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James Hadfield

For James Hadfield's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Punk author Kou Machida on his offbeat samurai story

Aug 16, 2014

Punk author Kou Machida on his offbeat samurai story

You wouldn’t expect a punk musician to write decent novels, any more than you’d expect a boxer to be good at darning. The talents prized by the former vocation — restlessness, insouciance, hard-wired disregard for authority — don’t lend themselves to the rigors of ...

Akira

| May 3, 2014

Akira

“Kanedaaaa!” “Tetsuoooo!” For a generation of teenagers growing up in the 1990s (this writer included), Katsuhiro Otomo’s “Akira” was our gateway drug to the imaginative excesses of Japanese pop culture. With its immaculately rendered visions of high-tech chaos, psychokinetic battles, revolutionary sects and unfeasibly ...

'Granta' opens a window into Japanese literature

Apr 26, 2014

'Granta' opens a window into Japanese literature

With such a piddling amount of Japanese fiction finding its way into English translation each year, you learn to make the most of what you can get. So when this year's Tokyo International Literary Festival marked the launch of not one, but two compendia ...

Reinventing the wheel: the future of cycling in Tokyo

Apr 5, 2014

Reinventing the wheel: the future of cycling in Tokyo

On Jan. 24, a full-page advert appeared in the Tokyo edition of the Yomiuri Shimbun for a petition on behalf of the capital’s cyclists. “Join the new governor in making Tokyo a bicycle city,” read the headline for the ad, which reeled off a ...

Just So Happens

Mar 29, 2014

Just So Happens

It’s a moment that many expats secretly dread: the unexpected phone call from home, announcing the death of a family member. For Yumiko, the protagonist of Fumio Obata’s debut graphic novel, it’s the demise of her father in a hiking accident that propels her ...

The Pornographers

| Feb 15, 2014

The Pornographers

Akiyuki Nosaka’s “Grave of the Fireflies,” a harrowing, semi-autobiographical tale of two young siblings fending for survival in the aftermath of World War II, helped him win the prestigious Naoki Prize for literature in 1967. The Pornographers, by Akiyuki Nozaka. ALFRED A. KNOPF, Fiction. ...