The Hare with Amber Eyes: A Hidden Inheritance by Edmund de Waal (Vintage, 2011). A family memoir that takes place across a broad sweep of European history but which nonetheless also has firm ties to Japan; a story of love and loss based around a collection of netsuke (cleverly carved clothing toggles from Japan). The author is one of Britain’s best-known ceramic artists. Quite beautiful and I don’t know why it took me so long to open it.
Haiku in English: The First Hundred Years
edited by Jim Kacian, Allan Burns and Philip Rowland (Norton, 2013). What can I say? It’s a fantastic book and every good home should have one. Look for it on The Book Depository for free postage to New Zealand.
The Penguin Book of Japanese Verse translated/edited by Geoffrey Bownas & Anthony Thwaite (Penguin, 1964), found at a gypsy fair for the princely sum of $1. Gave that one away when I found one in slightly better condition in a second-hand bookstore for $5.50. My first book of, and about, haiku.
The Essential Haiku edited by Robert Hass (HarperCollins, 1994). Read an extract here.
4, directed by Tim Slade (2007, 88 minutes). Four violinists each play one of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons in four different places – spring in Japan, summer in tropical Australia, autumn in New York and winter in Lapland. Beautiful.