Japan is known for its beauty and rich history, but the country has a dark side that isn’t explored as much as it could be. Japan’s seedy underbelly is exposed by Ryu Murakami’s In The Miso Soup, which focuses on the sex trade and Tokyo nightlife. Kenji, a young tour guide, takes an American tourist called Frank on a journey. But Frank is far more sinister than he appears to be and it’s not long before Kenji is dragged into a nightmare he wishes he could escape from.
Giving a property some personality is important because it helps it feel more like a home. Personal flair provides a sense of identity, which is why I enjoy collecting decorative statues of my favourite characters. The latest one I’ve purchased is the Magneto Marvel Now! ARTFX statue. The statue was crafted by Junnosuke Abe in collaboration with the Japanese figure company Kotobukiya. Here are my thoughts on whether it lives up to the Master of Magnetism’s infamous reputation.
It’s been established that Wolverine is one of Marvel’s most famous characters and a lot of that can be credited to Chris Claremont and Frank Miller. The pair are responsible for creating Wolverine’s original solo series, which redefined the character. Claremont and Miller introduced Japan as a major part of Logan’s backstory and here’s my review of the graphic novel.
Haruki Murakami is known for writing surreal fiction, and that can be seen in After Dark. Taking place in a single night, the novel focuses on Eri and Mari Asai. The sisters are vastly different to each other, but are connected by a sense of loneliness. After Dark stirs up a lot of emotions, with Murakami using various techniques to keep the reader guessing what will happen next.
Learning about a new culture is a great way to expand your knowledge of the world, and that was the case for me with the Doki Doki Festival in Manchester on the 11th November. The festival was a celebration of Japanese culture, ranging from music to history. Anime fans, cosplayers and pop culture geeks got together under one roof to embrace a culture that has become incredibly popular in the West. Here are my thoughts of the day.
One of my goals for 2018 is to read more widely, and that involves becoming familiar with authors from different backgrounds. I recently picked up An Artist of the Floating World by Kazuo Ishiguro. Ishiguro has established himself as a talented storyteller and I was drawn to the novel because of my fascination with Japan. The book features a post WW2 Japan recovering from its scars and looking towards the future.
Japan has a rich history and it’s great to see it shared with people from different places. The Doki Doki Festival is happening on the 11th November in Manchester, and it’s celebrating Japanese culture. There will be talks on Japan’s history, anime and blogging conversations. The Comic Vault reached out to Sophie of Sophie’s Japan Blog to get her thoughts on talking at the event and what she loves about Japanese culture.