Tag - essential-reading-for-japanophiles

 
 

ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES

Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Apr 15, 2017
'The Just Bento Cookbook': Riffing on the theme of the Japanese packed lunch
Nourishment means nurturing in Japan, and nowhere does this hold more true than in the daily bento.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Apr 8, 2017
'Fireworks': Short stories and fables from Angela Carter's two years in Japan
"Fireworks: Nine Profane Pieces" brings together a beguiling mix of first-person narratives from English novelist Angela Carter's two-year hiatus in Japan at the tail end of the 1960s, and they are as brilliant as they are bizarre.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Apr 1, 2017
'The Blue-eyed Salaryman': Little changes for those inside Japan's big firms
"The Blue-eyed Salaryman" is Irishman Niall Murtagh's account of working for Mitsubishi.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Mar 25, 2017
'The Sound of the Mountain': Yasunari Kawabata's slow-burning meditation on getting older
The first Japanese winner of the Nobel Prize in literature in 1968, Yasunari Kawabata, deals with the gradual decline that comes with aging in "The Sound of the Mountain."
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Mar 18, 2017
'Kappa': Akutagawa's masterpiece blunted by time but still fascinating
Ryunosuke Akutagawa is probably best known outside Japan for "Rashomon" but "Kappa" is considered to be his masterpiece by fans and scholars. Narrated by a "mental patient" and introduced as a tale overheard directly by the author, "Kappa" is a fantastical satire in the "Gulliver's Travels" mold.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Mar 11, 2017
'Twenty-four Eyes': A quiet commentary on the inhumanity of war
Any list of Japan's top 10 films invariably includes the 1954 movie version of "Twenty-four Eyes," directed by Keisuke Kinoshita and starring Hideko Takamine in one of her signature roles as schoolteacher Hisako Oishi.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Mar 4, 2017
Sawako Ariyoshi's 'The River Ki' explores characters who swim against life's current
When we read Japanese history it's easy to forget that the revolutionary changes that washed through the country from the 19th century into the 20th all took place within a single human life span.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Feb 25, 2017
'A Dark Night's Passing': Naoya Shiga sounds the depths of rootlessness
It takes a brave writer to make their main character as unlikeable as Kensaku Tokito. It is even more startling because Naoya Shiga was consciously writing within the 'I' novel tradition, where the author deliberately draws on their life story for source material.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Feb 18, 2017
'Confessions of a Yakuza': Vice and survival in postwar Tokyo
The author of the best-selling "Memories of Silk and Straw" brings the same documentary approach to bear in "Confessions of a Yakuza," a study of an aging gangster by the name of Eiji Ijichi.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Feb 18, 2017
'Edo and Paris: Urban Life and the State in the Early Modern Era': Essays on growth and bureaucracy
"Edo and Paris" compares the development of these two great cities of the early modern era. It compiles 19 essays by American, European and Japanese academics, edited by James L. McClain, John M. Merriman and Kaoru Ugawa, professors of history at Brown, Yale and Rikkyo universities, respectively.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Feb 11, 2017
'Into a Black Sun: Vietnam 1964-65': Takeshi Kaiko turns his reporting experience into fiction
Journalist Takeshi Kaiko covered the Vietnam War for the Asahi Shimbun, later fictionalizing his experiences in this novel about a Japanese journalist in Saigon and the Vietnamese jungle.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Feb 4, 2017
'The Sound of Waves' stands alone in the sea of Yukio Mishima's works
"The Sound of Waves" is a typical boy-meets-girl story. Shinji is a poor fisherman on Uta-jima, a small island in Ise Bay. Hatsue left the island as a young girl to train to be a pearl diver. When she returns, now a young woman, Shinji falls for her but finds he has a rival in the rich and powerful Yasuo.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Jan 28, 2017
'Slam Dunk': Japan's greatest sports manga?
Takehiko Inoue's "Slam Dunk" is one of Japan's most popular manga, spawning four films and numerous video games. To date, more than 157 million copies of this 31-volume series have sold worldwide. Written when Inoue was a rookie, and first serialized in Shonen Jump from 1990 to '96, the manga won a Shogakukan Manga Award in 1994 and even earned Inoue a special commendation from the Japan Basketball Association for helping to popularize the sport.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Jan 21, 2017
'Wrong About Japan': A travelogue from the home of anime, manga and 'otaku'
"Wrong About Japan" was not universally appreciated when it was first published in 2005, but time has proven it to be a small, highly original contribution to books on this country. In it, author Peter Carey, recipient of two Man Booker prizes, traipses through urban Japan in the company of his son Charley, who is bent on exploring Japanese film, anime, manga and other facets of popular culture. The result is a very different hit list of travel objectives — and some fresh perspectives.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Jan 14, 2017
'The Hunting Gun': the story of a tragic love triangle set in postwar Japan
Yasushi Inoue's debut novel, "The Hunting Gun," was published in 1949, a year before he won the Akutagawa Prize for his second novel, "The Bullfight." The story — which adopts a similar structure to Ryunosuke Akutagawa's "Rashomon" — consists of three letters sent to Josuke, a married man at the center of a tragic love triangle. These letters are framed by an introduction and epilogue in which Inoue explains how the texts fell into his possession. The first letter is from Shoko, the daughter of the woman Josuke has been having an affair with, Saiko. The second is from Midori, Josuke's wife. The third is from Saiko herself.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Jan 7, 2017
'Vagabond': An epic manga based on the life of a 17th-century samurai
Epic samurai manga "Vagabond," first serialized in 1998, is an award-winning series created by author and illustrator Takehiko Inoue after his popular "Slam Dunk" manga. "Vagabond," told across 37 volumes, is based on Eiji Yoshikawa's 1935 historical novel "Musashi," which is a popular account of 17th-century swordsman Miyamoto Musashi. But Inoue moves beyond that source material, adding in original subplots and vignettes.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Dec 31, 2016
'The Teahouse of the August Moon': a subversive comedy in postwar Okinawa
Published in 1951 and later adapted for a movie and Broadway play, Vern Sneider's "The Teahouse of the August Moon" is a satirical take on the U.S. Occupation of Japan.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Dec 17, 2016
'Goodbye Tsugumi': Banana Yoshimoto's portrait of a feisty young woman in '80s Japan
Banana Yoshimoto found fame in 1988 when her wildly successful debut novel "Kitchen" was published. Her unique take on contemporary themes and ability to conjure up feisty yet vulnerable heroines was what attracted readers — two aspects that reappear in "Goodbye Tsugumi," her 1989 novel that chronicles a summer in the lives of two teenage cousins.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Dec 10, 2016
'My Life in Japanese Art and Gardens': Autobiography of 'wild boar' Zenko Adachi
By all accounts, Zenko Adachi (1899-1990) was quite a character. He described himself once as a "reckless, charging, wild boar kind of man" and this autobiography portrays him as a force of nature with a sensitive appreciation for the finer things in life, specifically gardens and art.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Nov 26, 2016
'Dave Barry Does Japan': Three weeks in Nippon with a baffled American
It has been a quarter of a century since American humorist Dave Barry "did" Japan — a task he completed in three weeks. "The Japanese culture is thousands of years old," he writes. "To truly grasp its incredible complexity and infinite subtle nuance, you'd need at least a month." Free of nuance and complexity, Barry's account will make you laugh — and groan — out loud. Thankfully, the laughs outweigh the groans.

Longform

Historically, kabuki was considered the entertainment of the merchant and peasant classes, a far cry from how it is regarded today.
For Japan's oldest kabuki theater, the show must go on