'Pull Me Under': Whirlpools of confusion and psychosis in Tokushima

Books / Reviews Oct 8, 2016

'Pull Me Under': Whirlpools of confusion and psychosis in Tokushima

Chizuru Akitani, daughter of violinist Hiro Akitani, a National Living Treasure, and American Elena, who committed suicide by jumping from the Naruto Bridge, has apparently inherited her mother's depression. With her mother gone and her father remote, 12-year-old Chizuru has little defense against the ...

Kansai proves no barrier to travel

Travel Feb 7, 2015

Kansai proves no barrier to travel

Having planned a family trip from our home in Tokushima Prefecture to Kobe and Osaka, we packed our 14-year-old daughter's wheelchair in the car and took the highway to Awaji Island. By flashing our daughter's red techo (an identification card for individuals with disabilities available ...

Wena Poon on life and death in occupied Kyoto

Books Aug 23, 2014

Wena Poon on life and death in occupied Kyoto

As a child living in a tiny apartment in Singapore, Wena Poon listened to radio plays broadcast in a variety of languages and watched TV — everything from Chinese sword-fighting operas to popular American series such as "M*A*S*H." "There was nowhere to go outside," ...

Born in Japan, made in America

Books Mar 22, 2014

Born in Japan, made in America

Although born in Japan, Mariko Nagai, author of the just-published novel-in-verse "Dust of Eden," was raised mostly in Belgium and the United States. "I grew up all over the world because of my father's job," she says. "First in Belgium, where I spoke Flemish then ...

General | THE PARENT TRIP Sep 14, 2001

Disney domination

I should have known that Disney characters would one day take over my home. When my husband Yoshi and I married eight years ago, one of our wedding presents was a framed, stained-glass picture of Donald and Daisy Duck, our names and date of marriage ...

Art Nov 15, 2000

Taking inspiration where you find it

TOKUSHIMA -- Californian furniture maker Cynthia Kingsbury works in a 100-year-old timber storage building at the foot of a lushly forested mountain in Tokushima Prefecture. Dried sticks are piled like kindling beneath her worktable. Her dog Tingi, a black Labrador-Doberman mix, is sprawled across ...

General Nov 2, 2000

Bank dealer trades finances for fiction

NIIHAMA, Ehime Pref. -- For most writers, the road to publication is paved with rejection slips. Not so for British expatriate Marisa Ishikawa, 35, who lives in Niihama-shi, Ehime Prefecture, with her Japanese carpenter husband and their two small children. Ishikawa dashed off her ...

Music May 5, 2000

Healing with grassroots harmony

Japanese-Jamaican-Korean fusion? Korean-flavored Japanese rock with a bit of Memphis blues thrown in? It's hard to put a label on the multiethnic multigenre sounds of the Pak Poe Band. "I'm greedy," founder and frontman Pak says with a laugh, when explaining the abundance of influences ...

Stage Apr 8, 2000

Shall we hula dance?

MATSUSHIGE, Tokushima Pref. -- "It began with a cold," Lance Kita, 24, replied when asked how he came to teach hula in Japan. Kita, raised in Hawaii, had never taught or even performed the dance native to his home state before coming to Shikoku, ...