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Ishiguro “Very Touched” by Japanese Reaction to Nobel Win (News)

London, Dec. 6 (Jiji Press)—Japanese-born British author Kazuo Ishiguro, the winner of the 2017 Nobel Prize in Literature, said Wednesday he has been happy to know that people in Japan congratulated him on getting the honor. Kazuo Ishiguro talks to the press in Stockholm on December 6, 2017, a few days before the Nobel Prize award ceremony. (© Jiji) "I've been very touched...by the emotion …

The Importance of Being Mishima YukioDamian Flanagan

On November 25, 1970, the celebrated author Mishima Yukio shocked Japan with his ritual suicide. Damian Flanagan argues that his death went beyond a nationalistic call to arms or the final act of a madman, carrying real literary significance and shedding light on Mishima’s final artistic aims.

Sōseki vs. Shakespeare: Two Giants of World LiteratureDamian Flanagan

Born 150 years ago, Natsume Sōseki was Japan’s first great modern writer. For much of his writing career, though, he had his eyes on another literary titan—William Shakespeare. The critic Damian Flanagan examines how this Japanese challenger took on the British champ.

Japanese-Born British Author Ishiguro Wins Nobel Prize in Literature (News)

London, Oct. 5 (Jiji Press)—The Swedish Academy said Thursday that it has decided to award the Nobel Prize in Literature for 2017 to Japanese-born British author Kazuo Ishiguro. Kazuo Ishiguro speaking in Tokyo in June 2015. (©Jiji) The academy said that Ishiguro, 62, is an author "who, in novels of great emotional force, has uncovered the abyss beneath our illusory sense of connection with…

The “Yōkai” Art of the Master

Toriyama Sekien was an influential Edo-period artist who taught some of the giants of the ukiyo-e world. Today he is best known for his collections of yōkai illustrations, which he released in four books in 1776–84 as a form of mass-produced popular literature. We spoke with the translators who have made his work available to Spanish and English readers about the artist and the impact he continues to have to this day.

Bridging the Gap to Early Japanese Literature: Translator Peter MacMillanRichard Medhurst

If you had to pick one book to introduce Japanese culture, what would you choose? For the translator and poet Peter MacMillan, it would be the thirteenth-century anthology Hyakunin isshu, which he rendered in English as One Hundred Poets, One Poem Each. “These hundred short poems tell us almost everything we need to know about the Japanese,” he said in a talk at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club …

Noted Japanese Poet Ōoka Dies at 86 (News)

Tokyo, April 5 (Jiji Press)—Noted Japanese poet Ōoka Makoto died of respiratory failure at a hospital in Mishima, Shizuoka Prefecture, on Wednesday. He was 86. Ōoka started his career as a poet while he was a University of Tokyo student. He published his first poetry book in 1956, when he was working as a staff writer at the major Japanese daily Yomiuri Shimbun. The book won him a lot of acc…

Researchers Back Record of Red Aurora in Thirteenth-Century Kyoto (News)

Tokyo, April 4 (Jiji Press)—To see an aurora is almost impossible in Kyoto in the present day, but it was possible in the low-latitude Japanese city in the early thirteenth century, as recorded by poet Fujiwara no Sadaie (1162–1241), according to a recent study by a Japanese research team. In his diary titled Meigetsuki (Record of the Brilliant Moon), the poet, also known as Teika, wrote that h…

“Killing Commendatore”: A First Look at Murakami Haruki’s Latest NovelRichard Medhurst

Murakami Haruki’s new novel Kishidanchō goroshi (Killing Commendatore) was released in Japan on February 24, 2017. There have been no announcements about when an English translation will see the light of day, but fans will probably have to be patient. 1Q84 came out in English a year and a half after the 2010 publication of the third volume in Japanese. There was also over a year between the Japane…

Murakami Haruki’s New Novel Released in Japan (News)

Tokyo, Feb. 24 (Jiji Press)—Japanese novelist Murakami Haruki's new two-volume novel, Kishidanchō goroshi (Killing Commendatore) hit bookstore shelves in Japan on Friday. The new Murakami Haruki novel Kishidanchō goroshi, (Killing Commendatore) at a Tsutaya store in Daikanyama, Shibuya, Tokyo, on February 24, 2017. (© Jiji) Ardent Murakami fans, often called Harukists, lined up at bookstore…

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