"The reader should set out to read this book prepared to smoke his imaginary poppy seed throughout his reading of the Introduction, which will initiate the appropriate setting for drifting into the vivid images which the stories provoke -- softly at first, absorbed by the somber serenity of "Withered Fields," and then, to relieve his wistfulness, he might plunge into the passion and blood of "The Robbers," or give himself up to the mercy of the "Kappa" and Lunatic No. 23. By this time he should be able to walk comfortably up the wall and over the ceiling.
At such a stage of relaxation he will have no inhibitions about badgers. . ."
It goes on and gets even weirder. When it's over, you will be all agog. A fantastic little find from 1964, it has 22 illustrations by Masakazu Kuwata, each one as beautiful, or more so, than the cover above. There are even quizzical supplementary notes for each story (A Ri=2.44029 miles). And the photo of Ryunosuke Akutagawa (known mostly for writing Rashomon) is almost mind-disabling!