Tag Archives: review

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 »

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 »

Japanese novel review: “火星に住むつもりかい?” by 伊坂幸太郎 (Koutaru Isaka)

On my last trip to Japan, I couldn’t help but pick up a copy of Koutaru Isaka’s novel ”火星に住むつもりかい?”, published by Kobunsha as hardcover in 2015, and then as a paperback in 2018. There were several factors that contributed to me choosing this novel. First, I really loved the cover image––an (apparently) CG-generated closeup of… Read More »

Japanese educational site review: ReadNihon (“Learn Japanese By Reading It”)

Recently the creator of the new website ReadNihon, designed to help you learn grammar and vocabulary by reading Japanese text, contacted me and requested I check out his site and write a review, and I agreed. Having created my own set of web tools to assist with learning Japanese (Language on Track, still in beta),… 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 »