The life of Japan’s ‘god of manga’

Aug 6, 2016

The life of Japan’s ‘god of manga’

Osamu Tezuka, the “god of manga,” was born in 1928 in Osaka Prefecture. Though he showed early promise as a young artist and storyteller, no one could have imagined how successful he would become. Tezuka is a hero in Japan, a pioneer on equal ...

Gary Snyder: Asia's heavy toll on nature

Jun 25, 2016

Gary Snyder: Asia's heavy toll on nature

Enter the mind of American poet and scholar Gary Snyder and watch as time pulls back, perspectives shift and an epoch passes in a single blink. His newest book of prose, “The Great Clod,” is a series of essays on Asia’s ecological history, combining ...

'Singular Rebellion': the award-winning story of a salaryman gone wild

Jun 25, 2016

'Singular Rebellion': the award-winning story of a salaryman gone wild

If you want to get a sense of Japan’s upper-crust sensibilities during the 20th century, pick up the 1972 Tanizaki Prize-winner, “Singular Rebellion,” by Saiichi Maruya. It is decidedly slow-paced, but the careful prose peels back the layers of Japanese social conventions to reveal ...

'Joseph' cuts a cool dash

Jun 21, 2016

'Joseph' cuts a cool dash

Embrace the summer heat with a rousing musical journey across the arid deserts of the Book of Genesis, as Theatre Orb in Tokyo presents a revival of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” the first publicly performed musical by those masters of the genre, ...

Novelist Hideo Furukawa views the Fukushima disaster through nonhuman eyes

Jun 11, 2016

Novelist Hideo Furukawa views the Fukushima disaster through nonhuman eyes

After the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, critically acclaimed writer Hideo Furukawa experienced an unsettling “imagination meltdown.” “Novelists are artists, and usually imagination comes between them and reality,” Fukushima-born Furukawa says. “But when reality becomes something far beyond our imagination, we are exposed, rendered ...

'Phoenix': Osamu Tezuka's epoch-spanning manga masterpiece

Jun 11, 2016

'Phoenix': Osamu Tezuka's epoch-spanning manga masterpiece

“Hi no Tori” (“Phoenix” ) is a 12-part masterpiece by manga legend Osamu Tezuka. Started in 1954, Tezuka worked on the manga until his death in 1989. Acclaimed for both its story and style, “Phoenix” rises above the greatness of Tezuka’s “Astro Boy” or ...

'Japaneseness: A Guide to 76 Values and Virtues'

May 28, 2016

'Japaneseness: A Guide to 76 Values and Virtues'

Love it or hate it, Yoji Yamakuse’s explanation of the concepts fundamental to Japanese behavior, “Japaneseness: A Guide to Values and Virtues,” deserves a read. Japaneseness, by Yoji Yamakuse160 pagesStone Bridge Press, Nonfiction. According to the introduction by Stone Bridge Press, the book was ...

The Royal Ballet brings two classic romances set to sparkle afresh

May 24, 2016

The Royal Ballet brings two classic romances set to sparkle afresh

In the competitive melee of world-class dance, the Royal Ballet keeps on its toes. Since 2011, when Christopher Wheeldon’s groundbreaking “Alice in Wonderland” became its first new, full-length work in 16 years, the company based at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, London, ...