異人たちとの夏 by Taichi Yamada 'With lips locked, we fell to the tatami and quickly forgot the arietta. Later that same evening, everything came to an end.' Strangers is a teasing, creepy ghost story from Japan. I think the original title means something like 'the summer of the strange people' - I do hope I've got …

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Sashimi, Shoes and Suzuki (Part Three)

Further Memories of Japan In Kyoto, the sakura blossom will be opening, a sure sign that spring has begun. In the Nagano highlands it is still winter. The mountains that ring Matsumoto stand out, white-capped, in glorious vista-vision against the pale blue sky. In the crisp morning air, they seem closer and more three-dimensional than …

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Sashimi, Shoes and Suzuki (Part One)

Memories of Japan  Irasshai-mas-ehhhh....! It is 10.30am in Ginza, Tokyo’s fashionable shopping precinct. The Hanyu depato - department store - has just opened. A dozen assistants assemble on the ground floor to greet the first customers of the day. They form a line. Bow politely. The last syllable of their welcome elongates and fades to …

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