The Crane Wife

“‘The Crane Wife’ is a story from Japanese folklore. I found a copy in the reserve’s gift shop among the baseball caps and bumper stickers that said GIVE A WHOOP. In the story, there is a crane who tricks a man into thinking she is a woman so she can marry him. She loves him, but knows that he will not love her if she is a crane so she spends every night plucking out all of her feathers with her beak. She hopes that he will not see what she really is: a bird who must be cared for, a bird capable of flight, a creature, with creature needs. Every morning, the crane-wife is exhausted, but she is a woman again. To keep becoming a woman is so much self-erasing work. She never sleeps. She plucks out all her feathers, one by one.”

—CJ Hauser, “The Crane Wife.” The Paris Review. July 16, 2019.

Hinadan, a Mobile Game App For Apple by 82-Year-Old Developer Who Bought Her First Computer at 60

“It was easy because I have no one to care for me, whether it’s good or bad,” 83-year-old Masako Wakamiya said of building her first mobile app. In 2017, she launched Hinadan, a game aimed at elderly users…Wakamiya bought her first computer when she was approaching 60 — mostly to keep up with friends while she took care of her elderly mother.”

—Jane Sit and Yoko Wakatsuki, “How an 83-year-old found a new lease on life developing mobile apps.” CNN. March 24, 2019.

Hamonshu: A Japanese Book of Wave and Ripple Designs (1903) – The Public Domain Review

“…a wonderful selection of wave and ripple designs produced by the Japanese artist Mori Yuzan, about whom not a lot is known, apart from that he hailed from Kyoto, worked in the Nihonga style, and died in 1917. The works would have acted as a kind of go-to guide for Japanese craftsmen looking to adorn their wares with wave and ripple patterns.”

Hamonshu: A Japanese Book of Wave and Ripple Designs. PublicDomainReview.org.

Taller than the Trees: The Cost of Oya-koko or Filial Piety

The Academy Award-winning US director Megan Mylan’s Taller Than the Trees follows the daily life of Masami Hayata, a Tokyo ad executive, who embodies the changes that Japan is undergoing. With his wife frequently out of town for her job as a flight attendant, Hayata takes on the role of domestic caregiver, attending to their six-year-old son, as well as his mother, who is in the late stages of dementia, in addition to his considerable corporate responsibilities.

Taller than the Trees