Roger Pulvers


Roger Pulvers
Roger Pulvers is an author, playwright, theater director and translator who divides his time between Tokyo and Sydney. He has published more than 40 books. His latest book in English is "The Dream of Lafcadio Hearn."
For Roger Pulvers's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
Apr 17, 2005
It's time Japan jumped on its cultural bandwagon
The Japanese have never regarded their culture as universal.
Apr 10, 2005
The God Gap: Japan and the clash of civilizations
There are many differences between Japan and the West, both historical and contemporary, but there is no gap so gaping and, perhaps, unbridgeable as the "God Gap."
Apr 3, 2005
Does language 'difficulty' speak of a sense beyond mere words?
I have often been told by Japanese people that theirs is the most difficult language in the world. Virtually all the Japanese people who have said this to me, I might add, have spoken no other language than their own.
Mar 27, 2005
Mrs. Matsui
It was an open secret in my husband's course on modern Japanese literature at Radcliffe in the 1960s that his inspiration came not directly from the prose and poetry of Japan but from his absolute devotion to me.
Dec 26, 2004
Revealing 'The Japanese Sensibility': Humanism
What could be said for the human being after Nanking, Dresden, Auschwitz, Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Whatever the motivation, this is what we did to each other, and continue to do to this very hour. How can a writer write about goodness when people of all nations, autocratic or democratic, take up murder and torture with the same eager sense of merriment that they do an innocuous hobby?
Japan Times
Dec 19, 2004
Revealing 'The Japanese Sensibility': Iconoclasm
In many senses the Japanese people have been in denial since the end of World War II.
Japan Times
Dec 12, 2004
Revealing 'The Japanese Sensibility': Innocence
How can innocence and worldliness coexist in a people? Does not the black whip of cynicism, with its burr and sting, send naivete sailing for more gentle and accommodating shores?
Dec 5, 2004
Revealing 'The Japanese Sensibility': Intimacy
To punish men for their sins The smoothest skin The longest black hair All that Is me
Japan Times
Nov 28, 2004
Revealing 'The Japanese Sensibility': Modernity
Who was this man who wrote, "When I die I forbid the erection of anything resembling a monument, and if erected I am vehemently opposed to any words being engraved into it, and if people must engrave words into it I absolutely despise when they gush on and on, because I'd rather that someone just rolled a big rock on top of my grave and left it like that.''
Japan Times
Oct 10, 2004
A Blade of Light
This was an overexposed day, a negative with excessive contrast. The sun seemed to shine only on Grace's little patch of land, concentrating its white power on the single eucalyptus tree opposite the window and the dry ground around it.
Japan Times
Sep 26, 2004
Disillusioned bard of a bygone Japan
In the century that has passed since the death of Lafcadio Hearn on Sept. 26, 1904, the Japanese people have studiously formulated and maintained a myth -- and they have done it with all the tools and vigor of nostalgia at their disposal.
Japan Times
Aug 4, 2004
No winners or losers in 'The Face of Jizo'
In the early 1960s, Hisashi Inoue, the author of the original play "The Face of Jizo," was working under contract as a writer at NHK. The idea for the play came when he was sent to Hiroshima in the summer to do a program about the anti-nuclear movement.
Japan Times
Oct 29, 2003
An artist in a land of ice and snow
Jorg Schmeisser traveled to Antarctica on the icebreaker Aurora Australis in 1998. The result was a series of works -- etchings, drawings and paintings -- that became "Breaking the Ice," a major exhibition showing in Kyoto and scheduled for Tokyo and Yokohama, that explores the majesty and uncanny beauty of the frozen continent.
Dec 17, 2000
The stage is set for genuine change
This is the final article of a 10-part series on contemporary Japan.
Dec 10, 2000
The Japanese language goes international
This is the ninth of a 10-part series on contemporary Japan.
Dec 3, 2000
Middle-class myth comes tumbling down
This is the eighth of a 10-part series on contemporary Japan.
Nov 26, 2000
With affluence comes intellectual decay
Among the intellectuals it is not hard to detect the New Pessimism; among the citizenry, the Same Old Apathy. Today I wish to focus on the former.
Nov 19, 2000
Education yesterday, today and tomorrow
My four children have attended Japanese schools from kindergarten up. Over the years there have been innumerable positive experiences connected with this. Yet one thing has always struck me as, at best, blatantly incongruous. Virtually every principal addressing pupils and parents at the commencement ceremony has spoken of the importance of nurturing and pursuing "our dreams."
Nov 12, 2000
Japan's not-so-silent media conspiracy
Some months ago I went up to Tohoku to give a public lecture sponsored by a television station. After the talk there was a delightful, informal dinner, during which I chatted with an old friend, a producer at the station.
Nov 5, 2000
Do the Japanese have a sense of humor?
A Jewish peddler boldly visits the house of a rich nobleman. The place is Rome and the time, well, about 2,000 years ago, plus or minus a few decades here or there.


Hideo Shimoju points to a possible site that his fellow neighbors may relocate to. Such relocations have happened before, but not preemptively.
In disaster-prone Japan, some communities consider major moves