Holiday gifts they'll cherish from cover to cover

Books Nov 15, 2014

Holiday gifts they'll cherish from cover to cover

As the holiday season rolls around, it's time to dash about in a mad panic in search of gifts that say "I've given this one some thought, honest." Or you can just let us do the thinking for you, with gift suggestions from our ...

Finding Murakami in his own weird worlds

Books Nov 8, 2014

Finding Murakami in his own weird worlds

by J.J. O'Donoghue

Consider this hypothetical conundrum: Haruki Murakami is (finally) awarded the Nobel Prize in literature, but what does the author have to say for himself on Japanese television? The Forbidden Worlds of Haruki Murakami, by Matthew Carl ...

The Sarashina Diary

Books / Reviews Nov 1, 2014

The Sarashina Diary

by Madeline Barbush

The author known as Takasue's Daughter, or Lady Sarashina, kept a diary to mark her bold 11th-century journey from the east of Japan to the capital. So enthralled did she become with writing that she continued for 40 more years, producing an account that ...

Spooky tales from beyond the grave

Books / Reviews Oct 25, 2014

Spooky tales from beyond the grave

by Mark Schilling

Ghost stories are universal, but Japanese ghost stories, argues Zack Davisson in "Yurei: The Japanese Ghost," are unique. So much so that Davisson, a translator and essayist who is something of a specialist in the supernatural, uses yūrei, the Japanese word for spook, throughout ...

From Race to Ethnicity

Books / Reviews Oct 18, 2014

From Race to Ethnicity

by Michael Hoffman

The first known Japanese in Hawaii were shipwrecked fishermen circa 1806, unwitting forerunners of a diaspora they can scarcely have imagined. From Race to Ethnicity, by Jonathan Y. Okamura.University of Hawaii Press, Nonfiction. In 1868 ...

Read up on books about books about Japan

Books Sep 27, 2014

Read up on books about books about Japan

by Kris Kosaka

Revving up the metabolism of culture with the pulse of new artistic voices, a good literary journal doesn't usually have much to do with profit — it's all about circulation. Japanese literary journals enjoy a healthy transmission here, thanks to the financial backing of ...