Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Travels in the East in the San Francisco Chronicle

Donald Richie's new book of travel writing, Travels in the East, was featured in the San Francisco Chronicle's Book Review on Sunday, January 20. In the extensive review, Reagan Upshaw writes:

"For more than 50 years now, Donald Richie has been Our Man in Japan. . . . Richie writes about Vietnam in 1996, Cambodia and Egypt in 2001, Yap in 2004, and a dozen other places. . . . [He] remains a consummate guide to a disappearing world."
(read more...)

Anime Classics Zettai! on Ain't It Cool News

Over in the anime corner of Ain't It Cool News, Scott Green has some great things to say about Anime Classics Zettai!: 100 Must-See Japanese Animation Masterpieces by Brian Camp and Julie Davis. Green writes:

"Of all the English language anime guide books, Anime Classics Zettai! offers one of the best gateways to a literacy of the anime tradition." (read more...)

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Travels in the East in National Geographic Traveler

In National Geographic Traveler's online "Travel Lit" column this month, Don George has a mention of Donald Richie's forthcoming, wide-ranging book Travels in the East. George writes that Travels in the East presents "Japan-based scholar Donald Richie's newest collection of incisive and insightful travel essays from all over Asia and the Pacific, from Mongolia to Borneo."
(read more...)

The Films of Kiyoshi Kurosawa in Boyce McClain's Collectors' Corner

This month, The Films of Kiyoshi Kurosawa: Master of Fear by Jerry White is on the front page of issue of Boyce McClain's Collectors' Corner! Collectors' Corner has been an essential resource for the comics and collecting communities since 1992, and we appreciate the attention!

McClain writes that White's book "examines the long career of Kiyoshi through a personal interview and essays accompanied by screenshots, film images and a descriptive filmography."
read the issue (PDF)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Democracy with a Gun in Cultural News

The January issue of Cultural News features an article by Albert Brown about Democracy with a Gun author Fumio Matsuo's book launch at the Japan Information and Culture Center of the Embassy of Japan in Washington, DC.

In the carefully observed piece, Brown highlights Matsuo-san's efforts at urging "reconciliation between Japan and the US over World War II scars," noting that "throughout the lecture and discussion, it was very clear that Mr. Matsuo believes that Japan, still, to this day, feels a lack of closure with its past."

Wabi-Sabi in the Financial Times

In "Tremendous Trifles," his "Slow Lane" column in last weekend's Financial Times, Harry Eyres describes Leonard Koren's Wabi-Sabi as "the most interesting short book on aesthetics I've read for a long time," and discusses Wabi-Sabi in relation to Beethoven's "minor works."

Friday, January 04, 2008

Anime Classics Zettai! in the Los Angeles Journal

In The Los Angeles Journal, Ed Rampell raves about Anime Classics Zettai!: 100 Must-See Japanese Animation Masterpieces by Brian Camp and Julie Davis, calling the slick reference book "an invaluable resource." Rampell concludes that "after reading Zettai!, this anime agnostic was not only convinced, but converted." Thanks, Ed!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Donald Richie's "Tractate" in Metropolis, The Japan Times, and the Ang Lee interview in Sight and Sound

Donald Richie's newest book, A Tractate on Japanese Aesthetics, is turning heads left and right. In The Japan Times, Michael Dunn writes that "there must be a lot more to Japanese culture and how it is perceived than is immediately apparent. Indeed there is, and Richie helps us more than anyone else has before in the English language, by explaining many of the essential aesthetic concepts needed for understanding and appreciation."

C. B. Liddell, in Metropolis, remarks that in the book, "Japanese aesthetics are revealed as the product of [a] social competitiveness, of the desire to find yet more subtle shades of meaning and beauty than the next guy."

And Nick James, in his interview with director Ang Lee in this month's Sight and Sound, works the "Tractate" into an interview question: "There's a beautiful little book by Donald Richie that explains Japanese aesthetics. I wish there was an equivalent for the Chinese," he says. This was picked up on the City of Sound blog, with some interesting comments, including one by influential composer Paul Schutze. Check out the discussion here.

With Richie's highly anticipated new book of travel writing, Travels in the East, coming to bookstores in a few weeks, there couldn't be a better time to celebrate his writing!