Do you know a Japanese paper craft, Monkiri Asobi? It´s simple but very amusing, which became very popular among common people in Edo period.
Japanese people are attracted to death? What we know is Japanese people have different idea about death. Jisei, the farewell poems are one of the notions explains Japanese people and death.
Have you recently started learning painting or any art and feel struggled by your slow progress? Don´t worry, you are on the right track. Listen what a Japanese wise man, Kenko Yoshida says in Tsurezuregusa.
Japan Society in NY offer a lecture about Japanese underworld culture. Tokyo Underworld 2012´s author, Robert Whiting talks about Yakuza society in Japan.
The Housekeeper and the Professor is one of Yoko Ogawa´s book. A housekeeper who has a little son started working for a math professor who has only 80 mins of memory.
Yoko Ogawa (小川洋子) is a Japanese novelist, born in Okayama prefecture (岡山県) in 1962. She won one of the most important prize in 1988 with her debut novel, "Agehachou ga kowareru toki (When the swallowtail breaks)" and since then she became one of the leading novelist in Japan.
The first book I pick was this, "Kanpeki na byoushitsu (the Perfect hospital room)".
The story is about the little brother of the protagonist who is about to die.
The theme is a little dark but some how it was subjective. I mean I know he is dying but the focus isn´t on his death.
One of the characteristic of Yoko Ogawa´s work in general is silence. It´s not plain nor dull, but it wraps you in the silence, as if you are in a crystal cubicle which is totally sterilized. Very clear her writing.
In the private life, she is an usual housewife who love music and a fanatical fan of Hanshin Tigers (One of the Japanese baseball teams).
Some of her book available in English are these.
ISBN : 9780099521341
ISBN : 9780099521358
ISBN : 9780099548997