are snaked by webs of towering monorails, glass-fronted mainstreet superstores flash with phosphorescent adverts. But like every Big Brother backdrop, a revolution occurs a few alleys back from the sheen, and in Tokyo, mazes of traditional cubed houses hold a variety of secret Steppenwolf doorways.
Behind one such door in the North of the city is a library bar with vintage issues of Visionaire and opulent Japanese-edition fashion photography books, it stands as a temporary salon for writers who don’t use pen & papers, or laptops, they write novels on their mobiles.
Drinking an £8 coffee, Ryu, king of the new ‘mohemians’, explains how he came to be credited as the first m-novelist.
“It came from necessity, I was working in a bar in Shibuya where the girls with the orange faces are” begins the 23 year old whose profits from his first m-book have allowed retirement to a desert island, where he’s profoundly in love with the local delicacy of octopus balls. In broken English and through a translator he goes on to tell how he felt disturbed by the repetitive cycle of observing chicks arriving to the scene, enticed by the appeal of darker life, slipping into a world of wrist-cutting, drugs, prostitution, debauchery and occasional degradation.
From his bar he assembled a team of groupies who spilt their stories to him. He emerged as a writer making notes on his phone about the new faces’ demise. “I sent the first notes and chapters to girls fresh to the area as cautionary tales, they told their friends, and their friends” Using emoticons to signify character moods and shortcuts of text speak, he uploaded test chapters to a website which got downloaded to phones.