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The origin myth that beat the drums of war

by Stephen Mansfield

Since the 18th-century — the age of English historian Edward Gibbon — Western theories of history have held that the past consists of causes, effects and events; there are no determining laws or theorems, and no divine purpose. This is the opposite of the view held by the classic Chinese ...

Shimada Kenji: Scholar, Thinker, Reader

Feb 28, 2015

Shimada Kenji: Scholar, Thinker, Reader

by Ocean Gibson

Shimada Kenji, a Japanese scholar of China’s intellectual history who died in 2000, is endearingly represented in this short, incisive and, at times, personal book. In bringing together examples of Kenji’s writing with an interview and other critical texts, it provides a comprehensive, albeit ...

An embattled Japan engages a hostile world

Feb 21, 2015

An embattled Japan engages a hostile world

by Iain Maloney

It has been an eventful year for Japan since David Pilling’s “Bending Adversity” was published to critical acclaim. For many, including its reviewer in The Japan Times, the book was considered one of the year’s — if not the decade’s — best books about ...

Japan in Peril? 9 Crisis Scenarios

Feb 21, 2015

Japan in Peril? 9 Crisis Scenarios

by Delaney Lake

After researching the causes and consequences of the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, the Rebuild Japan Initiative Foundation was determined to change the way Japan responds to future disasters. Japan in Peril?, by Rebuild Japan Initiative Foundation Yoichi Funabashi 199 pages.CLSA Books, Nonfiction. The ...

Kafu the Scribbler

| Feb 14, 2015

Kafu the Scribbler

by Michael Hoffman

“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 ...

The Ramen Book

Feb 14, 2015

The Ramen Book

by Finbar O'Mallon

In 1972, Cup Noodles earned their fame during a live television broadcast of a siege in Nagano Prefecture — the Asama-Sanso incident — when the hostage-takers were shown slurping the hot noodles up. The Ramen Book, by Hayato Ishiyama112 pages.Jitsugyo no Nihon sha, Nonfiction. ...