The Japan Foundation E-mail Magazine Vol. 296

■■ Poetry? In Postwar Japan: Literary Experiments Beyond the Page ■■

Dear readers,

It seems that a bad cold is going around in Japan at this moment. Cold viruses are said to become active especially when humidity becomes below 40%. So, winter in Japan is their active season.
If you catch a cold, you should take a good rest. You might want to try traditional home remedies for cold, too.
"Kuzuyu" is one of the most popular remedies for the Japanese. It is a hot drink made from arrowroot powder, sugar, and hot water. Honey can be substituted for sugar, if you wish to soothe sore throat. Other ingredients, such as grated ginger, lemon juice, matcha (green tea) powder, or milk, can be added, as you wish. For sake lovers, there is a hot beverage called "tamagozake" made from sake, egg, and sugar. These remedies are said to have already existed in the Edo period.
If you are interested in these remedies, recipes can be found on the Internet.

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▼△▼△Wochi Kochi Magazine▼△▼△

◇Poetry? In Postwar Japan: Literary Experiments Beyond the Page
Andrew Campana, one of the 2015 Japanese Studies Fellows, writes about modern poetic works created in Japan. They are truly "unboring"...

◇A Step Toward Sharing Ideas: Japan-Korea Young Cultural Dialogue Program
Stories behind the dialogue series told by a staff member, who was involved in the birth of the program.

◇Encounter of Two Authors: A Japanophone Taiwanese Meets a Taipei Person-to-be (Japanophone Taiwanese, That's What I Am! 8)
Wen Yuju meets author Chen Yu-chin and finds out they have a lot in common.


▼△▼△Library Information ▼△▼△

◇List of new books

-JFIC Library
-The Japan Foundation Japanese-Language Institute, Urawa link)
-The Japan Foundation Japanese-Language Institute, Kansai


▼△▼△ Worth Sharing ▼△▼△
Worth Sharing―A Selection of Japanese Books Recommended for Translation is the list of recommendable good books for translation that we compiled annually.

◇Hevun [Heaven] By Mieko Kawakami

Whereas Kawakami's other works are intricately woven and challenging to read, her first full-length novel features surprising simplicity and clarity and was hailed as a foray into new literary territory. The story, whose central theme is violent bullying in junior high schools, is told through the eyes of a 14-year-old male student subjected to relentless torment for having a lazy eye. Instead of putting up resistance, the boy chooses to suffer in complete resignation. His single kindred spirit is a female classmate suffering a similar treatment for being "dirty." Eventually the two are tricked into coming to a park where they are made to suffer torment so appalling as to make readers cringe.
These raw and realistic portrayals of bullying are counterbalanced with a near complete presentation of the range of philosophical and religious debates surrounding violence committed against the weak. As well as addressing some of the social problems now facing Japan, Kawakami's simple yet profound new work stands as a dazzling testament to her literary talent. There can be little doubt that it has cemented her reputation as one of the most important young authors working to expand the boundaries of contemporary Japanese literature.

For more details:,038KB)

About Worth Sharing


◇Our next issue will be delivered on December 27, 2016.
JF E-mail Magazine would like to hear your comments and suggestions.

Vol.296 12/13/2016
The Japan Foundation Official Website



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