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'In the Land of the Kami: A Journey into the Hearts of Japan'


The stories collected here were originally published between 2000 and 2013, all but three in the Sunday Time Out section of the Japan Times, the three exceptions being "Holy Fools," "Death I Love You" and "Wet Sleeves," which first appeared in a bimonthly magazine, now sadly defunct, called The East.

The subject matter is somewhat whimsical, emerging from the simplest possible questions: What is Zen? Who was Confucius? What was it like to be a kid in Japan 10,000 years ago, or 1000, or 500? How did death come to seem, as it did for many centuries, so much more important to the Japanese than life? It is the author’s proud boast that, though the questions are treated in some depth, not a single definitive answer emerges.

Table of Contents

Do Our Genitals Define Us? Jomon Venus In the Land of the Kami Ten Thousand Years of Childhood
Moon Over Matsushima Confucius and the Soul of Japan How Japan and China First Met
Pop Went the Culture, 400 Years Ago Holy Fools Death, I Love You “Just So, Subhuti”: Zen All, Zen Nothing
The Christian Century
Best Friends: A Brief History of Japan-U.S. Intercourse Refuge (a one act play) Ero-Guro & Other Nonsense: Taisho Japan Wet Sleeves: Love and Eros in Heian Japan The Ladies of the Battlefield “Soothing Liquor, Smiling Liquor”: Japan Under the Influence5 The Fish Tree (a fable)

About the author:

Michael Hoffman, Canadian-born, has lived in Japan since 1982 and in Hokkaido since 1983. His columns and features appear regularly in The Japan Times and irregularly in various other publications in Asia and North America. He is the author of "The Naked Ear" (2012; "Little Pieces: This Side of Japan" (2010); "Birnbaum: A Novel of Inner Space" (2008); "Nectar Fragments" (2006); and "The Coat that Covers Him & Other Stories" (2004).

"In the Land of the Kami: A Journey into the Hearts of Japan" Publication Date: November 5, 2015. 339 pages. 1,806 yen, $13.98
VBW Publishing . Wholesalers: Ingram, Baker & Taylor ISBN 978-1-62137-765-8 (softcover); 978-1-62137-766-5 (eBook). VBW (, 1-877-376-4955

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