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Hi, thank you for being here.


I’m Hà Dương Thư Hương, usually written as Thu-Huong Ha, usually called Thu. I'm a journalist, critic, essayist, and fiction writer based in Tokyo.


Currently I'm the culture critic for The Japan Times, where I write about contemporary art and books, with a special fondness for experiential art, big sculptures, and fiction in which the characters are confused about how to be human. I also write about design, language, and mental health.

Previously I was the books reporter for Quartz and context editor at TED. I also cofounded TEDxNewYork and was the executive producer of its first two flagship events. My debut novel, Hail Caesar, was published in 2007 by Scholastic/PUSH and was named an NYPL Book for the Teen Age.


My freelance work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Wired, The BelieverArtReview, Slate, and Catapult, among others.


In 2021 I was the grateful recipient of a Blakemore Freeman Fellowship for the study of advanced Japanese. Previously I was an Atlantic Media Fellow and a Fulbright grantee in Turkey. I have a bachelor's in English literature from Princeton University.

In 2022 I started a newsletter called the weekly grief, about weather, movement, and some other things that are hard to hold. It continues into 2024 and is still, confusingly, not sent weekly.

Personal pleasures include fruit, seasons, and mountains, and also laughing and learning. Strengths include episodic memory and comic timing. Weaknesses include team sports and web design.


The homepage photo was taken by Andrea Jung-An Liu on a very hot morning in Niigata. The work is "Birth of Stars" by Naoki Funakoshi.

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