Don't Ask Me... I'm Japanese

(this article first appeared in the august 23, 2004 issue of newsweek international)

One recent morning I got a phone call from a TV production company. "We're discussing Japanese baseball," chirped a young woman. "We'd love to interview one of your writers." I knew exactly where this was going. "Well, I've written about baseball," I said, playing along. She hesitated, trying to figure out how to break it to me. "But you are... Japanese. We need a foreigner's take."

...read more


Report from Tokyo

The latest rerport from Tokyo is up on ArtNet magazine.

Like their colleagues in New York, art dealers in Tokyo are inclined to begin the summer with special group shows before taking a break for a few weeks in the middle of August. What follows is a sampling of some of the summer attractions. Go to continue: artnet.com/Magazine/reviews/itoi/itoi8-5-04.asp

Mini book review: Read "Country of Origin"

" Country of Origin" by Don Lee

(this article first appeared in the august 3, 2004 issue of newsweek international)

It's 1980, and Lisa Countryman, an exotic young American, goes missing in Tokyo.

She had been working as a hostess at an exclusive bar, claiming to be doing research on Japanese women for her dissertation. But Lisa, half Asian and half black, has a secret agenda, which becomes clear only late in the book. Almost all the characters?including a junior U.S. diplomat assigned to her case and a Japanese cop on her trail?have complex issues with race.

In this innovative first novel set on the eve of Japan's economic boom, Lee, a Korean-American who grew up in Tokyo and Seoul, tells a poignant story of prejudice, betrayal and the search for identity.

(c) Newsweek

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