| Jun 15, 2008

War and propaganda: a Japanese narrative

CERTAIN VICTORY: Images of World War II in the Japanese Media, by David C. Earhart. Armonk: M.E. Sharpe Inc., 2008, 552 pp., with photographs, maps, illustrations, $74.95 (cloth) One way to induce people to kill other people is to dehumanize “the enemy.” And one ...

| Jun 8, 2008

Passionate romance in old Japan

THE LAST CONCUBINE by Leslie Downer. London: Bantam Press, 2008, 480 pp., £12.99 (cloth) The beautiful young Sachi grew up in the mountains of rural Japan, but she always seemed to herself more than a mere farm girl, samurai stock though she was. As ...

| Jun 1, 2008

Old Royal Siam revisited

TRAVELER IN SIAM IN THE YEAR 1655: Extracts from the Journal of Gijsbert Heeck, translated and introduced by Barend Jan Terwiel. Chiang Mai: Silkworm Books, 2008, 124 pp., with b/w pictures and drawings, full-color maps and illustrations, 2008, 595 Bahts (paper) In 1903, the ...

| May 25, 2008

The poetic power of skepticism

AMERICA AND OTHER POEMS by Nobuo Ayukawa, selected and translated by Shogo Oketani and Leza Lowitz. New York: Kaya Press, 2008, 152 pp. $14.95 (paper) Nobuo Ayukawa (1920-1986) has in the West remained a relatively unknown poet. Though included in the “Columbia Anthology of ...

| May 18, 2008

Nature naturalized in Japanese gardens

INCOMPARABLE JAPANESE GARDENS, photographs by Gorazd Vilhar, text by Charlotte Anderson. Tokyo: IBC Publishing, 2008, 192 pp., with 159 full-color plates, ¥5,500 (cloth) If we compare the “incomparable,” we will discover that the difference of the Japanese garden depends upon the Japanese, very different, ...

| May 11, 2008

Brushwork ethereal as the London mists

YOSHIO MARKINO: A Japanese Artist in Edwardian London, revised edition, by Sammy I. Tsunematsu, preface by Ross S. Kilpatrick. London: The Soseki Museum, 2008, 208 pp. ¥1,850 (paper) Born in 1869, died in 1956, Yoshio Markino, an artist better remembered in England than in ...

| Apr 27, 2008

Taking readers back to the Occupation

FROM JAPAN WITH LOVE, text and photos by Mary Ruggieri, foreword by Richard Ruggieri. San Rafael, CA: Portsmouth Publishing, 2008, 264 pp., 400 monochrome photos, $24.95 (paper) From the autumn of 1946 to the spring of 1948 Mary Ruggieri was stationed in the Women’s ...

| Apr 20, 2008

Helping newcomers settle in Japan

HANDBOOK FOR NEWCOMERS, MIGRANTS AND IMMIGRANTS TO JAPAN, by Arudou Debito and Higuchi Akira, 2008, 376 pp. ¥2,300 (paper) In this important and necessary book the authors address migrants and immigrants to Japan in saying that “we believe that your life in Japan should ...

| Apr 13, 2008

Mishima's literary mistress

MISHIMA ON STAGE: The Black Lizard and Other Plays, edited and with an introduction by Laurence Kominz, foreword by Donald Keene. Ann Arbor: Center for Japanese Studies, University of Michigan, 2007, xii + 328 pp., with photographs, $70.00 (cloth), $26.00 (paper) Though most famous ...