About Michael Pronko

For the past 18 years, I have been living and teaching in Tokyo. I write about Japanese culture, art, jazz, society, architecture and politics for Newsweek Japan, The Japan Times, Artscape Japan, as well as other publications. My writing about Tokyo got me invited onto NHK (Japan’s PBS) and Nippon Television to talk and make video versions of my essays. I have my own website about the jazz scene in Japan, Jazz in Japan (www.jazzinjapan.com). Day-job-wise, I teach American Literature and Culture (novels, film, art and music) at Meiji Gakuin University in Tokyo.  After discussing Kurt Vonnegut or Jackson Pollock in class, I’m usually in the right frame of mind to wander Tokyo contemplating its intensity, immensity and delight.

Michael Pronko’s Books

The Moving Blade

When the top American diplomat in Tokyo, Bernard Mattson, is killed, he leaves more than a lifetime of smoothly cultivated Japanese-American relations. He leaves a missing manuscript, an undelivered keynote speech and a tangled web of connections. His estranged daughter, Jamie, returns from America for his funeral, but is almost killed when she starts uncovering… [Read More]

The Last Train

Detective Hiroshi Shimizu investigates white collar crime in Tokyo. He’s lost his girlfriend and still dreams of his time studying in America, but with a stable job, his own office and a half-empty apartment, he’s settled in. When an American businessman turns up dead, his mentor Takamatsu calls him out to the site of a… [Read More]

Motions and Moments

Motions and Moments is the third book by Michael Pronko on the fluid feel and vibrant confusions of Tokyo life. These 42 new essays burrow into the unique intensities that suffuse the city and ponder what they mean to its millions of inhabitants. Based on Pronko’s 18 years living, teaching and writing in Tokyo, these… [Read More]

Tokyo’s Mystery Deepens

Writing about Tokyo for over 15 years, essayist and professor Michael Pronko unlocks the doors to Tokyo life. These 48 essays reveal what’s hidden behind the gleaming exteriors and unconcerned faces in the largest, most crowded city in the world. How to sweat politely, survive noise trucks and glance sideways are some of the many… [Read More]

Beauty and Chaos

Tokyo–City of Contradictions? Yes and no! The largest city in the world teems with chaotic energy and serene, human-scale beauty. Want to know the real city? Writing about Tokyo for over 15 years, essayist and professor Michael Pronko opens up Tokyo life and reveals what’s beneath the gleaming, puzzling exterior of the biggest city in… [Read More]

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