57 article(s) translated from Japanese

The Far Shore

Translator’s Note: As everyone knows, the March 11, 2011, earthquake that shook northeastern Japan also released a devastating tsunami that devastated the northeastern Tōhoku coast of Japan…...

The Memory

After Félix Valloton's Le Ballon There is a reason for her beauty. She has a secret that she can tell nobody, and it is that secret which makes her beautiful. She has no mother. Her mother died…...

Fruit

This is an official report based on the firsthand accounts of interviewees A through Z. Each entry has been abstracted and the subjects’ names have been redacted. Various fruits appear in the report.…...

When My Wife Was a Shiitake

Omwet. No, no. Omelet. Omwet. Not omwet, omelet. Omwet. Omwet? What about this? Sweet. Sweet? And this? Green. Green, is it? Well, what about this? Clam. That’s right, clam. And this? Shiitako. Almost—shiitake.…...

Glass

A pane of glass shatters. I open my bedroom window and look up and down the street. A man is running away. Under the kitchen table I find a rock the size of a baby’s fist. I push the larger fragments…...

The Trapped Boy

Running in a daze through the city’s dreamlike darkness. I’m all alone. Gasping for air. And I can’t go home with my school uniform filthy like this. I’m soaked to the skin, my…...

Stance Dots

The place had opened for business at eleven a.m. but no one showed up. The old man wasn’t surprised, though, since Thursdays were often like this. But when nine p.m. came and went and there were…...

Telegraph Pole

Now was the time to leave. She could go anywhere, as long as there were streets. Just had to walk to get there. These feet would take her. Though they weren’t as good as they used to be. Oh Hagar,…...

Waymarkers

When the three days and nights for which it is said the dead return each year came around, the containers of light that it was the custom to hang as waymarkers were brought out from the morning room and,…...

Where Have All the Sundays Gone?

I was lying in bed when I learned of the novelist's death. Awaking from a long dream filled only with incoherent darkness, my mind was still a blur as I reached out for my iPhone next to the pillow…...

Cavities and Kindness

“Here comes the air.” “Now water.” “Now I'm going to insert the cotton.” That's what my dentist, who looked like Misaki Ito, said. I looked up at the woman,…...

Spirit Summoning, Part VI

The next time we met, Yoko pretended that the Shikoku conversation had never happened. Following her lead, I didn’t bring it up either. After the summoning job was done, Yoko turned to me. “I’m…...

Reunion

In provincial towns, the hotel staff usually slides the hometown paper under the door in the morning. Unfamiliar with local news, most guests from cities barely glance through the main sections. But when…...

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 IV

“You do want to go up on the roof, don’t you?” Emi hurried after me. I climbed the stairs and, copying Emi’s technique, unraveled the chain. When I opened the hatch, once again…...

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…...

Spirit Summoning, Part II

My mother was sitting in front of the Buddhist altar as usual. She picked the habit up last winter and now spent most of each day there. “I’m home!” She turned, a vacant expression on…...

Spirit Summoning, Part I

How much longer until we got there? The road was ridiculously wide. Empty but for a thick carpet of weeds, the plains on either side stretched into the distance with not so much as a single house to be…...

from “Face”

 1 “Nine hundred thousand?” Aiko leaned forward and blinked in disbelief. The doctor before her gave an offhanded nod. She felt as though she’d been conned. “But the other…...

My Wife and Me in March 2011

Someday, sometime in the distant future, I wonder how my wife and I will look back on the month of March 2011. Obviously we’ll remember it as the month of the massive earthquake, but I suspect we’ll…...

from “Breasts and Eggs”

I’ve long been aware of the many parallels between Mieko Kawakami’s home city of Osaka, Japan, and my own hometown, Manchester in the UK. The third largest cities in their respective countries,…...

from “Install”

I left school early that day and promptly became a truancy case. Conked out as soon as I got home and slept like the dead. I woke up in the evening after a bad dream, but struggled against a mild sleep…...

That Morning, When It

Tokyo Metropolitan Highway No. 14 is less congested at 4 a.m. than it is during the day. And with fewer lights to get stuck behind at this hour, people tend to drive fast too. As I inhaled the smog-infected…...

Kid Sister

. . . and so my timing was thrown off. And so a space opened in my emotions. I became proud because I was so happy, and then, at the exact moment I had wished would last forever, before I could even ask,…...

Riverwilt

"Kawanae" (Riverwilt) is the title poem from my first collection. It was written when I was about thirty—at the end of my youth—and I worked hard in the poem to bring together a number of themes…...