Michael Hoffman

Michael Hoffman is a fiction and nonfiction writer who has lived in Hokkaido by the sea almost as long as he can remember. He has been contributing regularly to The Japan Times for 10 years. His latest novel is “The Naked Ear” (VBW/Blackcover Books, 2012).

For Michael Hoffman's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Japan tries to shed its pessimistic image

/ | Feb 18, 2017

Japan tries to shed its pessimistic image

Japan ailing? Japan suffering? Nonsense. “Japan is the richest country in the world,” proclaims Sapio magazine. And the best. And the happiest. The brightest future looms. It’s an interesting identity crisis Japan is going through. Is it a rich country or a poor country? ...

Does contemporary Japan need religion?

/ | Feb 4, 2017

Does contemporary Japan need religion?

“God, Buddha — where are they?” asks Aera magazine. At the Cafe de Monku, is one answer. It’s a good name for an establishment set up by monks for the airing of monku (complaints). Its very existence (in Hanamaki, Iwate Prefecture) is suggestive of ...

In uncertain times, Japan opts to save

/ | Jan 21, 2017

In uncertain times, Japan opts to save

A funny thing happened on the way to the marketplace. The crowd thinned out. Consumption? Been there, done that. Enough. It’s a watershed. Minimal consumption equals a minimal economy — which equals what, long-term? The dreadful deprivation of the 1930s and ’40s fed a ...