Hinamatsuri: Japanese Girls’ Day

For Girls' Day (Hinamatsuri) when I was growing up, my mother and I would make a display of dolls we had. I still don't have the Emperor/Empress dolls that some people have, but I still do have these Japanese dolls. I like dolls in theory. I don't like them in home decor. That is, I … Continue reading Hinamatsuri: Japanese Girls’ Day

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Touching Fan Mail

Having a novel published has been very exciting, but it's even more exciting when people actually connect with your work. Authors spend so much time alone, it's really hard to tell if anyone besides you will like your work. Since the book came out, I've been getting the occasional fan e-mail, which always brightens my … Continue reading Touching Fan Mail

What did Burakumin look like?

In my novel, I have a character who is one of the "untouchables" of Japan, an Eta, or Burakumin. These were the leatherworkers who were deemed untouchable by Buddhist vegetarians. Eta were discriminated against though it was outlawed. Apparently even today,some people look into family backgrounds to make sure there are no untouchables in families before marriages take place.