Friday, December 29, 2006

Michael Guillén Interviews Patrick Galloway

After Patrick Galloway's engaging event at Cody's Books in San Francisco on December 15th, Michael Guillén caught up with the author of Asia Shock: Horror and Dark Cinema from Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, and Thailand for an in-depth interview. You can find the interview on both The Evening Class and Twitch. Guillén also posted a glowing review of the reading/screening!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

In the Pool reviewed in The Japan Times

The Japan Times recently reviewed In the Pool by Hideo Okuda and translated by Giles Murray:

"It's hilarious...By these off-the-wall portrayals of ordinary people in seemingly harmless but nonetheless extraordinary predicaments, In the Pool delivers a good time indeed."

Read the review

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Anime Encyclopedia 2 reviewed at Anime on DVD

It's a Xmas treat (really, it's dated 12/25/06) to get a new review for The Anime Encyclopedia Revised & Expanded posted at Anime on DVD:

"If I only had space on my overcrowded shelf for one book on anime, this would be it. If I had no space on my shelf I'd select two books at random and drop them into the bin, just to make room- it's that indispensable."

Another solution is to buy several copies of The Anime Encyclopedia 2 and build a new shelf with them. They are that sturdy!

Read the rest of the review here

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Patrick Galloway Live at Cody's Dec. 15th!

PATRICK GALLOWAY, in ASIA SHOCK: Horror and Dark Cinema from Japan, Korea, Hong Kong & Thailand, takes on Asian masters of suspense, the supernatural, exploitation, and good old, bone-chilling, blood-curdling fear. His adventures into the world of dark cinema will delight newbies and devotees alike. In the book, he offers viewing tips, genre/cultural overviews, extensive reviews, highlights, and screenshots, covering everything from Nakagawa's classic Ghost of Yotsuya to Oldboy, Pulse, and Another Heaven.

At this special event, he will speak, sign books and show some wild film clips: Friday, Dec. 15th, 2006. 7:00 PM at Cody's Stockton Street, San Francisco (2 Stockton Street @ Market - that's across from the Apple Store)

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Peter Goodman interviewed in the Water Bridge Review

In a rare inside look at the publishing business, Peter Goodman, Stone Bridge Press founder and editor, is interviewed by author Gail Tsukiyama in the December 2006 issue of the Water Bridge Review. Read it here.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Behind the Scenes of the Anime Encyclopedia 2

Toon Zone interviewed Helen McCarthy and Jonathan Clements, co-authors of the new Anime Encyclopedia 2, for an extensive feature on what's new and what's awesome in this recently released guidebook to end all guidebooks (over 3,000 entries!).

The interview can be read online.

Anime Companion 2 in the Asian Reporter

In the wake of Gilles Poitras' recent (highly successful!) event at Cody's Books, the Asian Reporter features a review of The Anime Companion 2. Oscar Johnson writes that it's a "must-have for fans of anime and manga alike." Not bad at all. See the pdf here (scroll to the last page).

Monday, November 06, 2006

70 Japanese Gestures in the Asian Reporter

70 Japanese Gestures, by Hamiru-aqui, translated by Aileen Chang, was reviewed by Josephine Bridges in the Asian Reporter on October 24th. Read it online as a pdf (page 5).

"An accessible, fascinating, and funny compendium of Japanese body language."

Friday, November 03, 2006

Yakuza Style

In an online companion to the current Men's Vogue, Mark Schilling, author of the Yakuza Movie Book contributes some insightful thoughts in an essay on Seijun Suzuki's far-from-standard films. This is a special addition to David Samuels' story on infiltrating the yakuza (Japanese gangster) underworld in search of the "perfect three-button suit." Includes movie clips!

Friday, October 27, 2006

Cosplay: Catgirls and Other Critters in the East Bay Express

Cosplay: Catgirls and Other Critters was mentioned in Aneli Ruffus' column the East Bay Express:

Mew who? What's geekier than a Japanese-comics-loving geek? One who wears costumes. "For a complete catgirl costume, you'll definitely want a tail," Gerry Poulos advises in Cosplay, a guide to dressing up as anime cat-girls, new from Berkeley's Stone Bridge Press ($16.95). "Catgirls are cuteness and playfulness personified. They are not cats, but humans with catlike traits." Otaku can learn every step, from wiring ears to blow-drying "fur" to proportioning faces with compass, ruler, and protractor.

Monday, October 23, 2006

The New York Sun on Donald Richie

Mr. Richie's books...are widely credited with introducing American audiences to the riches of Japanese cinema. His emphasis on the "presentational" nature of Japan's cinema, as compared with the "representational" films of the West, is a benchmark in film criticism.

- The New York Sun, October 20, 2006 Edition
"Donald Richie Comes to Queens"

Gilles Poitras at Cody's in SF

At Cody's Books, in a talk titled, "Manga and Anime for Parents (and Other Grownups)," Gilles Poitras, author of the Anime Companion, Anime Companion 2, and Anime Essentials, will present an overview of the history of anime and its related entertainment manga. Will include video clips and Q&A!

Friday, November 3
7 p.m.
Cody's Stockton St. Store

Donald Richie at Kunokuniya in NY

Pictures from Mr. Richie's reading at Kinokuniya in NYC on Sunday, October 22nd. Notice the copy of the Donald Richie Reader sharing the stage; with a brand new printing, this essential book is available once again!

Friday, October 20, 2006

Leonard Koren on the Japanese Bath in the Denver Post

Leonard Koren, design philosopher and author of How to Take a Japanese Bath (a classic just re-released by Stone Bridge Press!), was quoted in a Denver Post article on custom-built baths:

"Cleansing is the secondary aspect of the bath. You wash your body outside of the tub ... The soaking is the relaxation aspect of the bathing ritual. You don't want to pollute the clean water with your dirt."

Jrock and Catgirls in The Asian Reporter

Jrock, ink. and Cosplay: Catgirls and Other Critters were both reviewed in the Asian Reporter. In the October 10 issue, Oscar Johnson writes (p.5) that jrock, ink. is "truly a smart little book. Josephine Yun packs pithy prose with convey the very sound and feel of [jrock] music..." In the October 17 issue, Josephine Bridges notes (p. 3) that Catgirls arrived "just in time to inspire and instruct readers in search of a new look this Halloween!"

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Patrick Galloway, Oregon's Preeminent Samurai Film Critic

Film critic and author Patrick Galloway was recently interviewed by Michael Street for the Asian Reporter. The intriguing interview can be found here (scroll down to page 15). Here's an excerpt from the interview with "Oregon's preeminent critic of samurai film":

What was it about samurai films that grabbed your interest so suddenly and completely?

I'd have to say a combination of intellectual sophistication, intense sword action (sometimes elegant, sometimes savage), and a refreshingly frank and cynical approach to political intrigue. Add the occasional Zen aphorism, along with an aesthetic refinement unique to Japanese culture, and you've got an unbeatable formula for a stirring, sublime film experience.

Makes us all the more excited for Patrick Galloway's forthcoming
Asia Shock: Horror and Dark Cinema from Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, & Thailand!

Helen McCarthy, Jayne Pilling, and Koji Yamamura in London!

The Japan Foundation (U.K.) brings Koji Yamamura, one of Japan’s most successful and distinctive animators, to London to discuss his work and his position in the growing Japanese animation industry. The event will commence with an illustrated talk by Helen McCarthy, co-author of The Anime Encyclopedia and the very exciting, soon-to-be-released The Anime Encyclopedia 2. This talk will be followed by the seminar, which will take the shape of a conversation between Koji Yamamura and Jayne Pilling, founder and director of the British Animation Awards.

Bringing Pictures to Life:
Japanese Animation and the World of Koji Yamamura

October 16, 2006

6:30pm, The Japan Foundation, 10-12 Russell Square, London


Fax: 020 7323 4888; E-mail:

more info

Friday, October 06, 2006

In the Pool reviewed at and in Metropolis

Recently, Hideo Okuda's In the Pool received rave, educated reviews at both and Metropolis!

An excerpt from Hillel Wright's review in Metropolis, issue 164:

"My favorite was “Cell,” a story in which high school student Yuta Tsuda becomes addicted to his cell phone and develops an uncontrollable nervous twitch when he’s unable to use it. The story offers great insight for every one of us, from Luddite to geek, regarding this pervasive contemporary phenomenon."

And from Charlie Dickinson's engaging review at

So while In the Pool has many laugh-aloud moments, at a deeper level, this comedic collection has some intellectual backbone. These are stories about characters tamping down their neuroses and getting on about life.

In that regard, a note about Japanese psychotherapy with which Japanese might be more familiar than English readers: Okuda has Dr. Irabu refer to the great pioneer in Japanese psychotherapy, Morita. A contemporary of Freud, Dr. Masatake Morita (1874-1938) cared little about the roots of neurosis, preferring to educate patients to accept neurosis and go on with action-oriented steps to improve their lives. "Just do it!" might have been his slogan. As one student of Morita, Takehisa Kora, has written, accepting reality as it is or "arugamama means to jump in anyway, fear and all."

[quatation from
Kora, Takehisa, How to Live Well: Secrets of Using Neurosis, State University of New York Press, 1995, p. 13]

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

J SELECT pays tribute to Donald Richie

The Oct/Nov issue of J SELECT (Vol. 50 No. 10)features a cover story on Donald Richie, author of The Japan Journals, A Lateral View, The Inland Sea, and many more seminal volumes. You can see an excerpt from the article and interview, here. If you live on the East Coast, you may have a chance to see Mr. Richie in one of his many appearances throughout October. Here's his schedule.

Monday, October 02, 2006

In the Pool reviewed in the Daily Yomiuri

From Gordon Kanki-Knight's review of In the Pool:

"Okuda's collection of short stories in its original Japanese has sold close to a quarter of a million copies and has been made into a film. The translator of this English version, Giles Murray, deserves special praise for taking Okuda's deceptively easy prose and finding a way of expressing it that is readable, modern and avoids the pitfalls of many standard translations that attempt to be too literal...In The Pool has a story for everyone. It helps put into perspective the annoyances and disappointments we all face in modern society as well as giving the reader a chance to reflect on ways to make his or her life a bit better. Dive into it."

Friday, September 29, 2006

Donald Richie on the East Coast in October

Donald Richie will visit the East Coast in October. Events include:

Friday, October 13:
Amherst College. “The Structure of Culture: The Japanese Example,” a lecture by Donald Richie for the Annual Meeting of the Friends of the Amherst College Library. The lecture and the following reception are free and open to the public. Mr. Richie is Amherst College's 2006-07 Robert Frost Library Fellow. Pruyne Lecture Hall, 115 Fayerweather. 4 p.m. Event details

Monday, October 16: Harvard University. Two events:
"Japan the Incongruous and Myself," a lecture by Donald Richie, presented by the Japan Society of Boston, Proogram on U.S.-Japan Relations and Reischauer Institute. Tsai auditorium (S010), CGIS South Bldg., 1730 Cambridge St., Cambridge. 4:00 - 5:30 p.m. Event details.

Donald Richie introduces a showing of Kenji Mizoguchi's "Street of Shame" for the Harvard Film Archive. Carpenter Center, 24 Quincy St., Cambridge. 6:30 p.m. Event details.

Tuesday, October 17: Yale University. Donald Richie and Professor Dudley Andrew present Japanese Film Aesthetics Across Film History: Shifting Paradigms of Japaneseness from the 30s to the Present, a workshop for undergraduate and graduate students. Henry R. Luce Hall, 34 Hillhouse Ave, Room 202. 5 p.m.

Wednesday, October 18: Yale University. "Japan the Incongruous and Myself," a lecture by Donald Richie at 4 p.m., followed by a screening of Mr. Richie's experimental films at 8 p.m. Linsly-Chittenden Hall, Room 101, 63 High Street. Event details.

Thursday, October 19: Yale University. Two events:
3:30 p.m. Experimental film workshop. Henry R. Luce Hall, 34 Hillhouse Ave, Room 103.

8 p.m. A special 35mm screening of Akira Kurosawa's Stray Dog (1949) introduced by Donald Richie. Screening followed by panel discussion with Donald Richie and faculty from EALL, Film Studies, and History. Whitney Humanities Center Auditorium, 53 Wall Street. Details.

Saturday, October 21: Museum of the Moving Image, New York City. The Japanese Film: A Tribute to Donald Richie runs October 20 - 29. Mr. Richie will be present on October 21 to introduce "Rashomon" at 5 p.m. and to introduce a showing of four of his own experimental films - "Life," "Atami Blues," "Dead Youth," and "Five Filosophical Fables" - at 2 p.m. Full details.

Sunday, October 22: Kinokuniya Bookstore, NYC. Book signing. 3 p.m. (Rockefeller Center) 10 W. 49th St., New York, NY 10020.

Monday, October 23: New York Film Festival's '50 Years of Janus Films' Series. Donald Richie introduces "Fires on the Plain," 6:15 p.m., Walter Reade Theater, 165 West 65th Street between Broadway & Amsterdam Avenues on the plaza level. The festival. The Series. This particular film.

Thursday, October 26: New York Film Festival's '50 Years of Janus Films' Series. Donald Richie introduces "High and Low," 1:00 p.m., Walter Reade Theater, 165 West 65th Street between Broadway & Amsterdam Avenues on the plaza level.. The festival. The Series. This particular film.

Updates will be made within this post. Nonetheless, please check with venues themselves for the most current info!

Haiku Apprentice reviewed in ForeWord

The September/October 2006 issue of ForeWord Magazine: Reviews of Good Books Independently Published includes Melanie Drane's review of The Haiku Apprentice by Abigail Friedman. The review is available online and in the print edition. Here's an excerpt from the insightful review:

Legions of Westerners have pursued idealized notions of “traditional” Japan through enchanted forays into ikebana, martial arts, ink painting, or tea ceremony. The pitfall of such adventures is that they (sometimes willfully) overlook the more complex, ambiguous reality of contemporary Japanese culture and politics. In contrast, Friedman distinguishes herself through depth and rigor of inquiry, which ultimately leads to a revised understanding of both her host country and herself.

Basho's Narrow Road reviewed at Reader Views

Basho's Narrow Road: Spring and Autumn Passages, the elegant Stone Bridge Press edition of "Narrow Road to the Interior" and the renga sequence, "A Farewell Gift to Sora," both by Matsuo Basho, was recently reviewed at Reader Views. From the review:

"Without the annotations, I would have enjoyed Basho’s story, but I would not have understood much of what was written...a beautiful story about Basho’s travels...the beauty of the countryside and the spirit of the people that he encounters."

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Yoshiyuki Tomino in Chicago!

Mobile Suit Gundam Director Yoshiyuki Tomino will be in Chicago in October for a series of events relating to the US cinema debut of the "Z-Gundam Anime Series," including a booksigning of
Mobile Suit Gundam at Border's:

October 6, 2006 from 12:30pm to 1:30 pm

Borders Books (State Street store)
150 North State Street
Chicago, IL 60601
(312) 606 - 0750

Borders Books
Information about Borders’ State Street store

Please check the FULL EVENT LIST for updates and specifics about many screenings, signings, and talks!

From the JASC's announcement:

The Japan America Society of Chicago is delighted to host a series of anime-related events as a prelude to the US debuts of Mobile Suit Z Gundam I, II, and III at the Chicago International Film Festival. With book signings, movie screenings, and panel discussions, the month of September is filled with action! Come and share the excitement as we gear up for the US release of Yoshiyuki Tomino’s Mobile Suit Z Gundam I, II, and III at the Chicago International Film Festival!

New film to be based on Teruyo Nogami book

Following the enormous success of the samurai trilogy that included 2004 Academy Award nominated film “The Twilight Samurai,” “The Hidden Blade” and most recently “Bushi No Ichibun” (original title), Shochiku Films will produce and distribute legendary director Yoji Yamada’s next film – a period drama titled “Kabei” (Japanese working title), based on the nonfiction novel "Chichi eno requiem” ("Requiem for a Father") written by Teruyo Nogami, author of Waiting on the Weather: Making Movies with Akira Kurosawa, forthcoming from Stone Bridge Press. The new film will star Sayuri Yoshinaga.

"Chichi e no requiem” describes the wartime Showa period through the eyes of a mother. "I would like to make this film with homage to [every mother] who held her family in her arms and lived through hard times like a raging roller storm,” Yamada commented.

Here's the official press release from Shochiku.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Four Immigrants Manga encountered in Nikkei Family Magazine

The current issue of Nikkei Family Magazine includes an article by Chiori Santiago, "Finding Ourselves in the Pages of a Book," which includes discussion of Four Immigrants Manga by Henry (Yoshitaka) Kiyama, translated and with an introduction by Frederik L. Schodt.

An excerpt from the feature:

"Four Immigrants is immediately engaging because it demonstrates that early arrivals survived partly through their sense of humor. What strikes me about more recent retrospectives of [Japanese American] history is their grim and mournful view of the injustices unquestionably heaped upon us; a litany of hurt recorded by younger writers who expect better treatment and can enjoy the luxury of indignation."

Leza Lowitz's Sun and Moon Yoga in the Japan Times

On Saturday, September 16, The Japan Times featured an article on Leza Lowitz, author of Yoga Poems, which has just been released in a gorgeous paperback edition.

Lowitz on writing Yoga Poems:

"The first line came to me one evening in 1995 as I was struggling in The Downward Dog: 'Within my body, there's a city.' After that, as I practiced poses, the poetry just began to flow."

Lowitz on her yoga studio in Tokyo, Sun and Moon Yoga, which currently has some 1,000 students:

"The students who like our down-to-earth attitude are a wonderful mix. Fifty percent are Japanese, and they come, they say, because they feel they can be themselves."

Monday, September 18, 2006

Stone Bridge Press Announces Spring Season Titles

Stone Bridge Press has a very exciting Spring Season in the works. Here's the list:


The Art of Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles
by Tommy Yune, with a foreword by Carl Macek
April, $19.95, Paper, 144 pages, 8.5” x 11”, 200 color illustrations

A Dictionary of Japanese Buddhist Terms
by Hisao Inagaki, with contributions by PG O’Neill
April, Paper

Family Crests of Japan
April, $18.95, Paper, 156 pages, 8.25” x 7.875”, 850+ b&w illustrations & photos

Indonesian fables of Feats and Fortunes
by Kuniko Sugiura, with illustrations by Koji Honda
April, $16.95, Case, 32 pages, 8.25” x 11.25”, 24 color illustrations 0-893469-50-5

Indonesian Tales of Treasures and Brides
by Kuniko Sugiura, with ollustrations by Koji Honda
April, $16.95, Case, 32 pages, 8.25” x 11.25”, 24 color illustrations 0-893469-50-5


Anime Classics Zettai!: 100 Must-See Japanese Animation Masterpieces
by Brian Camp and Julie Davis
May, $18.95, Paper, 400 pages, 7” x 7”

China for Businesswomen: A Strategic Guide to Travel, Negotiating, and Cultural Differences
by Tracey Wilen-Daugenti
May, $16.95, Paper, 200 pages, 6” x 9”

The Films of Kiyoshi Kurosawa: Master of Fear
by Jerry White
May, $19.95, Paper, 224 pages, 7” x 9”, 15 b&w photographs

A Tractate on Japanese Aesthetics
by Donald Richie
April, $9.95, Paper, 80 pages, 5” x 7”


Crazy for Kanji: A Student’s Guide to the Wonderful World of Japanese Characters
by Eve Kushner
July, $19.95, Paper, 200 pages, 8.5” x 11”, 200 b&w illustrations and charts



The Book of Tea
by Kakuzo Okakura
April, $9.95, Paper, 128 pages, 5.25” x 7.5”

A Diplomat in Japan: The Inner History of the Critical Years in the Evolution of Japan when the Ports were Opened and the Monarchy Restored
by Sir Ernest Satow
April, $14.95, Paper, 672 pages, 5.25” x 7.5”, 3 b&w illustrations and photographs

Epochs of Chinese and Japanese Art: An Outline History of East Asiatic Design
by Ernest F. Fenellosa
April, $18.95, Paper, 800 pages, 5.25” x 7.5”, 257 b&w illustrations and photographs

The Ideals of the East: With Special Reference to the Art of Japan
by Kakuzo Okakura
April, $10.95, Paper, 200 pages, 5.25” x 7.5”

Kwaidan: Stories and Studies of Strange Things
by Lafcadio Hearn
April, $10.95, Paper, 160 pages, 5.25” x 7.5”, 2 b&w illustrations

The Mikado’s Empire: A History of Japan from the Age of Gods to the Meiji Era (660 BC – AD 1872)
by William Elliot Griffis
April, $14.95, Paper, 512 pages, 5.25” x 7.5”, 2 b&w illustrations

Things Japanese: Being Notes on Various Subjects Connected with Japan
by Basil Hall Chamberlain
April, $14.95, Paper, 540 pages, 5.25” x 7.5”

Unbeaten Tracks in Japan: An Account of Travels in the Interior including Visits to the Aborigines of Yezo and the Shrine of Nikko
by Isabella L. Bird
$12.95, Paper, 352 pages, 5.25” x 7.5”, 39 b&w illustrations

Friday, September 15, 2006

Gilles Poitras at Japantown Anime Faire this weekend in San Francisco

Gilles Poitras, author of The Anime Companion, The Anime Companion 2, and Anime Essentials, will be speaking on spotting Japanese culture in anime at the Japantown Anime Faire in San Francisco this weekend.

Poitras's presentation is at 3 p.m. on Sunday, September 17th at the Kintetsu Mall, Suite 320, 1737 Post Street, San Francisco. Check out this detailed online schedule for more information. See you there!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

In the Pool reviewed by the Midwest Book Review

In the September edition of Small Press Bookwatch, the Midwest Book Review agrees that Hideo Okuda's In the Pool is "deliciously twisted":

Award-winning Japanese author Hideo Okuda presents In The Pool, a wildly popular Japanese novel that has been successfully adapted to a major Japanese motion picture. "Doctor of Neurology" Ichiro Irabu is a therapist for the image-conscious and all too often mentally pressured people of Japan, and his odd methodology of sharing his patients' stress-related problems and making them much worse before they get better distinguishes him sharply from his colleagues. His patients include a man who suffers a constant and painful erection, a pretty young woman convinced that every man she meets on the street is a stalker, a high school student addicted to text messaging the "friends" he desperately craves, and a journalist terrified his house will burn down should he leave it. A deliciously twisted commentary on human neuroses, with wit and insight that translates seamlessly between cultures. Highly recommended.

Native American in the Land of the Shogun reviewed at Reader Views

Frederik L. Schodt's Native American in the Land of the Shogun reviewed at Reader Views. The entire review is online, but here's an excerpt:

"Frederik L. Schodt has been meticulous in his background research.
..[An] important narrative on the explorations and settlement of the Pacific Northwest, the whaling industry, and 19th Century Japan."

Friday, September 08, 2006

Abigail Friedman's haiku featured at tinywords: haiku daily

A haiku by Abigail Friedman, author of The Haiku Apprentice, appears on the tinywords website and email feed today. Here it is:
grass tickling
my toes
o-bon festival
Be sure to visit tinywords and subscribe to their haiku emails!
Abigail Friedman's blog, Stone Lantern, is also a great resource.

In the Pool reviewed at Pacific Dreams

Pacific Dreams, Inc., which focuses on Us/Japanese business relations, recently reviewed In the Pool.

From the review:

"In the Pool is a fun and interesting splash...Dr. Irabu's techniques and ideas collide with not only his profession, but his national culture, and although this isn't always comfortable for his patients, it makes for pure entertainment for his readers."

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

The Haiku Apprentice reviewed in J SELECT

The Haiku Apprentice, Abigail Friedman's eloquent memoir of learning to write haiku in Japan while stationed there as a diplomat, is reviewed in the September/October issue of J Select.

Here's an excerpt from the review:

"An honest account of one woman's cultural journey...Friedman's intimate conversations with sensei Kuroda Momoko, one of Japan's foremost masters of haiku, and scores of other haiku devotees throughout the book help answer myriad questions about the poetry that have long remained a mystery to casual observers."