Michael Hoffman

Michael Hoffman is a fiction and nonfiction writer who has lived in Hokkaido by the sea almost as long as he can remember. He has been contributing regularly to The Japan Times for 10 years. His latest novel is “The Naked Ear” (VBW/Blackcover Books, 2012).

For Michael Hoffman's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Ando Shoeki: He who dared anger the gods

/ | Apr 14, 2018

Ando Shoeki: He who dared anger the gods

A mind like Shoeki Ando — bold, mischievous, unconventional, borderline crackpot, one might almost say — is worth probing, if only for those qualities, let alone for his ideas, which leave the mainstream so far behind that the word "evil" has been attached to ...

Confusing power with powerlessness

/ | Mar 10, 2018

Confusing power with powerlessness

"We're all terrified. It's like living in a mass grave." It's an underground shelter. "No water, no food, no ventilation, no toilets. Explosion after explosion. It never stops." The civil war in Syria grinds on. Noncombatants are powerless, helpless, living as if dead, if not ...

Heroism and the changing state of morality

/ | Feb 17, 2018

Heroism and the changing state of morality

Every age breeds its own morality. One era's good is another's evil. Today's virtue is tomorrow's vice, today's wisdom tomorrow's stupidity, today's sanity tomorrow's madness. For 700 years, from the late 12th to the mid-19th centuries, Japan's highest ideals were embodied in the samurai. Unflinching ...