The Breast

March 13, 2016

A noise . . . something was making a noise. . . . Concentrating all the strength she could muster in her semiconscious state on that thought, Hiroko­ began to awaken with difficulty from the depths of a deep, dark sleep.

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Grand Master

July 27, 2014

An was wandering about in an unsettling dream when he suddenly awoke. Right before awakening, he was being chased by a suspicious stranger who had sneakily followed and approached him.

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Behind the Folding Screen of “Japan’s Modern Divide”

February 22, 2014

The history of Japanese photography underwent a significant change in the 1930s. The traditional pictorial-influenced movement merged into New Photography (Shinko Shashin)…

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The Art of Translation

November 5, 2013

A number of years ago several of our Japanese-related journals carried an ongoing debate on the art or techniques of translating the prose literature of Japan. Some of these manifestos and arguments often degenerated into a subtle, or not so subtle, academic name-calling. But two distinct groups did emerge…

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Notes of a Crocodile by Qiu Miaojin

April 8, 2013

Notes of a Crocodile is not a book that shows teenagers how to live a straight life, in any sense of the term. And yet it is intended to be a survival manual for teenagers, for a certain age when reading the right book can save your life…

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The Hojoki
: Witness in a Torn World

November 16, 2012

The times are calamitous, and it is scarcely less frightening to look back than forward. A horrific earthquake turns the world upside-down.

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Emperor Meiji’s Clock Poem

August 21, 2012

When Emperor Meiji, 122nd Emperor of Japan, reigned from 1868 to 1912, Japan was beginning its modern explosion towards the modern world.

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Language goes Two Ways

November 5, 2011

Language goes two ways: it enables us to have a small window onto an independently existing world, but it also shapes — via its very structures and vocabularies — how we see that world.

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The Last of the Smokers

November 2, 2011

Sitting on the roof the National Diet Building, under attack by tear-gas fired from the Defence Force helicopters circling above, I am smoking my last cigarettes.

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Crow Home

October 5, 2011

The sky seems to be a mix of dust and smoke, laced with an urban haze: something gray, something muddy, not blue at all. Maybe it had been blue once…

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The Wrong Paradise

September 28, 2011

Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941), the first Asian to win a Nobel Prize, is widely considered the greatest Bengali poet of all time. He is certainly one of the finest writers of the world in the past century….

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They Who Render Anew: Japanese-English literary translators reflect upon their calling

July 24, 2011

Literary translations, and translators, remain central to the spread of Japanese culture and thought — especially in the West, where Japan is seldom covered in the mass media.

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Red Pine: Dancing With Words

July 19, 2011

When I first saw Red Pine’s translation of “The Poems of Cold Mountain,” I remember thinking, “This is something important — who’s this Red Pine?”

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The Pillow Book review - Kyoto Journal

The Pillow Book: Translating a Classic

June 28, 2011

Most people in Japan can reach back to their school days to unhesitatingly recite the famous opening lines of the thousand-year-old classic known in English as The Pillow Book. The sounds roll off the tongue like poetry…

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The Barter

April 16, 2011

The first day we met, he introduced himself with these words: “I am Heinrich, from Bavaria, located in the south of Germany.”

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

KJ 92: Devotion