On Missing the Aoi Matsuri

 On Missing the Aoi Matsuri

In The Kimono Tattoo, main character Ruth Bennett keeps an eye on the Japanese seasons. She knows when it’s appropriate to wear unlined kimonos or to dispense with long sleeves. Knowing of her fastidiousness, I was surprised when she forgot to celebrate the Aoi...
Messengers of Imagination

Messengers of Imagination

In Japan, many consider birds messengers of the gods. They fly between the world of the living and the heavens, carrying our prayers and dreams on their wings.  The entrance to a Shinto shrine is marked by a large gate known as a torii, which literally translates...
My Grotesque Year

My Grotesque Year

If I had it all to do over again, I would do it differently. Of course, I didn’t know then what I know now. I had been given the opportunity to translate Kirino Natsuo’s award-winning novel, Grotesque, and I was elated. It was the first time I’d been contracted to...