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.
For Damian Flanagan's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
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. The Sweetest Fruits, by Monique Truong.304 pages PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE, Historical fiction. We begin on the ...
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.
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?
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.
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.
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 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), ...
"Life for Sale" — first serialized in Weekly Playboy in 1968 — 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.
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.