Commentary | THE VIEW FROM NEW YORK Aug 28, 2000

A revisionist's view of Japanese history

"Kokumin no Rekishi," published last year, has been touted as the first major attempt to rewrite Japanese history. I've acquired and read it because I've been asked to comment on Japanese nationalism next month, in Chicago. The author of the book, Kanji Nishio, has ...

Books / Reviews Jul 4, 2000

Timeless jabs at the ordinary

LIGHT VERSE FROM THE FLOATING WORLD: An Anthology of Premodern Japanese Senryu, compiled, translated, and with an introduction by Makoto Ueda. Columbia University Press, 273 pp., 1999. My employer, a Japanese trade agency, holds an annual New Year senryu contest. One entry back in ...

Books / Reviews Jun 6, 2000

Some rules were made to be broken

THE IRON BOOK OF BRITISH HAIKU, edited by David Cobb and Martin Lucas. Iron Press, 1998, 112 pp., 6.50 British pounds. A NEW RESONANCE: Emerging Voices in English-Language Haiku, edited by Jim Kacian and Dee Evetts. Red Moon Press, 1999, 201 pp., $14.50. Reading ...

Commentary May 29, 2000

Old prejudices burn bright in war memoir

NEW YORK -- A new book on Iwo Jima demystifies the flag, said Richard Bernstein, reviewing it for The New York Times. What James Bradley calls "The Photograph in Flags of Our Fathers" (Bantam, 2000) is only too famous: a picture of a small band ...

Commentary | THE VIEW FROM NEW YORK Apr 23, 2000

Japan as No. 1 (in being bullied by U.S.)

With a refreshing bit of journalistic acuity, the USA Today reporter James Cox has reminded me how bizarre the U.S. attitude toward Japan has become. Under the headline, "U.S. bullies Japan like no other nation," Cox noted the astonishing extent of U.S. high-handed meddlesomeness ...

Books / Reviews Feb 8, 2000

The cat in the hat goes to war like that

DR. SEUSS GOES TO WAR: The World War II Editorial Cartoons of Theodor Seuss Geisel, by Richard Minear, introduction by Art Spiegelman. The New Press, 1999, 272 pp. To most Americans who grew up with Dr. Seuss' oddly, endearingly drawn critters and facile rhymes ...

Books / Reviews Jan 18, 2000

A life between East and West

THE MASK CARVER'S SON, A Novel by Alyson Richman. Bloomsbury Pub Plc USA, 371 pp., $23.95. This is an imagined autobiography of a Japanese artist who studied in Paris around the year 1900. The artist, given the name Yamamoto Kiyoki and dates 1875-1967, is the ...

Books / Reviews Nov 2, 1999

This poetic chameleon wore khaki

SHREDDING THE TAPESTRY OF MEANING: The Poetry and Poetics of Kitasono Katsue (1902-1978), by John Solt. Harvard University Asia Center, 1999, 395 pp., $49.50. On Jan. 4, 1942, less than a month after Japan's assault on Pearl Harbor, Katsue Kitazono -- the spelling that John ...

Books / Reviews Jun 29, 1999

American haiku now holds its own

THE HAIKU ANTHOLOGY, by Cor van den Heuvel. W. W. Norton, pp. 363, $27.50. Cor van den Heuvel is the most important anthologist of haiku composed in English in North America. He has published three collections, all simply called "The Haiku Anthology" and all through ...