The Tale of Shikanoko

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Dear Reader, I would like to tell you a little about this book, part epic, part romance, part fairy story. Five years ago I was in the northeastern region of Japan, a few months before the devastating tsunami of 2011. … Continued

Guide to Pronouncing Japanese Names

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Vowels are pronounced in the following way (as in British pronunciation): ‘a’ as the ‘a’ in ‘father’ ‘e’ as the ‘e’ in ‘met’ ‘i’ as the ‘i’ in ‘macaroni’ ‘o’ as the ‘o’ in ‘plot’ ‘u’ as the ‘oo’ in … Continued

Writing About Other Cultures

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Many writers young and old become intrigued and fascinated by another country or another period in history – sometimes both together. This fascination can be triggered by all sorts of different things: travel or living abroad, studying history, reading books, … Continued

Lian Hearn interview

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What is your background? How does it impact on your writing? I was born in England and [have since] emigrated to Australia. I think the main influences on my writing were my rather disturbed teenage years (I won’t go into … Continued

Sugiyama Kazuko (1940-2006)

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The beautiful calligraphy for the poems that open the first three books of the Tales of the Otori was drawn by Sugiyama Kazuko who passed away in Tokyo in February 2006. I was introduced to Kazuko-san by a mutual friend … Continued