Natsuki Kimura

Natsuki Kimura
Urayasu, Japan
June 21
I live in a country known for its many earthquakes; I live 200 kilometers away from three smoldering nuclear reactors; my father saw the mushroom cloud over Nagasaki as a boy; I watch movies with titles like Neon Genesis Evangelion and Gattaca; I read books with titles like Trout Fishing in America and In Our Time; I make collages about my wife and show them in Tokyo galleries; I spend weekends writing about nukes, aliens, vampires, and love child Vulcans.


Natsuki Kimura's Links



I awakened to the cry  
that the people have the power 
to redeem the work of fools 
upon the meek
-- "People Have the Power," Patti Smith

I knew the song, but I didn't know it contained these lines until I heard it

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I've been following and photographing the activities of Japanese racist groups for over a year now. On May 25, 2014, I photographed a march by the hate group Zaitokukai in Nishi-Kawaguchi, a Saitama suburb within commuting distance of Tokyo. The Zaitokukai chose Nishi-Kawaguchi for a single

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Tokyo governor Naoki Inose resigned from his post in December of 2013 following a money scandal. On February 9, a gubernatorial election to select his successor was held.

The election had sixteen candidates. I wanted to know as much as I could about the guys who were going after a… Read full post »
FEBRUARY 7, 2014 7:19PM

Short Story: The Pond

How's your project going?

Perfectly. The pumps worked smoothly, and we were able to empty out the pond a week before schedule.

So, you think the pond won't smell as bad as it did before?

My company's been doing this for years. We pump out all the… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
SEPTEMBER 24, 2013 11:37AM

Tokyo Rises Against Hate

On September 22, thousands of people gathered in Tokyo's Shinjuku district to protest discrimination for the March on Tokyo for Freedom. Organized by the same people who stage counter-demonstrations against anti-Korean hate marches in the nearby Shin-Okubo neighborhood, this march was held in honor o… Read full post »

AUGUST 17, 2013 7:51AM

Short Story: Two

After the wars, earthquakes, meltdowns and the changes in the climate, there wasn't much left of Japan. In fact, nobody called it that anymore, and its population was now miniscule. The country's four seasons, once loved by poets and artists, had turned into a permanent winter that froze everything,… Read full post »

JULY 28, 2013 10:56AM

Short Story: Callous

I still don't know how they learned my e-mail address.

Even more, I don't know how they got their hands on my DNA samples.

They'd even managed to get my parents' DNA samples, even though they've both been dead for ten years -- their car had slipped off the road

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The war against racism rages on in Japan. On July 14, 2013, I hopped on a bullet train in Tokyo and headed west towards Osaka -- Japan's Second City, the home of big hearts -- to march in the Osaka Against Racism parade. I'd spent last four months
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Natsuki, I'm here to take you away.

Fuck you.

You don't talk that way to an angel.

Well, fuck you anyway. And I don't like your cheek ring.

You should know better.

Maybe. What are the charges?

God isn't a judge, Mr. Kimura, and I'm not a cop.… Read full post »

I went to see the movie Lincoln today, which is finally playing here in Japan.

What a movie. Daniel Day-Lewis played President Lincoln like he was born to do so. He deserved his Oscar.

I've always thought Lincoln was interesting because he's one of the few politicians… Read full post »

zaitokkai_130428Today I went to Yamamaru Park, a pleasant and leafy park in Saitama-Shi, a mid-sized city within commuting distance of Tokyo. It had a public hall that was hosting an arm wrestling meet, and there were all these guys with huge muscles, some enjoying a beautiful Sunday afternoon with their wive… Read full post »

You call us the Japanese Ku Klux Klan? Arigato!

That was something yelled out by a demonstrator at an anti-Korean demonstration held last Sunday in Tokyo's most prominent Korean neighborhood.

I've been attending these demonstrations to see what they were about, what is being said. I have been taking… Read full post »


The world has always maintained a steady supply of yahoos, and that is especially true when it comes to hate mongers. Japan has plenty of yahoos of this sort, and they've become more visible and prominent as the Japan continues its long and steady economic decline and its downright

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I went to work, and at the entrance, I found that my ID card no longer worked.

The company no longer wanted me, and it had decided not to let me through its doors again.

It wasn't that I hadn't seen it coming. My numbers had been abysmalRead full post »

MARCH 2, 2013 12:34AM

Short Story: The Evil Tooth

I came out of Dr. Yoshikawa's office a molar lighter.

The root of one of my teeth had broken and caused great pain. It took Dr. Yoshikawa, my dentist, three tries to yank the tooth out.

Doctor, was it calcium deficiency? Wasn't I drinking enough milk? Or was it the cigarettes?

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FEBRUARY 8, 2013 3:02PM

Short Story: Numbers Station

Four, eight, seven, five, nine.

Two, zero, eight, one, three.

It would go on like that. Random numbers, read by a gentle female voice, over shortwave.

Zero, seven, four, one, six.

Six, eight, three, six, five.

I first discovered the numbers station when I had accidently switched the Grundig from AM… Read full post »

JANUARY 30, 2013 11:49AM

Short Story: Napoleon's Midgets

It was back when Jimmy Carter was president. I got drunk and I drove my gold '74 Oldsmobile into a brick wall. In those days I did a lot of shit like that (the classic Olds could take it), so much that I made wearing seat

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The air here in Osaka during January bites the skin. Even my pea coat -- I bought it in Kyoto when I was still a university student, a full decade ago -- feels flimsy this time of the year. I try not to go out at night, because it gets evenRead full post »

DECEMBER 22, 2012 6:58AM

Short story: Genesis Shuriken


In the end it was only me and God.

"Hi, God."

"Hi. Long time no see."

"The last one died, didn't he?"

"Yeah, yeah, the guy in the bunker. A descendant of Confucius, too. Pity."

"I remember him. When he was a kid I taught him how to shoplift. When heRead full post »

DECEMBER 16, 2012 7:31AM

Short story: Even Shame Fades Away




I frequent a bar that's above a storefront church.

The church has a huge Hammond with rotating speakers and an organ player who could shame John Lord, but that's not important right now.

The bar opens around 10. 10PM, of course.

The place is dark andRead full post »

NOVEMBER 25, 2012 10:48AM

Short Story: Snow



Mommy was sick.

The doctors said they were running out of things they could do for her.


I didn’t want to go to the hospital to see her.

I just couldn’t.

I got on a train and didn’t get off until the last stop.

The station was… Read full post »

OCTOBER 21, 2012 9:52AM

Jimmy Carter's 747

I spent a good part of the 1970s in Seattle, as the son of a Japanese businessman stationed there. I used to see one of the Airborne Command Post planes -- a souped-up 747 that was supposed to keep the President and his people airborne and presumably out of danger… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 15, 2012 9:24PM

Make Great Poets Envy Us

    The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity.

A great poet -- Yeats -- wrote that in 1919, in a very different world. Think Hemingway's best stories, think Lenin. Think steam locomotives and telegrams. Think of a world without com… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 2, 2012 1:28AM

Short Story: Daddy, Me and the Devil

Daddy died two weeks ago, the same day sixth grade ended for me. I've never met him and I don't know what he was like. He was on a fishing boat somewhere. They sent us his suitcase. They said that was all he owned.

Mommy didn't open it, but I… Read full post »

AUGUST 25, 2012 2:19PM

Short Story: One Night in Mississippi

Hojo -- that was his real name, Junichiro Hojo -- was sitting at a rural bus stop, waiting for a bus to arrive. The bus stop was at an intersection between one country road and another. It had become dark hours ago but the heat did not subside. Frog and cicada/… Read full post »