Covers of the 1987 republication. Art by Yoshitaka Amano.
|Media type||Print (hardcover and paperback)|
Teito Monogatari (帝都物語 lit., The Tale of the Imperial Capital ) is an epic historical dark fantasy/science fiction novel written by fantasy literature scholar and natural history specialist Hiroshi Aramata. It began circulation in a literary magazine owned by Kadokawa Shoten in 1983, and was then published in 10 volumes over the course of 1985–1987.
The novel is a romanticized reconstruction of the 20th century history of Tokyo from an occultist perspective (a fictional cryptohistory). It was a major success in its native country, winning the 1987 Nihon SF Taisho Award  and going on to sell over 5 million copies in Japan alone. It is renowned for introducing a variety of new topics into Japanese fantasy fiction, most notably onmyodo mysticism and feng shui mythology.   Likewise many modern Japanese artists and scholars attribute inspiration to the work  and its influence can still be felt to this very day.
The main character of the novel is Yasunori Katō, a mysterious former lieutenant of the Imperial Japanese Army, a powerful sorcerer and an oni; the embodiment of the curse of the indigenous tribes of the Japanese islands who fought against the Yamato Court in ancient times. With his incredible knowledge of the supernatural and allies in China, Korea, and Taiwan; Katō dedicates his life to crippling Tokyo, the seat of power of the modern Japanese Empire. Fictional characters, such as Abe no Seimei's descendant Yasumasa Hirai and the valiant miko Keiko Tatsumiya, and historical characters, such as Koda Rohan, Izumi Kyoka, and Yukio Mishima, band together in a widespread effort to stop Katō and save Tokyo. The resulting conflict spans several generations. The narrative begins near the end of the Meiji Period and reinvents major historical events such as the Great Kanto Earthquake, the founding of Japan's first subway, the February 26 Incident, the firebombing raids, the signing of the 1960 US Security Pact, and the ritual suicide of Yukio Mishima. It finally reaches its climax in 1998, the 73rd year of a fictional Shōwa period.
List of characters
The historical characters who play primary or supporting roles in the story include:
- Taira no Masakado
- Tachibana no Hayanari
- Tōyama Kagemoto
- Hirata Atsutane
- Hijikata Toshizō
- Ichimura Tetsunosuke
- Enomoto Takeaki
- Edward and Henry Schnell
- Prince Sawara
- Sugawara no Michizane
- Thomas Blakiston
- Kōda Rohan
- Satō Nobuhiro
- Joseph Needham
- Mori Ōgai
- Torahiko Terada
- Hantaro Nagaoka
- Karl Haushofer
- Shoma Morita
- Makoto Nishimura
- Shibusawa Eiichi
- Kyōka Izumi
- Masatoshi Ōkōchi
- Noritsugu Hayakawa
- Wajiro Kon
- Goto Shinpei
- Korekiyo Takahashi
- Kanji Nakajima
- Ikki Kita
- Kanji Ishiwara
- Hideki Tojo
- Ōtani Kōzui
- Franklin D. Roosevelt
- Shūmei Ōkawa
- Masahiko Amakasu
- Hisaya Morishige
- Yukio Mishima
- George Gurdjieff
- Kadokawa Gen'yoshi
- Haruki Kadokawa
The tenth volume of the novel, published in 1987, was originally intended to be the final volume. However when the novel was republished in 1987-1989, additional eleventh and twelfth volumes were also written to supplement more of the story around 1945, the end of World War II. When the novel was republished in 1995, volumes 11 and 12 were inserted in the chronologically appropriate spot between volumes 5 and 6.
- Vol. 1: Great Spirit of Tokyo (神霊篇)
- Vol. 2: Supernatural Babylon (魔都（バビロン）篇)
- Vol. 3: The Great Earthquake (大震災（カタストロフ）篇)
- Vol. 4: Movement of the Dragon (龍動篇)
- Vol. 5: Advent of the Devil (魔王篇)
- Vol. 6: Great War in the Capital (戦争（ウォーズ）篇)
- Vol. 7: Greater East Asia (大東亜篇)
- Vol. 8: The Phoenix (不死鳥篇)
- Vol. 9: Rampant Evil (The Demon's Journey of 100 Nights) (百鬼夜行篇)
- Vol. 10: Shrine of the Future (未来宮篇)
- Vol. 11: Power of the Morning Spirit (喪神篇)
- Vol. 12: Resurrection (復活篇)
List of Publications
- 10 volumes, 1985–1987, cover art by Suehiro Maruo
- 12 volumes, 1987–1989, cover art by Yoshitaka Amano
- 6 volumes, 1995, cover art by Shou Tajima (this is the edition currently in print)
Concept and Creation
The novel originally served as a minor side project for Hiroshi Aramata who, at the time, was focused on gathering materials for an upcoming natural history book he planned to publish. While participating in the creation of Heibonsha World Encyclopedia, Hiroshi Aramata was inspired by discussions with anthropologist Komatsu Kazuhiko about sources of the strange and the mysterious in Japanese folklore. These discussions inspired Aramata to share this knowledge with general readers in the form of fiction. Thus, Aramata began work on a fantasy romance that would meld lesser known concepts of the occult with modern Japanese history.
Professor of Human Geography Paul Waley cites Teito Monogatari as a major influence in educating an entire generation of Japanese readers about Tokyo's former status as an Imperial Capital. Dr. Noriko T. Reider, associate professor of Japanese Studies at Miami University, describes it as an "exemplary work of fiction" and has cited it as being responsible for raising "the oni's status and popularity greatly in modern times."  Higashi Masao, a foremost authority in the field of Japanese weird fiction, and Akira Okawada, a specialist on Japanese science fiction, have both written articles about the novel's impact on the respective genres. Critics in Japan have drawn comparisons between the novel and popular English alternate history fantasy works such as Alan Moore's Watchmen and Kim Newman's Anno Dracula series.
Historical topics such as the legacy of Taira no Masakado  and Japan's first robot Gakutensoku  gained extra popularity through the novel. Mystical topics that were first popularized through the work include onmyōdō mysticism, shikigami, fūsui (feng shui) mythology, kodoku magic, shijie, gohō dōji and Kimon Tonkou magic. Interest in onmyōdō mysticism gained much greater momentum from even more successful works such as Baku Yumemakura's Onmyoji novels and Natsuhiko Kyogoku's Kyōgokudō (京極堂) series. The success of these aforementioned franchises and Teito Monogatari have led to countless modern fantasy works revolving around onmyoji to be produced in contemporary Japanese fiction.
The novel's popularity also contributed to a renaissance of fūsui studies all across Japan,  culminating in the country's feng shui boom of the 1990s, where the history of the practice was explored in many scientific fields including cultural anthropology, history, architecture city planning, and geography. 
Spin-offs and Prequels
- The Sim-Feng Shui (シム・フースイ Shimu-Fūsui ) series: Published 1993-2001. A multi-volume novel starring Tatsuto Kuroda, the grandson of the feng shui expert Shigemaru Kuroda from the main Teito Monogatari novel, as he struggles against various spiritual disturbances across Japan. The fourth volume of this series was made into an independent tokusatsu film titled Tokyo Dragon (東京龍 Tōkyō Doragon ), released in 1997.
- Teito Monogatari Gaiden Karakuri Dōji (帝都物語外伝 機関童子): Published 1995. A spin-off of the main story, set in 1998 The film Teito Monogatari Gaiden (帝都物語外伝) (1995) is loosely based on it.
- Teito Gendan (帝都幻談): Republished 2007–2011. A prequel to the original novel, set during the Edo period. Illustrations by Shigeru Mizuki, with an introduction by Natsuhiko Kyogoku.
- Shin Teito Monogatari (新帝都物語): Published 2001, republished in 2009. A follow-up to Teito Gendan, set during the Bakumatsu.
- Teito Monogatari Iroku (帝都物語異録): Published 2001. The "secret origins" of Yasunori Katō. This collection features the writings of a multitude of Japanese authors.
- The Great Yokai War (妖怪大戦争 Yōkai Daisensō ): A 2005 fantasy film by Takashi Miike. Yasunori Katō leads an army of twisted yōkai on an invasion of Tokyo. Was made in cooperation with Hiroshi Aramata (who wrote the novel), Shigeru Mizuki and Natsuhiko Kyogoku.
A humorous stage adaptation of the novel was penned by manga artist Usamaru Furuya and performed by the Tokyo Grand Guignol Theater in the mid-1980s. It is most notable for introducing the talents of its star Kyūsaku Shimada, the actor who would become most associated with the image of the protagonist Yasunori Kato in future film adaptations.
- Teito Monogatari (帝都物語 aka, BABYLON TOKYO ), illustrated by Kamui Fujiwara, published by Kadokawa Shoten in 1987 and republished in 1999. A visual adaptation of books 1-4. (ISBN 978-4049260038)
- Teito Monogatari: TOKIO WARS (帝都物語 ワイド版), illustrated by Yōsuke Takahashi, published by Dragon Comics in 1989 and republished by Kadokawa Shoten in 2008. A visual adaptation of "Advent of the Devil" (book 5) and "Great War in the Capital" (book 6, formerly book 11). (ISBN 978-4776794141)
- Teito Monogatari (帝都物語), illustrated by Takashi Kawaguchi, published by Shogakukan in Big Comic Spirits in 1987. It is currently unavailable in book form.
In 1987, a cinematic adaptation of the same name, adapting the first four volumes of the novel, was produced by Exe Studios and distributed by Toho Studios. Released theatrically across Japan on January 1988, the film was a critical and commercial success, becoming one of the top ten highest grossing domestic movies of that year. The movie was eventually distributed to English speaking countries under the title Tokyo: The Last Megalopolis
The success of this adaptation prompted the production of a sequel Teito Taisen (帝都大戦) (1989), loosely based on "Great War in the Capital".
In 1991, the first cinematic adaptation was remade into a four-part OVA anime of the same name produced by Madhouse. The anime was adapted to the US by Streamline Pictures under the title Doomed Megalopolis in 1995. Although the plot of the anime loosely parallels the original story, the production is renowned for being much more darker and provocative than its source material or any other adaptation preceding it.
- Yami Fuku Natsu: Teito Monogatari Futatabi (闇吹く夏 帝都物語ふたたび): A survival horror title published in 1999 by Bee Factory, Inc. Although marketed under the title Teito Monogatari, it is actually an adaptation of the Sim-Feng Shui series.
- Musubi no Yama Hiroku: Another classic historical fantasy novel with a similar premise by renowned science fiction author Ryō Hanmura.
- The Sea of Fertility: Yukio Mishima's character arc in Teito Monogatari is modeled off this classic tetralogy.
- 文芸雑誌小說初出総覧:1981-2005. Pg. 92.
- Clute, John & Grant, John. The Encyclopedia of Fantasy St. Martin's Griffin, 1999. page 515. (ISBN 0312198698)
- "日本SF大賞" (in Japanese). Science Fiction Writers of Japan. Retrieved June 1, 2009.
- Kadokawa Shoten Press Release for SHIN TEITO MONOGATARI
- Reider, Noriko T. Japanese Demon Lore: Oni from Ancient Times to the Present Utah State University Press, 2010. (ISBN 0874217938)
- Kazuhiko, Komatsu. "Seimei jinja" 28-61
-  柴田剛監督＆主演の石井モタコ登場！狂った世界に立ち向かうバカを描く 映画「堀川中立売」, 2010.11.16
- Harper, Jim. Flowers from Hell: The Modern Japanese Horror Film Noir Publishing. (ISBN 0953656470)
- Yasumasa Hirai: He [Katō] is a descendant of those who rebelled against the imperial court in ancient times. Katō is a villain who inherited the grudge and the heresy from them and will endanger the unbroken Japanese imperial line. (Teito Monogatari vol. 1) Kadokawa Shoten, translated by Noriko T. Reider, 1985, 2010
- Aramata, Hiroshi (1989), Birds of the World: as painted by 19th century artists, Crown Publishers, ISBN 0-517-57374-1
- Reider, Noriko T. Japanese Demon Lore: Oni from Ancient Times to the Present Utah State University Press, 2010. 117. (ISBN 0874217938)
- Waley, Paul. Japanese Capitals in Historical Perspective: Place, Power and Memory in Kyoto, Edo and Tokyo Routledge, January 6, 2003. page 245. (ISBN 070071409X)
- Reider, Noriko T. "Oni and Japanese Identity" Utah State University Press, 2010.
- Masao, Higashi. "A Mammoth Story which Leads Reality: The Impact of TEITO MONOGATARI", KWAI Magazine, vol. 23
- Okawada, Akira. "The Comprehensive Tokyo Related Science Fiction", S-F Magazine, September 2010, Hayakawa Shoubo
- Japanese Review of WATCHMEN (2009). Retrieved on 2013-4-13.
- Japanese Review of ANNO DRACULA. Retrieved on 2013-4-13.
- Dupaigne, Bernard. Histoires de fantômes et de revenants Editions L'Harmattan, Jan 1, 2013. page 239-240.
- Hornyak, Timothy N. Loving the Machine Kodansha International, May 25, 2006. page 40. (ISBN 4770030126)
- Japanese Review of TEITO MONOGATARI (1988). Retrieved on 2012-8-07.
- Shūkyō Kenkyūkai, Japanese Journal of Religious Studies, Volume 74, Issues 324-327, Pg. 273, University of Michigan, 2000
- Tembata, Hideaki & Okazaki, Shigeyuki, "Enclosed Spaces for Seoul and Kaesong based on Feng-Shui". Intercultural Understanding, vol. 1, Pg. 89-97, 2011
- "Tokyo Grand Guignol". Usumaru Furuya Unofficial Website. Retrieved 2011-11-11.
- John A. Lent. The Asian Film Industry, pg. 41, Christopher Helm Publishers Ltd, February 22, 1990
- Harper, Jim. Flowers from Hell: The Modern Japanese Horror Film Noir Publishing. (ISBN 0953656470)