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Posts from the ‘Literary Events’ Category

Haruki Murakami speech in Kyoto

Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami’s recent speech in Kyoto

includes an anecdote about Hayao Kawai, the late Jungian-

trained author after whom a new literary prize in Japan–with

Murakami its first recipient–has been named.

(from The Asahi Shimbun site)

Haruki Murakami: I live an ordinary life


May 13, 2013

By KAE MORISHITA/ Shukan Asahi Weekly Magazine


Reclusive novelist Haruki Murakami surprised and delighted the audience when he opened up about several topics during his recent speech at Kyoto University. Smiling and cracking jokes, the best-selling author and Nobel Prize contender was in high spirits from start to finish.

Murakami, 64, began his speech by saying, “I do not usually appear in public, but this is a special occasion, so I have emerged like a ‘kappa’ (a water goblin haunting mainly rivers). You may ask why I do not go out in public. I am a person who lives an ordinary life. I take the subway and bus to move around, and I shop at stores in my neighborhood. It would be troublesome if I was often approached on the street as a result of appearing on TV.”

Murakami told a funny anecdote about his daily life.

“Years ago, I went to renew my driver’s license. A staff member at the counter repeatedly called, ‘Haruki Murakami.’ When I went to the counter, the person asked me, ‘You have the same name as that famous novelist, don’t you?’ I answered ‘yes.’ I am like an endangered Iriomote wildcat. I beg you not to come close and touch me.”

The speech and interview, held May 6 at Kyoto University, was titled “Tamashii wo Miru, Tamashii wo Kaku” (Seeing a soul, writing a soul). The event was held to commemorate the establishment of the Kawai Hayao Monogatari-sho, Gakugei-sho (Kawai Hayao story prize and literary prize), in honor of the late psychologist Hayao Kawai.

During the event, Murakami touched on his friendship with Kawai.

“I rarely call someone ‘sensei’ (teacher), but I spontaneously called him Kawai-sensei,” Murakami said.

He also related one of Kawai’s puns: “(Kawai said that) one day the prime minister was late for a Cabinet meeting (when Kawai served as commissioner for cultural affairs). The prime minister apologized to the Cabinet ministers, saying, ‘I am sorry, I am sorry (a pun on ‘sori,’ Japanese for prime minister).’ “

“He was such a thoroughly silly man,” Murakami added.

To continue reading.








Poetry in Osaka: Nov. 17, 2012

November 13, 2012


[Below is an announcement forwarded by JIPS for their

upcoming poetry reading at Osaka University on Nov. 17, 2012.]


Japan International Poetry Society

Meeting Saturday November 17, 2012: 1:00 P.M. to 5:00 P.M.

Osaka University, Toyonaka Campus

Directions in English:

Gengo Bunka Kenkyu ka Building 7, large meeting room on the 2nd floor:

Admission: free Pre-registration unnecessary

Contact:  Trane DeVore, Osaka University

email /

Come join us for a friendly poetry reading and discussion. Open to the public.

All are welcome. Languages used will be English and Japanese.  

Information about the scheduled speakers / readers:

Yoko DANNO is the author of several books and chapbooks of English poetry published in Japan and the USA. A collaborative work, a sleeping tiger dreams of manhattan: poetry, photographs and music by Danno, James C. Hopkins & Bernard Stoltz, translated from English, will be published (Mansards, Latvia) in September, 2012. Her English translation of “Songs and Stories of the Kojiki” was published by Ahadada Books (Toronto/Tokyo, 2008).

Trane DeVORE’s work has appeared in Mirage, Crowd, First Intensity, Chain, Salt Hill, 26, The Electronic Poetry Review, Poetry Nippon, and many other venues. He has published two books of poetry  “series/mnemonic” (1999) and “Dust Habit” (2005)  both with Avec Books. He currently lives in Osaka and teaches at Osaka University.

Loren GOODMAN is Associate Professor of Creative Writing and English Literature at Yonsei University/Underwood International College in Seoul, South Korea and Pacific Correspondent for The Best American Poetry Web Blog. He won a Yale Series of Younger Poets Award, selected by W. S. Merwin, for his poetry book “Famous Americans,” and is also the author of the poetry chapbooks “Suppository Writing” and “New Products.”

Jane JORITZ-NAKAGAWA is the author of seven volumes of poetry, most recently “Invisible City” (White Sky Ebooks, USA). Other 2012 publications include two chapbooks with quarter after press (USA), “flux of measure” and “season of flux,” and a poetry broadside, “blank notes,” with Country Valley Press (USA). She currently divides her time between Shizuoka and Nagano prefectures.

Kiyoko OGAWA is a poet, translator and essayist, writing monthly essays on world literature for “Saku.” She has published five English and three Japanese books of poetry, as well as an academic monograph on T.S.Eliot. Her work has been included in anthologies and journals such as “other side river,” “Sunrise from Blue Thunder,” “Prairie Schooner,” and others.

Eric SELLAND’s new poetry chapbook is “Still Lifes.” Translations of poems by Takagai Hiroya and Sekiguchi Ryoko appear in the current issue of “Big Bridge,” and his translation of Wago Ryoichi will appear in a forthcoming issue of “ElevenEleven.”

Goro TAKANO was born in the city of Hiroshima, and is assistant professor in the Faculty of Medicine at Saga University, where he teaches English and Japanese literature. He obtained his M.A. from the University of Tokyo (American Literature), and his Ph.D. from the University of Hawaii at Manoa (English/Creative Writing). His first novel, “With One More Step Ahead,” was published in by BlazeVOX (USA) in 2009.

Atsusuke TANAKA works as a high school mathematics teacher in his hometown, Kyoto. In 1991, the prominent poet Makoto Oka identified him in the journal “Yuriika” as a major poetic voice of his generation. Tanaka has published seven volumes of poetry in Japanese, including an ongoing experimental series of poems called “The Wasteless Land” which draws inspiration and quotes from a wide array of sources ranging from pop music to classical Western and Japanese literature.

for 2013 events, please contact Jane Joritz-Nakagawa: janenakagawa at yahoo dot com

Hiyoshi Poetry Festival Nov. 8, Keio University

November 5, 2012

1350606208 211x300 Hiyoshi Poetry Festival Nov. 8, Keio University

The Sixth Annual Hiyoshi Poetry Festival, held at Keio University’s

Hiyoshi campus, is upcoming on November 8. Featured poet-readers

include’s this year’s Poetry Kanto contributor Takako Arai, a

wonderful poet, along with acclaimed poets Nomura Kiwao and

Tanaka Yosuke, and award-winning American translator and 

Poetry Kanto contributor Jeffrey Angles.

For schedule details and further information, click here.

Japan Writers Conference 2012, Kyoto

November 4, 2012


[This year's Japan Writers Conference is scheduled for November

10 and 11, 2012 at Doshisha Women's University in Kyoto, Japan.

Information below, from the JWC website.]

The 6th Annual Japan Writers Conference, 2012

The Sixth Annual Japan Writers Conference will be in Kyoto this year at the Iwadegawa campus of Doshisha Women’s University.

See the Doshisha Women’s University homepage here.

This is the second time we’ve been there and it is a beautiful place. The dates are November 10 and 11, 2012.

As always, there will be a lot to learn, a lot to talk about, and a lot to take home. Do you wonder what can Facebook and other social media can do for your writing career? Two presentations will look at this issue, along with another on getting a film option for your novel. There will be  presentations on writing for children and young adults, along with a SCBWI gathering. Writing about the military, about Japan, sessions on traditional Japanese form and genre, editing, translation, and two publishing markets actively seeking your work are all part of the program, too. Presenters and participants will come from all over Japan, as well as from Canada, Australia, and Hong Kong. As in the past, this will be this will be a full and lively weekend.

For full details, click here.

Jane Hirshfield Japan visit: Feb. 24, 25 readings

2011 Feb.24


Jane Hirshfield Poetry Reading

Date : Thursday, February 24, 2011. 15:00~17:00

Place: Dokkyo University


1. Lecture 15:00~15:40 ’What I found in Basho’

2. Poetry Reading 15:50~16:30

Poetry Reading (including bilingual reading by students)

3. Welcome party 16:30~17:00

Date: Friday, February 25, 2011

Place: Niigata City Hall, reading, Niigata, Japan


Jeffrey Angles, Yosuke Tanaka & Emiko Miyashita reading Feb. 13

2011 Feb.13

Translator, poet, and visiting professor at Tokyo University is giving a talk/poetry reading with the poet Yosuke Tanaka and Emiko Miyashita about translation and contemporary poetry on 2/13 (Sun)


田中庸介(詩人)、ジェフリー・アングルス( 翻訳家)、宮下惠美子(翻訳家)による朗読とトークショーを開催いたします。ぜひご参加ください。
2/13(日) 13:30 開場 14:00 開演
会費 2000円
後援 思潮社

TEL 03-3390-1155




新井高子訳詩集『Soul Dance』(ミて・プレス、2008)
伊藤比呂美訳詩集『Killing Kanoko』(アクション・ブックス、2009)など
多田智満子訳詩集『Forest of Eyes』(カリフォルニア大学出版部、2010)で2009年度ドナルド・キーン翻訳賞受賞。



Welcome to Poetry Kanto.

pksticky 300x138 Welcome to Poetry Kanto.


POETRY KANTO is a venue for introducing to readers in Japan and elsewhere exciting contemporary poetry in English, as well as introducing to readers overseas contemporary and 20th century Japanese poetry in English translation.