Tag - essential-reading-for-japanophiles

 
 

ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES

Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Feb 27, 2016
A volatile mix of Catholicism and indigenous culture in Shusaku Endo's 'Volcano'
In "Volcano," first published in 1959, Shusaku Endo examines the fates of characters linked to the condition of a volcano he names "Akadake," based on the active cone of Sakurajima in Kagoshima. During the research for the novel, Endo is said to have chartered a helicopter so that he could peer firsthand...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Feb 20, 2016
'The Doctor's Wife' fictionalizes the life of Japan's pioneering anesthetist
"Behind every great man is a woman rolling her eyes," the comedian Jim Carrey once joked. Sawako Ariyoshi's novel "The Doctor's Wife," based on historical facts and first published in 1978, tells of the woman behind real-life pioneer surgeon Seishu Hanaoka, who used general anesthetic long before any...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Feb 13, 2016
After the Banquet
Considering Yukio Mishima's reputation, it seems odd that a book as innocuous as "After the Banquet" could have had such an impact. The novel tells the story of Kazu, the owner of a restaurant frequented by the rich and powerful of Tokyo society, and Noguchi, a semi-retired politician. They marry, but...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Feb 6, 2016
A Cat, a Man, and Two Women
It took the wise Junichiro Tanizaki, partial to hanky-panky of all shades, to see that a perfect love triangle (oops — make that a square) involves a cat. True to form, in "A Cat, a Man, and Two Women" Tanizaki flips master and servant, and one of the charms of this light-hearted work, first published...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Jan 30, 2016
The Silent Cry
On the surface "The Silent Cry"— first published in 1967 — is the story of Matsu, his wife Natsu and his brother Takashi, who return to the Shikoku village of their birth to negotiate the sale of some family property to "the Emperor of Supermarkets," a Korean brought to Shikoku as a slave...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Jan 23, 2016
Barefoot Gen
With the recent announcement by North Korean authorities that they had successfully tested a hydrogen bomb, Keiji Nakazawa's classic anti-nuclear manga, "Barefoot Gen," once again deserves a full reading — both for newcomers or for those revisiting its brilliance.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Jan 16, 2016
Lost Japan
Originally published in Japanese in 1993 (with the English translation following in 1996), "Lost Japan," the first book by Alex Kerr, has recently been re-released by Penguin. A fascinating chronicle of Kerr's diverse interactions with the country, the book spans such subjects as restoring a traditional...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Jan 9, 2016
Rediscovering Rikyu and the Beginnings of the Japanese Tea Ceremony
It is said that one of the best ways to become a person of culture is to study the Japanese tea ceremony, where nothing is permitted to be rushed and there are no short cuts to accomplishment.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Jan 2, 2016
A Fantastic Journey: The Life and Literature of Lafcadio Hearn
Paul Murray, biographer of both Lafcadio Hearn and his close contemporary Bram Stoker, has combined working as a writer with a distinguished career in the Irish Foreign Service, including a stint in Tokyo in the 1970s before eventually becoming Irish ambassador to South Korea.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Dec 26, 2015
Akira Kurosawa: Something Like An Autobiography
We sometimes forget that the great film director, Akira Kurosawa, was also an accomplished scriptwriter. In this, his wonderfully digressive autobiography, he rightly eschews the trivia of opening nights or the demands of leading ladies, to focus on the art of filmmaking, the role of director, the use...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Dec 19, 2015
The Karma Of Words
Subtitled "Buddhism and the Literary Arts in Medieval Japan," William R. LaFleur's book surveys an expanse of Japanese literary history ranging from the "Nihon Ryoiki" of the early ninth century to Basho's posthumous "Narrow Road to the Deep North" (1702). This is a more generous definition of "medieval"...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Dec 12, 2015
Bedtime Eyes
A direct influence on authors Risa Wataya and Hitomi Kanehara, Amy Yamada was part of the shinjinrui (new breed) generation that came of age in the late '70s, the first to grow up in an affluent, peaceful postwar Japan. Side-effects of prosperity included ennui and alienation from their parents, often...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Dec 5, 2015
The Waiting Years
A tale of unanswered prayers, Fumiko Enchi's "The Waiting Years" is an elegy on the subservience that once haunted Japanese womanhood.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Nov 28, 2015
'Glory in a Line' reveals the complicated life of Tsuguharu Foujita
Arguably Phyllis Birnbaum's best biography to date, "Glory in a Line" examines the life of Japanese painter Tsuguharu "Leonard" Foujita.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Nov 21, 2015
'The Power of Okinawa' is the most authoritative study of Ryukyu folk music
Of all the varieties of folk-music in Japan, Okinawa's is arguably the most vibrant and self-evolving. Astute listeners soon realize that each island group in the region has its own distinct microculture and musical traditions.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Nov 14, 2015
Critic Donald Richie reflects on Asia in 'Travels in the East'
The writer Donald Richie wore many hats: film curator and director, critic, essayist, writer of fiction, composer, cultural commentator extraordinaire and inveterate traveler.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Nov 14, 2015
'Living Carelessly in Tokyo and Elsewhere' with translator John Nathan
John Nathan arrived in Japan in the early 1960s and set about constantly pushing his limits, becoming the first Westerner to graduate from the esteemed University of Tokyo. And by age 25, he had published a translation of Yukio Mishima's "The Sailor Who Fell From Grace with the Sea."
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Nov 7, 2015
'The Book of Tea' is a transcendent view of life, art and Japan
To those unfamiliar with his name, Okakura Kakuzo was a pivotal figure in trying to make sense out of the clash between Western innovation in Japan and Oriental tradition. Self-exiled from the emerging modernism of the Meiji Era (1868-1912), Okakura traveled to India, China, Europe and, not without a...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Oct 31, 2015
Unpacking philosopher Kojin Karatani's 'Origins of modern Japanese literature'
"Origins of Modern Japanese Literature" is a radical reexamination of how Japanese literature developed after the 1868 Meiji Restoration. It's made up of a series of essays by Karatani Kojin that were originally published in the late '70s, a time when new critiques of modernity were gathering steam in...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Oct 17, 2015
'Little Songs of the Geisha' collected by an American anthropologist
The label kouta (which roughly translates as, "little song") has been applied to any number of popular Japanese music forms over the centuries. But these days, the word usually refers to a specific genre of shamisen music that evolved in 19th-century Edo (present-day Tokyo) from existing popular styles,...

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People wait for the main act to begin at Summer Sonic, which holds simultaneous music festivals for those in Tokyo and Osaka.
Can Japan's summer music festivals adapt to a post-pandemic reality?