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Studio Ghibli inspires endless adaptations

by Ian Martin

As one of the most important and acclaimed animation studios in not only Japan but the world, it’s unsurprising that Studio Ghibli has also inspired a wealth of printed material. Helen McCarthy’s “Hayao Miyazaki: Master of Japanese Animation” about the studio’s most celebrated director and Miyazaki’s own “Starting Point: 1979-1996″ ...

Oh, Tama!

by David Cozy

Mieko Kanai, a prize-winning poet, eminent critic and author of experimental fiction that evokes comparisons to the works of Borges ...

Netsuke

Sep 20, 2014

Netsuke

by Madeline Barbush

The British Museum’s Noriko Tsuchiya compiles an intricate selection of netsuke, a prized Edo Period (1603-1867) art form of miniature sculptures. Her book contains 100 photographs, paired with color illustrations to contrast composition and artistic expression. Netsuke, by Noriko Tsuchiya.The British Museum, Art book. ...

A world of fear for Japan's  shut-ins

Sep 13, 2014

A world of fear for Japan's shut-ins

by Tim Hornyak

Several years ago, a vogue of interest in shut-ins, or hikikomori, saw researchers from France touring Japan and meeting reclusive youths. Such was the prevalence of the disorder, said psychologist Nicolas Tajan, that “if you ask people in Japan about hikikomori, almost everyone will ...

Low City, High City

| Sep 13, 2014

Low City, High City

by Mark Schilling

Best known for his translations of “The Tale of Genji” and the fiction of Yasunari Kawabata, for which the author won a Nobel Prize, Edward G. Seidensticker was also an accomplished essayist and historian. Low City, High City, by Edward G. Seidensticker.KNOPF, Nonfiction. The ...

Millennium Snow vol. 1-2

Sep 13, 2014

Millennium Snow vol. 1-2

by Catherina Depaz

Bisco Hatori, author of the popular manga series and anime “Ouran High School Host Club,” delivers a romantic comedy with a supernatural twist with “Millennium Snow,” a series that will make any fan of shōjo (young girl) manga blush. Millennium Snow vol. 1-2, by ...

Veteran Tokyo editor turns his mind to crime

Sep 6, 2014

Veteran Tokyo editor turns his mind to crime

by Mark Schreiber

“Japan has her secrets, as you well know,” a Kyoto art dealer named Takahashi tells American Jim Brodie. “Many are open secrets. We Japanese are aware of them, are ashamed of them, and don’t speak of them often, if ever. Our embarrassing moments remain, ...

The Journey

Sep 6, 2014

The Journey

by Michael Hoffman

On most lists of great 20th-century Japanese writers, Jiro Osaragi’s name does not figure. He was popular and respected in his own day (1898-1973), mostly as a writer of historical fiction, but literary immortality has eluded him. So? The Journey, Jiro Osaragi, Translated by ...

Japan's World Heritage Sites

Sep 6, 2014

Japan's World Heritage Sites

by Daniel Robson

It was in September 2003 that I visited Kiyomizu-dera — exactly 11 years ago. I was in Japan for the first time, and during an excursion to meet an old friend in Osaka, she suggested driving us down the road to Kyoto to see ...

So Happy to See Cherry Blossoms

Sep 6, 2014

So Happy to See Cherry Blossoms

by Daniel Robson

From great disaster flows great poetry, and this collection of haiku, collated by Madoka Mayuzumi on her visits to the areas affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami of March 2011 and translated into English, offers insight from those who lost so ...

Inside author David Mitchell's metaphysical mind

Aug 30, 2014

Inside author David Mitchell's metaphysical mind

by Andrew Lee

Outside the vista windows of the Hotel New Otani’s Garden Lounge cafe in Tokyo, it’s snowing, in March, and it suddenly feels like the spring flowers in the Japanese garden below may have popped too soon. David Mitchell wonders aloud what kind of flowers ...

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 ...