japan

Japan’s Timeless ‘Tin Drum’ Turns 40

Japan’s Timeless ‘Tin Drum’ Turns 40

Japan’s Tin Drum serves as a lasting document of a band ahead of their time and one that rises far above the pretensions of their contemporaries.

Shiori Ito and the ‘Black Box’ of Sexual Assault in Japan

Shiori Ito and the ‘Black Box’ of Sexual Assault in Japan

Shiori Ito’s memoir ‘Black Box’ smashes open the legal norms that box in sexual assault victim’s rights in Japan and drags the system’s misogyny into the light.

Kobayashi’s ‘The Human Condition’ Remains Bleak Unrelenting and Unforgettable

Kobayashi’s ‘The Human Condition’ Remains Bleak Unrelenting and Unforgettable

Masaki Kobayashi’s nine-hour epic, The Human Condition, is a Sisyphean journey through WWII-era Japan.

‘Sound Storing Machines’ Boldly Assembles Some of the Earliest Japanese Recordings

‘Sound Storing Machines’ Boldly Assembles Some of the Earliest Japanese Recordings

A veritable rainstorm of temporal noise pours down between sounds of early 20th century Japan and the audience on Sublime Frequencies’ Sound Storing Machine.

The New World Will Be Built by Refugees: On Two New Japanese Novellas

The New World Will Be Built by Refugees: On Two New Japanese Novellas

The latest two Red Circle Minis, by Takuji Ichikawak and Kanji Hanawa, deal in archetypes; one set in the distant past, the other in the all too near future.

Walking the Tightrope Between History and Memory in Japan: On Harootunian’s ‘Uneven Moments’

Walking the Tightrope Between History and Memory in Japan: On Harootunian’s ‘Uneven Moments’

Harry Harootunian's essays on modern Japanese history, collected in Uneven Moments from Columbia University Press, reflect a lifetime of intellectual contributions and span a wide range of topics in Japanese history. The tension between the historical and the everyday is a recurrent and vital theme in his work.

For the Love of Japan: ‘The Sakura Obsession’

For the Love of Japan: ‘The Sakura Obsession’

Naoko Abe's The Sakura Obsession chronicles the struggle to preserve diversity in a world of compulsive uniformity.

‘Pacific Breeze’ and the Lost Japanese Genre of City Pop

‘Pacific Breeze’ and the Lost Japanese Genre of City Pop

Light in the Attic's latest reissue, Pacific Breeze, is rife with slick '70s grooves and '80s funk beats. It's the perfect soundtrack for a sunny day off with the ocean breeze in your hair

Foreigners’ Rights in Japan: Interview with Activist and Writer Debito Arudou

Foreigners’ Rights in Japan: Interview with Activist and Writer Debito Arudou

A native of New York who eventually became a naturalized Japanese citizen, Arudou expresses strongly-held views on the situation of foreign residents in Japan.

On Mishima, and Feeling That One Exists

On Mishima, and Feeling That One Exists

Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters is a singular portrait of an artist's life lived so fiercely as to have left an indelible mark on an alienated world seeking affirmation for its own existence.

Tadao Tsuge’s ‘Slum Wolf’ Provides a Dramatic Look at the Persistence of the Disaffected

Tadao Tsuge’s ‘Slum Wolf’ Provides a Dramatic Look at the Persistence of the Disaffected

After the devastating effects of American bombings of Japan during World War II, how do people rebuild themselves and their society? Tadao Tsuge explores these difficulties in Slum Wolf.

‘Ghosts of the Tsunami’ Easily Ranks Among the Best Accomplishments of Journalistic Narrative This Century

‘Ghosts of the Tsunami’ Easily Ranks Among the Best Accomplishments of Journalistic Narrative This Century

Richard Parry investigates what happened at Okawa Elementary following the 2011 earthquake, and what broader lessons the tragedy teaches us.