In the 20 years that have passed since the publication of Haruki Murakami's nonfiction "Underground," it remains both an outlier and a springboard for the career that would follow.
For Iain Maloney's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
For the student lost in the midst of memorizing kanji, it's easy to forget that languages are molded not just by the sharp corners of reality but also by the careful caressing of poets. What a joy it is then to have this window ...
"The Honjin Murders" is a classic murder mystery in which a newly married couple are found butchered by a Japanese sword inside a room locked from the inside.
A new decade brings a whole host of translations from prize-winning Japanese authors and books about Japan, from detective fiction to geopolitical studies.
With "Zen in Japanese Culture," Gavin Blair deftly sidesteps superficial how-tos and Orientalism to deliver a in-depth explainer that leaves readers wanting to dig even deeper.
The recent reprint of Hal Gold's book, "Japan's Infamous Unit 731," keeps alive the memory of human rights atrocities committed by the Imperial Japanese Army.
Artist Kazumi Wilds retells Japan's creation myth, the "Kojiki," through vivid and accessible illustrations.
Masahisa Fukase's "Family," reissued with essays by Fukase himself and Tomo Kosuga, turns the idea of the family portrait on its head, simultaneously reinvigorating and ridiculing it.
Stephen Lyman and Chris Bunting's "The Complete Guide to Japanese Drinks" is a beautiful, carefully put together coffee-table book full of insights, anecdotes and thirst-inducing pictures of Japan's various alcohols.
Set in the early 17th century, "The Swords of Silence" focuses on the plight of Japan's hidden Christians and the closing of Japan to foreign trade and relations — with a fantasy twist.