Category Archives: Aside

Karesansui (枯山水): The art of Japanese rock gardens (in your own backyard?)

When we chose our latest place to live, we decided to give priority to inside the house and less concern for the backyard. Not only is our backyard small, but a large patio covers up a big portion of the grass, leaving an awkwardly-sized space that isn’t good for much of anything. I guess we… Read More »

Some announcements about “Final Days of Summer” by Masaki Hashiba

One the translation projects I’ve been working on the last few months is the story “Final Days of Summer”  (残夏) by Masaki Hashiba (ハシバ柾), which is a set of short, interrelated fiction stories . So far, I’ve completely translated the first story “Stargazer” which you can see in full here. The other day I was doing some… Read More »

Fiction Novel Review: “The Lightkeepers” by Abby Geni (an interesting study in literary style)

Once I got to the point where I could read novels in Japanese, it became difficult for me to budget time for English novels. Although I still read much faster in English and would say I still enjoy it more on average than Japanese books, each Japanese novel I read will improve my vocabulary, (hopefully) my reading speed,… Read More »

A discussion about the origin of Japan’s name (日本, nihon / nippon)

It’s amazing how you can study a foreign language for so long, yet somehow overlook what seem like basic things. The other day I was reading a book about Japan written for elementary school children which talked about Japan’s history and culture. On one of the first few pages, it said that the Japanese call their country… Read More »