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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 ...

Japanese-Style Management

May 3, 2014

Japanese-Style Management

by Andrew Lee

Shigeo Shimizu, former managing director of Toray Industries and a life-long veteran of Japan’s management culture, was so troubled by the financial scandal that brought down Olympus Corp. in 2011, that he decided something needed to done to avoid such scandals being repeated. Japanese-Style ...

'Granta' opens a window into Japanese literature

Apr 26, 2014

'Granta' opens a window into Japanese literature

by James Hadfield

With such a piddling amount of Japanese fiction finding its way into English translation each year, you learn to make the most of what you can get. So when this year's Tokyo International Literary Festival marked the launch of not one, but two compendia ...

The Box Man

| Apr 26, 2014

The Box Man

by William Bradbury

"The Box Man" is an existential work, revealing questions about identity and the place of man in society. The story begins in a diary format that reads like a how-to manual, as the narrator details the tools necessary to build a boxlike outfit complete ...

xxxHolic Omnibus 1

Apr 26, 2014

xxxHolic Omnibus 1

by Andrew Lee

This 554 page monster combines the first three volumes of the seinen (young men's) manga "xxxHolic" by the all-female artist collective known as Clamp, who apparently created this series to tie in with their other works, such as "Tsubasa" and "Cardcaptor Sakura" — both ...

Shogun

| Apr 19, 2014

Shogun

by William Bradbury

This best-selling historical novel by the British author, James Clavell, is set in Japan around 1600. It begins when The Erasmus, a Dutch ship, reaches Japan by mistake. James Blackthorne, the English captain working for the ship (based on William Adams, the first Englishman ...

Yamato

Apr 19, 2014

Yamato

by Elliott Samuels

In postwar Japan, a U.S. Army intelligence officer is found dead in his Tokyo apartment with a bullet in his skull. Military policemen declare it to be a suicide but CIA agent Ralph Carnaby and his Japanese-American sidekick, Dan Morita, uncover evidence that suggests ...

From the New World

Apr 19, 2014

From the New World

by Andrew Lee

Anyone who has read Yusuke Kishi's brilliant horror-game novel "The Crimson Labyrinth" may, initially, be curious to know that another of his books, "From the New World" — winner of the 2008 Japan SF Grand Prize — has been adapted into a manga series ...