Category Archives: Aside

A bittersweet afternoon at Powell’s bookstore

Powell’s Books is considered to be the largest independent bookstore in the world, with their “City of Books” location in Portland containing over one million books across over 1.5 acres of space––a venerable labyrinth of books that is a must-see place for any book lover. With all the Japanese culture in Oregon, it’s no surprise… Read More »

Training Aikido in a Japanese Dojo: An intriguing experience

Ever since I began training in the martial art of Ki Aikido (more formally known as 心身統一合氣道, shinshin touitsu aikido) in Oregon, I was always curious what it would like to train in a dojo in Japan where the training (稽古、keiko) was done in Japanese––though rather than merely a curiosity, I guess you could say… Read More »

A thoughtful discourse on literature with Japanese author Fuminori Nakamura (中村文則)

I’ve been an avid reader since I was young, but until high school I mostly read fantasy novels that would be considered popular fiction. In high school I was assigned to read a variety of books in various genres, but I think it’s safe to say a majority of them could be considered ‘literature’ in… Read More »

Hitori Saito (斎藤一人): entrepreneur, best-selling author, motivational speaker

In this post I’d like to discuss Hitori Saito(斎藤一人), a man who is somewhat famous in Japan these days. Hitori Saito is the entrepreneur behind Ginza Marukan (銀座まるかん), a successful cosmetics and health food business. He also has a large number of books (many available on Amazon Japan, what you could call 啓蒙書 or “enlightenment… Read More »

Five of the best books I read in 2018

Recently I was asked by Akylina of popular Literary Sisters blog if I had read anything interesting in 2018. I started drafting a response to her comment, but partway through realized I might as well make a short article about it while I was at it. This year since I was busy translating I didn’t… Read More »