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Black Scholars Who Make a Specialty of Asian Studies Revisited

[Originally posted in June 2008. Revisited for Black History Month] I received the following question from a new BT reader this afternoon. He asked: “Why do you find Japan so fascinating?” My quick reply to the question: “I find Japanese history and culture fascinating, the Japanese interesting (from a sociological point-of-view) and life in Japan,… Keep Reading


The Year of No Money in Tokyo

There is a new book out written by New York City native Wayne Lionel Aponte, an African-American journalist and teacher, who has lived in Japan for almost two decades. According to his website, Aponte  has written for several publications, including  The New York Times, The Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and The Nation. I have not received a copy of the book… Keep Reading


Race, ethnicity and identity in Japan

JAPAN’S MINORITIES: The Illusion of Homogeneity, edited by Michael Weiner. London: Routledge, 2008 (1st edition 1997), 234 pp., £19.99 (paper). Jeff Kingston writes for the Japan Times: “Japan is a multiethnic society largely in denial about its diversity. Here we can examine the contradictions and consequences of this discourse. This second edition published a dozen… Keep Reading


The Curious Casebook of Inspector Hanshichi

From Dec. 2, The Japan Times is serializing one of Japan’s early detective novels, “The Curious Casebook of Inspector Hanshichi: Detective Stories of Old Edo,” in which author Kido Okamoto (1872-1939), offers entertaining and thrilling stories set in Edo Period Japan. The Curious Casebook of Inspector Hanshichi The Restoration The Serialization of Hanshichi, 1917 —… Keep Reading


Mr. Aso's leisure reading

Does it matter what our leaders read? In another publicity stunt, Aso Taro made an appearance at a bookstore in the Yaesu district of Tokyo on Saturday evening. Yomiuri reports that Mr. Aso bypassed the manga section and went straight for the economics section, pausing only to admire his books on display. He supposedly bought four economics… Keep Reading

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