All posts for Books in 2007


Shinjuku Shark (Arimasa Osawa) 2007-12-13 04:58:44

There was a time when a record label—like Motown, Stax, or Atlantic—represented a certain taste and aesthetic that you couldn’t confuse with anyone else. Records were one major way this sort of thing surfaced, but books, too: an imprint like...

Now You're One of Us (Asa Nonami) 2007-11-12 01:34:18

At first, Asa Nonami’s Now You’re One of Us ambles along like one of Yasujiro Ozu’s movies about Japanese home life, a drama of manners about marriage and extended families. Then it reveals its real subject by degrees—how a cult...

The Guin Saga, Book Two: Warrior in the Wilderness (Kaoru Kurimoto) [HARDCOVER] 2007-09-10 03:32:27

Here’s where the going gets (slightly) grimmer. The second book in the Guin Saga series doesn’t quite have the same propulsive energy as the first, if only because it’s essentially a transitional story: it deals with what happens immediately after...

The Guin Saga, Book Three: The Battle of Nospherus (Kaoru Kurimoto) [HARDCOVER] 2007-09-10 01:58:27

Now this is a bit more like it, although I’m starting to see how even a series that runs to maybe fifty thousand words a book could withstand a bit of editing. The third book in the ongoing Guin Saga,...

Boy (Takeshi Kitano) 2007-09-09 05:11:44

Terms like genius and renaissance man get thrown around so casually these days, it’s a bit of a shock to run into the real thing. I’m hard-pressed to think of a better example offhand than Takeshi Kitano, the Japanese multi-hyphenate—writer,...

The Guin Saga, Book One: The Leopard Mask (Kaoru Kurimoto) [HARDCOVER] 2007-08-08 04:44:51

The first copy I bought of The Guin Saga, Book One: The Leopard Mask ended up in the garbage, but not because it deserved to be there: the copy I’d ended up with somehow had a good chunk of the...

Kiki's Delivery Service (Eiko Kadono) 2007-07-07 04:58:32

The very first book I remember reading on my own was James and the Giant Peach, and according to my mother, she read me the first few chapters and I simply took it from there on my own. If a...

Waves: Two Short Novels (Masuji Ibuse) 2007-05-06 03:12:28

Masuji Ibuse is not one of Japan’s better known writers in the West, which is another way of saying that a country’s greatest literary treasures often remain too long undiscovered and underappreciated from the outside. He was responsible for one...

Dark Spring (Unica Zürn) 2007-05-05 04:19:50

One of the things that always troubled me about the fascination with madness and the intertwined eroticism and death that always pervaded the Romantic and Surrealistic sensibilities was that they were almost always expressed by people who seemed to be...

No Longer Human (Osamu Dazai) 2007-04-04 18:26:46

In the fifteen or so years that I’ve been reading literature from Japan, there are maybe two or three books from that whole oeuvre that I’ve come back to again and again and discovered more in each time. One was...

Tun-Huang (Yasushi Inoue) 2007-04-04 04:41:00

How is it that a gigantic hoard of Buddhist literature came to be concealed in the Thousand Buddha Caves near Tun-Huang, in the northwest of China, and remained undiscovered for almost a thousand years? The explanation provided by Tun-Huang is...

Black Lizard / Beast in the Shadows (Edogawa Rampo) 2007-01-02 03:58:41

When Kōji Suzuki’s novel Ring, the basis for whole franchises of movies on both side of the Pacific, was published in English not long ago, I commented to a friend that English-speaking audiences are now finally seeing the literary side...

Vampire Hunter D: Pilgrimage of the Sacred and the Profane (Hideyuki Kikuchi) 2007-01-02 03:42:47

Pilgrimage of the Sacred and Profane is the Vampire Hunter D novel I was hoping to read since this series got started. It takes all the best elements of the series as a whole—the otherworldly / futuristic setting, the grotesques...

The Kouga Ninja Scrolls (Futaro Yamada) 2007-01-01 05:29:06

More than anyone else I could name, Futaro Yamada is responsible for the fantasy mythology of the ninja as expressed in popular culture. Certainly more than anyone else who has yet been translated into English, and now that The Kouga...

Japanese Tales of Mystery and Imagination (Edogawa Rampo) 2007-01-01 05:07:06

A man who builds himself a chair inside which he hides, the better to seduce a woman without her ever knowing it; a man who commits the “perfect” crime and discovers all too late he’s been a little too perfect...

See previous posts from 2006

See future posts from 2008