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Matthew Amster-Burton

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A headfirst and authentic plunge into the world of rural Japanese artistic pursuits and...

It would be hard to think of anything less threatening than Japanese lacquerware. Unless you’ve read Water, Wood, and Wild Things, Hannah Kirshner’s headfirst plunge into the world of rural Japanese arts and crafts. Like...

Novel “The Aosawa Murders” is a captivating murder mystery and character study

Summer in Japan is a monster. The rainy season lifts, bringing weeks of crushing wet heat. It’s the kind of heat that leaves you tired, listless, and above all thirsty. So thirsty that you...

A poetic and personal meditation on exploring Tokyo, it’s history and its people

When I want to show someone around Tokyo, we often begin in Asakusa. It’s a neighborhood both touristy and ordinary, famous for tempura, nori, and Sensō-ji temple, the most visited spiritual site in Japan....

The Sakura Obsession explores the dark past of the cherry blossoms we adore every...

If you’ve ever been to Japan in spring, you’ve seen what you might imagine is a centuries-old tradition of hanami, picnicking under the cherry blossoms. People gather to eat and drink under groves of...

A conversation with the English translator of the bestselling novel Go by Kazuki Kaneshiro

When Sugihara sings along to one of his favorite Bruce Springsteen songs, he amends the lyrics to “Born in Japan.” Which he was. Sugihara’s name is Japanese. He attends a private boys high school in...

A collection of short stories that pushes boundaries and makes some noise

The short story is chameleonic, and its greatest practitioners chafe against any notion of orthodoxy. The short story can throw a thin veil over history, as Ōta Yōko does in Hiroshima, City of Doom...