Edmund de Waal’s best-selling family memoir The Hare with the Amber Eyes has proved an inspiration to ex-Leo Baeck College principal Rabbi Jonathan Magonet in more ways than one.
After he retired, Rabbi Magonet decided to learn a new language and chose Japanese, which led him to go to Japan to teach theology at a university for three terms.
De Waal’s bestseller takes its name from one of the collection of Japanese miniature figures — netsuke — which he inherited from his family.
When he read the book, Rabbi Magonet started collecting the miniature figurines himself. And now he has brought out a collection of short stories, Netsuke Nation: Tales from Another Japan, which is available as an ebook.