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Nicolas Gattig
Nicolas Gattig is a teacher and writer from San Francisco. His articles/essays about politics and education have been published in the San Francisco Bay Guardian, SOMA magazine, Street Sheet, and the Japan Times. He is greatly interested in literature and the effects of culture.
For Nicolas Gattig's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books
Mar 13, 2023
Osamu Dazai gets silly while facing fears in 'The Flowers of Buffoonery'
Translator Sam Bett brings out the fragile personalities in the author"s early novella, a predecessor to his modern classic novel “No Longer Human."
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books
Jan 13, 2023
Pico Iyer's search for peace in a world of uncertainty
The author reflects on his extensive travels over the past 48 years while examining conceptions of paradise in his new collection of essays, "The Half Known Life."
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books
Jun 13, 2021
‘The Party and the People’ shows Chinese leadership as responsive but unaccountable to the public
In his new book, Bruce J. Dickson refers to contemporary Chinese politics as a study in nuanced contrasts: authoritarian yet cooperative; repressive yet responsive to public opinion.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books
Apr 5, 2021
'First Person Singular' marks Haruki Murakami's welcome return to his signature style
The writeru2019s new collection of eight short stories is a return to form, with first-person narratives full of cheek and playfulness.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books
Mar 27, 2021
‘That We May Live’: New Chinese fiction delves into the playfully weird
Explaining the difference between speculative fiction and science fiction can feel like sorting out overlapping nebulae. The main distinction of speculative fiction may be that a story is just barely possible, at a slight remove from reality that veers into the playfully weird. A Japanese author exemplifying this style is Yukiko Motoya, who writes of flying umbrellas and dressing rooms that swallow up shoppers.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books
Jan 30, 2021
'An I-Novel': A tale of life abroad blurs the lines of truth and fiction
Many writers of fiction who have shared so much as a short story have heard the old question, “Is this autobiographical?” No literary genre, however, plays with the possibility of “what actually happened” as liberally as the Japanese shishо̄setsu, known to Western readers as the confessional I-novel. Originating in the early 20th century, the style is marked by an intimate first-person narrative drawing from personal experience, leaving readers guessing as to what is truthful and what is embellished.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / 2020 in review
Dec 19, 2020
Our critics’ favorite books published in 2020
As 2021 approaches, six Japan Times book reviewers look back on their top reads released in English this year.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books
Nov 7, 2020
‘A Good True Thai’: What makes someone a ‘real’ citizen?
Sunisa Manningu2019s historical fiction novel provides context for the current protests roiling Thailand as demonstrators demand democratic change.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books
Sep 5, 2020
‘Friend: A Novel from North Korea’: A fascinating glimpse into hidden lives
Paek Nam-nyongu2019s state-approved novel reveals a side of North Korea that is rarely seen, with complex characters dealing with relatable woes.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books
Aug 15, 2020
‘Intimate Disconnections’: What makes marriage work and end?
Allison Alexyu2019s book on divorce, with useful advice and firsthand accounts, is an absorbing study of Japanese attitudes toward love and marriage.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books
Jul 4, 2020
‘Healing Labor’: Examining how Japanese sex work is woven into culture and economy
Gabriele Kochu2019s u201cHealing Laboru201d delves into how Japanese sex workers regard their work as necessary to the social and economic well-being of Japanese society.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books
Jun 6, 2020
'City on Fire' shows a beaten, divided Hong Kong fighting for its identity
In smooth, heady prose, Antony Dapiran shows what he calls u201ca fight for the very soul of Hong Kong.u201d
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books
May 9, 2020
‘If I Had Your Face’ review: Are South Korean women really so obsessed with beauty?
Published in April, u201cIf I Had Your Faceu201d is a story of gender inequality and lives ruled by the money of men, of impossible beauty standards and their effect on South Korean women.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books
May 2, 2020
'Democracy in China: The Coming Crisis' review: Democracy is in China's best interest
As the pro-democracy movement has roiled Hong Kong and people worldwide lament Chinau2019s lack of transparency surrounding the coronavirus outbreak, it seems like auspicious timing for Jiwei Ciu2019s new book, u201cDemocracy in China: The Coming Crisis.u201d
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books
Apr 11, 2020
Japanese books to get you through a lockdown
With "staying in" now the new "going out," housebound activities have become officially the cool thing to do. But what if you’re stuck for a good book? Read on to see four of our critics’ top reads for an extended period of self-isolation.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books
Feb 1, 2020
'The Magical Language of Others': A Korean-American memoir that will shatter stereotypes
With its evocative prose and personal and historical honesty, "The Magical Language of Others" traces a Korean-American family's story of trauma and survival across several generations and continents.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books
Jan 25, 2020
Is Japan enjoying a new literary golden age?
The case for Yes
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books
Dec 14, 2019
'Big Sister, Little Sister, Red Sister': Three sisters bear witness to China's raucous 20th century
Jung Chang's sweeping biography "Big Sister, Little Sister, Red Sister" sheds light on China's most famous sisters and their influence on 20th-century Chinese politics.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / 2010S: DECADE IN REVIEW
Nov 2, 2019
Our critics' favorite Japanese books of the decade
As 2020 approaches, The Japan Times' book reviewers look back at a decade of literature and their favorite and most impactful books written about Japan or by Japanese writers.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Oct 26, 2019
'The Decay of the Angel': Overshadowed by the death of its author
In "The Decay of the Angel," Yukio Mishima concludes his "The Sea of Fertility" tetralogy with musings on modern Japan, the loss of beauty and old age.

Longform

At the Akan International Crane Center, just north of the city of Kushiro proper, visitors can see the majestic red-crowned crane — a symbol of Hokkaido.
Faces of the north: A Hokkaido town grapples with depopulation