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For insight into the heart of Japan, pick up Donald Keene’s memoir, “Chronicles of My Life.”

The 95-year-old professor emeritus of Japanese Literature at Columbia University published it nearly 10 years ago. He relays the events in his life that led him to Japan, from a childhood trip to Europe and a chance meeting with a Chinese student in university to the outbreak of World War II and his service as a Japanese translator in the U.S Navy.

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