Thumbs up for Kokeshi, from Tohoku with Love by Manami Okazaki. Nonfiction.
Sometimes I like reading books about craftspeople. I knew nothing whatsoever about kokeshi dolls, but this was an interesting book, and I now know much more than I did.… >> Read more
Two thumbs up for Princess Jellyfish Volumes 1-9 by Akiko Higashimura.
Tsukimi, a young woman obsessed with jellyfish, lives in a shared house with other shy female nerds…and the owner’s about to sell. Not only will their nerd collective be broken up, but the historic building will be torn down for new developments. Oh no! But enter Kuranosuke, a local rich boy (and also fabulous cross-dressing fashionista) who refuses to let them give in to inertia…and that’s just the setup.… >> Read more
Thumbs up for Pretty Good Number One: An American Family Eats Tokyo by Matthew Amster-Burton. Travel/food.
Since I cannot go to Tokyo right now, and furthermore can’t eat most of the food even if I were in Tokyo, this book was a deliciously comforting substitute. The author says flat-out in the introduction that he’s never had a complicated inner life, and I really appreciate that: you know what you’re getting.… >> Read more
Thumbs up for Sailor Moon Box Set (Vol. 1-6) (and vol. 7) by Naoko Takeuchi. Manga.
My blasted friend got me hooked on the new anime series, which at the time only had six or seven episodes available, so I was quickly left wanting more. Rather than watching the 1990’s anime, which my friend warned me was quite padded, I started reading the manga.… >> Read more
Neither thumbs up nor thumbs down for Zombie Fairy Vol. I by Daisuke Torii. Manga.
My ex thought I would be amused by this. He is correct. It is utterly silly – the kind of thing where the ninja-fairy shouts out the names of her attacks as she uses them. How can you not chuckle at a manga in which there is a chapter entitled: “Bizarre!… >> Read more
Thumbs up for My Japan by Etsuko Watanabe. Children’s.
A cheerful, colorful picture book about life in Japan. It makes me want to go, if I cannot go to Japan, at least to Uwajimaya to look at their ridiculously fluorescent tchatchke.… >> Read more
Back at the end of July last year, I decided to get an overview of Japanese literature by reading the most beloved Japanese books by the most beloved authors. My choice of Japanese literature, as opposed to, say Swedish or North Dakotan, was fairly random, beyond the fact that the number of Swedish novels translated into English can be counted on the fingers of one hand, and I’d rather visit Japan than North Dakota.… >> Read more
Neutral rating for Coin Locker Babies by Ryu Murakami. Literature.
Um. Well. That was bizarre. In fact, that was the most bizarre book I’ve ever read, and I feel inadequate to the task of describing it to you. Let me just start with the fact that the author is in severe need of counseling (or perhaps it’s hopeless). Suffice it to say, if you are easily grossed out, you won’t make it past Paragraph #1.… >> Read more