Essays, Literary Journalism, Narrative Nonfiction, True Tales


The Hills Above, the Sea Below

This nonfiction narrative follows coffee shop own Jun Akazaki as he and his mother try to get to safety in the minutes and hours after the Great Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami. As they watch the waves batter Otsuchi, their hometown, they begin to realize how thoroughly their lives have changed in an instant. This essay appeared in the Fall 2017 issues of The Iowa Review

"The Rancher Who Refused to Leave: A Fukushima Story" 

This essay about Masami Yoshizawa, a cattle rancher whose land is located near the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power in Namie Town, first appeared on Catapult in June 2017: 

"The Sad March of the Japanese Left"

This piece of reportage centers around an anti-nuclear protest in Ishinomaki City in Miyagi Prefecture, which took place in the summer of 2015. The piece first appeared on the Los Angeles Review of Books' website in May 2017.


"A Colossal Swell"

This essay focuses on Keitaro Matsumoto, a stylist in Kamaishi City, who was stranded on the room of his building when a 9.0 magnitude earthquake struck Northeast Japan on March 11, 2011. It appeared in the Fall 2014-15 issue of Ninth Letter.


Short Stories, Flash Fiction, Outright Lies

"Hay In Summer"

This short story concerns three cousins' trip to eastern Washington State, where they go looking to buy hay only to find something much darker. It first appeared in the Spring 2016 issue of Witness.


This short story, about the domestic power struggles within a family of garlic farmers in Aomori, Japan, first appeared in the Fall/Winter 2014 issue of Colorado Review and is available through project muse.

"A Foreign Language"

This piece of flash fiction centers on a boy whose terminally ill father has an unexpected visitor at the hospital one evening. It first appeared on the online literary site Switchback in April 2012.


Big Ones

When the Waves Came: Loss, Recovery, and the Great Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami

This nonfiction project combines the narratives of survivors, personal reflections on the disaster, and assessments of the recovery process, and is currently under contract with Chin Music Press. 

Reviews and Scholarly Articles

Other People's Children

My review of Kawakami Hiromi's Record of a Night Too Brief, also includes my thoughts on the use of folklore in contemporary Japanese literature and a few notes on the current state of fiction in Japan. This review appeared online at the Los Angeles Review of Books on July 19, 2017.   

My review of Kawakami Hiromi's The Nakano Thrift Shop, which also discuses the phenomenon of hikikomori and the enclaves of bubbler-era retail shops that remain scattered throughout the country. this review appeared online at the Los Angeles Review of Books on November 27, 2017

My review article on Fredric Jameson's The Ancient and the Postmoderns appeared in the December 2017 issue of Poetics Today.