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Godzilla Awakening

May 24, 2014

Godzilla Awakening

by Andrew Lee

The first thing that must be said about the comic prequel to the new “Godzilla” movie is that it seems to contain a massive spoiler! So if you haven’t yet seen the movie, then perhaps you should wait until you have, before reading either ...

The Reason I Jump

May 24, 2014

The Reason I Jump

by Andrew Lee

The No. 1 best-seller “The Reason I Jump” is now available in paperback. Written by Naoki Higashida, an autistic Japanese boy in his early teens, this incredible book gives readers a glimpse into what it’s like to be autistic, and along the way shatters ...

Decadence in the time of evil encounters

May 17, 2014

Decadence in the time of evil encounters

by David Cozy

For most of us the notion of life in a tight-knit village is pure fantasy: We have lived our whole lives in and around cities. One would think, therefore, that we would have grown comfortable with the anonymity and the promiscuous mixing with strangers ...

Vibrator

| May 17, 2014

Vibrator

by Andrew Lee

Modern Japan can be a lonely place. Especially in Tokyo, where sometimes it seems everyone is walking around in cones of silence and is too shy or afraid to talk to strangers. You can see it in the statistics too, which say that 32 ...

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 ...