SBP Blog

Gish Jen blurbs 'The Fourth String: A Memoir of Sensei and Me' by Janet Pocorobba

Michael Palmer - Tuesday, September 11, 2018

We are very happy to announce we will be publishing Janet Pocorobba's The Fourth String: A Memoir of Sensei and Me in march of 2019.  

This memoir explores the intense and unlikely relationship that grows between a Japanese master and an American student, both exiles from their own cultures who find refuge in the three strings of the Japanese shamisen. As they confront each other, and themselves, each learns what gives their life purpose and what belonging truly means.

Part travelogue, part portrait, The Fourth String offers a rare glimpse of a relationship seldom seen today: its beauty, its dangers, its hidden and difficult pleasures.


The Fourth String: A Memoir of Sensei and Me

We are also proud to share that Gish Jen, acclaimed author of The Girl at the Baggage Claim: Explaining the East-West Culture Gap has provided a thoughtful blurb for Janet's book. 

“Moving and provocative, The Fourth String charts a profound journey into the heart of another culture. What does it mean to teach and be taught? What does it mean to transform and be transformed? Are teacher and student finally, above all, comrades? This memoir --part biography, part autobiography, part portrait of an alchemy -- is as transmuting as its subject, and a joy to read.”

We've also received wonderful blurbs from Pamela Petro, Liza Dalby, Leonard Koren, Kyoko Mori, and Hester Kaplan. To read their blurbs, learn more about the book and to pre-order check out the book page here.
Available 03/12/18
Biography & Autobiography/ Personal Memoirs
Print ISBN: 9781611720464
$16.95/ $22.99 CAN|256 pages
Format: Paperback / softback


Like our blog? Please share it!


Subscribe to the SBP Mailing List

New Releases

Amy’s Guide to Best Behavior in Japan

Going to Japan? This unfussy modern guide guarantees you keep it polite and get it right!

China Smart

Essential essays on all things Chinese that inform and entertain travelers, students, and anyone working or living in China

Forty-Seven Samurai

One of the most spectacular vendettas ever: the history and haiku behind the mass-suicide featured in the 2013 film 47 Ronin

Oh, Tama!

A deeply eccentric novel about lives and connections—and a cat of course—in 1980s Tokyo: witty, offbeat, and strangely profound.

Tag Cloud

memior musical Japanese art traditional japanese music classic literature studio ghibli traditional japanese instrumenet classic japanese literature classic 1960s Korea henry kiyama nhk japanese classic matcha chinese books traditional japanese instrument The Colorado Review Tokyo Olympics t.k. nakagaki travel etiquette welton gaddy Shoah book signing japanese people kyoto guidebook japanese cutlure Japanese holidays japanese music Poetry mieko kanai photography forewrod reviews indies the hidden writer peace symbol hayao miyazaki japan trip green tea book reviews forest gander huffington post astrology foreword indies author talk pottery announcement japan times buddhist swastika nazi china smart book recommendation monk wife koun Chinese culture nashville scene understandind china through comics book talk eating in japan keanu reeves japanese books in english bowing in japan kimba the white lion benjamin franklin award japanese manners a memoir of sensei and me graphic novels kyoto travel janet pocrobba china travel japan restaurant the millions association of jewish libraries studying in japan Art/Design japan custom book award History monk swastika new york events ex pat literature tea garden why we write podcast pulitzer prize drinking in japan hiroaki sato anime finalist kotaku hooked cross chinese translators holocaust chapters japanese etiquette author amys guide to best behavior in japan reviews osamau tezuka author signing the buddhist swastika Okinawan literature journal classic poetry education about asia the lion king journal' monks wife tea tk nakagaki forty seven samurai peace bushido otakuusa zen monk in japan book zazen Children's Literature foreword reviews danica davidson manners asian review of books michael emmerich mentorship in japan tourist Basho awards a mejiro novel japan guide evil a memoir neil gaiman new york books lucille cara ancient symbols japanese instrument book club sean michael wilsonl akiko shimojima international book award purification comic history eco disaster gaijinpot the japan society Coming of Age Day literary prize amy chavez japan culture blurb kyoto journal Year of the Dog frank beyer shamisen china where igo manga japan visitor book reading seppuku travel to japan death ningen shikkaku Korea trip symbol minamata story oh tama japan travel japan books japanese a shameful life disney controversy review 15 years at studio ghibli the japan times award rachel manley paul mccarthy how to eugene smith Japanese aesthetics suicide donald richie Chinese New Year japanese business japanese drunk comics china book jing liu graphic novel World War Two hitlers cross kris kosaka travel literature stone bridge press memoir in japan sensei illustration Travel Chiune Sugihara larry herzberg new release center of east asian studies religion osamu tezuka asia buddhist priest buddhism japanese craft Christianity in Japan non-fiction machiya restaurant etiquette bird talk and other stories japanese bath diy mfa ritual kinokuniya event doris bargen Japanese literature gallery awa guide Anime/Manga/Comics namethetranslator american shamisen frederik green japan book review frederik schodt japanese book china What You Don’t Know, What You Need to Know— A Past & Present Guide to History, Culture, Society, Language film performance amys guide to bes tbehavior in japan four immigrants sharing a house with the never ending man alan moore kyoto foreigner in japan no longer human johnny depp japanese books Basho's Narrow Road kyodo news eli lieberman minamata memoir writing budhist swastika Korea photography zen monks wife' eastern and western philosophy do it right and be polite osaka steve alpert WWII university of chicago publishing expat in japan japanese instruments janet pocorobba suehiro maruo dazai podcast rebecca otowa Children's Books brad hawley 47 ronin luke patitsas Chinese Astrology summer vacation literature alan brill the inland sea huffpost xu xu buddhist japan book william f sibley koto Alexandra Johnson japanese travel ibpa publishing university chinese comics my year of dirt and water journal of a zen monk's wife china history japan travel etiquette catcher in the rye japanese to english fantasy literature Second World War in the woods of memory the asian review of books environmental disaster memoir, tracy franz, zen monk, buddhist behavior Culture hate publicity japan travel guide japanese history mark gibeau writing UCLA osamu dazai Japan hitler Translation japan etiquette fiction donald keene nova scotia nara Asian Studies manji wife bookseller book review lions roar buddhist symbols hiaku benjamin franklin awards memoir expert ripe mangoes Spring Festival author event japan behavior gratitude in japan jun hazuki pacific rim review of books 4k foreword indies award manga biography polite Chinese history china guide japan food giajin washington dc machiya restaurant guide learning instruments in japan travel Japan leonard koren tomoko aoyama book tour internment haiku expat year of zen zen monk wife the fourth string a memoir of sensei and me hippocampus magazine min kahng Christianity damian flanagan 47 samurai Olympics lesley university diymfa state of belief tricycle magazine haibun china vacation traditional black jack politics and prose sensei and me miswest book review astro boy 2020 Olympics China will eisner walt disney nichi bei weekly, naomi hirarahara hong kong japan today how to order in japan ancient symbol bookstore shun medoruma author tour PEN AWARD steve heller dirt and water tokyo japan ravel world literature today anne prescott Interview kansuke naka 1960's Japan takuma sminkey journal of a zen monks wife in japan the silver spoon best behavior in japan new books Language jungle emperor zen 20th century chinese literature Nikolas Bunton 2019 poetry of consciousness chinese literature book hoarding japanese translation literary review criterion simba japan manners book publicity shamisen performance learning shamisen World War II stone bridge cafe interfaith forty seven ronin japanese customs gaijin pot janet pocorbba society IBPA japan memoir eco tragedy miyazaki living in japan what do in japan learning in japan how to travel in japan hitler symbol zen monk book blurb travel manners Ukiyo-e japan vacation journal of a zen monk wanderlust holden caufield juddhism yukio mishima japanese culture diary gaijin monks wife student teacher shaimsen poet tracy franz the fourth string event visitor Spirituality AAS