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Boy, by Takeshi Kitano, translated by David James Karashima. New York: Vertical Inc., 80 pp., $17.95 (cloth).

These three stories by one of Japan’s most popular film directors (aka Beat Takeshi, one of Japan’s most popular TV comedians) were originally published in 1987. They thus antedate the first of the films (“Violent Cop,” 1989) and the most extreme of the TV appearances, but they are made of the same material — the childhood and youth of Kitano himself.

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