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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
Oct 19, 2019
Can you ever really understand Japan? Pico Iyer offers help
Despite living in the country for over 30 years, Pico Iyer is a self-described 'Japan beginner.' His new book, 'A Beginner's Guide to Japan,' is full of often contradictory musings and vignettes that invite readers to expand or refute.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books
Sep 28, 2019
'Before the Coffee Gets Cold': As an agent of time travel, this coffee has limitations
Toshikazu Kawaguchi's 'Before the Coffee Gets Cold,' gets its first English translation. This play-turned-novel has an all-female cast of main characters and a hefty dose of sentiment — a page turner to finish before your morning brew.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books
Jul 27, 2019
'China and Japan': Facing off across the aeons, two giants of East Asia
Ezra Vogel's 'China and Japan' is a timely reminder of how public perceptions are shaped by political expediency, how new leaders and propaganda can efface existing goodwill.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books
Jul 13, 2019
'The Ten Loves of Nishino': Ten tales to chronicle the growing sadness of an aging Casanova
Hiromi Kawakami's 'The Ten Loves of Nishino,' a collection of interconnected short stories centering around the titular character, is a poignant examination of gender relationships in Japan and a bittersweet ode to an ageing playboy.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books
Jun 1, 2019
'The Future is Asian': 'Crazy Rich Asians' with infographics
Through in-depth research and infographics, Parag Khanna's 'The Future is Asian' details the 21st-century socioeconomic pivot to Asia and why the region deserves its newfound confidence.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / RECENTLY PUBLISHED BOOKS ABOUT JAPAN
May 25, 2019
'Zainichi Literature' review: What is the nature of exile?
A product of postwar Japan and virtually unknown internationally, Zainichi literature often explores the nature of exile and the conflict of identity between homes.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
May 4, 2019
Come face to face with human mortality in Yukio Mishima's 'The Temple of Dawn' — review
A strange and uneven novel, Yukio Mishima's 'The Temple of Dawn,' the third volume in the 'Sea of Fertility' tetralogy, is an elegy to the loss of pureness in the Japanese national spirit.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books
Apr 27, 2019
Yukio Mishima’s attempt at personal branding comes to light in the rediscovered 'Star'
In 'Star,' Yukio Mishima confronts issues of celebrity, youth and aging in hypercharged and manically subjective first-person prose.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books
Feb 23, 2019
'Tokyo Ueno Station' shows the dark side of the postwar boom
In her new novel, 'Tokyo Ueno Station,' writer Yu Miri connects Japan's modern past with the homeless in Ueno Park, giving faces and voices to the dispossessed.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / RECENTLY PUBLISHED BOOKS ABOUT JAPAN
Jan 26, 2019
Androids, infertility and ethics collide in Kazufumi Shiraishi's dystopian 'Stand-in Companion'
Kazufumi Shiraishi's novella 'Stand-in Companion' offers an interesting male perspective on infertility, plumbing the frustrations of a childless couple and the self-accusation and unspoken blame that can eat away at a relationship.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books
Jan 19, 2019
'The Kinship of Secrets': Heartbreak and family separation during the Korean War
Eugenia Kim's second novel, 'The Kinship of Secrets,' is a measuredly moving story of a girl losing and finding a home, the ways in which families grow into units and immigrants into citizens.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books
Nov 3, 2018
From vulnerability to violence, Yukiko Motoya enchants with ‘The Lonesome Bodybuilder’
Like a bouquet of exotic flowers, the stories in 'The Lonesome Bodybuilder' are varied and full of surprise, starting out with mundane situations and then turning strange in a way that feels uniquely Japanese.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books
Sep 22, 2018
Haruki Murakami's 'Underground' still holds chilling lessons about Japan
Haruki Murakami's sole foray into journalism, 'Underground: The Tokyo Gas Attack and the Japanese Psyche,' celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. What lessons does it hold today about where Japan has gone as a society?
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / RECENTLY PUBLISHED BOOKS ABOUT JAPAN
Sep 1, 2018
Toshiki Okada's 'The End of the Moment We Had' explores the plague of modern ennui in Japan
In two short stories, 'The End of the Moment We Had' and 'My Place in Plural' Okada excels at describing the great indifference that marks some Japanese youth.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / RECENTLY PUBLISHED BOOKS ABOUT JAPAN
Aug 11, 2018
'The Bear and the Paving Stone': Whimsical stories celebrating language, friendship and life
Toshiyuki Horie's collection of stories embrace small moments, deep thought and cross-cultural connections.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books
Jun 30, 2018
British, Japanese or somewhere in between? Kazuo Ishiguro questions nationhood from the 'third space'
Ishiguro has always seen himself as a British writer and dislikes being pegged to his Japanese origins. Still, he admits that the matter is complex.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books
Jun 9, 2018
In 'Convenience Store Woman', Sayaka Murata questions normality in modern Japan
A former convenience store worker herself, Murata tells stories of women who don't fit in, who aren't ticking the boxes of middle class conformity.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Jun 2, 2018
Yukio Mishima's demons are out in full force in 'Runaway Horses'
'Perfect purity is possible,' Mishima writes, 'if you turn your life into a line of poetry written with a splash of death.'
COMMUNITY / Issues / THE FOREIGN ELEMENT
Apr 25, 2018
Relocating to San Francisco with a Japanese spouse
The mariachi blares through the night, mixed with the hustle of elephants. It is Friday night in Oakland, California — a fact embraced by our upstairs neighbors, who are partial to Mexican polka.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Apr 14, 2018
'The Man in the High Castle': Exploring a world in which the Axis powers reign supreme
First published in 1962 and recently made into a series for Amazon TV, Phillip K. Dick's novel imagines a counterfactual World War II, in which Germany and Japan have conquered Europe and America.

Longform

Yayoi Kusama’s “Pumpkin,” once the victim of high waves that dragged it into the sea, sits at the end of a pier on the south side of Naoshima.
Why is the most exciting art in Japan so hard to get to?