Thawing out on the stove train through Tsugaru

Travel Mar 30, 2018

Thawing out on the stove train through Tsugaru

by Dan Asenlund

In his 1944 semi-autobiographical "Return to Tsugaru," Japanese author Osamu Dazai (1909-48) revisits his native Tsugaru, a peninsula in northernmost Aomori Prefecture and, apart from praising its people, has mostly unflattering things to say about the place. Forty years later, British writer Alan Booth ...

Views both old and new of Aomori's Tsugaru

Travel Sep 15, 2017

Views both old and new of Aomori's Tsugaru

by Davey Young

Cut off by the Ou Mountains to the south and far removed from any center of power, Aomori Prefecture's remote Tsugaru Peninsula was largely left to its own devices until the Azuchi-Momoyama Period (1573-1603). In the Battle of Sekigahara (1600), different factions of the Tsugaru ...

Mishima and the maze of sexuality in modern Japan

Books Jan 14, 2017

Mishima and the maze of sexuality in modern Japan

by Damian Flanagan

In June 1948, novelist Osamu Dazai committed suicide. The 38-year-old, who had just completed his masterpiece, "No Longer Human," and whose fame was peaking, jumped into Tokyo's Tamagawa Canal with his mistress, Tomie Yamazaki, and drowned. With his acid wit and nihilistic vision, Dazai had ...

Tokyo: photogenic to its very core

Art Dec 13, 2016

Tokyo: photogenic to its very core

by John L. Tran

Care to take a guess what the new exhibition "Tokyo, Tokyo and Tokyo" at the Tokyo Photographic Art Museum is about? In fact there are two exhibitions with the same name running concurrently, so it's "Tokyo, Tokyo and Tokyo" and "Tokyo, Tokyo and Tokyo." It ...