In her new novel, "Tokyo Ueno Station," writer Yu Miri connects Japan's modern past with the homeless in Ueno Park, giving faces and voices to the dispossessed.
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:
Kazufumi Shiraishi's novella "Stand-in Companion" offers an interesting male perspective on infertility, plumbing the frustrations of a childless couple and the self-accusation and unspoken blame that can eat away at a relationship.
Eugenia Kim's second novel, "The Kinship of Secrets," is a measuredly moving story of a girl losing and finding a home, the ways in which families grow into units and immigrants into citizens.
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.
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."