Topics

Breaching the secretive sects of Shin-Buddhism

May 30, 2015

Breaching the secretive sects of Shin-Buddhism

by

The tendency to perceive covert groups as reticent conspirators rather than curators of hidden knowledge is universal. Secrecy’s Power, by Clark Chilson 235 pages.University of Hawaii Press, Nonfiction. In Japan, secret oral transmissions, chants, rituals and services have long been identified with esoteric schools ...

Japan's runners need a change of pace

May 16, 2015

Japan's runners need a change of pace

by

In “The Way of the Runner,” Adharanand Finn has written an entertaining account of Japan’s obsession with long-distance running (and training). However, the problem is when he veers off the running track into the land of cliche. Consider this: Finn writes that bread only ...

Marathon Japan

May 16, 2015

Marathon Japan

by

Thomas R.H. Havens warns us early in “Marathon Japan” that “the emphasis is on sports history, not the anthropology of running communities or body culture.” What this means is that, for the most part, in place of analysis and interpretation we get facts, and ...

The 'dwarf' architect of Japan's literary boom

May 9, 2015

The 'dwarf' architect of Japan's literary boom

by

With a chuckle, translator and literary critic Motoyuki Shibata recalls the way author Steven Millhauser once described him. Monkey Business Vol. 5, Edited by Ted Goossen and Motoyuki Shibata. A Public Space, Journal. “(He) compared me with a dwarf who works while he’s sleeping,” ...