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William Bradbury
For William Bradbury's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Voices / FOREIGN AGENDA
Feb 22, 2017
Standing up to alienation on Tokyo's comedy scene
Japan is an easy place to foster self-delusion, and a failure at comedy is like a bucket of ice water to the face.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Voices / FOREIGN AGENDA
Dec 7, 2016
So you want to write about Japan?: the 10 essential tips
Having taken the daring — not reckless or avoidant — step of leaving your home country, you now have a million stories to tell.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books
Apr 2, 2016
Finding the locus of David Mitchell
David Mitchell's world is always growing. Raised in England's West Midlands, Mitchell lived in London for a time before moving to Japan in 1994 — while he was in his 20s — to work as an English teacher. After eight years in Hiroshima, he returned to the U.K. to launch his career as a novelist.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Jul 4, 2015
Yasunari Kawabata's 'Palm-of-the-Hand Stories' are taut tales of the human heart
"Palm-of-the-Hand Stories" is a collection of 70 very brief stories by Nobel Prize-winner Yasunari Kawabata that were written between the early 1920s and 1970s. It contains poetic depictions of emotions, a focus on feelings rather than understanding. These stories present the chaos of the human heart, the kind often hidden in daily life but unleashed in private moments.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Voices / FOREIGN AGENDA
Jul 1, 2015
Getting creative when it comes to finding the motivation to study Japanese
I respect people who possess a high-level of Japanese proficiency the same way I respect people who are well-built. I don't respect the results of the effort so much as the discipline required to attain it. I can't deny that focus and perseverance are character traits I lack and thus envy in others because I've never maintained a focus on anything out of a desire to better myself — only out of fear of failure, a desire to escape or because I was coerced into it.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Voices / FOREIGN AGENDA
Apr 12, 2015
Expats can find their creative mojo in Japan's inspiration and isolation
The inflated sense of being special that Japan fosters among non-natives can be dangerous, but that same emotion can also lead you to do things that might otherwise feel like symptoms of a mid-life crisis.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Oct 25, 2014
No Longer Human
Osamu Dazai's "No Longer Human" comprises a series of three fictionalized notebooks, with each increasingly darker than the last. The character writing these books, Yozo, is detached from the beginning and is afraid of human interactions, but he learns how to socialize with people by playing the clown and entertaining his way into favor from a young age. Yet his alienation remains, despite how he may appear from the outside.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Voices / FOREIGN AGENDA
Oct 8, 2014
Bonding boozily over the pleasure and pain of Bukowski
The embrace of individuality combined with the pain of loneliness could explain why Bukowski's works have been embraced by many of the Japanese men I've met in Tokyo.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Voices / FOREIGN AGENDA
Aug 6, 2014
After the romance of expat life fades, the dream lives on
Some foreign residents in Japan might be living a dream on paper, but many are plagued by the question of if and when to return home.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books
Jul 5, 2014
Rashomon and Seventeen Other Stories
It is noticeable that the tales in "Rashomon and Seventeen Other Stories" by Ryunosuke Akutagawa change in tone and style alongside the mental state and interests of the writer. Akutagawa's most famed early works (including the titular story) are intricately woven setups for moral questions, whereas his later stories highlight a derailing mind.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Voices / FOREIGN AGENDA
May 28, 2014
Japan: a haven for the psychologically troubled
For the troubled Western expat in Japan, the reality of being on another continent can collide with normalized Japanese antisocialism to form a cocktail effective in tuning out a lot of the 'just be a normal adult' voices.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Apr 26, 2014
The Box Man
'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 with an observation slit for vision.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Apr 19, 2014
Shogun
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 to enter Japan) is singled out for his courage and eventually earns the respect of the locals and even the feudal lord Yoshinaga Torunaga (based on Tokugawa Ieyasu) by adopting Japanese ways.
COMMUNITY / Voices / FOREIGN AGENDA
Mar 12, 2014
With love and Japan, what you get out depends on what you put in
Moving to Japan makes an infant of us all, regardless of race, sex or creed. A major conflict in Shakespeare's 'The Tempest' comes from the fact that Prospero knew the language and Caliban the land, but when you first get to Japan, you know neither.
COMMUNITY / Voices / FOREIGN AGENDA
Jan 15, 2014
No refuge from booze in Tokyo, paradise for alcoholics in denial
Many of us foreigners living here know deep down that we and many of our friends are at least mild alcoholics, masking each other's addictions, and the allure of alcohol is not an easy monkey to get of your back. It's difficult in any city, though living in Tokyo provides it's own unique set of problems.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Voices / FOREIGN AGENDA
Dec 25, 2013
Tokyo, the city that's not as crazy as everyone thinks
As a Japanese friend of mine who has lived all over Japan once said, 'People from the Kansai area are like Latin people, but in Tokyo they're more like Germans.

Longform

Historically, kabuki was considered the entertainment of the merchant and peasant classes, a far cry from how it is regarded today.
For Japan's oldest kabuki theater, the show must go on