The Japanese Enigma
Now for the latest dispatch from Tokyo:
A writer's death can do wonders for pushing that back catalog. Less drastically, a few books acquire cachet by being banned. Which may help explain why a reissue of "Little Black Sambo," a turn-of-the-20th century illustrated children's book attacked as being racist, is on the bestseller lists in Japan this spring. The Japanese edition of "Sambo" was a big favorite here, from the time it was introduced in 1953 until it was yanked from bookstores in 1988 after a swift and effective anti-racism campaign.