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, ...

'Barbed Wire Baseball' brings the story of Kenichi Zenimura to life

Apr 30, 2016

'Barbed Wire Baseball' brings the story of Kenichi Zenimura to life

“Barbed Wire Baseball” is an informative and imaginative retelling of the true story of Kenichi “Zeni” Zenimura (1900-68), the father of Japanese-American baseball. Barbed Wire Baseball, by Marissa Moss, Illustrated by Yuko Shimizu.48 pagesHARRY N. ABRAMS, Nonfiction. Author Marissa Moss relates how he was ...

Dance icon sets a challenge

Mar 22, 2016

Dance icon sets a challenge

Running with the bulls during the annual San Fermin fiesta in the Spanish city of Pamplona, or joining a traditional Ainu festival on Lake Akan in Hokkaido, may seem unusual ways for a choreographer to research — but not if the artist in question ...

'High-Stakes Schooling' paints a troubling picture of Japan's education system

Mar 12, 2016

'High-Stakes Schooling' paints a troubling picture of Japan's education system

In “High-Stakes Schooling,” an important book for anyone interested in Japanese education within a global context, U.S. professor of education Christopher Bjork offers a comprehensive and comparative look into Japan’s recent educational reforms. Bjork analyzes the impact of the controversial and deliberate easing from ...

Tokyo's literature festival resurfaces

Feb 27, 2016

Tokyo's literature festival resurfaces

The Tokyo International Literary Festival got off to a good start. Both the inaugural 2013 event and the 2014 edition were successful, an auspicious beginning to forging cultural and artistic connections between Eastern and Western writers on a global stage. But since the festival’s ...