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Japan

The book covers of At the Edge of the Woods, When Women Kill, People from Bloomington, Let Us Believe...
The Watchlist: April 2022
By Tobias Carroll
Tobias Carroll recommends noteworthy new books translated from Ukrainian, Indonesian, Persian, Japanese, and Spanish.
The book covers of Policing the City, Scattered All Over the Earth, Palestine +100, The Way Spring...
The Watchlist: March 2022
By Tobias Carroll
Tobias Carroll recommends noteworthy new books translated from Arabic, Chinese, Danish, French, and Japanese.
The Watchlist: January 2022
By Tobias Carroll
Tobias Carroll recommends exciting new books in translation from Mexico, Norway, Haiti, Argentina, and Japan.
A Japanese Lesson
By Silvana Paternostro
When do the provocative girlie girls turn into discreet wives who put on conservative dresses?
In Praise of the Nude Body
By Mutsuo Takahashi
They’re as naked as the day they were born
Translated from Japanese by Jeffrey Angles
Gifts
By Mutsuo Takahashi
The wisdom gathered from those wanderings is far deeper / Than that of ancient Greece
Translated from Japanese by Jeffrey Angles
What We Lost: COVID-19 Beyond the Numbers
By Hideo Furukawa & Kathleen McCaul Moura
What has the coronavirus taken from us? We need to answer this in a way that isn’t expressed through numbers.
Translated from Japanese by David Boyd
Deceptive Simplicity: International Children’s Literature
By Daniel Hahn
I often feel that adults forget what children’s stories are capable of.
Firstclaw
By Sachiko Kashiwaba
Firstclaw’s love spells were rumored to be unusually effective.
Translated from Japanese by Avery Fischer Udagawa
Forced Confessions: On True Crime Writing
By Susan Harris
The pieces here map the translation of event into prose—the creation of true crime writing.
The Sixth Victim
By Shōko Egawa
It all began about the time that the men and women were finishing their first drinks.
Translated from Japanese by David Boyd
Salam
By Shirin Nezammafi
They were the hands of someone who had never heard of hand cream.
Translated from Japanese by Aoi Matsushima
From Rainbow Bird
By Shun Medoruma
Even after the credits stopped rolling and the blue government warning turned into a blizzard of static, Katsuya kept staring at the screen, a vague grin on his face.
Translated from Japanese by Sam Malissa
Beyond the Circle: Minority Voices of Japan
By Sam Bett
What these authors share, as insiders to the Japanese language, is a firsthand perspective on a culture whose monoethnic self-image often excludes them by default.
Tokyo Ueno Station
By Yu Miri
My reticence and my incompetence troubled me more than my appearance, but most intolerable was my unluckiness.
Translated from Japanese by Morgan Giles
Remembering John Ashbery
By Hiroaki Sato
Ashbery fetched me a drink. I got drunk fast. And what did I prattle on about? The art of translation!
The World at Home: US Writing in Translation
By Susan Harris
This issue is not a departure but a continuation.
Roadkill
By Hiromi Itō
“Roadkill’s something you get used to seeing in America”
Translated from Japanese by Jeffrey Angles
Multilingual
Just Dinner, but Oh, What a Feast
By Rohan Kamicheril
Though food may fail to broker communication, this is often one of its major supposed roles.
Fear of Manners
By Kanako Nishi
Day in and day out, so many personal habits can drive us crazy.
Translated from Japanese by Allison Markin Powell
People Behaving Badly
By Susan Harris
Many greet the clean slate of a new year by pledging to chalk up only virtue and moderation.
Magnet
By Amy Yamada
It didn’t take much time before word spread that I was Yamamoto’s favorite.
Translated from Japanese by Yuri Komuro
Hauntings: International Ghost Stories
By Susan Harris
Ghosts and all they represent lurk perennially in the universal consciousness and in literature around the world.
Wheels
By Takako Arai
Perhaps she wanted her own fires to burn
Translated from Japanese by Jeffrey Angles
Multilingual
Graphic Novels at WWB: The First Ten Years
By Susan Harris
The narrative threads that weave through the last ten years tell a tale in themselves.
Noodling in New York
By Akino Kondoh
No Japanese person would call a cat Thomas Jefferson.
Translated by Jocelyne Allen
Lessons for a Boy Who Arrived Late, Part II
By Carlos Yushimito
I hated how Margarita cracked her knuckles when it was her turn to play the piano.
Translated from Spanish by Valerie Miles
On Memory: New Writing from Japan
By David Karashima
We have recently been made increasingly aware of the everyday failings of our own memories.
The Far Shore
By Yoko Tawada
“It is absolutely safe to restart the reactor as long as nothing unforeseen happens.”
Translated from Japanese by Jeffrey Angles
The Memory
By Mitsuyo Kakuta
And then what did you do, he asked, and she said, I watched.
Translated from Japanese by Polly Barton
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Fruit
By Hideo Furukawa
We simply couldn’t tolerate rogue fruit infiltrating Tokyo and corrupting public morals.
Translated from Japanese by David Boyd
When My Wife Was a Shiitake
By Kyoko Nakajima
When you hold an egg in your hand, its memories are communicated to you through its shell, you know.
Translated from Japanese by Ginny Tapley Takemori
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Glass
By Shun Medoruma
The fragments of the girl come tumbling down.
Translated from Japanese by Sam Malissa
The Trapped Boy
By Keiichiro Hirano
I watch the city lose its shape like a dripping watercolor.
Translated from Japanese by David Karashima
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Stance Dots
By Toshiyuki Horie
Not once in his bowling alley had he heard that special, unforgettable sound.
Translated from Japanese by Philip Gabriel
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Telegraph Pole
By Masashi Matsuie
The bus stop by the train station had moved. It was further away.
Translated from Japanese by Michael Emmerich
Waymarkers
By Natsuko Kuroda
The flowers depicted, which must have differed from one to the next, are also hazy.
Translated from Japanese by Asa Yoneda
Where Have All the Sundays Gone?
By Mieko Kawakami
No matter how old I become, I will still go on like this, not knowing.
Translated from Japanese by Hitomi Yoshio
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Cavities and Kindness
By Nao-Cola Yamazaki
It was almost Christmas, I had a cavity, and I was in the process of getting dumped.
Translated from Japanese by Kalau Almony
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Reunion
By Ryuichiro Utsumi
One day, when he went home after a long absence, he found the apartment empty.
Translated from Japanese by Toshiya Kamei
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Spirit Summoning, Part I
By Sakumi Tayama
It was Yoko who made me become a fake medium six months ago.
Translated from Japanese by Mark Gibeau
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from “Face”
By Asa Nonami
Even if we were to remove the crow’s feet, there's still the overall balance of your face to consider.
Translated from Japanese by Takami Nieda
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Riverwilt
By Nomura Kiwao
For now I’ll just give it that name, repelling all water, still
Translated from Japanese by Angus Turvill
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The Farside
By Hideo Furukawa
And the woman who died—the victim, I mean—looked just like you.
Translated from Japanese by Ginny Tapley Takemori
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Do Not Tremble
By Toshiko Hirata
I did not know that the earth / Is an unruly cradle
Translated from Japanese by Jeffrey Angles
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The Hole in the Garden, Part I
By Sakumi Tayama
“Asako, how do you like this dream?” she asked, not turning her head from the hole.
Translated from Japanese by Mark Gibeau
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Director’s Notes on “Sway”
By Nishikawa Miwa
The man might not escape the death penalty. And I had become deeply involved with him and with his crime.
Translated from Japanese by Linda Hoaglund
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The Last Picture Show
By Ryu Murakami
It felt funny being called a delinquent by a yakuza.
Translated from Japanese by Ralph McCarthy
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Narcissus
By Dazai Osamu
I took the watercolor in my hands, looked it over briefly, and ripped it to shreds.
Translated from Japanese by Ralph McCarthy
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The Kiso Wayfarer
By Okamoto Kido
When they lifted the lid of the pot again, the woman’s head was nowhere to be seen.
Translated from Japanese by Ginny Tapley Takemori
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Walking the Keihin Factory Belt with Stuart Dybek
By Motoyuki Shibata
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.
Translated from Japanese by Allison Markin Powell
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from “Sentimental Education”
By Kaho Nakayama
The woman gave birth to a baby girl at the maternity hospital and then disappeared the very same day.
Translated from Japanese by Allison Markin Powell
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from “Once Upon a Swing”
By shinji ishii
I once had a baby brother. An oh-so-very strange one at that.
Translated from Japanese by Bonnie Elliott
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February 2009 Graphic Lit Tetsu Yamanote Line Osamu Tezuka Feature
Tetsu of the Yamanote Line
By Osamu Tezuka
He’s a pickpocket. I want his fingers to be agile enough he’ll be able to ‘work’ again.
Translated from Japanese by Camellia Nieh
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February 2009 Graphic Lit Drifting Life Yoshihiro Tatsumi Feature
From “A Drifting Life”
By Yoshihiro Tatsumi
The genius behind all those great works is sitting right next to me! Strange he doesn’t seem at all different from any other young guy…
Translated from Japanese by Taro Nettleton
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Compos Mentis
By Kanji Hanawa
The seat was wet because something had made it wet.
Translated from Japanese by Ginny Tapley Takemori
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Metamorphosis
By Fumiko Enchi
But remember, no matter how upset you feel, you mustn't lose your composure.
Translated from Japanese by S. Yumiko Hulvey
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