Celebrating the female dragons

| Dec 23, 2012

Celebrating the female dragons

“All That I Am” (Harper) by Anna Funder blazes across pre-World War II Europe, illuminating the period when Hitler eliminated all national opposition in his prelude to the rest of the world. Funder imaginatively melds historical figures, painstaking research and creative fire to chronicle ...

Dec 9, 2012

Globe-trotting acrobat left a mark on Japan

PROFESSOR RISLEY AND THE IMPERIAL JAPANESE TROUPE: How an American Acrobat Introduced Circus to Japan — and Japan to the West, by Frederik L. Schodt. Stone Bridge Press, 2012, 336 pp., $35 (hardcover) When a storyteller wields a scholar’s pen, history truly comes alive. ...

Introducing the irreverent, unconventional Ryokan

Nov 25, 2012

Introducing the irreverent, unconventional Ryokan

SKY ABOVE, GREAT WIND: The Life and Poetry of Zen Master Ryokan, by Kazuaki Tanahashi. Shambhala, 2012, 224 pp., $17.95 (paperback) It is fitting that the first poem in this book features Ryokan’s nod to the most famous of Japanese poets: New Pond. No ...

Ink artist pushes the boundaries of tattooing

Nov 17, 2012

Ink artist pushes the boundaries of tattooing

The skin as canvas, inks and needles replacing the palette: tattoos by Khan transcend mere decorations. Whether he is depicting eye crinkles in a portrait of the Dalai Lama or the leer of a supernatural ghoul, his rich color and technical realism redefines the ...

Savor Hokkaido's warming winter menu

Nov 9, 2012

Savor Hokkaido's warming winter menu

Autumn in Hokkaido is a comma before the long period of white winter. Autumn’s food season too scurries almost directly from summer to wintry tastes, so here’s a look at how the locals keep warm, starting in November and feasting all the way into ...

Shaken, stirred puzzle that fits

Oct 28, 2012

Shaken, stirred puzzle that fits

SUBDUCTION, by Todd Shimoda, illustrated by L.J.C. Shimoda. Chin Music Press, 2012, 279 pp., $25 (hardcover) How to adequately describe “Subduction,” the new work by husband and wife team Todd and L.J.C. Shimoda? A psychological thriller framed by gorgeous artwork? A beautifully bound collection ...

Jewish Japanese-American keeps multicultural connections in tune

Oct 27, 2012

Jewish Japanese-American keeps multicultural connections in tune

Even in casual conversation, Danny Katz entertains. His voice doesn’t just speak, it croons with comedic pacing, imitations and abrupt shifts in tone. He peppers his speech with accents, New York City slang, Japanese formalities or onomatopoeia. Katz, 35, admits that his voice was ...