FICTION, POETRY & REVIEWS

The News from Seoul

June 15, 2021

A City of Han: Stories by expat writers in Seoul and other cities of South Korea, edited by Sollee Bae. Seoul: FWS Publishing, 2020. 121 pp., ¥1059 (paper). In this era of extreme global hypersensitivity to race and national narratives, it is arguably a high-risk proposition for a Western expat author in Asia to write…

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Spring 2021 Reads from Tuttle

February 28, 2021

The roundup of new books on Japan food, culture and travel by Tuttle Publishing.

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A life of art and activism

February 28, 2021

The life trajectory of Japanese American artist, activist, feminist and “Modern Buddhist Revolutionary” Mayumi Oda is recounted in her new autobiography.

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Another Pool Party in Saigon

January 18, 2021

The joke of it is that, like a lot of people out here, he has no home to go back to. You don’t move to Saigon if your life is going well. He doesn’t even speak to his family. He’s lost touch with his real friends in England.

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A Rare Pleasure

October 2, 2020

The few translations that do exist of particular haiku poets have focused on male poets such as Basho, Shiki and Issa. For these reasons alone, readers should welcome the translation of the work of a premiere Japanese woman poet artist-calligrapher, Kaga-no-Chiyo.

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Hidden Masterpieces

August 2, 2020

As canals are to Venice, gardens are to Kyoto, even if mostly concealed behind the walls of private residences, or within sub-temples that have not transformed themselves into tourist attractions.

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Cherry Blossom Epiphany: The Poetry and Philosophy of a Flowering Tree, by Robin D. Gill

May 25, 2020

“The Japanese have written thousands of poems about the cherry blossoms” is something I have said thousands and thousands of times over the years to my college classes in Japanese language…

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Behind the Scenes of Miyazaki’s Magic

May 11, 2020

Alpert was employed at Ghibli’s parent company Tokuma Shoten and was tasked with making its films as successful abroad as they are in Japan.

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My Year of Meats: An excerpt

April 27, 2020

It was Kato, my old boss at the TV production company in Tokyo where I had gotten my first job, strangulating English sound bites into pithy Japanese subtitles. Now, he said, he had a new program and could use my help.

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Last Man Standing

April 13, 2020

These young fellows nowadays, I tell you—not an iota of respect for their betters! These whippersnappers are so horrid, so horribly rude: they’ll look past you on the road, they won’t take any notice of you at all…

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KJ Spring 2020 Reads: Titles from Tuttle

April 10, 2020

Our reviews of the latest Japan travel and culture-oriented titles from the Asia specialist, Tuttle Publishing.

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Talking Architects

February 10, 2020

This collection of interviews, artwork, and newly-translated essays by and about 12 diverse postwar Japanese architects provides a fascinating “oral history” of Japanese society during the 1960s and 1970s, a period when the nation’s attention shifted from rebuilding from the ashes of war to finding its place in the international community.

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Pruning the Branch: Pruning the Mind

February 4, 2020

Reading Cutting Back taught my untrained eye to more fully appreciate the complexities of Japanese formal gardens and the folks who are entrusted to maintain them.

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By Any Other Name…

December 30, 2019

Tiberiu Weisz contends that contact between the Hebrews and the Chinese started probably sometime around 980BCE. If this is true, Israelite presence would have left traces in the historical records kept by the Chinese since their earliest dynasties.

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Confronting Disaster

December 23, 2019

In Ghosts of the Tsunami, Richard Lloyd Parry confronts us with the startling human reality of this astonishing disaster. Parry’s chief concern is with the harrowing events that transpired at Okawa Elementary School in Ishinomaki, a heartbreaking drama that is notorious in Japan but perhaps less well-known internationally.

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KJ Autumn/Winter 2019 Reads: Titles from Tuttle

November 17, 2019

As part of their 70th-year anniversary celebrations, KJ has teamed up with Tuttle Publishing, the Asia specialist, for this four-part series.

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Painting in the Light of Two Suns

November 1, 2019

The evolution of Teraoka’s oeuvre now can be explored in the monumental 400-page Floating Realities: The Art of Masami Teraoka, almost a catalogue raisonné. In addition to beautifully printed full color reproductions, the book includes a forward by Mike McGee.

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Haiku: Birth & Death of Each Moment

October 7, 2019

Haiku brings us the birth and death of each moment. Everything is stripped away to its naked state.

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Words Necessary and Unnecessary

October 1, 2019

Translating out of one’s original language into a second language is a risky endeavor. In the case of translator Goro Takano, with this exquisite and slightly quirky bilingual chapbook-object, he acquits himself well.

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When the Envoys Returned

September 16, 2019

After thirty years of cresting mountain-high surges, the envoys brought back eagle-wood, ambergris, and an essence distilled from rose petals.

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Kazuki Takizawa’s Color From Green

September 4, 2019

While KJ is not primarily a literary publication, poetry has always been a vital component in our content mix. This poem by Elena Karina Byrne, along with others by Jane Hirshfield, Arkaye Kierulf, Tamara Nicholl-Smith and (in translation) Shinkichi Takahashi, is featured in KJ 95 (Wellbeing).

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

KJ 98: Ma