NEWSWORTHY

'Snow Woman': chillingly modern

/ Mar 1, 2017

'Snow Woman': chillingly modern

by Mark Schilling

The Japanese folklore story of the "Snow Woman" has been told in many places, in many ways, and in many versions, but best-known is that of Lafcadio Hearn, the Greek-Irish writer who published it in his 1904 collection, "Kwaidan: Stories and Studies of Strange ...

The hidden heart of Natsume Soseki

Nov 26, 2016

The hidden heart of Natsume Soseki

by Damian Flanagan

Dec. 9 marks the 100th anniversary of the death of Natsume Soseki (1867-1916), a novelist widely regarded as being the one of the greatest writers of modern Japan. Events commemorating this anniversary have been held throughout 2016 but, in case you think it will ...

Japan's eclectic collection of choice

Oct 19, 2016

Japan's eclectic collection of choice

by Mark Schilling

The Tokyo International Film Festival offers a great once-in-a-year opportunity to see new and classic Japanese films with English subtitles. The sheer quantity on offer — more than 50 titles in the main sections alone — can be overwhelming, though. Here are samples from ...

Shizuoka: Where writers go to hide from the world

Sep 24, 2016

Shizuoka: Where writers go to hide from the world

by Damian Flanagan

Ask a Japanese person which part of Japan they most associate with writer Lafcadio Hearn and they are likely to instantly respond: Matsue, a seaside town in Shimane Prefecture. Hearn is the man who introduced Japan to the West in the Meiji Period (1868-1912) through ...

Expanded Hearn museum reopens in Shimane

Jul 16, 2016

Expanded Hearn museum reopens in Shimane

A museum in Shimane Prefecture reopened on Saturday with more exhibition space for the personal effects and books of naturalized Japanese writer Lafcadio Hearn, also known as Yakumo Koizumi. The Lafcadio Hearn Memorial Museum in Matsue had been closed since January for a renewal that ...

Insect Literature

Jan 23, 2016

Insect Literature

by Damian Flanagan

The Berlin-based author Yoko Tawada recently remarked that one of the difficulties she faced when translating Kafka's short story "Metamorphosis" into Japanese was that the associations Japanese people had with insects — even presumably giant beetles — were different to those of Europeans. Tawada ...

Grave company at Zoshigaya Cemetery

| Oct 24, 2015

Grave company at Zoshigaya Cemetery

by Kit Nagamura

When persimmon leaves and the tips of maples take on color, and chilly air rattles windows, composer Yoshinao Nakada's haunting song "Chiisai Aki Mitsuketa" ("A Bit of Autumn Found") floats through my mind. Having just learned that the song's lyricist, talented poet Hachiro Sato ...

Lafcadio Hearn: 'Japanese Thru and Tru'

Sep 20, 2014

Lafcadio Hearn: 'Japanese Thru and Tru'

by Roger Pulvers

A small cage was opened at Lafcadio Hearn's funeral, setting birds into the air, the soul of the deceased presumably taking flight with them. His coffin was draped in chrysanthemums and fragrant olive, adorned by a laurel wreath. Seven Buddhist priests read the sutras ...