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Damian Flanagan
For Damian Flanagan's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books
Jan 25, 2020
Is Japan enjoying a new literary golden age?
The case for Yes
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books
Jan 2, 2020
An invisible baseball curves through Japanese literature
There's a long history of pivotal baseball anecdotes in Japanese literature, with well-known writers such as Yukio Mishima and Haruki Murakami incorporating their love of the game into their work.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Voices / FOREIGN AGENDA
Nov 18, 2019
It's time for Japanese universities to emerge as global brands
Overseas students are looking for a school with personality and some operational tweaks should help.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books
Nov 16, 2019
'Forty-Seven Samurai': A paradoxical account of bloody revenge and haiku poetry
The saga of the 47 ronin has inspired artists and imaginations for centuries. Now, this book by Hiroaki Sato seeks to shed new light on the origins of the conflict.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books
Nov 9, 2019
'The Sweetest Fruits': The influential women in Lafcadio Hearn's life
The extraordinary story of Lafcadio Hearn (1850-1904) is here skillfully brought to life in a sumptuous historical novel told from the perspectives of the most important women in his memorable life.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Voices / FOREIGN AGENDA
Oct 20, 2019
Linguistic ignorance can be bliss
When it was revealed that Pico Iyer knew only a "smattering" of Japanese despite living in Japan for 25 years, some were critical. However, could there be artistic benefits to not being fluent?
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Oct 12, 2019
'Politics, Porn and Protest': The beguiling world of experimental Japanese film
Isolde Standish's "Politics, Porn and Protest" takes readers on a tour of landmark Japanese avant-garde films, including those by legendary directors Nagisa Oshima and Shohei Imamura.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books
Oct 5, 2019
'Japanese Ghost Stories': The ghostly ascent of Lafcadio Hearn's tales of the supernatural
Japanologist Lafcadio Hearn has languished in relative obscurity outside of Japan. But with the recent publication of several books about his life and works, there are signs this is beginning to change.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / RECENTLY PUBLISHED BOOKS ABOUT JAPAN
Sep 7, 2019
'Mishima, Aesthetic Terrorist': The brain behind the coup
In "Mishima, Aesthetic Terrorist," Andrew Rankin takes us to the less-visited corners of Mishima's complete works, the intellectual essays that were the fount for the ideas that played themselves out in his novels.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Voices / FOREIGN AGENDA
Sep 1, 2019
Making sense of the oppressiveness of summer in Japan
Japan has a venerable tradition of quirky and inventive means of escape from the oppression of summer, as well as from rigid social constraints and conventions. Some of them take distinctly weird forms. In Edogawa Ranpo's classic story, "The Stalker in the Attic" (1925), for example, the eccentric protagonist — as if a mosquito of tedium is buzzing inside his head — escapes from the boredom and constriction of his daily routine not by fleeing into wide, open spaces but by climbing into an even more constricted space, the closet of his apartment, and choosing to sleep there.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books
Aug 31, 2019
'Life for Sale': Yukio Mishima's comically psychedelic take on the adventure novel
"Life for Sale" u2014 first serialized in Weekly Playboy in 1968 u2014 was, for long years, dismissed as mere "entertainment." Yet the surprising bestseller is a terrific example of Mishima's fecund imagination at its most free-wheeling and unfettered best.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books
Aug 3, 2019
How Japan's modern literature came under Nietzsche's spell
To truly understand some of 20th-century Japan's most iconic literary works, you have to go back to ancient Greek tragedy and the "Dionysian" philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / RECENTLY PUBLISHED BOOKS ABOUT JAPAN
Jun 8, 2019
'Three Japanese Short Stories' review: A literary amuse-bouche
In "Three Japanese Short Stories," stories by noted authors Kafu Nagai, Koji Uno and Ryonosuke Akutagawa illustrate a Japan grappling with the wider world.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Voices / FOREIGN AGENDA
Jun 5, 2019
From enlightened strolls to 10,000-step goals: How Japan learned to walk the walk
Whatever intriguing cultural differences we may have as human beings, it would appear that there are certain fundamentals that remain the same wherever you go — eating, sleeping and walking, for example.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Voices / FOREIGN AGENDA
May 12, 2019
Memoirs from a Japanese internet cafe
While some people pine for traditions from Japan's ancient past, it might actually be the more modern things that we'll truly miss.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
May 11, 2019
'Much Ado About Nothingness': Exploring the diverse philosophies of the Kyoto School — review
James Heisig's "Much Ado About Nothingness" strives to link the philosophies of Kirato Nishida and Hajime Tanabe with broader intellectual and artistic themes.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
May 4, 2019
Lafcadio Hearn's 'Glimpses of Unfamiliar Japan': Reveling in the remote and mystical — review
Lafcadio Hearn's "Glimpses of Unfamiliar Japan" is an unmissable book offering a visceral, firsthand experience of a Japan now largely vanished.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books
Apr 20, 2019
'Japan' by Jeff Kingston: Taking stock of a country in a time of transition and change
Jeff Kingston's "Japan" is a concise, highly readable overview of Japan's political evolution from 1945 to the present, observed from an overarching historical perspective.
Japan Times
JAPAN / History / Heisei Icons,Heisei Icons
Mar 22, 2019
Haruki Murakami: Writing in a parallel universe, connecting with a global readership
In Japan, it was the runaway best-seller status of "Norwegian Wood" (1987), his wistful tale of crushed innocence and young love that sold more than 4 million copies in Japanese alone, that established Murakami's iconic status.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books
Mar 16, 2019
'The Unmaking of an American': One thread in a lifetime of cultural exploration
Roger Pulvers' latest memoir, "The Unmaking of an American," takes readers on an engaging and occasionally revelatory tour of Japan and Pulvers' own family history.

Longform

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