Book Topics

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Deep River

by Iain Maloney

In “Deep River” a group of elderly Japanese tourists and a couple join a tour of holy Buddhist sites in India. Motivated by different forms of grief and guilt, each is searching for healing. The narrative involves four main characters: Isobe, recently widowed, Kiguchi, a war veteran haunted by memories ...

Kiska: The Japanese Occupation of an Alaska Island

Dec 6, 2014

Kiska: The Japanese Occupation of an Alaska Island

by Elliott Samuels

Kiska, by Brendan Coyle.University of Alaska Press, Nonfiction. The volcanic island of Kiska in the Aleutian chain was occupied by Japanese forces from June 1942 until August 1943. More than 7,500 Japanese personnel lived on the island until they heard Allied troops were moving ...

Quiet Accomplishment

Nov 29, 2014

Quiet Accomplishment

by David Cozy

Minor artists fear — and not without reason — that the ideas and visions of which their art is made are finite. They hesitate to share, therefore, and are jealous of other artists, especially young ones who threaten to supplant them. Quiet Accomplishment, by ...

The Power of the Weave

Nov 29, 2014

The Power of the Weave

by Madeline Barbush

The Power of the Weave, by Tanaka Yuko, Translated by Geraldine Harcourt.International House of Japan, Nonfiction. Most of us give little thought about the materials in, or construction of, our daily ensembles, let alone the possibility of them holding historical importance. In the essays ...

Blood & Guts

Nov 22, 2014

Blood & Guts

by J.J. O'Donoghue

“Blood & Guts” by Australian journalist Sam Vincent is a behind-the-scenes investigation into whaling and a tale of two countries. Australia is on one side, united in its love of whales and its condemnation of Japan, which has refused to stop killing whales in ...

In Praise of Shadows

| Nov 22, 2014

In Praise of Shadows

by Kris Kosaka

In Praise of Shadows, by Junichiro Tanizaki.Leete’s Island Books, Nonfiction. Revered novelist Junichiro Tanizaki’s essay, “In Praise of Shadows,” is a must-read for anyone interested in the darker side of the Land of the Rising Sun. Everything about this slim tome — from its ...

Gender and Nation in Meiji Japan

Nov 22, 2014

Gender and Nation in Meiji Japan

by J.J. O'Donoghue

Recently the “London Review of Books” described the Khrushchev Thaw — the period, beginning during the mid-1950s, when Russia became a little more open and less draconian — as “expansive and repressive.” Gender and Nation in Meiji Japan, by Jason G. Karlin.University of Hawaii ...

World Trigger

Nov 22, 2014

World Trigger

by Catherina Depaz

Any lover of science fiction, action and, of course, manga should enjoy “World Trigger” by Daisuke Ashihara. The unlikely hero, nerdy Osamu Mikumo, is a part of an elite monster-fighting organization called “Border.” The world is in constant danger from grotesque invaders from an ...

Phantasm Japan

Nov 8, 2014

Phantasm Japan

by Madeline Barbush

In simple terms, “Phantasm Japan” is a fantasy anthology on the theme of “light and dark, from and about Japan.” Phantasm Japan, by Multiple authors.Haikasoru, Fiction. To outsiders, the overriding image of Japan is of some fantasy land, a place that is impossibly real. ...

Malice

Nov 1, 2014

Malice

by Tim Hornyak

“The incident took place on April 16, 1996, a Tuesday.” This meditative, clever novel from the author of 2011′s “The Devotion of Suspect X” begins with a journal entry by Osamu Nonoguchi, a children’s author who happens upon the body of his friend and ...