Tokyo Love Story: A Manga Memoir of One Woman's Journey in the World's Most Exciting City, Julie Blanchin Fujita, Marie Velde (trans)(Tuttle, March 2021)
Tokyo Love Story: A Manga Memoir of One Woman’s Journey in the World’s Most Exciting City, Julie Blanchin Fujita, Marie Velde (trans) (Tuttle, March 2021)

A funny and intimate travelogue of one woman’s unexpected adventures in Japan. French illustrator Julie Blanchin-Fujita arrived in Tokyo for what she thought would be a one-year stint, and ended up never leaving.

Shigeru Mizuki’s Tono Monogatari has a complicated lineage. During Japan’s rapid modernization in the early 20th century, a man named Kunio Yanagita set out to preserve Japan’s cultural heritage of magic and the supernatural. Along the way, he met a young writer, Kizen Sasaki. Together they traveled Japan’s Tono region, today about five hours northeast of Tokyo by train, recording folktales and evaluating whether they might be true. In 1910, Yanagita published a chronicle of his travels and the stories he collected: Tono Monogatari (“Tales of Tono”). Many Japanese regard Tono Monogatari as a defining text of Japanese folklore, a Japanese equivalent of the tales of the Brothers Grimm.

Chiru Sakura—Falling Cherry Blossoms: A Mother & Daughter’s Journey through Racism, Internment and Oppression, Grace Eiko Thomson (Caitlin Press, March 2021)
Chiru Sakura—Falling Cherry Blossoms: A Mother & Daughter’s Journey through Racism, Internment and Oppression, Grace Eiko Thomson (Caitlin Press, March 2021)

At 8 years old, Grace Eiko Nishikihama was forcibly removed from her Vancouver home and interned with her parents and siblings in the BC Interior. Chiru Sakura—Falling Cherry Blossoms is a moving and politically outspoken memoir written by Grace, now a grandmother, with passages from a journal kept by her late mother, reflecting on their family history, cultural heritage, generational trauma, and the meaning of home.

Graham Hutchings writes in his new book China 1949 that “historians have often used a single year as a prism through which to view key changes that are said to have shaped an era”. He goes on to observe (somewhat counterintuitively) that of the years of China’s Civil War from 1945 to 1949, “… the year 1949 seems to have been singled out less often as decisive …” Hutchings seeks to balance the scales of history and to establish 1949 as such a prism.