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Craft Japan

Origami for Authors

Nihon no hanga The canal house is built of massive grey cornerstones and variegated red bricks. A clock gable stands on top with a hook sticking out. The hook is for hoisting of pianos and wardrobes and king-sized beds. The doors are too narrow and the stairs so vertiginous for anything wider than a laundry basket […]

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Hong Kong Politics

Chicken Shit

Tammy Ho Lai-Ming is a woman of many talents. She’s an academic, poet, short story writer and translator as well as founding co-editor of Cha: An Asian Literary Journal, the first on-line English language literary journal in Hong Kong. Since 13 November 2016, Tammy Ho also sits on the Executive Committee of the Hong Kong […]

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Family ghosts Shanghai War

The House on Avenue Haig

My father was born in 1923. His parents named him Shen Bo (申伯) which, in the local dialect means first son in Shanghai. He grew up in a house on Avenue Haig (now called Huashan Lu). This was the westernmost edge of the French Concession. foreign shanghai This is a map of Shanghai in 1929, […]

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About Karen Kao Politics

These Boots Are Made for Walking

A wise man once told me: don’t quit the soccer club because you dislike the coach. He was talking about Pope Benedict XVI and the Catholic Church. I’m thinking of Donald Trump and my US citizenship. Throughout this election season from hell, I’ve promised myself to turn in my passport if Trump becomes president. Maybe it […]

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About Karen Kao Craft

At Water’s Edge

Abandon the shoes that had brought you here right at water’s edge This line comes from a magnificent poem called Finisterre. It was written by David Whyte, a poet, speaker and healer of souls. I heard him speak not long after I had abandoned my own shoes. Finisterre is about pilgrimage: the ancient road to Santiago de Compostelo and the village […]