Donald Richie: The legacy of an entrenched view

Apr 16, 2016

Donald Richie: The legacy of an entrenched view

The late Donald Richie lived at apartment number 804 in a block directly facing Shinobazu Pond in Tokyo’s Ueno Park. The writer would lead visitors through his home’s dimly lit entrance area — crammed with bookshelves — and his minuscule living room to the ...

Battle of Sekigahara: a war set in stone

Mar 19, 2016

Battle of Sekigahara: a war set in stone

The open valley basins of Gifu Prefecture at the very center of Honshu, where the town of Sekigahara lies, were easily co-opted as theaters of war. It's no coincidence, given the martial history of the region, that the town of Seki was once known ...

Finding salt of the earth on Aguni Island

Feb 20, 2016

Finding salt of the earth on Aguni Island

There had been a delay in our departure for Aguni Island as we waited for a typhoon to spend itself. Two hours later, we finally boarded the ferry at Naha’s Tomari Port. As the wind picked up again, and more people retreated into the ...

The ink-stained road: 'age of experience'

Feb 20, 2016

The ink-stained road: 'age of experience'

In the new age of experience that defines the travel accounts on Japan from the immediate pre- and postwar periods, writers began resisting the easy enamor of the Orient. Instead of viewing Japan as an exotic wonderland, they took a more considered, critical view ...

Mount Nokogiri: a breathtaking climb to enlightenment

Feb 6, 2016

Mount Nokogiri: a breathtaking climb to enlightenment

It’s a moot point for those who live there that the name “Chiba” is, in many minds, synonymous with images of hot-rod gangs, peanut farms, car dealerships, pachinko emporiums, empty lots with chain-link fences and giant electric pylons marching across rice fields — a ...