The 'dwarf' architect of Japan's literary boom

May 9, 2015

The 'dwarf' architect of Japan's literary boom

With a chuckle, translator and literary critic Motoyuki Shibata recalls the way author Steven Millhauser once described him. Monkey Business Vol. 5, Edited by Ted Goossen and Motoyuki Shibata. A Public Space, Journal. “(He) compared me with a dwarf who works while he’s sleeping,” ...

Cuushe dreams of perfect pop on 'Night Lines'

Apr 12, 2015

Cuushe dreams of perfect pop on 'Night Lines'

Where Japanese musicians used to move to Tokyo for a shot at the big time, these days it feels like increasing numbers of them are heading to Berlin instead. Mayuko Hitotsuyanagi, better known by her dream-pop alias Cuushe, was one of them. In 2012, ...

British filmmaker sounds out Japan

Apr 12, 2015

British filmmaker sounds out Japan

In 1996, the Environment Ministry unveiled a list of designated places and traditions around the country that demanded appreciation not for how they looked, but how they sounded. The selections in “100 Soundscapes of Japan” may not have been terribly adventurous — bird songs, ...

Barista champ puts Fukuoka on the map

| Apr 3, 2015

Barista champ puts Fukuoka on the map

Yoshikazu Iwase has a tough act to top. As he heads to the World Barista Championship (WBC) in Seattle this month, he’ll be following in the wake of Maruyama Coffee’s Hidenori Izaki, the barista prodigy who last year became the first Japanese — and, ...

Is virtual art as nourishing as a set meal?

Mar 13, 2015

Is virtual art as nourishing as a set meal?

You have to admit, it’s all awfully clever. At “L’art de Rosanjin,” which runs at Nihonbashi Mitsui Hall until March 24, visitors can sit in a virtual tempura restaurant, and gawp as images of the chef’s hands at work are projected on the counter ...

Switch Coffee keeps the neighbors happy

| Mar 3, 2015

Switch Coffee keeps the neighbors happy

“Sometimes people say you shouldn’t make your hobby into your job,” says Masahiro Onishi, the 28-year-old owner of Meguro roastery and coffee stand Switch Coffee. “I was concerned about that.” He’s recalling the decision he made to move to Australia a few years ago ...