Topics

The Makioka Sisters

Aug 30, 2014

The Makioka Sisters

by Patrick Mccoy

Junichiro Tanizaki may be best known for novels featuring protagonists with odd obsessions, but his masterpiece, family epic “The Makioka Sisters,” has been hailed by many as Japan’s greatest modern novel. The Makioka Sisters, by Junichiro Tanizaki, Translated by Edward G. Seidensticker.Vintage Books, Fiction. ...

Toy Tokyo

Aug 30, 2014

Toy Tokyo

by Elliott Samuels

In a world now dominated by photographs taken with smartphones and swanky digital cameras, it’s refreshing to come across a book that restores a little faith in old-school photography. Toy Tokyo, by Manami Okazaki.Kingyo Books, Art book. The setup for author Manami Okazaki’s “Toy ...

In Clothes Called Fat

Aug 30, 2014

In Clothes Called Fat

by Daniel Robson

Food’s the best. But peer pressure can make us do weird things, and when plump office worker Noko Hanazawa discovers that her boyfriend is bonking the blonde waif from work, she decides to take desperate measures. It’s time to lose weight, no matter the ...

Wena Poon on life and death in occupied Kyoto

Aug 23, 2014

Wena Poon on life and death in occupied Kyoto

by Suzanne Kamata

As a child living in a tiny apartment in Singapore, Wena Poon listened to radio plays broadcast in a variety of languages and watched TV — everything from Chinese sword-fighting operas to popular American series such as “M*A*S*H.” “There was nowhere to go outside,” ...

Masks

Aug 23, 2014

Masks

by Stephen Mansfield

Born in the late Meiji Era (1868-1912), Fumiko Enchi was not simply the peer, but the equal of writers in the order of Naoya Shiga and Jiro Osaragi. There was praise for her work from such authors as Junichiro Tanizaki and Yasunari Kawabata, towering ...

A Great Valley Under the Stars

Aug 23, 2014

A Great Valley Under the Stars

by Kris Kosaka

A vibrant collection of subdued observation, the poems in this small volume, “A Great Valley Under the Stars,” contemplate meaning everywhere — from a truck-stop toilet, over stones in the New Mexican desert and under the great expanse of sky referenced in the title. ...

Death and the Flower

Aug 23, 2014

Death and the Flower

by Daniel Robson

When Koji Suzuki wrote “Ring,” the novel behind the film that brought the J-horror genre to the world, he apparently had a baby in his lap, and he went on to write not only horror fiction but also parenting books. “Death and the Flower” ...

Punk author Kou Machida on his offbeat samurai story

Aug 16, 2014

Punk author Kou Machida on his offbeat samurai story

by James Hadfield

You wouldn’t expect a punk musician to write decent novels, any more than you’d expect a boxer to be good at darning. The talents prized by the former vocation — restlessness, insouciance, hard-wired disregard for authority — don’t lend themselves to the rigors of ...

The Nobility of Failure

Aug 16, 2014

The Nobility of Failure

by Michael Hoffman

Who hasn’t at one time or another suspected that failure is nobler than success? Here the late British historian Ivan Morris celebrates Japanese heroes who refused to make the tawdry compromises success all too often demands. They fail, but fail gloriously, reaping the posthumous ...

Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign (vol. 1)

Aug 16, 2014

Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign (vol. 1)

by Andrew Lee

You have to wonder whether the vein of vampire stories will ever be sucked dry, and yet the blood just keeps on flowing with the release of “Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign” from Viz. Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign (vol. 1), by ...

Haruki Murakami's new novel journeys to the past

Aug 15, 2014

Haruki Murakami's new novel journeys to the past

by Hillel Italie

Haruki Murakami’s new novel is yet another risky reunion with the past. “The past is my treasure chest, and once I open it, I have so many materials in there,” says the 65-year-old author, whose “Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage” was ...