Book Topics

Pacific Burn

Jan 9, 2016

Pacific Burn

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Who’s killing off members of Kyoto’s artistic Nobuki family, and why? First a son is murdered on a visit to Napa, California; then a sniper nearly succeeds in gunning down the father, a famous artist. After the younger son and his fiance are thrown ...

New Selected Poems

Jan 2, 2016

New Selected Poems

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In the introduction to “New Selected Poems” Shuntaro Tanikawa is described as a “poetic volcano,” but a volcano, like the proverbial hedgehog, only does one big thing; Tanikawa offers something new in every book. New Selected Poems, by Shuntaro Tanikawa (trans. William I. Elliott ...

The Karma Of Words

| Dec 19, 2015

The Karma Of Words

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Subtitled “Buddhism and the Literary Arts in Medieval Japan,” William R. LaFleur’s book surveys an expanse of Japanese literary history ranging from the “Nihon Ryoiki” of the early ninth century to Basho’s posthumous “Narrow Road to the Deep North” (1702). This is a more ...

Flowers That Kill: Communicative Opacity in Political Spaces

Dec 19, 2015

Flowers That Kill: Communicative Opacity in Political Spaces

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Academia has wised up to marketing, as seen in this title evoking botanical butchery. Far from carnivorous mischief, this scholarly work shows how state propaganda changes the meaning of cultural symbols. Flowers That Kill: Communicative Opacity in Political Spaces, by Emiko Ohnuki-Tierney296 pagesStanford University, ...

Bedtime Eyes

| Dec 12, 2015

Bedtime Eyes

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A direct influence on authors Risa Wataya and Hitomi Kanehara, Amy Yamada was part of the shinjinrui (new breed) generation that came of age in the late ’70s, the first to grow up in an affluent, peaceful postwar Japan. Side-effects of prosperity included ennui ...

Ametora: How Japan Saved American Style

Dec 5, 2015

Ametora: How Japan Saved American Style

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Tokyo, September 1964: A squad of plainclothes police descend on the tony Ginza shopping district and round up hundreds of Japanese youths who had outraged local businesses. Their crime? Loitering in what was then outre style — button-down shirts, skinny ties, suit jackets and ...

The Waiting Years

| Dec 5, 2015

The Waiting Years

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A tale of unanswered prayers, Fumiko Enchi’s “The Waiting Years” is an elegy on the subservience that once haunted Japanese womanhood. The Waiting Years, by Fumiko Enchi204 pagesKodansha USA, Fiction. p>Set in the early Meiji Era (1868-1912), the story begins when Yukitomo Shirakawa, a ...