The Housekeeper and the Professor

| Dec 6, 2014

The Housekeeper and the Professor

Yoko Ogawa’s “The Housekeeper and the Professor” garnered instant acclaim when it was published in 2003, winning the Hon’ya Taisho award. Translated into English in 2009 by Stephen Snyder, this short tale has steadily gained fans worldwide, making it a modern Japanese classic. The ...

NNTT's 'Don Carlo' adds politics to love

Dec 3, 2014

NNTT's 'Don Carlo' adds politics to love

Although still only 41, the conductor Pietro Rizzo has already performed close to 50 different opera titles around the world, and he’s now back in Japan with Giuseppe Verdi’s “Don Carlo” — his third production for the New National Theatre, Tokyo. According to this ...

In Praise of Shadows

| Nov 22, 2014

In Praise of Shadows

In Praise of Shadows, by Junichiro Tanizaki.Leete’s Island Books, Nonfiction. Revered novelist Junichiro Tanizaki’s essay, “In Praise of Shadows,” is a must-read for anyone interested in the darker side of the Land of the Rising Sun. Everything about this slim tome — from its ...

Hope 'glitters like a firefly' in sisterly drama

Nov 12, 2014

Hope 'glitters like a firefly' in sisterly drama

Yu Shibuya, a rising writer/director for both the big screen and theater, believes in the redemptive power of narrative: “We don’t really have to be reminded that humans are weak, or that we have the ability to commit violence,” he told The Japan Times ...

Debutante ups the drama to refresh 'Sleeping Beauty'

Nov 5, 2014

Debutante ups the drama to refresh 'Sleeping Beauty'

As Noriko Ohara, the newly appointed artistic director of the National Ballet of Japan put it during a recent interview with The Japan Times: ” ‘The Sleeping Beauty’ should be a spectacle — it should be gorgeous and dramatic.” Our conversation, animated with Ohara’s ...

Black Rain

| Oct 11, 2014

Black Rain

Masuji Ibuse’s classic 1965 novel “Black Rain” takes readers into the everyday lives of a family poisoned by radiation sickness. The narrative structure carefully balances between the present time of the novel and journal entries from the bombings of Hiroshima to craft a carefully ...

Hit play reveals a wife and mistress baring all

Oct 8, 2014

Hit play reveals a wife and mistress baring all

English playwright David Hare’s acclaimed 2002 West End hit “The Breath of Life” this week launches a new series titled “Drama for Two: the power of dialogue” at the New National Theatre Tokyo. Featuring the talents of Mayumi Wakamura and Seika Kuze, the Japanese ...

Read up on books about books about Japan

Sep 27, 2014

Read up on books about books about Japan

Revving up the metabolism of culture with the pulse of new artistic voices, a good literary journal doesn’t usually have much to do with profit — it’s all about circulation. Japanese literary journals enjoy a healthy transmission here, thanks to the financial backing of ...