Snakes and Earrings

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Snakes and Earrings (蛇にピアス, Hebi ni Piasu, ISBN 0-525-94889-9) is a novel written by the Japanese author Hitomi Kanehara in 2003, and it won the 2003 Akutagawa Prize for literature. It was translated into English by David Karashima. In 2007, a film-version directed by Yukio Ninagawa was released.


The story follows several months in the life of Lui, a young woman who, while exploring body modification, decides to split her tongue. It follows her feelings at this time, and her slow spiral downwards into alcoholism.


  • Lui (中沢 ルイ Nakazawa Lui), a nineteen-year-old woman who claims to be named after Louis Vuitton.
  • Ama (雨田 和則 Amada Kazunori), Lui's eighteen-year-old boyfriend.
  • Shiba-san (柴田 キヅキ Shibata Kizuki), a 24-year-old horishi (Japanese tattoo artist), body piercer and bisexual sadist.
  • Maki (マキ), a friend of Lui. A 'barbie-girl.'

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