Donald Richie: The legacy of an entrenched view

Apr 16, 2016

Donald Richie: The legacy of an entrenched view

by

The late Donald Richie lived at apartment number 804 in a block directly facing Shinobazu Pond in Tokyo’s Ueno Park. The writer would lead visitors through his home’s dimly lit entrance area — crammed with bookshelves — and his minuscule living room to the ...

The ink-stained road: 'age of experience'

Feb 20, 2016

The ink-stained road: 'age of experience'

by

In the new age of experience that defines the travel accounts on Japan from the immediate pre- and postwar periods, writers began resisting the easy enamor of the Orient. Instead of viewing Japan as an exotic wonderland, they took a more considered, critical view ...

The Inland Sea

Aug 2, 2014

The Inland Sea

by

In his lifetime, Donald Richie was best known as a pioneering expert on Japanese cinema; he famously first brought the films of Yasujiro Ozu to the attention of the West, as well as writing the trailblazing “The Japanese Film: Art and Industry” with fellow ...

Kunisaki: into a world of moss and stone

Jul 12, 2014

Kunisaki: into a world of moss and stone

by

The sense of antiquity on the Kunisaki Peninsula is immediate. There are those that believe the region — whose name is said to mean “land’s end” — was created by demons in the service of powerful gods. You have to take these accounts with ...

Re-examining Yasujiro Ozu on film

Dec 7, 2013

Re-examining Yasujiro Ozu on film

by

Yasujiro Ozu once had a reputation for making films only other Japanese could understand. His studio bosses believed overseas audiences wanted the exoticism of samurai and geisha, not Ozu’s quietly realistic dramas about contemporary middle-class families. This explains the reluctance of Ozu’s studio, Shochiku, ...

Recommended reading

Feb 24, 2013

Recommended reading

by

Donald Richie was a scrupulous writer who paid finite attention to language and content. The following are 10 outstanding choices — titles that should be on any discerning readers’ bookshelf. “Tokyo: A View of the City” (1999) Here Richie manages to give the impression ...

Feb 24, 2013

The champion of Ozu's masterwork "Tokyo Story"

by

Nowadays, the name of the Japanese film director Yasujiro Ozu (1903-1963) is known throughout the world. But it wasn’t always like this — and it might never have been, without the efforts of Donald Richie. After Ozu’s masterpiece “Tokyo Story” was released in 1953, ...

Sharing films with a master critic

Feb 24, 2013

Sharing films with a master critic

by

Donald Richie was my friend and mentor for more than 20 years and my inspiration before that. When I was preparing to come to Japan for the first time in 1975, I read many books about the place, but Donald’s masterpiece “The Inland Sea” ...