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Book lover in Hyogo opens home as used bookstore

Mar 24, 2016

Book lover in Hyogo opens home as used bookstore

A secondhand bookstore in a residential area on a green hill in Kawanishi, Hyogo Prefecture, opens only for two days a month. The store, called “Books + Kotobanoie,” is in a tasteful one-story wooden house surrounded by wood fences — home of Hirohisa Kato, ...

The human stories lining the Kiso Road

Mar 19, 2016

The human stories lining the Kiso Road

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Many — some might say too many — travel writers build their books around a version of themselves. In spite of all the interesting places Paul Theroux visits, for example, the most memorable thing in most of his travel writing is “Paul Theroux.” William ...

There's just one problem with Marie Kondo's 'Spark Joy'

Mar 19, 2016

There's just one problem with Marie Kondo's 'Spark Joy'

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In “Spark Joy” Marie Kondo, the decluttering guru and publishing phenomenon, looks to build on the success of her debut, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” by more or less repeating herself. The only noticeable additions are cute illustrations revealing how to fold panties ...

Recurring views of Tokyo's utopian dream

Mar 12, 2016

Recurring views of Tokyo's utopian dream

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When the Nakagin Capsule Tower opened in Tokyo in 1972, it embodied the energy and optimism of Japan’s postwar boom. Considered architect Kisho Kurokawa’s opus, its completion was also a major moment in the development of metabolism, the much publicized Japanese avant-garde architectural movement ...

Ryu Murakami turns on another light in Tokyo's lurid basement

Mar 5, 2016

Ryu Murakami turns on another light in Tokyo's lurid basement

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This collection of short stories arrived with a warning from the publisher: “Graphic sexual content.” Perhaps it was worried that reviewers would blush to the tips of their toes upon reading it. However, anyone who has encountered Murakami’s excruciating 1992 sadomasochistic film “Topazu” (“Tokyo ...