Anna Kunnecke
Oct 17, 2010
The wonders and virtues of green tea
This diminutive book is packed as tightly as an obento box with an array of mini-essays.
May 16, 2010
Aikido's mystical path to peace on Earth
Anyone who turns to this lovely volume hoping to learn how to perform some of aikido's legendary techniques will be disappointed. But for those disciples of the practice who wish to delve more deeply into the philosophical and religious underpinnings of its founder's cosmology, this tiny book is a gem....
May 9, 2010
Year of the party cats
I put this picture book to the toughest test of all: I read it to my 3-year-old. Though the text was a bit over her head, she stared transfixed at the illustrations. Truth be told, so did I. They are delicious: a rustic Japanese village rendered in rich color and packed with food, flowers, humor and...
Apr 25, 2010
Lights on, but who's home?
The first half of this book is told from the point of view of Kiwako, an office worker who kidnaps the baby of her married lover after being pressured into having an abortion herself. She passes through love hotels, bullet trains and ferries; she encounters crazy people and joins a religious cult; she...
Mar 14, 2010
Dazzling, difficult debut is anything but a throwaway
If you live in Japan for many years, you see a lot of people come and go. The expat crowd is notoriously transitory, and no subset is more ubiquitously "temporary" than English teachers. Wave after wave of JET teachers come for a year or two, have their bite-sized exotic experience, and then return home...
Feb 28, 2010
The illusion of powerlessness
Robin LeBlanc is doing a tricky dance. She's clearly a serious academic devoted to the study of politics, and she does her damnedest to do right by that world. But she's such a good writer that her prose is accessible, even entrancing, to mere mortals. In fact, sometimes her prose is funny and even beautiful....
Nov 22, 2009
How to save the planet, Edo Japan style
JUST ENOUGH: Lessons in Living Green From Traditional Japan, by Azby Brown. Kodansha International, 2009, 232 pp., $24.95 (hardcover) Azby Brown is fascinated by Edo Japan because it once faced dire environmental degradation and yet did not collapse. Through a combination of ingenious technological...
Sep 13, 2009
Securing the best education for your child
GUIDE TO INTERNATIONAL SCHOOLS IN JAPAN: From Anxiety to Opportunity, by Caroline Pover. Alexandra, 2009, 667 pp., ¥4,762 (paper) Expatriates in some countries face a scarcity of options when it comes to educating their children, but in Japan the reverse is true: The array of alternatives and the...


Father's Day is said to have come to Japan around 1950, shortly after the establishment of Mother's Day.
The evolving nature of fatherhood in Japan