By Donald Richie
“Richie may be precise a dwelling nationwide treasure.”—Library Journal
"Wonderfully evocative and entire of humor... sincere, introspective, and infrequently poignant."—New York Times
"No one has written with extra focus concerning the odd caliber of exile loved by means of the gaijin, the foreigner in Japan."—London evaluate of Books
"To learn [The Donald Richie Reader and The Japan Journals] is like diving for pearls. Dip into any a part of them and you may absolutely locate treasures in regards to the cinema, literature, touring, writing. The passages are evocative, erotic, playful, and infrequently profound."—Japanese Language and Literature
Donald Richie has been staring at and writing approximately Japan from the instant he arrived on New Year’s Eve, 1946. Detailing his lifestyles, his fans, and his principles on concerns low and high, The Japan Journals is a checklist of either a country and an evolving expatriate sensibility. As Japan modernizes and because the writer a long time, the tone grows elegiac, and The Japan Journals—now in paperback after the significantly acclaimed hardcover edition—becomes a bittersweet chronicle of a classy existence good lived and captivatingly told.
Donald Richie, the eminent movie historian, novelist, and essayist, nonetheless lives in Tokyo.
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Additional info for The Japan Journals: 1947-2004
It was, for example, pages from his earliest Japan journals that he used when, nearly forty-five years later, he wrote an account intended as the opening chapter for a memoir (later published as an essay in The Donald Richie Reader). The extant diary segments often begin with an occurrence that Richie wanted to save—perhaps for eventual further use, but often also for its own sake since otherwise it would have been lost. Indeed, such threatening loss is one of the themes of the journals. At the same time, this method of journal-keeping cannot be said to faithfully reflect the shape of the author’s life.
And now, chilled by that great sky, we went down the steep stairs, companionable but inarticulate. I had given him an outing; he had given me his bird’s eye view of Asakusa. early summer 1947—kita kamakura. I stood before the great gate at Engakuji. The naked guardians grimaced, the carved eaves stretched above me, the roof soared and touched the pines. I was about to enter the abode of the Buddha, the world of Daruma, the land of Zen. I said the word softly to myself—the cicada-like drone of the syllable, the sudden halt of the consonant.
Others, less wounded, hung from the roof and the sides. He could have arrived sooner by walking. At his uncle’s house he found his brother and, surprisingly, his uncle. The latter’s arm was badly burned. He had come home that afternoon, walking the entire distance. He told them about their family. They had been sitting at the table, his sister and himself. The younger girls had already gone to bed and his brother-in-law was at Susaki. The first planes bombed around Fukagawa, and then closed the circle, making it smaller and smaller.