Japan Writing

Ever since my first trip to Japan at age 13, the culture has had a deep hold on me. The delicate, old houses; the serene ponds with tiny bridges; the gorgeous pottery ... it's all too perfect! I've been learning Japanese since 2001, and I particularly love decoding kanji, the Chinese characters used in Japanese writing.

On several occasions, I've spoken on PRI's radio program "The World in Words" about my Japan-related passions.

My love of kanji has led to three major writing projects: Joy o' Kanji, my book Crazy for Kanji: A Student's Guide to the Wonderful World of Japanese Characters, and my blog Kanji Curiosity. There's more about all my kanji writing on the Kanji page of this site.

My other Japan-related writing has appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, AsianWeek, Japanophile, the East Bay Monthly, the East Bay Express, Hyde Park Review of Books, Rain Taxi Review of Books, Persimmon, Bright Lights Film Journal, Ameridreams, NACLA: Report on the Americas, and the Jewish Magazine.

Have a Listen!

On three occasions, I've spoken about Japan-related topics on PRI's program "The World in Words," hosted by Patrick Cox.

  • April 27, 2010: I spoke about five unusual Japanese expressions. My segment goes from 19:05 to the end of the podcast, filling nearly nine minutes.
  • March 4, 2009: I spoke at length about my love of kanji, as well as my undying passion for author Haruki Murakami. My part goes from 10:14 to 22:15.
  • November 2008: I did a very short Geo Quiz. The World in Words did an A-Z of the elections in two parts. My segment happened at the letter O (O for Obama), 5 or 6 minutes into the N–Z podcast. Red Room later selected that as "Best Podcast."

For more Japan-related writing, see: