China and Japan: A 40-year friendship worth singing about

Jul 19, 2012

China and Japan: A 40-year friendship worth singing about

Forget allegations of spies and economic intrigue. Put aside the controversial Senkaku Islands and celebrate as the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing unites with the New National Theatre in Tokyo to commemorate the 40th anniversary of normalized relations between Japan and ...

Jul 15, 2012

Madame Butterfly's love child

Butterfly’s Child, by Angela Davis-Gardner. Dial Press, 2011, 352 pp., $26.00 (hardcover) Western opera’s opulent pageantry contradicts traditional Japanese understated aesthetics. In the novel “Butterfly’s Child,” Angela Davis-Gardner resolves this difference by crafting a subdued, multilayered marvel of delicacy as she imagines what happens ...

Jun 10, 2012

Essential reading for those who love haiku

Haiku Poetics in Twentieth Century Avant-garde Poetry, by Jeffrey Johnson. Lexington Books, Maryland, 2011, 226 pp., $70.00 (hardcover) The threads of haiku run through many layers of Japanese society — from school-age recitations and the Emperor’s New Year’s greetings to Twitter or text battles ...

Matthias von Stegmann creates a modern German myth for Japan

May 24, 2012

Matthias von Stegmann creates a modern German myth for Japan

Modern and mythological perspectives converge as the New National Theatre Tokyo’s Opera Division looks to its past to envision the future. From June 1-16, German-Japanese director Matthias von Stegmann guides this new vision of Richard Wagner’s opera “Lohengrin,” last produced at NNTT in 1997, ...

May 13, 2012

A chart-topper for J-Pop fans

Sayonara Amerika, Sayonara Nippon: A Geopolitical Prehistory of J-Pop by Michael K. Bourdaghs. Columbia University Press, New York, 2012, 304 pp., $27.50 (paperback) Michael K. Bourdaghs, the author of “Sayonara Amerika, Sayonara Nippon: a Geopolitical Prehistory of J-Pop,” admits in the introduction he has ...