Elizabeth Ward

For Elizabeth Ward's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

| Feb 24, 2002

Moral absolutism on trial

ONE MAN’S JUSTICE, by Akira Yoshimura, translated by Mark Ealey. New York, San Diego and London: Harcourt, 2001, 276 pp., $23 (cloth) In every society, even the most apparently open-minded, there are times when some questions become taboo. In the United States right now, ...

Sep 30, 2001

Postwar Japan finds a voice

SILENCE TO LIGHT: Japan and the Shadows of War, Manoa 13:1, edited by Frank Stewart and Leza Lowitz. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 2001, 217 pp. Manoa, published by the University of Hawai’i, is a twice-yearly journal of Pacific Rim writing and graphic art, ...

Jul 22, 2001

Dead-end lives in the suburbs of Tokyo

LIFE IN THE CUL-DE-SAC, by Senji Kuroi. Translated by Philip Gabriel. Berkeley, Calif.: Stone Bridge Press, 2001, 231 pp., $12.95. To read this version of “Life in the Cul-de-Sac” is to experience two conflicting emotions. On the one hand, there is admiration for the ...

Apr 25, 2001

Novel ideas

Some great books have made great movies. It’s a safe bet that many people, asked to reel off their top five, would name one of the following: “The Godfather” (Mario Puzo); “A Clockwork Orange” (Anthony Burgess); “Blade Runner” (from Philip K. Dick’s “Do Androids ...

Dec 13, 2000

Book bites

SHONEN: Where It All Started, by Yuji Ando. Kabushiki gaisha 22, 6-6-16 Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-0052. 80 pp., 3,000 yen (cloth). This beautiful bilingual book is basically an album of paintings by the well-known artist Yuji Ando, depicting his memories of a rural Japanese ...

Aug 1, 2000

Sowing authentic 'seeds of peace'

HIROSHIMA WITNESS FOR PEACE: Testimony of A-Bomb Survivor Suzuko Numata, by Chikahiro Hiroiwa. Translated by Tadatoshi Saito. Tokyo: Soeisha Books/Sanseido, 1,000 yen. Thirty-six years ago, not two decades after an atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, Kenzaburo Oe was already writing about the imperative ...

Jun 20, 2000

A holocaust foretold by the pattern in the rock garden

BEFORE HIROSHIMA: The Confession of Murayama Kazuo and other stories, by Joshua Barkan. London: The Toby Press, 2000; 139 pp., $12.95 (paper). “Before Hiroshima” is 31-year-old American Joshua Barkan’s first published collection of fiction, and the title story, which makes up almost half the ...

Apr 25, 2000

Return to Ishiguro's fog-bound world

WHEN WE WERE ORPHANS, by Kazuo Ishiguro. London: Faber & Faber, 313 pp., 16.99 British pounds. Ever since “A Pale View of Hills” (1982), Kazuo Ishiguro has been playing games with his readers’ minds. Some people find this infuriating, some fascinating, as the mixed ...

Feb 29, 2000

Staying on the beaten track in darkest Saitama

THE CITY OF YES, by Peter Oliva. Toronto, Canada: McClelland & Stewart Inc., 1999; 336 pp., $21.99. Like many another young, sensitive, well-intentioned foreigner, Canadian-born Peter Oliva — or his protagonist — came to Japan for a year and was so bowled over by ...

May 13, 1999

Miyazawa comes to life for young English readers

GAUCHE THE CELLIST; SNOW CROSSING; THE STORY OF THE ZASHIKI BOKKO and Three Poems; THE RESTAURANT OF MANY ORDERS (4 vols. with four CDs and read-along booklet in English and Japanese), by Kenji Miyazawa, translated by Roger Pulvers, illustrated by Osamu Tsukasa. Tokyo: Labo ...