Breadhead Alice


Breadhead Alice is my attempt at chronicling the tumbling through the rabbit hole that has been my experience in Japan. As a literary background, I chose the story of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Caroll, as I feel Alice’s journey into adulthood and the nonsense-filled Wonderland mirrors my own. Japan is my Wonderland, and I am its Alice; we both mutually terrify and fascinate each other. And just like Alice, I can’t help but want to take a bite out of everything I find in Wonderland.


I’ve rewritten the story as a script for an interactive game to fit my own vision of Alice’s, and emphasize the characters by turning them into icons using visual cues lifted from both eastern and western religious iconography (i.e. Shinto, Buddhist, Christian, etc…) .

In this world, everyone you meet leaves an indelible tattoo on your skin and Alice’s immaculate skin instantly denotes her as an outsider. Every creature slowly turns into a youkai (traditional japanese monster) representing their biggest fears or ugliest deeds as they age: the Queen of Heart is an insatiable Futakuchi Onna (two-mouthed woman) that eventually starts cannibalizing herself in anger, the White Rabbit is a harmless Tofu Kozo leading you astray and so on.

Have I mentioned that “White Rabbit” is a title of nobility at the Queen of Hearts’ court, and not the name of the actual character? Families of rabbits have been breeding incessantly in Wonderland, trying to create the perfect heir to the White Rabbit name. Being selected as the next aide to the Queen is a huge honor, albeit usually a short one… (OFF WITH HIS HEAD- why else would the White Rabbit always be on edge?). That’s where rabbits get their reputation for… breeding a lot, according to Wonderland’s inhabitants.


© 2016 by Dina Abou Karam