FICTION, POETRY & REVIEWS

auric shelter 2

Kazuki Takizawa’s Color From Green

September 4, 2019

While KJ is not primarily a literary publication, poetry has always been a vital component in our content mix. This poem by Elena Karina Byrne, along with others by Jane Hirshfield, Arkaye Kierulf, Tamara Nicholl-Smith and (in translation) Shinkichi Takahashi, is featured in KJ 95 (Wellbeing).

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27_theLittleDeity_Naoyuki_Ogino

For the love of neko

August 27, 2019

The Neko Project is a book that pays homage to Japan’s unyielding love of cats through its thoughtful and expansive photography. It is the result of an open call to their network of Japanese photographers on the theme of cats and features all the projects that were submitted, alongside historical anecdotes and insightful commentary in both French and English.

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Confessions of a Sushi Boat

August 11, 2019

I’m so tired of them washing me, or not washing me properly. The grains of rice tend to get stuck between my wooden planks. But when Chef Jiro Sakamoto does it, it’s always different. He gives me proper care and attention, pays heed to the details of my grooves and curves…

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shodo tuttle

KJ Summer 2019 Reads: Titles from Tuttle

July 14, 2019

As part of their 70th-year anniversary celebrations, KJ has teamed up with Tuttle Publishing, the Asia specialist, for this four-part series.

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year of dirt water zen japan tracy franz

Tumbling Assumptions

July 2, 2019

The author says she embarked on this year in Japan in order to undertake a spiritual practice of her own. She must occupy herself while her husband seeks Soto Zen priestly credentials by training in a nearby monastery, so she joins a pottery class as a deshi (disciple) of the elderly female teacher. But she cannot seem to make the dirt and water come together to make a smooth clay, either physically or metaphorically.

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Down and Out Poor Meiji Japan Book

Meiji Poor

June 20, 2019

Huffman focuses his inquiry on the very poorest of Japan’s urban poor—the hinmin, or paupers, who flooded into Tokyo at a rate of up to 1,000 people each week in the late 1800s and early 1900s, victims of government policies that pushed farm families to starvation and forced their sons and daughters to seek jobs in the swelling cities.

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Leh Robert van Koesveld

Consequential Legacies

April 25, 2019

I have come to believe that she is channeling Toscanini with her hands. Equally, I’m firm in the conviction that she is channeling a fabled Persian songstress with her soul.

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Matcha Green Tea

Tea and Women’s Empowerment in Modern Japan

April 25, 2019

“Coffee–table” books about tea tend to offer pristine views of paradise and bowls of world peace. Page after page of steamy shadows and shadowy steam, dewy landscapes fashioned by gods with impeccable taste…Enough!

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gyoza paradise yamamoto tokyo tuttle

KJ Spring 2019 Reads: Titles from Tuttle

April 2, 2019

As part of their 70th-year anniversary celebrations, KJ has teamed up with Tuttle Publishing, the Asia specialist, for this four-part series.

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tibet book

A Visual Treasure of Wisdom

March 13, 2019

By all standards, Murals of Tibet is not an ordinary book of Tibetan art history: it is itself a monument to Tibetan art.

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Kyoto Journal hungry ghosts fiction food

The Hungry Ghost

February 14, 2019

She told me we wouldn’t eat any of the dumplings.  That, it was bad luck to eat food left out for hungry ghosts.  It would make them angry.  I remembered reading about hungry ghosts, wasted, mouths too small to eat.  They tried to possess people, sometimes the emotionally weak, so as to be able to taste the food they craved…

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clouds

From “Rain and Thunder”

January 5, 2019

I once liked walking in the rain, the harder the better;
liked facing the drops and letting them drench my hair,
then follow individual courses under my collar…

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KJ Winter 2018 Reads: Titles from Tuttle

December 28, 2018

As part of their 70th-year anniversary celebrations, KJ has teamed up with Tuttle Publishing, the Asia specialist, for this four-part series.

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Jottings Lu Xun

Unstinting Courage

December 27, 2018

In his views Lu Xun showed himself to be an unstinting supporter of modernity, a fearless enemy of atavism, and a savage critic of his country’s culture.

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Exit West by Mohsin Hamid cover book review

Separately Ever After

December 27, 2018

Throughout the novel, the writer introduces us to people from all corners of the world, who have walked through similar magical doors that lead them to other parts of the world. Although some of these people are peripheral to the plot, they throw light on the phenomenon of migration, helping us see how migration changes countries, cities, towns, neighbourhoods and people.

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persimmons

Persimmons

December 18, 2018

Split: a star-like reflection.
Flesh like the fire-belly of a newt,
only since coming each autumn
have I taken to swallow firm
fresh mouthfuls,
the jam-insides
of others sun-dried.

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Thirty-Six Times

November 2, 2018

It is the mountain’s presence that most inspires when viewing Hokusai’s thirty-six prints. Rain or shine, snow or wind, clear skies – seen from village, sea, or city – the mountain is a timeline against which all of life is measured.

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Qianlong as Manjusri by castiglioni

The Manchurian Bodhisattva

October 18, 2018

In 772 the Tang dynasty emperor Daizong decreed that, for the welfare of the empire, Manjusri should be worshipped in every Buddhist monastery in China. Each of the five peaks (or ‘terraces’) of Wutaishan became associated with a different manifestation of Manjusri; accounts of visionary encounters and apparitions abound.

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Goodnight Papa

Records of a Travel-worn Notebook

October 14, 2018

During his copious amount of travel, Rowe grew particularly interested in the storytellers he encountered, especially those who are able to embed us strongly in the soil of those places where their stories take root.

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Japan Dissents

October 7, 2018

Andrews doesn’t paint radicals as innocent victims, however. He describes in great detail the violent, sometimes deadly infighting that tore apart the protest movement in the 1960s and 70s, and argues that this self-destructive behavior nudged the general population toward political apathy in the decades that followed.

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ToPoJo’s “Deep Beatitude”

September 27, 2018

The whole matter of Beat Lit/Beat Culture’s engagement with Japan has been overdue for thoughtful attention for too long. With writing on Beat Generation personalities and their work at near-saturation point in English, Japan’s pivotal informative role in helping incubate Beat ethics, aesthetics, and insight practices especially has remained oddly elusive.

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Before you go, be sure to check out our latest issue:

KJ 94: Inspired by Kyoto