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Quiet Accomplishment

Nov 29, 2014

Quiet Accomplishment

by David Cozy

Minor artists fear — and not without reason — that the ideas and visions of which their art is made are finite. They hesitate to share, therefore, and are jealous of other artists, especially young ones who threaten to supplant them. Quiet Accomplishment, by ...

The Power of the Weave

Nov 29, 2014

The Power of the Weave

by Madeline Barbush

The Power of the Weave, by Tanaka Yuko, Translated by Geraldine Harcourt.International House of Japan, Nonfiction. Most of us give little thought about the materials in, or construction of, our daily ensembles, let alone the possibility of them holding historical importance. In the essays ...

Blood & Guts

Nov 22, 2014

Blood & Guts

by J.J. O'Donoghue

“Blood & Guts” by Australian journalist Sam Vincent is a behind-the-scenes investigation into whaling and a tale of two countries. Australia is on one side, united in its love of whales and its condemnation of Japan, which has refused to stop killing whales in ...

In Praise of Shadows

| Nov 22, 2014

In Praise of Shadows

by Kris Kosaka

In Praise of Shadows, by Junichiro Tanizaki.Leete’s Island Books, Nonfiction. Revered novelist Junichiro Tanizaki’s essay, “In Praise of Shadows,” is a must-read for anyone interested in the darker side of the Land of the Rising Sun. Everything about this slim tome — from its ...

Gender and Nation in Meiji Japan

Nov 22, 2014

Gender and Nation in Meiji Japan

by J.J. O'Donoghue

Recently the “London Review of Books” described the Khrushchev Thaw — the period, beginning during the mid-1950s, when Russia became a little more open and less draconian — as “expansive and repressive.” Gender and Nation in Meiji Japan, by Jason G. Karlin.University of Hawaii ...

World Trigger

Nov 22, 2014

World Trigger

by Catherina Depaz

Any lover of science fiction, action and, of course, manga should enjoy “World Trigger” by Daisuke Ashihara. The unlikely hero, nerdy Osamu Mikumo, is a part of an elite monster-fighting organization called “Border.” The world is in constant danger from grotesque invaders from an ...

Holiday gifts they'll cherish from cover to cover

Nov 15, 2014

Holiday gifts they'll cherish from cover to cover

As the holiday season rolls around, it’s time to dash about in a mad panic in search of gifts that say “I’ve given this one some thought, honest.” Or you can just let us do the thinking for you, with gift suggestions from our ...

Finding Murakami in his own weird worlds

Nov 8, 2014

Finding Murakami in his own weird worlds

by J.J. O'Donoghue

Consider this hypothetical conundrum: Haruki Murakami is (finally) awarded the Nobel Prize in literature, but what does the author have to say for himself on Japanese television? The Forbidden Worlds of Haruki Murakami, by Matthew Carl Strecher.University Of Minnesota Press, Nonfiction. More than likely, ...

Phantasm Japan

Nov 8, 2014

Phantasm Japan

by Madeline Barbush

In simple terms, “Phantasm Japan” is a fantasy anthology on the theme of “light and dark, from and about Japan.” Phantasm Japan, by Multiple authors.Haikasoru, Fiction. To outsiders, the overriding image of Japan is of some fantasy land, a place that is impossibly real. ...

Fuminori writes noir, but not as we know it

Nov 1, 2014

Fuminori writes noir, but not as we know it

by Iain Maloney

Fuminori Nakamura has won many of the major literary prizes in Japan and is quickly making the same kind of impact in the English-speaking world. His third novel to be translated into English, “Last Winter, We Parted,” is out now. It’s a tense, layered ...