Book Topics

Just So Happens

Mar 29, 2014

Just So Happens

by James Hadfield

It’s a moment that many expats secretly dread: the unexpected phone call from home, announcing the death of a family member. For Yumiko, the protagonist of Fumio Obata’s debut graphic novel, it’s the demise of her father in a hiking accident that propels her ...

Okinawa and the Ryukyu Islands

Mar 29, 2014

Okinawa and the Ryukyu Islands

by Yasmine La Salle

This extensive travel book by lecturer and Okinawa expert Robert Walker is billed as “the first comprehensive guide to the entire Ryukyu Island chain.” With 25 years experience traveling throughout the region’s 150-islands Walker has amassed a huge amount of information — condensed here ...

The Ise Stories

| Mar 22, 2014

The Ise Stories

by Kris Kosaka

Before there was “The Tale of Genji,” the “The Ise Stories” (“Ise Monogatari”) presented ancient Japanese audiences with a titillating series of loosely connected episodes of love that are believed to be based on the romantic encounters of the poet and aristocrat Ariwara no ...

The Art Lover's Guide to Japanese Museums

Mar 22, 2014

The Art Lover's Guide to Japanese Museums

by Elliott Samuels

The Art Lover’s Guide to Japanese Museums, by Sophie Richard.The Japan Society, Nonfiction. There is an abundance of art museums in Japan, with the Ministry of Culture counting more than 1,200. Bearing this in mind, it was always going to be ambitious for author ...

Scandal

| Mar 15, 2014

Scandal

by Stephen Mansfield

When a respected Catholic novelist by the name of Suguro meets an inebriated woman at a party, he is astounded to hear that she recognizes him from a portrait hanging in a club she claims he patronizes in one of Tokyo’s more sleazy night ...

Gadget Girl: The Art of Being Invisible

Mar 15, 2014

Gadget Girl: The Art of Being Invisible

by Yasmine La Salle

In her new book, ” Gadget Girl: The Art of Being Invisible,” award-winning author Suzanne Kamata shows her young audience that invisibility is not always a superpower, and becoming a young adult is not always easy. Gadget Girl: The Art of Being Invisible, by ...

Stray Dog of Anime: The Films of Mamoru Oshii

Mar 15, 2014

Stray Dog of Anime: The Films of Mamoru Oshii

by Elliott Samuels

The international success of Japanese animation films at the box office over the past two decades can largely be put down to the work of two men: Academy Award-winning director Hayao Miyazaki and the self-proclaimed “stray dog of anime,” Mamoru Oshii. Stray Dog of ...

Photos found after the tsunami leave a mark

Mar 8, 2014

Photos found after the tsunami leave a mark

by Elliott Samuels

Family photographs are essentially a collection of memories, snapshots of happiness frozen in time. As treasured as these printed images may be to the individuals captured in them, they are no match for the destructive power of the tsunami that swept away town after ...

Ranma 1/2

Mar 8, 2014

Ranma 1/2

by Andrew Lee

The premise behind Rumiko Takahashi’s massively popular manga “Ranma ½” is delightfully bizarre: A father and son martial arts duo who are cursed to change form when doused in hot or cold water — the dad, Genma, into a giant panda and the 16-year-old ...

The Ruined Map

| Mar 1, 2014

The Ruined Map

by Stephen Mansfield

Angela Carter wrote that Tokyo possessed the “indecipherable clarity of a dream,” one in which you might think you are in control, but have, in fact, been “precipitated into somebody else’s dream.” A similar sensation occurs when reading Kobo Abe’s novel, “The Ruined Map,” ...