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Japan

Kabuki Masks Japan

Lost Japan: An Exploration of Tradition and Culture

Translated by: Bodhi Fishman Japan Today Wherever you were born and raised, you know that World War II changed everything. You may not have been alive before WWII to know this first hand, but you studied history and you spoke to your grandparents who likely lived through a recession, and possibly a subsequent economic boom depending on where you are from. You know...

Why You Should Read: My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness by Kabi Nagata

Translated by Jocelyn Allen Back in the summer of 2016 I was walking through Tokyo, somewhere near the Shibuya district, when I stumbled across a Gay Pride parade marching gleefully, cheering and singing under the crisp blue June sky. It was a wonderful sight, and filled the air with electric vibrancy and colour. A few weeks later, a student of mine at a Tokyo...

asian female writers

5 Female East Asian Writers to Move your Heart and your Mind

In many ways, the women of East Asian literature are the prominent voices of their cultures today. In Japan and Korea especially, those writers who have the greatest clarity of mind and creative spirits are insightful, fascinating, and imaginative women. Women who speak for the sidelined and the unrepresented, women who show us our lives and our cultures from an...

cycle osaka travel

Cycle Osaka: Explore Japan Like a Local

Osaka is a wonderful city; full of seemingly endless things to fascinate the foodie, the nerd, the history buff, and the culture-seeker. I’ve never experienced a vibe quite like the one I did in Osaka. Being a short hop from both Kyoto and Nara, the city is also great for day trips, making it a convenient hub to explore other parts of Japan; see my friend...

book and bed tokyo

Japan’s Best Book Hostels: Book and Bed

Why stay there? Books, travelling, and sleeping are my three favourite things. And Japan is my favourite country. So when we discovered that there exists in Tokyo a beautiful hostel with bunks tucked between the bookshelves, a book on every pillow, and walls plastered with vintage newspapers, I lost my mind a little bit. Book And Bed is a perfect hostel experience...

Banana Yoshimoto’s Kitchen: In Love and in Death

Banana Yoshimoto Translated by Megan Backus Every great novelist has pinned a theme to a punching bag and attempted to tackle it. And every theme has been tackled numerous times. ‘The lengths we go to for love’ as a theme, for example, has been thoroughly exhausted; this dead horse has been beaten black and blue by Mary Shelley, Emily Bronte, William Shakespeare, and...

Five Best Book Cafes around East Asia

I like nothing better than sitting in a cafe with a book, and one of the first things I do in a new city is scope out the best and most unique cafes to visit. From quirky to stylish, snug to spacious, I love them all. Here are a few special ones I’ve found so far on my travels. Tranquil Books | Hanoi This is a fantastic little place in Hanoi. Towards the end of...

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle: Finding Yourself in Toru

Haruki Murakami Translated by: Jay Rubin “I leaned my head against the wall and closed my eyes. May Kasahara was probably right. This person, this self, this me, was made somewhere else. Everything had come from somewhere else, and it would all go somewhere else. I was nothing but a pathway for the person known as me Even I know that much, Mr Wind-up Bird. How come...

Strange Weather in Tokyo: Japanese Culture Old and New

Written by Hiromi Kawakami and translated by Allison Markin Powell. The twentieth century, and the end of World War II, saw a global shift in culture, technology, and economics never before experienced. One of the places hit hardest by this was Japan, which previously had one of the most vibrant and fascinating ancient cultures, brimming with ancient customs which...