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Insufficient Direction

May 17, 2014

Insufficient Direction

by Andrew Lee

Moyoco Anno’s manga “Insufficient Direction” is the, perhaps, inevitable result of what happens when a legendary anime director marries a well-known manga artist. Insufficient Direction, by Moyoco Anno.Vertical, Manga. Hideaki Anno is, as any otaku (geek) will know, the creator of the seminal anime ...

The Politics Of Dialogic Imagination

May 17, 2014

The Politics Of Dialogic Imagination

by Elliott Samuels

“The Politics Of Dialogic Imagination: Power and Popular Culture in Early Modern Japan” attempts to ascertain the relationship that existed between well-known cultural portrayals and the configuration of social order in the late Edo Period (1603-1867). It peels back the layers behind the political ...

Bringing the wisdom of samurai into the modern world

May 10, 2014

Bringing the wisdom of samurai into the modern world

by Tyler Rothmar

The astrophysicist Carl Sagan famously called writing “perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people who never knew each other, citizens of distant epochs.” “Books,” he said, “break the shackles of time.” In that sense, reading “Hagakure: The Secret Wisdom of the Samurai” ...

Kokoro

| May 10, 2014

Kokoro

by Kris Kosaka

Peering into the great human divide between the isolated self and the need for emotional validation, Natsume Soseki’s “Kokoro” is a psychological glimpse into the “heart of things” that defies easy categorization: It is not a love story, although it retells a love story; ...

What the Sky Arranges

May 10, 2014

What the Sky Arranges

by Kris Kosaka

What the Sky Arranges, by Andrew Fitzsimons.Isobar Press, Poetry. “What The Sky Arranges,” the newest work from poet and translator Andrew Fitzsimons is both a homage to and a refreshing refiguring of “Tsurezuregusa (Essays in Idleness)” by the eccentric monk Yoshida Kenko (circa 1283 ...

A homage to the 'Queen of Anatahan'

May 3, 2014

A homage to the 'Queen of Anatahan'

by Tim Hornyak

In November 1952, 1,000 Japanese thronged the pier at Yokohama to greet the arrival of the liner Chitose Maru. When one alighting passenger gazed down at them from the gangway, the crowd broke into a cheer. There was something about the kimono-clad woman from ...

Akira

| May 3, 2014

Akira

by James Hadfield

“Kanedaaaa!” “Tetsuoooo!” For a generation of teenagers growing up in the 1990s (this writer included), Katsuhiro Otomo’s “Akira” was our gateway drug to the imaginative excesses of Japanese pop culture. With its immaculately rendered visions of high-tech chaos, psychokinetic battles, revolutionary sects and unfeasibly ...

Quick Draw

May 3, 2014

Quick Draw

by Elliott Samuels

There’s a certain amount of irony in choosing a desolate corner of Death Valley, California, to conduct a high-risk drug deal, but the female protagonist in Shu Ejima’s award-winning debut work doesn’t appear to have had much choice in the matter. Quick Draw, by Shu ...

Japanese-Style Management

May 3, 2014

Japanese-Style Management

by Andrew Lee

Shigeo Shimizu, former managing director of Toray Industries and a life-long veteran of Japan’s management culture, was so troubled by the financial scandal that brought down Olympus Corp. in 2011, that he decided something needed to done to avoid such scandals being repeated. Japanese-Style ...

'Granta' opens a window into Japanese literature

Apr 26, 2014

'Granta' opens a window into Japanese literature

by James Hadfield

With such a piddling amount of Japanese fiction finding its way into English translation each year, you learn to make the most of what you can get. So when this year's Tokyo International Literary Festival marked the launch of not one, but two compendia ...

The Box Man

| Apr 26, 2014

The Box Man

by William Bradbury

"The Box Man" is an existential work, revealing questions about identity and the place of man in society. The story begins in a diary format that reads like a how-to manual, as the narrator details the tools necessary to build a boxlike outfit complete ...