Category Archives: Reviews

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 »

Novel review: “Summerland” by Hannu Rajaniemi

After having just released an E-book, I decided to allow myself the pleasure of reading an English novel (generally, I am either doing translations or reading Japanese works). I choose “Summerland”, a book released in 2018 by Hannu Rajaniemi, who happens to be the author of “The Quantum Thief”, a SF novel that was released… Read More »

Anime review: Inuyashiki (Last Hero)

While I know many of us struggle with tsundoku (積ん読)––buying mounds of books you never read––perhaps tondoku (止ん読)––starting a book or series and never finishing it––is an even graver crime. (Note: please see the last paragraph of this post regarding the word ‘tondoku‘) Sometime back I had read the first few issues of manga Inuyashiki (いぬやしき) by… Read More »

Japanese piano shopping in Portland (Yamaha baby grand G2 vs. upright U1)

In recent years I have been spending a good portion of my hobby time on Japanese-related stuff (studying, reading, translating), but before I got into Japanese I spent a lot of time playing a few musical instruments, particularly piano. While this post will be a little off-topic compared to my usual focus, I thought my… Read More »

Konbucha: a popular tea with health benefits…or not?

Konbucha tea seems to be increasingly popular these days. For example, at one Whole Foods Market grocery store in Portland there is a konbucha bar with a lineup of teas on tap, and there are many types of konbucha drinks for sale in the refrigerated drink section. Coincidentally, when recently reading a magazine I came across an article which… Read More »

Japanese book review: “文藝年鑑” (Literature Yearbook) [an important guide for acquiring rights to publish Japanese works]

In the process of researching how to obtain official legal permission to translate and publish certain Japanese authors, I discovered the book “文藝年鑑” (bungei nenkan), which can be translated as “Literature Yearbook”. In this post I’d like to review this important reference guide, especially useful to translators and those deeply interested in Japanese literature. (By… Read More »

Japan Trip 2018 (Tokyo/Hokkaido): Part 11 – Miraikan science museum and Odaiba

This article is part of the series about my July 2018 trip to Japan. Please see the table of contents page for other articles in this series as they are posted. In a previous article about robots I mentioned the Miraikan museum, also known as “The National Museum of Emerging Science & Innovation.” In this… Read More »