Jun 7, 2014

Rice: Sowing the nascent seeds — my upbringing

Haruko Harrison begins her story I cannot imagine why you would want to listen to this, why anyone in the world now would take an interest in my story. What did you say your name was? Sachiko? Is that written with the character for ...

Masako Shirasu: woman of the world

Mar 1, 2014

Masako Shirasu: woman of the world

“If you use beautiful things every day, you will naturally cultivate an eye for beautiful things without giving it a second thought. In the end, you will be repelled when you encounter the ugly and the fake. If only all Japan would come to ...

The Narrow Road to the Deep North

Nov 9, 2013

The Narrow Road to the Deep North

The time line of Richard Flanagan’s new novel, “The Narrow Road to the Deep North,” slips back and forth from prewar Tasmania, Melbourne and Adelaide to postwar Sydney, among other locations. Yet there is only one stark, unrelenting and everlasting present — “the Line,” ...

Long-gone writer tells it how it is

Aug 24, 2013

Long-gone writer tells it how it is

When Kenji Miyazawa was writing his stories and poems nearly a century ago, Japan was a country with a two-pronged mission: To become the first non-white, non-Christian nation to create a modern prosperous state — and to be the leader of an Asian revival. ...

Aug 24, 2013

Politicians

They’re just a bunch of scaremongers Raising alarm wherever they can And drinking their fill all the while fern fronds and clouds the world is that cold and dark But before they know it These fellows Rot all on their own Are washed away ...

Aug 24, 2013

Strong in the Rain

Strong in the rain Strong in the wind Strong against the summer heat and snow He is healthy and robust Free from desire He never loses his temper Nor the quiet smile on his lips He eats four gō of unpolished rice Miso and ...