Apr 8, 2007

Broadening the literary view of choosing a purposeful death

SUICIDAL HONOR: General Nogi and the Writings of Mori Ogai and Natsume Soseki, by Doris. G. Bargen. University of Hawaii Press, 2006, 289 pp., $42 (cloth) The name of Maresuke Nogi (1849-1912) reverberated through the world twice: when he subdued the Russian fortress at ...

| Mar 26, 2007

Jury system doesn't guarantee justice

NEW YORK — My U.S.-Japanese business consultant friend John Gillespie dropped by and, upon hearing that my wife Nancy had been summoned to jury duty, said Japan should introduce a similar system. At the time, the Lewis “Scooter” Libby case — about whether the ...

| Feb 26, 2007

Eastwood didn't idealize Kuribayashi

NEW YORK — Isn’t the Gen. Tadamichi Kuribayashi in Clint Eastwood’s film “Letters From Iwo Jima” idealized? That was a question my poet friend Geoffrey O’Brien asked on New Year’s Eve. A dedicated student of film, O’Brien had remembered a poem about the general ...

| Sep 25, 2006

Supreme Court ruling doesn't hold water

NEW YORK — U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia can’t be serious. In a recent decision he penned, he quoted “a famous exchange” in the 1942 movie “Casablanca” and a tale about “an Eastern guru” exclaiming, “Ah, after that it is turtles all the ...