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."