| Jan 6, 2008

Social realism enhanced by the pastoral

MOUNTAINS PAINTED WITH TURMERIC by Lil Bahadur Chettri, translated from Nepali by Michael J. Hutt. New York: Columbia University Press, 2007, $22.50 (cloth) Originally published in the late 1950s, this novel — says the blurb — “is one of the few books almost every ...

| Dec 23, 2007

The many faces of a complex city

TOKYO TOKYO TOKYO, photographs by Gorazd Vilhar, text by Charlotte Anderson. IBC Publishing Co., 2007, 144 pp., ¥3,300 (cloth) The very title of this new collection by Gorazd Vilhar and Charlotte Anderson suggests multiple Tokyos. It posits a city so multifaceted that only various ...

| Dec 9, 2007

Finding the self and losing others

Losing Keiby Suzanne Kamata. Wellfleet, Mass.: Leapfrog Press, 2007, 196 pp., $14.95 (¥1,554) Like France, after World War II Japan has hosted a varied group of expatriate writers. Though no Hemingways or Gertrude Steins have yet emerged, expectation remains. A part of this expectation ...

| Dec 2, 2007

Forever passing on ancient secrets of strategy

The Art of War: Sun Zi’s Military Methods, foreword by Arthur Waldron. New York: Columbia University Press, 208 pp., with frontispiece, 2007, $19.95 (cloth) Here is a new translation of the sixth-century-B.C. Chinese military manual that has been long seen as the definitive work ...

| Nov 25, 2007

Muso Soseki's garden of Zen

A Zen Life in Nature: Muso Soseki in His Gardens by Keir Davidson. Ann Arbor: Center for Japanese Studies, University of Michigan, 2007, 298 pp. with 28 illustrations, $28.00 (paper) Muso Soseki (1275-1351), one of the most prominent Zen masters of the Muromachi Period, ...

| Nov 11, 2007

The poetry of women's emotions

Japanese Women Poets: An Anthology, translated and with an introduction by Hiroaki Sato. Armonk, New York: M.E. Sharpe, Inc., 2007, 548 pp., with photos, chronology, bibliography and index, $34.95 (paper) About lyric poetry, Wordsworth said that it was “the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings.” ...

Oct 18, 2007

A country caught in the grip of a regime

MYANMAR — Rangoon (or Yangon as it is now called) seen from the air seems subdued, at least after brilliant nighttime Bangkok. Just a light here and there, otherwise a carpet of darkness. This extends even down into the new and otherwise imposing “national” ...