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Kuhaku & Other Accounts from Japan Hardcover – April 1, 2005

ISBN-13: 978-0974199504 ISBN-10: 0974199508 Edition: 1ST

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Chin Music Press Inc.; 1ST edition (April 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0974199508
  • ISBN-13: 978-0974199504
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 4.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,577,967 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

It is beautifully produced . . . Plus, there is such a wide range of literary styles inside. It’s a great anthology. -- Suzanne De Gaetano, co-owner, Mac’s Backs bookstore, Cleveland, OH

Japan emerges in fits and starts, stripped of its abstractions, defiant, utterly unique, and surprisingly tender. -- Joseph Badtke-Berkow, Paper Sky magazine, 2005

Thank you so much for taking the time to collect great stories and pictures in such a well-designed way. -- Reader Feedback

The book is particularly valuable to those who have spent or will spend an extended period of time in Japan. -- AJET Across Japan, Sept. 2004

About the Author

Bruce Rutledge is a journalist, author and editor. He has published extensively on Japan. Rutledge edited Kuhaku after founding Chin Music Press in 2002.

Craig Mod is a designer, illustrator and photographer living in Tokyo. He designed Kuhaku and also did many of the illustrations.

Kozyndan are a husband and wife team known for their realistic illustrations of modern Japan cityscapes that come complete with fantastic characters like skipping pink giraffes, out-of-control robots or little tofu creatures. They provided the 4-color artwork for Kuhaku.

More About the Author

Craig Mod is an independent writer and designer splitting his time between Tokyo, New York, and San Francisco.

He is a MacDowell Colony writing fellow and TechFellow. His writing has appeared in/on New Scientist, Virginia Quarterly Review, The New Yorker, The New York Times, CNN.com, The Morning News, Codex: Journal of Typography and elsewhere.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By B. M. Chapman on October 24, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Kuhaku is a difficult book to classify. Part cultural observations from long-term foreign residents in Japan, part translations of essays and stories by Japanese authors, and part insight into a street populated with cartoon rabbits and a family of cubes. Canned coffee, extra-marital affairs, a kegger at a buddhist temple, a stay at a hotel that caters to dogs, a man writing his way to a Nobel Prize by doing articles about sex shops in Tokyo; Kuhaku is nothing else but varied in the stories it tells.

But the one thing that Kuhaku systematically achieves is a vision. The vision is to capture a feel, an attitude -- the zeitgeist if you will -- of contemporary Japan. This vision however is never truly fulfilled, and it was never meant to be; this the book never makes any apology for being what it is. Kuhaku invites the reader into a niche of a culture and lets the reader take away what the reader wants to from it. For the most part it is an attempt to break away from the typical foreigner-stuck-in-Japan literature, (Which tend toward quirky anecdotes about old ladies, packed train rides, sexual escapades, funny English, and superficial observation just beyond tourist insight masquerading as brilliant nuggets of anthropology, et cetera.), and tries to offer a more lucid, a more respectful and honest appraisal of life in Japan, here and now. In this aspect, Kuhaku is one of the best books -- with a foreign slant -- on contemporary Japanese life available; and I have read many. It can be appreciated by somebody who has never been to Japan, and yet very elucidating to those who call Japan home.

Kuhaku is a compilation of the works of fourteen authors and artists.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Nathan Schreiber on January 4, 2005
Format: Hardcover
What does infidelity have to do with recycling? And what does canned coffee have to do with suicide?

The obvious link between the widely varied stories within Kuhaku is the backdrop - all the events and stories take place in contemporary Japan. While sex and consumerism show up in more than a few tales, bigger themes - like loneliness and modern alienation - penetrate further. Kuhaku's paradoxical collage - the vivid forms of commercialism, sex, and modern technology combining to form an empty grey - tells a sometimes beautiful, sometimes bleak story of a society whose humanity appears in jeopardy.

Its not all so serious, though - between a journalist's romp through Tokyo's red light district and a foreign woman's very un-Japanese reaction to getting groped on the subway, there's a good deal of material to amuse as well as enlighten.

The Japanese-style design is worth noting - it makes the book a pleasure to read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By wilfen on May 16, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Full disclosure: I wrote one of the stories (actually non-fiction) in this collection. But I want to recommend the book itself for anyone who wants to get an inside view of what it's like for a variety of folks to live in Japan in the early 21st Century. Different takes on many different aspects of what it can mean and what it can feel like. I like that the collection features pieces that range from artistic (perhaps esoteric?) to earthy and plain. If you have an interest in contemporary Japan and what it might be like to live here, Kuhaku will allow you to experience something that few written collections could possibly offer. Find out what that is.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Ziontrain on July 1, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Excellent book, not quite a travelogue. Set in Japan and comprised of various authors. Superb binding. This book was conceived, written and published with love. It shows in the result!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By G. Wells on April 5, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Small (manga-sized or thereabouts) with tinier-than-normal print makes reading a chore, and the amateurishness of several of the writers only makes things worse -- parts of this book read like a high schooler's livejournal. \

Other parts are put together better, though. So it's not a complete disaster.

(My favorite book on Japan has long been The Roads to Sata. I'd recommend that instead.)
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