Elliott Samuels

For Elliott Samuels's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Zen Landscapes

Jun 28, 2014

Zen Landscapes

Zen Landscapes, by Allen S. Weiss.Reaktion, Nonfiction. Much has been written about Japanese gardens, with authors waxing lyrical about the craftsmanship and miniaturization that are often on display. These gardens, however, are much more than mere abstract designs; they are living landscapes that change ...

Inside and Other Short Fiction

| Jun 21, 2014

Inside and Other Short Fiction

The tagline on the cover of this provocative anthology pretty much sums it up in a nutshell: “Japanese women by Japanese women.” Featuring eight short stories and a foreword by novelist Ruth Ozeki, “Inside and Other Short Fiction” is a gritty introduction to contemporary ...

Tales of the Ghost Sword

May 31, 2014

Tales of the Ghost Sword

There are so many ghost tales floating around Japan that it’s somewhat surprising there’s any space left over in bookstores here for actual accounts of the living. In “Tales of the Ghost Sword,” horror novelist Hideyuki Kikuchi presents nine bloodcurdling historical stories that depict ...

The Politics Of Dialogic Imagination

May 17, 2014

The Politics Of Dialogic Imagination

“The Politics Of Dialogic Imagination: Power and Popular Culture in Early Modern Japan” attempts to ascertain the relationship that existed between well-known cultural portrayals and the configuration of social order in the late Edo Period (1603-1867). It peels back the layers behind the political ...

Quick Draw

May 3, 2014

Quick Draw

There’s a certain amount of irony in choosing a desolate corner of Death Valley, California, to conduct a high-risk drug deal, but the female protagonist in Shu Ejima’s award-winning debut work doesn’t appear to have had much choice in the matter. Quick Draw, by Shu ...