Category Archives: Reviews

Japanese novel review: 「百の夜は跳ねて」(Across 100 Nights) by 古市憲寿 (Noritoshi Furuichi)

After struggling to find a good job after graduating college, Ryota hits upon the idea to become a high-rise window cleaner, a dangerous job with poor pay. One of the job’s perks is being able to spy into other people’s lives and see moments that would otherwise be unknown to the rest of the world,… Read More »

Japanese novel review: “The Woman in the Purple Skirt” (“むらさきのスカートの女”) by Natsuko Imamura (今村夏子)

The other day I stopped by the Kinokuniya bookstore in Beaverton, Oregon, and stood before the bookshelf of hardcover Japanese fiction as I tried to figure out what to read next. I ended up choosing “The Woman in the Purple Skirt” (むらさきのスカートの女) by “Natsuko Imamura” for two reasons: it had won the prestigious Akutagawa prize… Read More »

Japanese Novel review: “Nimrod” (ニムロッド) by Takahiro Ueda (上田 岳弘)

My reasons for purchasing Takahiro Ueda’s novel “Nimrod” are pretty typical: I liked the cover, liked the title, plus I liked the vague but significant-sounding marketing description on the obi (paper band used for marketing). Also, the book was relatively short, and (last but not least) the book was a winner of the Akutagawa prize,… Read More »

Japanese novel review: “Shoplifters” (万引き家族) by Hirokazu Kore-eda (是枝裕和)

I can’t think of too many Japanese movies that become popular enough in the U.S. to the extent that they come up in casual conversation. “Shoplifters”––written, directed, and edited by Hirokazu Kore-eda (是枝裕和)––is one exception. In fact, it has grossed over $2 million dollars in the U.S., making it one of the most popular foreign… Read More »

Japanese novel review: “勝手にしゃべる女” (katte ni shaberu onna) by 赤川次郎 (Jiro Akagawa)

Recently I was given a physical copy of Jiro Akawaga’s “Katte ni Shaberu Onna”, a compilation of “short-short” stories. It came with a high recommendation, so I couldn’t help but read the book. By the way, the title “Katte ni Shaberu Onna” is taken from one of the story titles; while it is a bit… Read More »

Japanese Novel Review: 天使の卵 (Angel’s Egg) by 村山由佳 (Yuka Murayama)

After getting a recommendation for the Japanese fiction novel 天使の卵 (“Angel’s Egg” or “Angel Egg”) by 村山由佳 (Yuka Murayama), I decided to give it a shot. The book turned out to be a very rewarding read, so in this post I’ll review it. This book is about the experiences of the 19-year old male narrator,… Read More »

Japanese Drama Review: “義母と娘のブルース” (Stepmother and Daughter Blues)

In my early years studying Japanese I watched a huge number of Japanese dramas, and while this really helped improved my listening and vocabulary skills, it also made me accustomed––or should I say overly sensitive––to the common tropes of this form of media. That, plus the fact I generally try to spend more time in… Read More »

Japanese book review: 一流の人が学ぶ 氣の力 (“Ki for Business Professionals”) by 藤平信一 (Shinichi Tohei)

Before I begin this book review I should give some background information about myself. I’ve been practicing Ki-Aikido (more formally known as 心身統一合氣道, “Aikido of Mind and Body Coordination”) for around 2 years now. Besides practicing in a local dojo several times a week, I have trained once in a Japanese dojo, and also have begun reading… Read More »