The stories collected here were written for a monthly Japan Times column called The Living Past over the past seven years. They range from earliest prehistory to modern times. The column still runs. The living past is inexhaustible. It never runs out of stories to tell.
Column and book both were born of the conviction that the past, as the inrushing future engulfs it, is worth preserving – not only preserving but participating in, living in. Each story invites the reader to think, as the author did in writing it, “What would I have been if I’d lived then? What would I be doing, what thinking?” Try it. It’s a wonderful form of self-discovery.
About the Author
Michael Hoffman has lived in Japan long enough to call it home. He has no other qualification. His columns appear regularly in the Japan Times. His books include "In the Land of the Kami: A Journey into the Hearts of Japan," "Fuji, Sinai, Olympos; Other Worlds", and "Little Pieces: This Side of Japan."