Book Topics

The Case of the Sharaku Murders

Jun 21, 2014

The Case of the Sharaku Murders

by Andrew Lee

Before winning the Edogawa Rampo Prize for “The Case of the Sharaku Murders” in 1983, Katsuhiko Takahashi was an ukiyo-e researcher and university lecturer, which perhaps explains why he chose to set his debut novel in the bitchy academic world of ukiyo-e scholarship — ...

Deep Kyoto Walks

Jun 21, 2014

Deep Kyoto Walks

by Patrick Mccoy

“Deep Kyoto Walks” edited by Michael Lambe and Ted Taylor is the perfect guide for anyone who wants to get off Kyoto’s beaten tourist track. With personalized views of what to see and do in Kyoto — by people who have lived there for ...

One woman's mark on the nation's Constitution

Jun 14, 2014

One woman's mark on the nation's Constitution

by Kris Kosaka

In December 2012, 89-year-old Beate Sirota Gordon knew she was dying. The women’s rights advocate and tireless promoter of cross-cultural exchange in the arts was ill at home in the New York borough of Manhattan. Yet, she pulled herself out of bed one morning, ...

Vita Sexualis

| Jun 14, 2014

Vita Sexualis

by Stephen Mansfield

Ogai Mori was either a very fearless writer or someone confident enough to believe his literary status would insulate him against the fallout from publishing a novel guaranteed to raise the eyebrows of even the most enlightened Meiji Era (1868-1912) reader. Vita Sexualis, by ...

Rain (The Paper Gods #2)

Jun 14, 2014

Rain (The Paper Gods #2)

by Andrew Lee

“Rain” is the second book in the young adult series “The Paper Gods” by Amanda Sun and continues where “Ink” (the first in series) left off. Rain (The Paper Gods #2), by Amanda Sun.Harlequin Teen, Young adult. American teenager Katie Green is living in ...

'Battle Royale' wins the game for hungry fans

Jun 7, 2014

'Battle Royale' wins the game for hungry fans

by Andrew Lee

I should probably start this review with somewhat of a disclaimer. About 10 years ago — not long after Kinji Fukasaku’s film adaptation of Koushun Takami’s controversial novel “Battle Royale” became a cult hit overseas — I bought a screen-printed poster from a London-based ...

Battle Royale: Angels' Border

Jun 7, 2014

Battle Royale: Angels' Border

by Andrew Lee

Among all the violent death scenes in “Battle Royale,” there’s one that stands out: the lighthouse shootout that leaves a group of schoolgirls lying dead in a pool of blood. It’s a tragic, senseless event that proves that given the right mix of fear, ...

Modern cat tale echoes former feline fiction

May 31, 2014

Modern cat tale echoes former feline fiction

by Paul Mccarthy

That the Japanese are great cat-lovers should come as no surprise: a taste for the elegant, the mysterious and the quirky leads in a feline direction, after all. There are paintings of cats from the classical period of the imperial court and prints from ...

Attack on Titan Colossal Edition 1

May 31, 2014

Attack on Titan Colossal Edition 1

by Andrew Lee

Kodansha Comics’ new “Colossal Edition” of Hajime Isayama’s “Attack on Titan” manga certainly lives up to its name. Weighing over 2 kg and containing around 1,000 pages, this beast of a book — which contains the first five volumes of the manga — is ...

Tales of the Ghost Sword

May 31, 2014

Tales of the Ghost Sword

by Elliott Samuels

There are so many ghost tales floating around Japan that it’s somewhat surprising there’s any space left over in bookstores here for actual accounts of the living. In “Tales of the Ghost Sword,” horror novelist Hideyuki Kikuchi presents nine bloodcurdling historical stories that depict ...