FICTION, POETRY & REVIEWS

To Uphold the World Bruce Rich Ashoka book review

Ashoka’s Dream

January 25, 2014

Years after an unexpected encounter with the remarkable reign of Emperor Ashoka Maurya, Bruce Rich has written an insightful meditation on the relevance of the ancient Indian ruler to our own age of global discontent.

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Nuclear Japan and the Four Noble Truths

January 17, 2014

Despite considerable inertia in a religion well known for its conservatism, the protagonists in this book are seizing this opportunity to apply Buddhist values in opposition to nuclear power, and also to respond to the crisis in ways that invest Buddhist values with new relevance to contemporary society.

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Blood on the Tracks Brian S Willson

The Rhetoric of Life: S. Brian Willson’s Blood on the Tracks

January 5, 2014

Willson and two other men were sitting on the tracks in a public right-of-way to protest the shipment of arms…Willson’s protest at the Concord Naval Weapon’s Station was textbook civil disobedience. He had read his Martin Luther King, Jr., his Gandhi, and his Thoreau. Willson had fully expected the train to stop.

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Karen Ma Excess Baggage Cover Karen Ma

Excess Baggage

December 29, 2013

“Now that you’re in Japan, you must do what the Japanese do. Otherwise, it would be meaningless for you to have come here.”

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Judith Clancy Machiya Restaurant Guide

Kyoto Machiya Dining

December 18, 2013

Machiya, the old wooden townhouses of Kyoto, once dominated this city’s urban landscape. Long sturdy structures of simple grace, they closely lined the narrow streets of the city, their tiled rooftops rolling in waves to the surrounding hills and lapping at the edges of the great temples, shrines and villas that rose among them.

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Everything You Need to Know about Japanese Wood and Woodworking

October 21, 2013

While reading Wood and Traditional Woodworking in Japan my initial reaction was visceral and immediate: why wasn’t a book like this available much earlier?

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Japantown: Lancet’s First Novel

October 17, 2013

The novel, as the title indicates, is concerned with Japan, and this places it as one of those detective novels that aims to provide, in addition to the standard thrills and spills, an introduction to another country and culture…

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Songs in the Garden

The Poetry of the Gardens

June 24, 2013

Connecting gardens and poetry, author and garden designer Marc P. Keane illuminates something that is unique to Japanese landscape-art history.

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Women In-Between: Asian Women Artists 1984-2012

June 15, 2013

What does it mean to connect the fifty women artists of sixteen different Asian countries and regions represented in this exhibition by calling them “Women In-Between”?

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Knowing Nature

May 27, 2013

A rambling conversation between two of America’s most original poets –– clear-eyed, unsentimental outsiders, both outdoorsmen who have spent their life probing the nature of nature.

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A Taste of Zenbu Zen

April 17, 2013

In Search of Kyoto’s Epicurean Culture

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What the Trees Say

April 16, 2013

Listen to this poetic ode to trees…

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Japlish Whiplash

March 24, 2013

Japlish Whiplash is a book that gleefully transgresses boundaries — the boundaries between the United States and Japan, between English and the Japanese language, between academic poets and slam poets, between “artistic” and “plebian,” between “high” and “low,” and between “avant-garde” and “urban.”

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Boys to Men

November 15, 2012

J-Boys follows 9-year-old Kazuo and his younger brother Yasuo around Tokyo’s Shinagawa Ward from October 1965 to April 1966.

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In the Jade Garden

October 13, 2012

Japanese garden authority Marc P. Keane writes, “To walk the length of a roji (tea garden) is the spiritual complement of a journey from town to the deep recesses of a mountain where stands a hermit’s hut.”

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An Aesthetic for Toys

October 2, 2012

If you visit Japan, you are likely to get the feeling the country is obsessed with characters and toys: children and adults play video games on trains, there seems to be a character mascot for every single product, and a Murakami Takashi toy/sculpture may be exhibiting at the local museum. Toys are everywhere.

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Kobe Quake Notes

December 23, 2011

On a winter dawn the world shrugs
screams begin from below everywhere
and reality does not conform
to earthquake emergency plans

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Country Lives

December 13, 2011

The Japanese ethnologist Miyamoto Tsuneichi (1907-1981) walked more than 100,000 miles, mainly during the 1940s and 50s, gathering reminiscences of rural life from village elders…

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The Kaiser’s Navy: The Final Voyage

November 24, 2011

An Osaka swordsmith has made six traditional Japanese swords using part of a 4.6 billion-year-old meteorite that landed in Arizona…

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Geisha Tradition

November 13, 2011

Hannari — Geisha Modern is a documentary film about the lives and arts of geisha in contemporary Kyoto filmed from the perspective of a Japanese woman.

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Metabolic Syndrome

November 13, 2011

These lucid essays discuss Japanese architecture in the aftermath of the Bubble.

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