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Punk author Kou Machida on his offbeat samurai story

by James Hadfield

You wouldn’t expect a punk musician to write decent novels, any more than you’d expect a boxer to be good at darning. The talents prized by the former vocation — restlessness, insouciance, hard-wired disregard for authority — don’t lend themselves to the rigors of the author’s life: all those long, ...

Haruki Murakami's new novel journeys to the past

Aug 15, 2014

Haruki Murakami's new novel journeys to the past

by Hillel Italie

Haruki Murakami’s new novel is yet another risky reunion with the past. “The past is my treasure chest, and once I open it, I have so many materials in there,” says the 65-year-old author, whose “Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage” was ...

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 ...

Cypulchre

Jul 26, 2014

Cypulchre

by Andrew Lee

Many writers have tried in vain to emulate the cool tech-lingo-driven prose of author William Gibson’s early cyberpunk fiction, and it’s easy to pick those budding science-fiction writers who cast themselves as his successor — fellow Canadian Joseph MacKinnon falls into this category. Cypulchre, ...