Launch of Canary Press Issue #5

Posted in Uncategorized on August 30, 2014 by Eric Yoshiaki Dando



So happy to have my new story about a vegetarian butcher called “Coop” in the new edition of Canary Press #5.



Mr Potato

Miss Beardall was shaped like an apple and smelled of Lux soap and talcum powder. I couldn’t get enough of her. I followed her around when she had yard duty. At lunchtime I would watch her through the window of the staff room smoking cigarettes with another teacher who was pear shaped.

Miss Beardall was the only person who appreciated how much I liked potatoes. Everything I learnt from her had a vague reference to potatoes.

She made a point of introducing me to other vegetables. She brought a whole bunch of them in a basket every week. Everybody got to sample a fruit or a vegetable they had never tried before. I remember the first time I tasted my first mango , and my taste buds just went bonkers. I had mango all over my face.

‘You are a fruit,’ she said.


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Posted in Uncategorized on June 25, 2014 by Eric Yoshiaki Dando


I find a Japanese toy from the 70’s when I am digging under my dad’s house. Just three parts of a magnetic robot bird. We used to call it a Micronaught. You can put the head of a bird on the body of a man. You can take the arms off the magnetic robot man and attach the wings of the magnetic robot bird to make a magnetic robot bird man. The possibilities are endless depending on how many Micronaughts you have. All you have to do is keep all the bits and pieces in the same place at the same time.

Our toys were stored under the house before our dad took them all to the tip in 1983. It was true we hadn’t played with them for a long time. If I had all those toys now, I could buy a house and a horse and a boat.


I crawl around under my dad’s house like a slater, or an earwig or a daddy long legs looking for the missing parts of the magnetic robot bird. All I find is an Abba card. And, even though it is quite damaged, I put it up on eBay straight away and get $17 paid straight into my PayPal account.

I dig for other missing parts on eBay. I get hundreds of hits for Micronaughts, but none of them have any relation to my particular magnetic robot bird I was given by a Japanese judo player in the early seventies.

I am not sure if I can make this bird whole again. Once a part of something is lost it is hard to get it all back together again. All I can do is assemble the parts that I have and imagine what it looked like way back then.


Thud, thud, thud like giant mutant monsters destroying Tokyo

What is that constant thud? Oh that is coming from the dojo in our back yard. That is the heavy thud of bodies hitting the tatami. Thud. Thud.

Whenever the Japanese judo players visit we get presents – Micronaughts and kimonos and salted fish and salted plums. Seaweed. We run all of the multicoloured fish kites up the flag pole to flap flap flap in the breeze.

Thud. Thud. Thud.


I still have a pair of his pyjamas

One time I was given a little plastic robot toy man by my dad’s sensei, Yoshiaki Shinojima. He treated me like a prince. He bought me a lot of lollies at the milk bar and attempted to give me serious advice about respecting my parents. He smoked a lot of menthol cigarettes and I still remember the smell of his pyjamas. He fought in some serious battles against Australia and New Zealand in New Guinea when he served in the Japanese army in World War II. And he owned two actual tigers that he kept back in his house in Japan. One of his tigers was called Tora, as in Tora, Tora, Tora.

I can’t remember what his other tiger’s name was. I do remember that Tora was on a Japanese stamp. I know my mother still has three of those stamps on a strip glued into an album in a box marked JAPAN 1970 stored in the roof of her house.


Mr Stinky

Mr Shinojima is visiting our house with a couple of his students from Japan. They are training with my father in the dojo for serious judo business. They spend a lot of time throwing each other to the ground with a loud thud. There is always the occasional audible groan or scream or yell in the morning or dead of night. Thud, thud, thud. They shake the foundations. They disrupt the reception of the TV each time they hit the tatami.

Nearly all of our toys are Japanese and we have no idea what they are or what they do or what they are called. We can’t read the instructions.

I ask one of the judo students about the little plastic robot man and Yukihiro says he is called Mr Stinky. The special power of Mr Stinky is stinking out his enemies.

Then Yukihiro sniffs at my t-shirt and holds his nose.

‘You are Mr Stinky,’ he says, handing Mr Stinky back to me in disgust.


Then later, at a Barbeque with all the Judo Boys from Bendigo and Nunawading,

Mr Shinojima is drinking Fosters with my dad and Yukihiro and I am playing with Mr Stinky.

Mr Shinojima asks me if I like his present and I say oh yes and my dad says -

‘What is it? What is it called?’

And I notice Yukihiro suddenly panic stricken, turning blood red in front of my dad and Mr Shinojima.

‘This is Mr Stinky.’ I say.

‘Mr Stinky?’ says Mr Shinojima, turning to Yukihiro.

‘No,’ says Yukihiro. ‘Not Mr Stinky. This is Ultraman.’

Mr Shinojima is saying something Japanese to Yukihiro under his breath and Yukihiro is looking deep down into his shoes.

And from the dojo the thud thud of heavy human beings like drums.



First published in Under the Stilts, 2013

Ania Walwicz Book Launch

Posted in Uncategorized on April 27, 2014 by Eric Yoshiaki Dando


Saturday 3rd May, 2pm at La Mama Theatre, the amazing Ania Walwicz launches her new book:

Palace of Culture (Puncher and Wattmann)

A book of dreams. Dreams come true.

Easter Story

Posted in Eric Yoshiaki Dando, Grunge Literature, Melbourne Grunge Literature with tags , , on April 10, 2014 by Eric Yoshiaki Dando

howie is abducted by aliens


howie is wondering if he should steal some food from the 7 eleven. he stands undecided in front of the window, holding his wood-carving bag tightly under his arm. consuming 7 eleven products is an environmental decision that needs much contemplation.


the stars are invisible. the police car trundles to a flash of brake lights, u-turns over a curb and bathes howie in a bright, unnatural beam of light. this is how some people kill rabbits.


they rummage through his bag and find his wood-carving tools. they accuse him of trying to rob the 7 eleven with a chisel and a screwdriver. howie tells them that only jesus christ can save their souls, and they take him down the station, beat the shit out of him.


they knuckle his ears, twist his nose, pull his hair. weak telephone-book tortures that leave no scars and resemble a three stooges movie. they call him a faggot and a dickhead and a loser.


one of the policemen was pretending to be a roman soldier


hey jesus, get here jesus. got something for you. got these two planks of red gum, got these railway spikes. gonna nail your hide to a tree. gonna whip your arse boy. gonna wrap blackberry canes and hawthorn around your head. sell all your stuff at camberwell market. what you going to do about all that, jesus?


yeah. you’re a poofta jesus. you’re weak as piss.


out rabbit, out weevil, out damned spot


not a very good friday if you ask me and as might be expected, mrs baker has bought too many red-spot special hot-cross buns. she wraps them in plastic and stores them in the freezer. they seem to be in it together, howie and his mother. they are saving up food for armageddon.


the cats are hungry today. mrs baker seems to have neglected them in the shopping, and now they are pissed off. they look at me from empty stomachs, search through the pockets of my jacket for little bits of biscuit. the cats in this house are cagey, streetwise; they take hostages, hold down all the exits, hijack the fridge. when we came home with the shopping, i saw one of them making off with a hunk of vegetable lasagne.


Under the Stilts

Posted in Uncategorized on February 17, 2014 by Eric Yoshiaki Dando

New microfiction from Eric Yoshiaki Dando in Under the Stilts


Illustration from Tilly Hutchison. See more of her work at


a new poem about alicia sometimes

Posted in Uncategorized on December 15, 2013 by Eric Yoshiaki Dando





alicia sometimes



alicia sometimes alicia sometimes

i’m still trying to think

of things

that rhyme with alicia


Best Australian Stories 2013

Posted in Uncategorized on November 21, 2013 by Eric Yoshiaki Dando


Real happy that my story ‘The Eulogy’ was selected by Kim Scott for Best Australian Stories 2013.


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