Book Topics

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. It is Tolstoyan in length and ...

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 ...

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” ...

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 ...

The Temple of the Golden Pavilion

Aug 9, 2014

The Temple of the Golden Pavilion

by Stephen Mansfield

The torching in 1950 of Kyoto’s majestic Temple of the Golden Pavilion remains one of the world’s most discussed cases of arson — not least because the act was perpetrated by an acolyte of the temple. Transcripts of his confession and subsequent trial contain ...

The Crane Pavilion

Aug 9, 2014

The Crane Pavilion

by Mark Schreiber

The 12th full-length novel by German-born author I.J. Parker to feature crime-solving government official Sugawara Akitada, “The Crane Pavilion” takes place in Kyoto in the latter part of the Heian Period (794-1185). The Crane Pavilion, by I.J. Parker.I-J-P Books, Fiction. While posted to Kyushu ...

Food Wars! vol. 1

Aug 9, 2014

Food Wars! vol. 1

by Elliott Samuels

“Food Wars!” tells the story of an ambitious boy named Soma whose dreams of becoming a successful chef appear to be over when his father closes down the family restaurant. His father then challenges Soma to enroll in an elite culinary school that prides ...

The Inland Sea

Aug 2, 2014

The Inland Sea

by Mark Schilling

In his lifetime, Donald Richie was best known as a pioneering expert on Japanese cinema; he famously first brought the films of Yasujiro Ozu to the attention of the West, as well as writing the trailblazing “The Japanese Film: Art and Industry” with fellow ...

Monster Volume 1

Aug 2, 2014

Monster Volume 1

by Andrew Lee

Naoki Urasawa is one of the giants of modern manga and is perhaps best known outside Japan for his epic series “Nijuseiki Shonen (20th Century Boys)” and “Pluto,” his reinterpretation of Osamu Tezuka’s “Tetsuwan Atom (Astro Boy).” In “Monster,” too, it could be argued ...