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Articles tagged "Tokyo"

Bonsai

Our bodies are like Bonsai trees. Not one innocent leaf can grow freely, without being viciously suppressed, so narrow is our ideal of appearance —Khyentsé Norbu   After I got married, I always spent Sunday afternoons at the botanical gardens in Aoyama. It was a way of taking a break from work and from household chores—if I stayed home on the weekend, Midori, my wife, would always end up asking me to fix something. After breakfast, I would take a book and...

The Last Picture Show

I’d just come up to Tokyo from a Kyushu port town that had a U.S. military base and was living with some friends in a crummy little apartment in a wooden building north of Inokashira Park. These friends had formed a blues band back home and hoped to find success in the big city. I played drums but wasn’t really passionate about carrying on with a blues band from the hinterlands of Kyushu. My main priority had been to get away from my parents, and they’d agreed to send...

Walking the Keihin Factory Belt with Stuart Dybek

As usual, the boy missed the fly ball that anyone else would have caught with his eyes closed, and it rolled into a thicket of reeds by the river.  The audible sighs of the other kids were like knives in the boy’s back as he trudged after it, reeds wrapping themselves around his shins while he searched for the ball amid the empty cigarette boxes and candy wrappers scattered on the ground. Of course he didn’t find it. It wasn’t like these kids had a bunch of...

Tetsu of the Yamanote Line

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Japanese books, including manga like this one, are meant to be read from right to left. So the front cover is actually the back cover, and vice-versa. To read this excerpt, start in the top right-hand corner. Read the panels, and the bubbles in the panels, from right to left, then drop down to the next row and repeat. It may make you dizzy at first, but forcing your brain to do things backwards makes you smarter in the long run. We swear.—Editors

Waiting in the Offing

"Itoyama's sharp eye and sly wit set her apart from other Japanese women writers. Her writing style is intellectually controlled, and often glows with wisdom."--Kenzaburo Oe "My hiccups won't stop." Makihara Futoshi was standing in his stocking feet just inside the door with a woebegone look on his face. When I stop to think about it, that somewhat troubled expression quite suited him. It hadn't been my intention to go to Gotanda. After all, I live in Saitama City and...

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