Kenji Miyazawa

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Cooking with Kenji Miyazawa

In Valerie Stivers’s Eat Your Words series, she cooks up recipes drawn from the works of various writers. Lately, when I think about jealousy or, shall I admit it, when I feel jealous, I remind myself of the story “The Earthgod and the Fox,” by the Japanese writer Kenji Miyazawa (1896–1933). When I think about politics, I consider Miyazawa’s story “The Fire Stone.” For my artistic practice, there’s “Gorsch the Cellist”; for my place in nature, “The Bears of Nametoko.” I can’t say there’s a Miyazawa story for everything—the writer died young and lived nearly a century ago in rural northern Japan—but he had stories for many of our basic human vices, and for our basic forms of goodness, too. And this only scratches the surface of his work’s appeal.
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