Unboxing the Past – Box 6

Been a bit of a deadbeat recently (except for that one prolific day last week), but after being away for nearly a month and also finding out I didn’t get the job at the consulate, it’s been hard to get into the writing spirit.  Anyway, I promise things will start picking up soon.

Now to start us off, back to the boxes.  We’re getting to the end of these slowly but surely.  Let’s see what’s inside this time.  Looks like a lot of books this time, so let’s start with them.  As usual, click on a title for the wikipedia page where available.

The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien – fictional tales of American soldiers in the Vietnam war.  Bought for a freshman English class on war.

The High King by Lloyd Alexander – the fifth and final book in the excellent Chronicles of Prydain series.

Hiroshima by John Hersey – stories of the survivors of the American attack on Hiroshima.  Bought for a class in college (with freshman English class on war or some Asian studies course)

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson – what starts out as a magazine article on a desert bike race turns into the story of a drug fueled romp through Vegas.

Haruko’s World: A Japanese Farm Woman and Her Community by Gail Lee Bernstein – A portrait of contemporary rural Japanese women.  Bought for a class in college.

The Japanese Today: Change and Continuity by Edwin O. Reischauer and Marius B. Jansen – A short history of Japan up to the early 1990s.  Bought for a Japanese history class in college.

Manufacturing Ideology: Scientific Management in Twentieth-Century Japan by William M. Tsutsui – bought for a class on the industrialization of Japan.

The Japanese Experience: A Short History on Japan by W.G. Beasley – history of Japan from the 6th century to the present.  Bought for a Japanese history class.

Bali: A Paradise Created by Adrian Vickers – bought for a class on Asian imagery.

The Crow: Wicked Prayer by Norman Partridge – bought in a phase of my life that I was really into James O’Barr’s The Crow.

Secrets of the Samurai: The Martial Arts of Feudal Japan by Oscar Ratti and Adele Westbrook – got this as a Christmas gift years ago.  Not sure I ever read it.

The Castle of Llyr by Lloyd Alexander – the third volume in the Chronicles of Prydain series.

7 Steps to a Smoke Free Life by Edwin B. Fisher Jr. – bought for me when I tried to quit smoking in college, not very successfully.  Quit much later (more than two and a half years ago) without the use of this book.

Japanese: The Spoken Language Part 1 by Eleanor Harz Jorden and Mari Noda – textbook for my first year of Japanese.

Anime Essentials: Everything a Fan Needs to Know by Gilles Poitras – short read on the history and culture of Japanese animation.

Dr. Fegg’s Nasty Book of Knowledge by Terry Jones and Michael Palin – great comedy book by two of the guys from Monty Python full of sketches, comics, cartoons, etc…

Now some comics and manga:

Clerks. (The Comic Books) by Kevin Smith – collection of “Clerks The Comic Book”, “Holiday Special” and “The Lost Scene”.  All set in the world of the movie Clerks (the lost scene actually being a missing scene from the movie, later animated and inserted into the 10th anniversary edition).

Chasing Dogma by Kevin Smith – the story of Jay and Silent Bob between the movies Chasing Amy and Dogma.

Bluntman & Chronic by Kevin Smith – self proclaimed to be “Another shameless commercial tie-in to the hit movie Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back”.

Cowboy Bebop Vol. 1-3 by Yutaka Nanten and Hajime Yatate – awesome manga about a group of bounty hunters, or “cowboys”,  traveling around on a spaceship.  Very heavily influenced by early American music and counterculture, particularly beat, jazz, and early rock & roll.

Blade of the Immortal Vol. 1 & 3 by Hiroaki Samura – set in the mid-Tokugawa period, this follows the story of a samurai who has been made immortal and has been given the task to kill 1000 evil men in order to make up for his past evil ways and to become mortal again.  Very beautiful artwork in these books.

Dragon Ball Vol. 1-2 by Akira Toriyama – no real need for a description on this one

Lupin III Vol. 1 by Monkey Punch – great comedic manga about a master thief and his exploits.

Shonen Jump (US version) Jan-Aug 2003 – monthly manga magazine featuring series like Dragonball, Naruto, One Piece, Yugioh, and Yuyu Hakusho

Raijin Comics Issues 1-4 – another monthly manga magazine.  This one had series like City Hunter, Baki the Grappler, Slam Dunk, and the prequel story to Fist of the North Star, Fist of the Blue Sky.


The only other thing in the box are a set of three plaques I was awarded for a set of spelling bees in the 8th grade.  During that year, I won the school spelling bee (although I have a feeling my friend through it at the end), went on to place in the top 10 in the county spelling bee to move on to the regional finals where I was then defeated fairly miserably.

The three plaques are:

One I was given for winning the school bee.

One I was given for qualifying as a regional finalist.

And one I was given by the school at the end of the school year for being such a good speller.

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