If you are male and your name is Francis, and you live in the United States, you have some hurdles to clear. Why? Because there are a lot more Frances and not enough Francis. The female version dominates. That’s why your gender is too often mistaken. Spell my name like the king of France, like the Talking Mule (TV program from the ’50s), the protagonist of the series “House of Cards,” and, (raising my voice gleefully), the Pope: Pope Francis I.

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Book review of Katherine Govier’s novel, “The Printmaker’s Daughter,” (published in Canada as “The Ghost Brush”), about the life of Hokusai’s daughter Katsushika Oei (also known as Oi), whose paintings and woodblock prints were mostly lost except for about 10. Kunio Francis Tanabe’s book review was printed in The Washington Post (Style section, page 2) on Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2011.

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Couple Startled by Noises in the Night Find Animals Can Be a Real Scream.
By Kunio Francis Tanabe

Read this article (appeared in the Metro Section of The Washington Post, Sept. 5, 2008) . . .


John Burnham Schwartz’s latest novel, “The Commoner,” is based on the life of Michiko Shoda, who married Crown Prince Akihito and later became the empress of Japan.

Read this review. . . .


Farewell, Book World

Kunio Francis Tanabe, senior editor and art director of Book World, the Sunday book review section of The Washington Post, bids farewell after a long, eventful career.

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A discussion of Herman Wouk’s popular novel, “Marjorie Morningstar.”

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St. Joseph College (later St. Joseph International School), a small Catholic school located in the port city of Yokohama, Japan, ceased to exist in the year 2000. This is a brief memoir of my years at the school.

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Beauty and the Beasts

Book Review of  “Lee Miller: A Life,” by Carolyn Burke: The Poughkeepsie girl who became a model, a muse and a photographer in her own right.

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This is an article I wrote for The Japan Times. In May, 1999, I revisited my childhood home in Yokohama. Many things have changed since I left in 1961.

During my journalism career at The Washington Post, I wrote a commemorative piece reflecting on my years at Book World.
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