Articles tagged "Japanese"


Spirit Summoning, Part V

Yoko asked my name. Usually I’d stop and think about it, make a point of recalling the name. This time I decided not to. I didn’t think, didn’t search for the name. Didn’t try to…...

Spirit Summoning, Part III

My mother’s always been selfish and immature. She could be frustrating and drive me crazy from time to time but even I knew that there’s no such thing as a “perfect parent.” In…...

The Hole in the Garden, Part III

“Hello?” There was no answer. I put the phone back down. I turned to go back to the kitchen and it rang again. I picked it up, wordlessly this time. Again nothing. As soon as I hung up it rang…...

The Hole in the Garden, Part II

The woman showed up exactly one month to the day after the pigʼs arrival. I had just finished cleaning the house and was thinking about feeding the pig before I started waxing the floors when the…...

Japan, One Year Later

On March 11, 2011, the Tōhoku region of northeastern Japan was rocked by a violent earthquake and tsunami that triggered an accident at a nuclear power plant. We mark the anniversary…...

Do Not Tremble

It trembles It is trembling again today I did not know that the earth Is an unruly cradle  A cruel cradle that lets Neither adult nor child sleep   It is March, it is spring It should be a gentle…...

The Hole in the Garden, Part I

I stared up at the moon, large and round in the sky, clenching a fistful of pebbles. I donʼt know what time it was. I suppose it must have been around midnight. Just beyond the cinder-block wall all…...

I am I

I know who I am Now I am here I might disappear at any moment But even if I do I am still I The truth is that not being I would be fine too I am to some extent a blade of grass Perhaps to some extent a…...

Director’s Notes on “Sway”

I based my first film on a dream. A dream also inspired my second film, made three years later. Through a gloomy thicket in the shadows of a tree bathed in white light, I witnessed a scene still clearly…...

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…...

Narcissus

I read “On the Conduct of Lord Tadanao” when I was thirteen or fourteen, and though I’ve not had an opportunity to reread it since, I still remember the plot some twenty years later.…...

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…...

Shinji Ishii and The Story Behind the Novel

As part of our month-long celebration of contemporary writing from Japan this May at Words without Borders, Bonnie Elliott provides an informative glimpse into the provenance of Shinji Ishii's novel Once…...

Beyond Between: Translation, Ghosts, Metaphors

What is translation? Translation is an English word. Translation is, moreover, a somewhat peculiar English word. Peculiar, I would suggest, because it eludes definition. It is impossible to define because…...

Awards Recognize Excellence For Books in Translation

It's interesting, in the backstretch of the book awards season, to consider a book's merit in multiple phases. There's the book itself, as created by the author and chosen by the publisher, and then there's…...

Manga Translation: Only Poets Need Apply (Part II)

The Japanese language employs a mixture of phonetic scripts and ideograms. These latter, the Chinese or kanji characters, invariably take up more space than the original single glyph when rendered into…...

“The Diving Pool” Blog Post

In her blog post on the titular story from Yoko Ogawa's collection of novellas, Amber Qureshi discusses the author's unique use of rhythm and imagery and posits some questions for discussion. For links…...

Plumbing the Haunted Imagination of Yoko Ogawa

Austin Woerner reports on the discussion between Stephen Snyder and Allison Powell at the Idlewild bookstore last Thursday, January 8, in New York City. You can find the video from the event at the Words…...

Stephen Snyder talks about “The Diving Pool

In the second installment in our Diving Pool book club, Stephen Snyder, the translator of the book and of Ogawa's Housekeeper and the Professor (forthcoming from Picador), speaks to Amber Qureshi about…...

Inside and Other Short Fiction: Japanese Women on Japanese Women, compiled by Cathy Layne

Inside and Other Short Fiction--Japanese Women by Japanese Women offers a corrective to Western and Japanese stereotypes of Japanese women's sexuality. The stories in this collection are connected…...