Tag - essential-reading-for-japanophiles

 
 

ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES

Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
May 16, 2015
MacArthur's JapaneseConstitution
The Constitution is one of the more controversial documents of our age. Some want it rewritten, some hold it as an inviolable sacred text. Article 9 — the article renouncing war — has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe wants it abolished. Yet for all the...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
May 9, 2015
'The Last Shogun' is a rare translation of Ryotaro Shiba's historical fiction
Ryotaro Shiba was one of Japan's most popular writers of historical fiction, described in Frank Gibney's introduction to "The Last Shogun" as "Japan's national writer ... his name on a book virtually guarantees a wide readership."
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
May 2, 2015
'Embracing Defeat' breaks down remorse and resistance in postwar Japan
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Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Apr 25, 2015
Banana Yoshimoto's magical realist rumination on life and death
Amrita, a Sanskrit word that literally means "immortality," is the name of Banana Yoshimoto's strange 1994 novel. It's an essentially plotless tale, but deeply affecting in its blend of ennui and hope.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Apr 18, 2015
'You Gotta Have Wa' is still the best analysis of Japanese culture seen through the lens of sport
Robert Whiting's baseball classic, "You Gotta Have Wa," (updated in 2009) remains the definitive text on Japanese culture seen through the lens of sport. Whiting has an engaging style, his research is exhaustive and his first-hand knowledge has ensured this book is just as entertaining now as it was...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Apr 11, 2015
'Salad Anniversary' comes dripping with honesty
My entry to Japanese poetry was, I suspect, similar to most. It began with Matsuo Basho; anthologies by R. H. Blyth and Kenneth Rexroth; haiku by Edo Period (1603-1868) monks; and tanka by Heian Period (794-1185 ) noblewomen.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Apr 4, 2015
Mishima's weakling in a world of military machismo in 'Confessions of a Mask'
'Confessions of a Mask' is Yukio Mishima's second novel, published in 1949.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Mar 28, 2015
Morbid beauty and charged sexuality of Yasunari Kawabata's 'Thousand Cranes'
Yasunari Kawabata's tense 1952 novel contains all the writer's hallmarks: beautiful language, obsessive sexuality and contempt for the era.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Mar 21, 2015
Black Jack
Although he is best known internationally for creating "Astro Boy," Osamu Tezuka's most popular work for adults in Japan is "Black Jack," a series of short stand-alone stories from the 1970s, documenting the renegade antics of the unconventional title doctor whose mercenary facade masks a wise, compassionate...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Mar 14, 2015
A Personal Matter
In the 1960s, Kenzaburo Oe began regularly writing about a character based on his autistic son, Hikari.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Mar 7, 2015
An Artist of the Floating World
Released in 1986, this relatively short novel is dense with ideas and possibilities. Set in Japan in the late 1940s, the story is narrated by Masuji Ono, a celebrated painter who once created propaganda for the Imperial Army. He now finds himself labeled a traitor by the younger generation, a reputation...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Feb 28, 2015
War and National Reinvention
Last year marked the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War I, a conflict which many of Asia's current foreign policy headaches grew out of. It's strange then that the role East Asia played in the Great War has often been overlooked by commentators. In that context, Frederick R. Dickinson's "War...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Feb 21, 2015
The Roads to Sata: A 2000-Mile Walk Through Japan
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Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Feb 14, 2015
Kafu the Scribbler
"A querulous, self-righteous man, whose social criticism rarely rose above the level of personal complaining ... ."
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Feb 7, 2015
Rising Sun and Tumbling Bear: Russia's War with Japan
Richard Connaughton's "Rising Sun and Tumbling Bear" is a detailed study of the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-05, the first war where an Asian power defeated a European power since the Mongol invasion of the 13th century.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Jan 31, 2015
For All My Walking
Poet Taneda Santoka (1882-1940) cut a pitiful, tragic figure. His mother's suicide when he was 11 seems to have unhinged him for life. After a failed marriage and a failed sake-brewing enterprise he took to drink and hit the road. Someone took pity on him and brought him to a Zen temple, where he studied...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Jan 24, 2015
The Ink Dark Moon
No other period in Japan's literary history was as dominated by women as the Heian Period (794-1185). Most Japanophiles know names such as Sei Shonagon ("The Pillow Book") or Murasaki Shikibu ("The Tale of Genji") for their contributions to the world of literature, but Izumi Shikibu (Shikibu is a title,...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Jan 10, 2015
Life of a Counterfeiter
Yasushi Inoue's "Life of a Counterfeiter," translated by Michael Emmerich, contains three stories: the eponymous novella and two shorter pieces, "Reeds" and "Mr Goodall's Gloves."
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Jan 3, 2015
Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan
"Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan," first published in 2000, is a comprehensive and convincing biography of the wartime Emperor Hirohito and one which set out to shatter the myth that he was merely a figurehead, isolated from the power play that saw Japan militarize on a massive scale.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Dec 27, 2014
The Woman in the Dunes
Certain books must be read, even with the knowledge that the reading will be painful. Kobo Abe's masterpiece "The Woman in the Dunes" is one such book. Called an "existential fable," it is no surprise that Abe's favorite writers were Franz Kafka, Friedrich Nietzsche and Edgar Allan Poe.

Longform

The Japanese government updated its English education guidelines in 2017 to emphasize communication over grammar and memorization. Public school teachers are incredibly busy, however, which means schools haven’t been able to implement changes uniformly. Private and alternative schools are attempting to remedy this.
The language of opportunity: Bilingual education is on the rise in Japan