Like a bouquet of exotic flowers, the stories in "The Lonesome Bodybuilder" are varied and full of surprise, starting out with mundane situations and then turning strange in a way that feels uniquely Japanese.
Nicolas Gattig is a teacher and writer from San Francisco. His articles/essays about politics and education have been published in the San Francisco Bay Guardian, SOMA magazine, Street Sheet, and the Japan Times. He is greatly interested in literature and the effects of culture.
For Nicolas Gattig's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
Haruki Murakami's sole foray into journalism, "Underground: The Tokyo Gas Attack and the Japanese Psyche," celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. What lessons does it hold today about where Japan has gone as a society?
In two short stories, "The End of the Moment We Had" and "My Place in Plural" Okada excels at describing the great indifference that marks some Japanese youth.
Toshiyuki Horie's collection of stories embrace small moments, deep thought and cross-cultural connections.
Ishiguro has always seen himself as a British writer and dislikes being pegged to his Japanese origins. Still, he admits that the matter is complex.
A former convenience store worker herself, Murata tells stories of women who don't fit in, who aren't ticking the boxes of middle class conformity.
"Perfect purity is possible," Mishima writes, "if you turn your life into a line of poetry written with a splash of death."
The mariachi blares through the night, mixed with the hustle of elephants. It is Friday night in Oakland, California — a fact embraced by our upstairs neighbors, who are partial to Mexican polka. "It's 11 p.m. — urusai (shut up)," my wife says with jet-lagged ...
First published in 1962 and recently made into a series for Amazon TV, Phillip K. Dick's novel imagines a counterfactual World War II, in which Germany and Japan have conquered Europe and America.
A war between nations is innately a clash of cultures. Pierre Boulle's best-selling novel "The Bridge Over the River Kwai," first published in English in 1954 and made into a movie by David Lean, mixes military fiction with the cultural pride and folly of ...