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:

Giving parents credit where rent is due

/ | May 2, 2015

Giving parents credit where rent is due

We choose our friends but we don’t choose our parents. Nor do they choose us. It’s a pretty fraught relationship, sometimes, that between parent and child. Perhaps “love-hate” best describes it — hopefully with love dominant. Confucius said — and what Confucius said is ...

Porn is in the iPhone of the beholder

/ | Apr 18, 2015

Porn is in the iPhone of the beholder

“Her lips languorous like a loose-wound spool, the fragrance of her perfume reaching to the skies. And how lovely when she moves, swaying back and forth. … When compared to this creature, a man’s wife can hardly seem more than a salted fish past ...

Postwar education at a vexing crossroads

/ | Mar 28, 2015

Postwar education at a vexing crossroads

In July 1995, a special edition of Aera magazine reflected on 50 years of postwar evolution. Education was among the topics covered. Two facts grab the viewer of a photograph showing an elementary school class settling into a brand new academic year. It’s April, ...

Goto's stories put Japan woes in perspective

/ | Feb 21, 2015

Goto's stories put Japan woes in perspective

“More than diamonds, I want peace.” Kenji Goto knew hell as well as anyone who doesn’t have to live there. He was a journalist. His place, he felt, was where suffering was greatest, misery deepest, evil ugliest, cruelty most feral. He covered genocide in ...

Kafu the Scribbler

/ | Feb 14, 2015

Kafu the Scribbler

“A querulous, self-righteous man, whose social criticism rarely rose above the level of personal complaining … .” Kafu the Scribbler, by Edward Seidensticker368 pages.Stanford University Press, Nonfiction. If this is how the writer Nagai Kafu struck his biographer and translator, Edward Seidensticker, what are ...