Donald Richie

Donald Richie began writing regularly for The Japan Times in 1954, initially writing film and stage reviews. In the early ’70s he began writing book reviews and continued contributing until 2009. He wrote more than 40 books on Japanese aesthetics, and he is widely considered the pre-eminent expert on Japanese cinema.

For Donald Richie's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

| Sep 30, 2007

Sophistication from improvisation

Kitano Takeshi. London: British Film Institute, 2007, 272 pp., with photos. £16.99 (paper) This is a brilliant book on a mercurial subject. Takeshi Kitano is an actor and film director, ubiquitous on television as well, who has become a media event. His persona has ...

| Sep 23, 2007

Yasodharapura, revived in literature

A Record of Cambodia: The Land and Its People, by Zhou Daguan, translated with an introduction and notes by Peter Harris, foreword by David Chandler, and photographs by Julian Circo. Chiang Mai: Silkworm Books, 2007, 150 pp., 595 bhats (paper) In 1295, the same ...

| Sep 16, 2007

Finding Confucius as a friend

The Analects of Confucius, translated by Burton Watson. New York: Columbia University Press, 2007, 162 pp., $19.95 (cloth) Confucius (551-479 B.C.) came from low-ranking nobility and grew up in considerable poverty. Perhaps that is why he seemed so sensitive to matters of class and ...

| Sep 9, 2007

Taking a good look at Tokyo's eclectic fashion

The Tokyo Look Book: Stylish To Spectacular, Goth To Gyaru, Sidewalk To Catwalk by Philomena Keet, photographs by Yuri Manabe. Tokyo: Kodansha International, 2007, 224 pp., profusely illustrated, ¥3,000 (paper). It was the philosopher George Santayana who penned these wise words: “Fashion is something ...

| Sep 2, 2007

Filmmaker, writer, little boy

Boy, by Takeshi Kitano, translated by David James Karashima. New York: Vertical Inc., 80 pp., $17.95 (cloth). These three stories by one of Japan’s most popular film directors (aka Beat Takeshi, one of Japan’s most popular TV comedians) were originally published in 1987. They ...

| Aug 26, 2007

It's ladies first now in Japanese love hotels

Japanese Love Hotels: A Cultural History, by Sarah Chaplin. London/New York: Routledge, 2007, 242 pp. with photos, figures and tables, £85 (cloth) The love-hotel industry is one of Japan’s most profitable. It accounts for more than ¥4 trillion a year, a figure nearly four ...

| Aug 19, 2007

New translations reveal new depths of classic works

Mandarins: Stories by Ryunosuke Akutagawa. Translated by Charles De Wolf. New York: Archipelago Books, 2007, 255 pp., $16.00 (paper) Good, new and much needed translations of the stories of Ryunosuke Akutagawa (1892-1927) have recently begun to appear. Last year there was the Penguin edition ...

| Aug 12, 2007

Lauded in the West, ignored in the East

Sessue Hayakawa: Silent Cinema and Transnational Stardom, by Daisuke Miyao. Duke University Press, 2007, 380 pp., with 23 illustrations, $23.95 (paper) Kintaro Hayakawa (1886-1973), born in modest circumstances in Chiba, went on to have an extraordinary and unexpected life elsewhere. Now renamed Sesshu (Sessue) ...

| Aug 5, 2007

Keeping the horror of Hiroshima alive

Masako’s Story: Surviving the Atomic Bombing of Hiroshima, by Kikuko Otake, edited by Dr. Jesse Glass. Tokyo/Toronto: Ahadada Books, 2007, 94 pp. with photos and maps, $15 (paper) The cenotaph for the Hiroshima victims reads “Let all the souls here rest in peace, for ...