Tag - essential-reading-for-japanophiles

 
 

ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES

Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Mar 31, 2018
'The Bridge Over the River Kwai' explores the cultural pride and folly of the Asia-Pacific War
A war between nations is innately a clash of cultures. Pierre Boulle's best-selling novel "The Bridge Over the River Kwai," first published in English in 1954 and made into a movie by David Lean, mixes military fiction with the cultural pride and folly of the Asia-Pacific War. It is a lean, jumpy book,...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Mar 24, 2018
'Quicksand': A racy transition from old Tanizaki to new
A young lady from Osaka begins to attend an art class and, while painting a picture of the Kannon (the goddess of mercy), substitutes the head for that of a beguiling student. Soon, she is drawn into a complex web of lesbian passion, pitted against the social norms of marriage in a deadly game that will...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Mar 17, 2018
In 'The Rape of Nanking' Iris Chang deconstructs the horrors of war
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Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Jan 6, 2018
In 'The Tokyo-Montana Express,' Richard Brautigan sees Japan with a fresh eye
There is a magical realism to the first steps in a new country. Some of the finest prose to convey this enchantment is Richard Brautigan's short story collection "The Tokyo-Montana Express," first published by Delacorte Press/Seymor Lawrence in 1980. Like stations on a fantasy railroad, the vignettes...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Dec 30, 2017
'Strong in the Rain': Poetry from the heart and mind by Kenji Miyazawa
'Strong in the Rain," a classic Japanese poetry collection from Kenji Miyazawa (1896-1921), beautifully reveals much about both nature and humanity.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Dec 23, 2017
'The Confessions of Lady Nijo': a memoir of timeless depth and beauty
In 1940, a scholar was going through the holdings of the Imperial Household when a manuscript in the geography section caught his eye. Seeing it titled "Towazugatari," meaning "Unrequested Tale," he took it home to inspect it more closely. It soon became clear that the work was not a treatise on geography...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Dec 16, 2017
'Child of Fortune': Yuko Tsushima's prize-winning and feminist novel on womanhood
Yuko Tsushima's "Child of Fortune," winner of the 1978 Women's Literature Prize in Japan, is a classic novel as relevant today as when it was published nearly 40 years ago. Called an "archaeologist of the female psyche," Tsushima wrote a stream-of-consciousness narrative that follows the mental revelations...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Dec 9, 2017
'Secret Rendezvous' reveals primeval urge for knowledge and sexual satisfaction
"Secret Rendezvous" opens with an ambulance in the dead of night: The narrator's wife is taken to an underground hospital from which she vanishes. The connections to Franz Kafka's "The Trial" in the absurdist, comical and sinister world of Kobo Abe are unmissable, but Abe characteristically takes his...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Dec 2, 2017
'A Brief History of Japan': Jonathan Clements guides readers from ancient lore to otaku obsessions
Ask any Japanese high school student which is their most difficult subject, and chances are they'll answer Japanese History — a consequence of the endless litany of dates, names and battles they need to memorize. Pity then, that they don't use this little book in class, because it manages to make...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Nov 25, 2017
'The Paper Door and Other Stories': Naoya Shiga's rollercoaster ride of human emotions
Considered a master of the Japanese short story, Naoya Shiga's "The Paper Door and Other Stories" truly impresses. Seventeen stories explore a vast range of human emotions, from fever-induced insanity in "The Razor" to the analytical musings of a circus performer whose stunt has just gone horribly wrong...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Nov 18, 2017
'The Broken Commandment': Toson Shimazaki's humanist bildungsroman of a 'burakumin'
A classic from 1906, Toson Shimazaki's "The Broken Commandment" follows the ideological struggles of a young teacher, Ushimatsu Segawa.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Nov 11, 2017
'Hiroshima Notes': Kenzaburo Oe on Hiroshima and the U.S. Occupation
In 1963, 28-year-old novelist and rising star Kenzaburo Oe was sent to Hiroshima to report on the rancorous split between political groups calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Nov 4, 2017
'Blue Bamboo: Japanese Tales of Fantasy': Between the fantasy and reality of Osamu Dazai
Osamu Dazai packs wry humor and warm humanity into seven short stories, as his collection, "Blue Bamboo," inventively blurs the line between fantasy and reality.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Oct 28, 2017
'Opening the Hand of Thought: Foundations of Zen Buddhist Practice': Learning the art of zazen meditation
Good books on Zen urge you to put them down and start meditating, but the best ones make you actually want to.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Oct 21, 2017
'A Brief History of the Samurai': offers thrilling take on Japan's ancient warrior class
On reading Jonathan Clements’ brief history of the samurai, first published in 2010, you can’t help but see parallels with the recent blockbuster television series “Game of Thrones.”
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Oct 14, 2017
'A Hundred Years of Japanese Film': Donald Richie gives us the long shot
Donald Richie didn't just open a window on Japanese cinema — the renowned film critic broke down a wall and put in a cultural door.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Oct 7, 2017
'Chronicles of My Life: An American in the Heart of Japan': Donald Keene's memoir is not to be missed
For insight into the heart of Japan, pick up Donald Keene's memoir, "Chronicles of My Life."
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Sep 30, 2017
'The Making of Urban Japan': The best introduction to Japanese urban planning in English
In "The Making of Urban Japan," professor Andre Sorensen explains the genesis of modern Japanese cities, from bustling stations to intimate alleyways. Published in 2002, while he was a lecturer at the University of Tokyo, it remains the best introduction to Japanese urban planning in English.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Sep 23, 2017
'One Piece': Manga still popular, influential after two decades
Eiichiro Oda's long-running contemporary manga "One Piece" is the undisputed king of Japanese pop culture today.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Sep 16, 2017
'The Book of Five Rings': The text that showed many a Japanophile 'the way'
Legendary 17th-century swordsman Miyamoto Musashi authored this book in the last years of his life, expanding his 'two heavens as one' double-sword strategies into a complete life philosophy.

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