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Kafu the Scribbler

| Feb 14, 2015

Kafu the Scribbler

by Michael Hoffman

“A querulous, self-righteous man, whose social criticism rarely rose above the level of personal complaining … .” Kafu the Scribbler, by Edward Seidensticker368 pages.Stanford University Press, Nonfiction. If this is how the writer Nagai Kafu struck his biographer and translator, Edward Seidensticker, what are ...

The Ramen Book

Feb 14, 2015

The Ramen Book

by Finbar O'Mallon

In 1972, Cup Noodles earned their fame during a live television broadcast of a siege in Nagano Prefecture — the Asama-Sanso incident — when the hostage-takers were shown slurping the hot noodles up. The Ramen Book, by Hayato Ishiyama112 pages.Jitsugyo no Nihon sha, Nonfiction. ...

Asian Comics

Feb 7, 2015

Asian Comics

by Finbar O'Mallon

At the start of “Asian Comics” John A. Lent announces Japanese comics won’t get a mention — so manga fans, back away. Instead, he traces the development of cartoons in China, Korea, Malaysia and other Asian nations. Asian Comics, by John A. Lent 400 ...

Hallucinating in print with Keiichi Tanaami

Jan 31, 2015

Hallucinating in print with Keiichi Tanaami

by Mike Sunda

Prolific is a word that hardly does justice to Keiichi Tanaami. Born in Tokyo in 1936, Tanaami has worked ceaselessly, imparting a lasting legacy on the landscape of Japanese Pop Art. He has been described as “Japan’s Andy Warhol,” but unlike Warhol, Tanaami’s works ...

Dendera

Jan 31, 2015

Dendera

by James Hadfield

Though there’s still plenty of debate about whether it was ever common for Japan’s rural communities to deal with elderly relatives by leaving them to die on a mountain, it makes for a great story. Depicted in Keisuke Kinoshita’s 1958 period drama, “Narayama Bushiko” ...

Ground Zero, Nagasaki

Jan 31, 2015

Ground Zero, Nagasaki

by Finbar O'Mallon

Ground Zero, Nagasaki, by Seirai Yuichi, Translated by Paul Warham. Colombia University Press, Fiction. Seirai Yuichi’s “Ground Zero, Nagasaki” tells six short stories centered around Nagasaki’s Christian community and the ongoing trauma of its atomic bombing. Paul Warham’s clear translation means Yuichi’s writing retains ...