| Sep 27, 2009

Inner life of a giant revealed

by Donald Richie

REFLECTIONS IN A GLASS DOOR: Memory and Melancholy in the Personal Writings of Natsume Soseki, by Marvin Marcus. Honolulu: Hawaii University Press, 2009, 268 pp., $49 (hardcover) Author of a well-received study of the biographical writings of Mori Ogai (“Paragons of the Ordinary,” 1993), ...

| Aug 16, 2009

The pure horror of Hiroshima

by Donald Richie

In 1946, just after the first anniversary of the destruction of Hiroshima, “The New Yorker” magazine’s Aug. 31 issue published the complete text of John Hersey’s portrait of the atom bomb and its effects on the Japanese city. HIROSHIMA by John Hersey. London: Penguin ...

| Aug 2, 2009

When does popular become canonical?

by Donald Richie

Some scholars would seem to think that methodologies (systems of methods used to focus on particular areas of study) never alter. Other scholars know that the methods change as the area under study enlarges and that ways of looking at the subject are always ...

| Jun 7, 2009

Apichatpong Weerasethakul: No ordinary Joe

by Donald Richie

Perhaps no Asian film director since Akira Kurosawa has received the critical attention bestowed on 39 year-old Thai filmmaker Apichatpong Weerasethakul. His “Blissfully Yours” won a major Cannes Festival prize in 2002; “Tropical Malady,” took the 2004 Jury Prize and the Tokyo FilmEx first ...

| May 24, 2009

From Meiji gentleman to 'Japanese Yankee'

by Donald Richie

This curiosity (a first-person account of the writer’s gradual transformation from Meiji gentleman to self-proclaimed “Japanese Yankee”) was first published in 1898 (by the Congregational Church) and never again seen until now. A JAPANESE ROBINSON CRUSOE by Jenichiro Oyabe, edited by Greg Robinson and ...