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The last page of Donald Richie’s most recent offering, “Botandoro,” reveals that he has, in his long and productive life, published no fewer than 35 books. The word “prolific” is unavoidable.

If one goes on to study the list of titles — from “Walkman,” “Manga” and “Society” to “Zen Inklings”; from “Notes for a Study of Shohei Imamura” to “The Japanese Tattoo” — and notices that Richie’s work includes criticism, fiction, essays, philosophy, memoirs and more, the word “breadth” also imposes itself. “Botandoro,” a diverse collection of “stories, fables, parables, and allegories” written over 70 years, is, in its scope and the skill with which it is written, a microcosm of an astounding literary career.

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