FICTION, POETRY & REVIEWS

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.

Read More
Tengu

Tengu

April 27, 2019

Osamu Dazai meditates on the haiku of Bashô, Bonchô, and Kyorai.

Read More
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.

Read More
other japan book

The Other Japan: Voices Beyond the Mainstream

April 25, 2019

The Other Japan should be read by all students seeking a clearer view of Japan’s rich demo­graphic landscape.  

Read More
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!

Read More
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.

Read More
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.

Read More
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…

Read More
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…

Read More
916lKCgkkhL

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.

Read More
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.

Read More
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.

Read More
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.

Read More
1024px-Sunset_across_the_Ryogoku_bridge_from_the_bank_of_the_Sumida_river_at_Onmagayashi

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.

Read More
rockfeature

Rocking to the Flow

October 25, 2018

The 7th generation Ogawa Jihei (1860-1933), better known as “Ueji,” was a magician with water and stone and a pioneer of modern Japanese garden design.

Read More
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.

Read More
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.

Read More
dissenting-japan-cover

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.

Read More
TPJ5-cover-for-taylor

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.

Read More
9780811226950

The Allen Ginsberg of Japan

September 27, 2018

Kazuko Shiraishi, in person, is similar to her poetry: vivacious, playful, intelligent, flirtatious and most important, loving. This year she turns 87, but still exhibits some of these characteristics, both in her personality and in her work.

Read More
stone carver

The Stone Carver

September 15, 2018

He walked back to the main street, along the row of stone workshops.  Through the open doors of one he saw, through a haze of white dust, a row of squatting carvers working frantically, pounding their chisels into the stone in a clanging chorus.

Read More

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

KJ 98: Ma