Gleanings of Paradise

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Domesticated humans. Perhaps they embodied the state of man in the primordial age.
Rohan Kishibe, Gleanings of Paradise Chapter 7

Gleanings of Paradise (楽園の落穂, Rakuen no Ochibo) is a short story that is part of an anthology of short stories based on the Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan series. It was written by Ryo Yoshigami and published by Shueisha. Hirohiko Araki and Shueisha's editorial department also provided considerable input on the structure and plot.[2]

Gleanings of Paradise was included in a collection named Rohan Kishibe Does Not Frolic with three other stories, which released for sale on July 19, 2018. Gleanings of Paradise is on pages 195-264 in the volume.


Rohan is asked to work by a culinary magazine publisher and visits a recently opened casual French restaurant in Morioh to hear their presentation. The editor of the magazine, Toshiya Utsurogi, tells Rohan that they are collaborating with different popular writers and are planning to publish a monthly cooking manga with Rohan as the creator of the first chapter. Rohan is reluctant because of the difference in art style from his normal works.

Utsurogi then tells Rohan about the Gleanings of Paradise, which is said to be a legendary variety of wheat that can change the composition of the person who eats it. Utsurogi believes it could cure his daughter's allergy of wheat. His best friend from university, Shozo Yaginuma, was growing that wheat. Thus, Rohan decides to go with Utsurogi to visit Yaginuma's cultivation area.


Chapter 1

Rohan is at a new popular French restaurant that opened in Morioh to have lunch with an editor named Toshiya Utsurogi, who works for the publisher of a culinary magazine. Utsurogi eats three rolls of bread before the main course, but Rohan restrains himself from having more than one. He asks Utsurogi who the child with him is, who Rohan notices is a thin, young girl who seemed to be only five years old. Utsurogi introduces her as his daughter, Yo. Utsurogi has been raising her alone since he got divorced, but promises that she'll stay calm while they discuss work. Rohan observes how Utsurogi would thoroughly inspect the meals that arrived before giving some to his daughter. Rohan reminds Utsurogi to explain about the job offer. Utsurogi then requests Rohan to draw a cooking manga for his magazine, but Rohan retorts that his art style isn't suited for that genre. Utsurogi claims that Rohan has the powerful ability to communicate the appeal of things he features in his manga, since after he featured an overseas brand in his work, the sales of their bags skyrocketed. However, Rohan believes that a cooking manga would be too generic nowadays since the genre is oversaturated.

Utsurogi then reveals his trump card: the Gleanings of Paradise, a rare species of wheat considered legendary in the food industry. The village producing it said they would agree to answer any questions Rohan has for them. Rohan thinks it sounds like a scam and is about to refuse the offer, but then the meat dish of the main course arrives. He decides to finish eating the meal and pay for the lunch before leaving. However, Rohan notices Yo only taking one bite of the meat, making an expression as if her food was poisoned, and then giving the rest of her plate to her father. Rohan complains about her attitude and manners, but Utsurogi apologizes and divulges that his daughter is allergic to wheat so she must be careful since most food contains it in some way. Rohan feels a bit embarrassed about his reaction and silently finishes his meal. Utsurogi then explains how the leader of the village cultivating the Gleanings of Paradise is his best friend from university. He used to work at a company conducting research on genetically modified crops, but suddenly gave up his career one day and then started to pioneer a village deep in the mountains. This bizarre behavior evokes Rohan's interest, making him wonder why the Gleanings of Paradise would make someone do such a thing. Moreover, Rohan asks why Utsurogi's friend would also invite Yo to try eating the Gleanings of Paradise at the village with them when she isn't able to eat wheat.

Utsurogi secretly discloses how the Gleanings of Paradise have the ability to dramatically change the constitution of those who eat it. Apparently, his friend claimed that it could also cure Yo's wheat allergy. Rohan thinks wheat that can cure an allergy to wheat is paradoxical, so he decides to join Utsurogi and Yo for research.[3]

Chapter 2

Rohan, Utsurogi, and Yo trek for almost half a day to reach the village, located on the rocky summit of a mountain in the Kanto region. The place is not considered habitable for humans, as the climate was cool and dry, with very little annual rainfall. The land was also largely untouched until it was cleared for cultivating the Gleanings of Paradise, and there were no roads or vehicles. The overweight Utsurogi had difficulty walking so far, so they had to take several breaks. He even ate most of their food supplies himself, so they were running out. Finally, they reach the village as night approached, but Rohan is suddenly enveloped by a bright light from the wheat fields. Mesmerized by the wheat's shining beauty like a sea of gold, Rohan takes several photos on his camera.

The village chief approaches Rohan from behind, happy to hear his excitement as he claims that the wheat is basically God in his village. Utsurogi catches up to Rohan and hugs his friend, as the two are happy to see each other again after a long time. The man then shakes Rohan's hand, introducing himself as Shozo Yaginuma. The group head into the village, which Rohan notices is eerily quiet. There are only about ten unlit houses and no stables nearby. Moreover, the pebble-covered ground did not seem suitable for growing wheat. Yaginuma explains about the Marginal Zone theory; it proposes that agriculture originated from people living in lands where the supply of food available for hunting was unstable. The Gleanings of Paradise is an ancient variety of wheat from those times, where it naturally grew in cold weather conditions that would usually render growth impossible. He further explains how there are about thirty people and livestock combined residing in the village. They don't use electricity, gas, or water, since the creed of their village is to live the same way as people did when the ancient wheat was alive. The villagers didn't even use any machinery to cultivate the fields, instead doing everything by hand. Rohan is shocked at their devotion.

Yaginuma passionately describes how the symbiotic relationship between wheat and humans dates back to the Agricultural Revolution, emphasizing that wheat's encounter with humanity was just as fateful for its own reproduction. Yaginuma presents two different ears of wheat, highlighting the differences between the ancient Gleanings of Paradise and modern varieties of wheat. He believes that this ancient wheat, which he revived through genetic engineering, will eventually be cultivated by all of humanity.

Rohan asks Yaginuma if the Gleanings of Paradise really do change one's constitution once they eat it, to which Yaginuma confirms that it does. Utsurogi points out how Yaginuma used to be a beautiful, skinny boy who looked like a stereotypical scholar, but now looks like a completely different macho man. Yaginuma reveals that the changes depend entirely on the person who eats it. As they walk through the village, Rohan observes villagers manually grinding the wheat, wholly engrossed in their task and ignoring their guests. Yaginuma describes the process as a ritualistic act of accepting God. He offers Rohan a taste of the freshly ground Gleanings of Paradise, which Rohan and Utsurogi naturally accept.[4]

Chapter 3

Inside Yaginuma's house, he busily bakes bread in an oven built from mud and stacked stones, using a unique blend of freshly ground whole-wheat flour, salt, and water. Each loaf is meticulously scored with intricate patterns using a sharpened stone knife. As Yaginuma works, he explains the historical significance of bread-making. In ancient times, the village baker, responsible for baking the bread, was often the central figure in a community. This central role made bakers highly esteemed, and marrying one was considered a significant fortune.

When the bread made from the Gleanings of Paradise is ready, the visitors, particularly Utsurogi, are completely taken by its flavor. Even Rohan believes it to be more delicious than any other bread he's eaten, accepting that he was wrong when he assumed it would just be like ordinary wheat. He doesn't understand why, but he even feels compelled to tell others about the wheat. Yaginuma explains how the wheat tastes better when it's simmered in a porridge, which he promises to treat them to the next day. Rohan argues that they should offer it today so he doesn't have to stay another day longer with his busy schedule, but Yaginuma remains steadfast about maintaining the date of their harvest ritual, as it is a strictly observed custom. The bread's allure is so strong that Utsurogi finds it hard to stop eating, consuming loaf after loaf, with his stomach starting to swell up like a balloon. Rohan tries getting him to stop, since Yaginuma wanted to offer the bread to the villagers afterward, but Yaginuma claims that it's fine since they have rations stored. Utsurogi begins acting like a cow, grinding his jaws together and languidly chewing. He praises the food, but the pleasant atmosphere is disrupted when the topic of Yo's wheat allergy is broached. Yaginuma had previously assured Utsurogi that consuming this special wheat would cure Yo's allergy. But, in a sudden and unexpected turn, he initially refuses to let Yo eat the bread, causing tension and confusion.

After a heated exchange, during which Yaginuma seems to momentarily lose himself, he comes back to his senses. He reassures Utsurogi and promises that Yo will indeed be safe eating the Gleanings of Paradise. He reiterates his commitment to upholding his promise to cure her allergy. Yaginuma kneels beside Yo, comforting her and promising her a future where she will be free from the fear that has haunted her every meal.[5]

Chapter 4

The next day, Rohan notices the villagers in a peculiar posture, bent over like elderly people, when harvesting wheat. Yaginuma explains that it's more convenient for farm work. Near the milling hut, preparations for cooking are underway. A pot is set over a fire, and Rohan, Utsurogi, Yo, and Yaginuma, gather around. Rohan narrates how he decided to stay one more day because he wants to further research the Gleanings of Paradise. He's also concerned about the events of the previous night, especially Utsurogi's abnormal appetite and Yaginuma's inconsistent statements about curing Yo's allergy. Rohan is particularly worried about Yo and whether it's safe for her to consume this special wheat.

As the wheat is cooked into a porridge, the aroma intensifies the hunger of those waiting, including Rohan. The villagers eat first, their faces reflecting pure contentment. When it's Yo's turn, tension arises. She is hesitant and declares that she'll never eat it. Utsurogi, seemingly under the influence of the wheat, tries to force-feed her, leading to an intervention by Rohan, who tosses away the bowl from Yo's hand. He wedges himself between Yo and Utsurogi to protect her, suspecting that the wheat might be altering the personalities of those who consume it, drawing parallels to ergot-infected rye which can cause hallucinations and other symptoms. Utsurogi's behavior becomes even more erratic, as he starts consuming spilled porridge from the ground, behaving more like a wild animal than a human. Rohan continues sheltering Yo, who tightly clutches onto Rohan's clothes, paralyzed in fear. Yaginuma starts petting Utsurogi like a cow, casually mentioning that this is a regular occurrence in the village. He tries persuading Yo to eat again, telling Rohan that even though it seems like Utsurogi was forcing her to eat to an outsider, he was just showing love by wanting to feed his child delicious food.

Not believing him, Rohan uses Heaven's Door to delve into his mind to ensure they aren't in any danger. He finds that Yaginuma genuinely believes in the benefits of the Gleanings of Paradise and doesn't harbor any ill intentions towards them. However, to ensure their safety, Rohan writes a command in Yaginuma's mind to obey him. Rohan then sets conditions for their stay: they will leave the next day, and their meals should not include the special wheat. Yaginuma agrees, and Utsurogi, still under the influence of the wheat, repeatedly murmurs about its deliciousness as they slowly walk back to the hut.[6]

Chapter 5

Rohan is awakened in the middle of the night by a strong animal musk that fills their hut. He soon discovers that Utsurogi is missing. Rohan and Yo decide to search for him, but as they prepare to leave the hut, they notice two villagers standing guard outside, hinting at the villagers' involvement in Utsurogi's disappearance. To distract the guards, Yo throws pieces of leftover bread to lead them away. As they navigate the village, they witness disturbing sights: villagers leading livestock that have human-like features. These creatures are a grotesque blend of human and animal, suggesting that the villagers are being transformed into livestock such as chickens, cows, and pigs.

The duo eventually finds a hidden stable on the edge of the settlement, and inside, they discover Utsurogi, who has been transformed into a monstrous bull-like creature. They witness Yaginuma continuing to feed him kernels of wheat. Yaginuma murmurs to him that in time Rohan and Yo will also eat the wheat and they'll all be happy. When Yaginuma steps out of the stable, Rohan and Yo sneak inside. Yo runs to her father, but the giant cow hybrid, who Rohan compares to looking like the mythological Minotaur, nearly crushes her with his weight. Rohan uses Heaven's Door to force Utsurogi to get away from Yo, and tries to revert him back to his human state, but the transformation seems irreversible. His book's pages are being modified at an incredible pace, making it impossible for Rohan to write anything as they would get overwritten by some other consciousness. Rohan realizes from this, and from how Yaginuma was acting earlier, that Yaginuma appears to be using the wheat to turn humans into livestock-like slaves to cultivate more of the crop. Suddenly, Yaginuma and all of the other villagers holding torches surround the stable, trapping Rohan and Yo.[7]

Chapter 6

Yaginuma orders the transformed Utsurogi, who has taken on a half-bull form, to seize Rohan and Yo. He manages to grab Yo, and carries her toward Yaginuma. Yaginuma reveals that he wants Rohan to use his manga to extol the virtues of the Gleanings of Paradise wheat. Yaginuma believes that once Rohan consumes the wheat, he will be compelled to promote it willingly. Suddenly, Yaginuma slaps Utsurogi on his back, making him vomit out a porridge of the Gleanings of Paradise. Yaginuma demands that Rohan should eat it, so Utsurogi lets go of Yo to grab Rohan instead. Feeling nauseous that they were about to force him to eat such a thing, Rohan tries using Heaven's Door again even though he knows it wouldn't help. However, Yo comes between them and desperate to save her father from his transformed state, attempts to eat the wheat herself while crying. Utsurogi, in a fleeting moment of paternal instinct, stops her by scooping up the wheat and consuming it himself. He sends Yaginuma flying with one hit, then turns around and violently vomits all of the Gleanings of Paradise he ate. After expelling all the wheat from his body, he reverts to a slightly more human-like form, albeit with horns.

Rohan calls Utsurogi toward him and Yo, asking him to protect Yo while Rohan looks for a path. He uses Heaven's Door again to look through Yaginuma's memories. He uncovers that Yaginuma had initially embarked on a mission to help his friend Utsurogi, whose wife left him because the burden of managing Yo's allergy was too much for her to handle. He aimed to create a wheat variant that wouldn't trigger Yo's severe allergy. However, his experiments led him to inadvertently resurrect the ancient Gleanings of Paradise wheat. This wheat possesses a terrifying power: it can transform and dominate those who ingest it, bending them to its will. A shocking revelation dawns on Rohan: it isn't Yaginuma who's the puppet master of the village, but the wheat itself. This ancient grain has its own survival instincts, seeking to propagate and spread its influence.

The situation becomes increasingly dire as the villagers, under the malevolent influence of the wheat, start to converge on Rohan, Yo, and Utsurogi. Recognizing the immediate threat, Rohan determines that their best strategy is to retreat and devise a plan later. Utsurogi, with Yo safely in his arms, uses his formidable strength to bulldoze through the encircling villagers, creating a path for their escape. Rohan follows closely behind, and together, they dash into the safety of the night, evading the clutches of the wheat-controlled villagers.[8]

Chapter 7

Rohan, Yo, and Utsurogi find themselves at the edge of a cliff, surrounded by the wheat fields of the Gleanings of Paradise. As they stand amidst the wheat, Rohan reassures Yo that the wheat itself is harmless unless consumed. He also writes a command into Utsurogi that he does not want to eat the Gleanings of Paradise, just to be safe. He reflects on the nature of the wheat, understanding it as a resilient life form that adapted to its environment over millennia. To Rohan, the wheat is a tragic entity, having evolved to dominate and propagate itself without malice, but simply to survive. It's a powerful organism, akin to a dinosaur resurrected in the modern age, which has inadvertently wreaked havoc on the village.

Their moment of reflection is interrupted by the approach of Yaginuma and the villagers, who are under the wheat's control. Yaginuma, with a twisted sense of joy, tries to convince Rohan of the wheat's divine nature and the bliss it brings. He offers the wheat to Rohan, confident in their impending capture. However, Rohan is filled with anger and determination due to the wheat turning Utsurogi into a slave earlier after the man already suffered through so much hardship while raising his child. He uses Heaven's Door to command the villagers to set the wheat fields on fire. The villagers, torn between their duty to the wheat and Rohan's command, scramble to extinguish the flames. This diversion allows Rohan, Yo, and Utsurogi to slip past Yaginuma and the villagers. As they make their escape, Rohan reflects on the wheat's failure to coexist with humanity, contrasting it with other wheat varieties that have harmoniously evolved alongside humans. Rohan, Yo, and Utsurogi make a daring descent down the mountain, with the hope of finding safety away from the village and its cursed wheat.[9]

Chapter 8

In the aftermath of the village fire, the wheat fields of the Gleanings of Paradise were completely destroyed. The villagers, initially hesitant to leave the mountain, were eventually persuaded by the local government and rescue teams to accept aid. At the hospital, they showed signs of recovery, with many, including Yaginuma, recalling their time under the wheat's influence as a hazy dream. Rohan, keeping a close eye on the situation through newspapers, was relieved to find that the ancient wheat seemed to have been eradicated and the villagers were regaining their sanity. Utsurogi, who had been transformed by the wheat, was treated and recovered, and he and his daughter Yo were placed in a safe house arranged by Rohan.

A month after the incident, Rohan meets with Utsurogi and Yo at the same French restaurant in Morioh. As they dine, Utsurogi indulges in a lavish meal, while Rohan and Yo discuss the events of the past month. Utsurogi's memory of the events was vague, but Yo, who hadn't consumed the wheat, remembers everything. Rohan smiles when seeing Yo eat her food happily, causing Utsurogi to wonder when Rohan got so close to his daughter. Utsurogi tells Rohan that he spoke with an allergy specialist and started a treatment where Yo eats food she's allergic to in small amounts in order to desensitize her body. Rohan shares his insights about the nature of domestication, suggesting that perhaps humans were domesticated by wheat rather than the other way around. He proposes a horror manga idea based on their experiences, which Utsurogi enthusiastically approves of. However, the meal takes a tense turn when the chef presents them with a basket of freshly baked bread made from a new variety of wheat called the Gleanings of Paradise. Both Rohan and Utsurogi are alarmed, as Utsurogi has a strange feeling that he shouldn't eat it. Rohan wonders if it's a different, safer variety having the same name, or if a seed had been carried by the wind and dispersed, propagating in a different land. Not understanding the situation, Yo reaches out to try the bread, but both men instinctively stop her, leading to a humorous back-and-forth about who should taste it first.[10]





  1. Compilation Release
  2. @ryoshigami (July 19, 2018), "発売中の『岸辺露伴は戯れない』収録の短篇『楽園の落穂』は、プロット段階から荒木飛呂彦先生にビシバシご指導頂き、これまでになく高密度の物語を構築できました。", on Twitter.
  3. Gleanings of Paradise Chapter 1
  4. Gleanings of Paradise Chapter 2
  5. Gleanings of Paradise Chapter 3
  6. Gleanings of Paradise Chapter 4
  7. Gleanings of Paradise Chapter 5
  8. Gleanings of Paradise Chapter 6
  9. Gleanings of Paradise Chapter 7
  10. Gleanings of Paradise Chapter 8

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