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The Woman in the Dunes
A novel of erosion - erosion of resolve, erosion of morality, erosion of sanity. Delightfully surreal.
Aug 2007
Aug 04, 2007
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle
I don't have the faintest idea how to review this book properly, a fact that will surely deny me points on GR. Inevitably, I want to compare it to Kaf ...more
May 18, 2009
Jul 01, 2007
Hiroshima Diary: The Journal of a Japanese Physician, August 6-September 30, 1945
(two tags that never go together - or do they?)

This book's the perfect example of my criteria for five-starring something. Not only has it helped me d
Oct 16, 2008
Mar 03, 2008
The Japan Journals: 1947-2004
I entered into this book, nearly 60 years of Donald Richie's journals, without any preconceptions or expectations - I had no idea who the man was. I t ...more
Dec 2007
Nov 16, 2007
Zen in the Art of Archery
A very quick read. As part of my preparation for kyudo study I grabbed this book. I can't vouch for its accuracy as I ought to listen to my sensei fir ...more
Jul 05, 2008
Jun 21, 2008
The Inland Sea
Richie's warts-and-all approach feels a bit more genuine than some other Japan books I have read. I can see how other reviewers might find him a bit p ...more
Mar 16, 2009
Dec 27, 2007
Confessions of a Mask
After reading Donald Richie's journals recently, I decided to delve into my first Mishima - he was one of Richie's close friends up until his bizarre ...more
Dec 2007
Dec 07, 2007
Unbeaten Tracks in Japan
The back cover blurb rightly lauds Bird as a feminist pioneer and astute observer of rural Japanese life in the late 19th century; however, the blurb ...more
Mar 16, 2011
Apr 15, 2010
The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet
What do you do when you really enjoy a novel but the story doesn't go where you want it to go? Do you rate lower? Do you forgive the author? After all ...more
Oct 26, 2010
Mar 08, 2010
Kyudo: The Way of the Bow
Better than the DeProspero book in that it offers a lot of advice on how to fix your mistakes. Worse in that the diagrams are not particularly helpful ...more
Jul 27, 2008
Jul 16, 2008
Kyudo: The Essence and Practice of Japanese Archery
I plan on studying kyudo if all goes well.
Jun 20, 2008
Jun 15, 2008
Usagi Yojimbo, Vol. 2: Samurai (Usagi Yojimbo, #2)
I'm so grateful for having ignored Usagi Yojimbo for so many years, because now I have volume after volume waiting for me. Sakai spins his tales with ...more
Aug 2009
Jul 28, 2009
Usagi Yojimbo, Vol. 3: The Wanderer's Road (Usagi Yojimbo #3)
Every Usagi book is a blend of simplicity and depth. I liked the Groo homage in this one although there was no mention of cheese dip.
Jul 26, 2010
Jul 26, 2010
Usagi Yojimbo, Vol. 5: Lone Goat and Kid (Usagi Yojimbo #5)
As the volumes progress you can see the scope of Sakai's world widening. I wish I could afford every one right this second.
Aug 14, 2010
Aug 16, 2010
Rashomon Gate (Sugawara Akitada, #2)
It took me a while to get into this book, but it grew on me gradually and positively.

The only comparable author that comes to my mind is Laura Joh Row
Feb 2008
Oct 10, 2007
Usagi Yojimbo, Vol. 1: The Ronin (Usagi Yojimbo #1)
Great great stuff. I plan on reading ALL of these.
Jan 21, 2009
Jan 28, 2009
Something Like an Autobiography
I never knew what strange and random circumstances led Kurosawa to his career as director and visionary. I also enjoyed reading his descriptions of 'S ...more
Jun 22, 2009
May 28, 2009
The Temple of the Golden Pavilion
The best thing I can say about a book is that I found it challenging. I couldn't breeze through this novel. It's a careful study of an unbalanced soul ...more
Sep 11, 2009
Jul 06, 2007
Shutting Out the Sun: How Japan Created Its Own Lost Generation
What I liked most about Zielenziger's book is that he spends very little time talking about cultural differences between East and West, or between Jap ...more
May 31, 2011
May 18, 2009
Dogs and Demons: Tales From the Dark Side of Modern Japan
Kerr is perfect for people who want a realistic look at Japan, as opposed to the majority of available books which paint a rosy yet idealized picture. ...more
Dec 12, 2014
May 04, 2011
The Salaryman's Wife
I was put off somewhat by the back cover blurb, which used 'sex' or 'sexy' three different times and read like a book report I wrote in fifth grade ab ...more
Jun 2003
Jul 20, 2007
Speed Tribes: Days and Night's with Japan's Next Generation
The first half of the book was much more compelling than the second. While Greenfeld discussed a number of aspects of modern Japanese society that I h ...more
Aug 2007
Aug 03, 2007
Tokyo Vice: An American Reporter on the Police Beat in Japan
It was nice, for a change, to read a book about Japan that didn't spend hundreds of pages explaning the cultural differences between Japan and the Wes ...more
May 09, 2011
Oct 13, 2009
36 Views of Mount Fuji: On Finding Myself in Japan
Books like this one are crack for me. I will read any collection of vignettes about Japanese life. Collections are even better when they're backed wit ...more
Feb 13, 2009
Aug 25, 2008
Snow Country
This is a difficult book to discuss for me. It's hard to express why I liked it as much as I did. I enjoyed the mood of it. I enjoyed Kawabata's descr ...more
Apr 18, 2013
Apr 24, 2009
Modern Japanese Stories: An Anthology
The excellent stories of this anthology bridge the traditional old Japan with the postwar new Japan and illustrate many of the changes experienced by ...more
Apr 2010
Oct 29, 2007
The Love We Share Without Knowing
Using a term like "Murakamiesque" as a cover blurb is a bad idea. You get people's hopes up. There were some touching moments, and overall I found it ...more
Apr 08, 2011
Feb 27, 2010
The Makioka Sisters
Tanizaki's novel is dense, and it took me forever to read, but I now know more about Japanese matrimonial practices than I ever thought I would know. ...more
Jan 15, 2009
Dec 02, 2007
At Home in Japan: A Foreign Woman's Journey of Discovery
Having read as many books about Japan as I have, it's nice to come across one that offers something different. I would gladly have read twice as much ...more
Nov 18, 2014
Mar 13, 2014
Untangling My Chopsticks: A Culinary Sojourn in Kyoto
Very helpful if you are keenly interested in the food of the Japanese tea ceremony, with a number of recipes. Not as insightful about Japanese culture ...more
Mar 10, 2014
Feb 29, 2012
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