Tag - essential-reading-for-japanophiles

 
 

ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES

Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Nov 19, 2016
'Legless in Ginza': A Tokyo travelogue that avoids tired cliches
Invited for a two-year stint at the University of Tokyo, professor Robin Gerster set about "orientating" himself in Japan by exploring the possibilities of adapting the country to his own needs.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Nov 12, 2016
'Gardens of Gravel and Sand': The skeletal remains of Japan's ornamental landscapes
There are only a handful of foreign writers on the Japanese garden that can really be taken seriously. Among those who have applied their erudition and insight to the subject are Loraine E. Kuck, Gunter Nitschke, Marc P. Keane and David A. Slawson. Leonard Koren joins this exalted group with "Gardens...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Nov 5, 2016
'Crooked Cucumber': The Life and Zen Teaching of Shunryu Suzuki
Shunryu Suzuki, author of the influential "Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind," is credited with introducing Zen to the West and founding California's first Zen Buddhist monastery.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Oct 29, 2016
'A Long Rainy Season': Haiku and tanka by 15 of Japan's leading female poets
In 1901, poet Akiko Yosano's "Midaregami" ("Tangled Hair") was published. This collection of 399 sensual, explicit tanka and haiku poems broke with the formal traditions set down centuries before. Her book allowed Japanese verse to transition from feminine to feminist.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Oct 22, 2016
'Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind': Miyazaki's manga is as relevant today as it was in '82
In "Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind," famed Studio Ghibli founder Hayao Miyazaki depicts a world overrun by giant insects and a poisonous fungal forest, the fallout of an environmental cataclysm in the distant past. Humans live on in fractured kingdoms, using what remains of the technology from a...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Aug 13, 2016
Forbidden Colours
Written in 1951 and translated into English in 1968, the title of "Forbidden Colours" represents taboo desires and beliefs, most notably homosexuality and misogyny. Shunsuke is an aging writer whose vile views on women are given the opportunity for physical manifestation in Yuichi, a gorgeous young gay...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Aug 6, 2016
Reading Zen in the Rocks
The powerful ambiguities of dry landscape arrangements, the inevitable questions they raise in relation to what constitutes a garden, the profundity of concepts and principals, many of them deriving from Taoism and Zen, never fail to baffle the uninitiated. Francoise Berthier, a professor of Japanese...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Jul 30, 2016
'Japan-ness in Architecture': Arata Isozaki and the search for a national identity
In "Japan-ness in Architecture," architect and theorist Arata Isozaki chronicles the search for a Japanese identity through design. Isozaki begins by outlining Japan's architectural discourse in the 20th century, in which he played a key role. He writes honestly about his contemporaries who grappled...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Jul 2, 2016
'The Anatomy of Dependence': Excavating the foundations of Japanese behavior
Takeo Doi's "The Anatomy of Dependence," first published in 1971 and translated into English two years later, remains one of the definitive books about Japanese behavior.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Jun 4, 2016
Why 'The Japanese Chronicles' remains an archetypal travelogue
Author of the classic travelogue "The Way of the World," Nicolas Bouvier was also a photographer, whose grainy images add texture to this series of essays published in 1989. A travel writer who used the genre as a medium for political and cultural inquiry, Bouvier was both investigative journalist and...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
May 28, 2016
'Neighborhood Tokyo' dispels myths about the megacity
"Neighborhood Tokyo" is a portrait of an average Tokyo neighborhood in Shinagawa Ward where Harvard Anthropologist Theodore Bestor did fieldwork from the late 1970s to early '80s. Though the book is a rigorous study of social life, Bestor's wit and candor open it up to general readers.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
May 14, 2016
'Sayonara' reveals the complexity of Western fantasies about Japan
Some books enlighten us by aging badly. James A. Michener's novel "Sayonara," first published in 1953 and made into a film starring Marlon Brando four years later, has been dismissed as an example of Orientalist fantasy, with its gushing about the perfect wives that Western men find in Japan. Still,...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
May 7, 2016
'San'ya Blues' uncovers the holes in Japanese society
Sanya, Tokyo's day-laborer quarter, hardly exists in the official geography of the city — it has been excised in an act of symbolic expulsion. Maps are designed in such a way that the area remains blotted out. The district, as "San'ya Blues" author Edward Fowler observes, "might just as well be...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Apr 30, 2016
'Toddler-Hunting and Other Stories' is feminist fiction at its most disturbing
"Toddler-Hunting and Other Stories" is a superb collection of short stories written in the 1960s by one of the most significant feminist writers of postwar Japan.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Apr 23, 2016
'Off Center' tries to pull Japan out of America's shadow
"Off Center" is Japanese-born U.S. academic Masao Miyoshi's exposition of the asymmetrical relationship between Japan and the West.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Apr 16, 2016
'Tokyo Portraits' gives a face to the unbowed underclasses of the metropolis
The translated captions in Hiroh Kikai's highly original photo book "Tokyo Portraits" match the equally arresting images taken between 1973 and 2008. "A man who didn't have the money to buy a train ticket," reads one, "A man wearing shoes over his bare feet, who said he was doing academic research by...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Mar 26, 2016
'Somersault' shows Kenzaburo Oe tackling Japan's terror cults
Haruki Murakami has said that 1995 was the year when many of Japan's certainties were destroyed. In January of that year, the Great Hanshin Earthquake killed 6,434 people and then in March, local doomsday cult Aum Shinrikyo released sarin gas in the Tokyo subway, killing 12 and injuring many others.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Mar 19, 2016
Yasunari Kawabata meditates on nature and Westernization in 'The Old Capital'
Yasunari Kawabata's novels are like secret gardens with sadly beautiful flowers. First published in 1962, "The Old Capital" — an elegiac meditation on the cultural heritage of Kyoto — was one of the works that earned him the Nobel Prize in Literature. It is a story that moves from spring...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Mar 12, 2016
'Rough Living' captures the struggles of being a woman in the Meiji Era
Tokuda Shusei's "Rough Living," a translation of his 1915 novel "Arakure," explores lives of working-class people of the Meiji Era (1868-1912) and the rupturing social transformations taking place in Japan at the time.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Mar 5, 2016
'Requiem' chronicles the thoughts of a Japanese girl in the ashes of World War II
Eavesdropping on a dying girl's inner monologue makes for a painful but powerful reading experience in this classic of Japanese young adult literature.

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