Whatever it might be, some resolutions are easier to make than keep. I suggest reading more books about Japan and Japanese authors in translation. January is a busy month for Japan-related publishing. No fan of the Abe administration, expect Kingston to offer salient criticism in clear prose.
With "Zen in Japanese Culture," Gavin Blair deftly sidesteps superficial how-tos and Orientalism to deliver a in-depth explainer that leaves readers wanting to dig even deeper. Artist Kazumi Wilds retells Japan's creation myth, the "Kojiki," through vivid and accessible illustrations. In this surreal work by Taiyo Matsumoto, a small band of stray cats take refuge inside the attic of the Louvre. Their adventures and interactions with the humans of the Louvre unfold in connected chapters of "secrets.
More than half a century before autofiction appeared in the West, a similar genre of literature was popular in Japan. As with autofiction, I-novels were written in the first person, were uncompromisingly realistic and incorporated events from the author's own life. Mirroring the author's life, the unnamed protagonist is a single woman raising a daughter in Tokyo.
J apan has a birthday this year. Western warships had recently been menacing Japanese shores, not so much offering friendship as insisting on it at the point of a gun. How do you persuade a population used to thinking in regional rather than national terms, and who have next to no idea who you are, to cooperate in all this? To pay taxes, to join your army, to send their children to new national schools? One way is to tell stories.