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Culture A different kind of Tokyo import

Literature site invites New Yorkers to submit short bits of writing that are 'inseparably tied to a specific place.'

The Japanese word hitotoki is defined as "a single moment; one's moment; a point in time." That is, understandably, the central concept behind, a site that has devoted itself to user-contributed "short narratives describing pivotal moments of elation, confusion, absurdity, love or grief--or anything in between--inseparably tied to a specific place" in Tokyo. The site is now in the pre-launch process of creating a New York-centric version, and is calling on writers of all stripes to contribute through the end of August in anticipation of a September debut.

You can consider Hitotoki to be the more erudite, less snarky sibling of Overheard in New York, or perhaps a more introspective version of a Craigslist Missed Connection. It's also just a lovely Web site to look at: all submissions are connected to a central Google Map of Tokyo, and notable snippets from notable entries are displayed on the home page. Most importantly, the hitotoki are, for the most part, well-written and a nice, snack-sized break from the RSS feeds of long-winded bloggers.