Writers In Kyoto

English-language authors in Japan’s old imperial capital

Author: Writers in Kyoto (page 1 of 14)

Another Kyoto book review

‘Another Kyoto’: Alex Kerr’s roving thoughts on Kyoto as it stands today by Stephen Mansfield.  Special To The Japan Times. May 20, 2017.  It appears that when the Japanologist Alex Kerr was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford, his tutors despaired at his unorthodox use of his time there, with one particularly testy don complaining, “He …Read More

Dinner with Norman Waddell

NORMAN WADDELL born in Washington, D.C. in 1940, was attracted to Japan by the works of the legendary D.T. Suzuki and his protégée R. H. Blyth, taught at Otani University for over thirty years, and was editor of the Eastern Buddhist Journal for several decades. He has published more than a dozen books on Japanese Zen …Read More

To-ji (Snyder)

This Sunday is May 21st, which means that the popular flea market known as Kobo-san will be held at To-ji.  It’s a busy bustling and packed affair, quite different from the To-ji which Gary Snyder depicts in his poem below.  In a 2011 visit to Japan, at the age of 82, he recalled the Kyoto …Read More

Yagyu Kaido (Edward J. Taylor)

Hikers on the Yagyu Kaido trail can rest and recharge at the Toge Chaya tea house (above), which dates from the Edo period and has, on its walls, swords and rifles of samurai who left their weapons behind to pay their bill.  PHOTO: EDWARD J. TAYLOR The 17km Yagyu Kaido, one of Kansai’s best hikes, …Read More

Japan Writers Conference (Oct 8-9)

The Conference this year will be Sunday and Monday, October 8 & 9 at the Ekoda campus of Nihon University College of Art in Tokyo.  Proposals for presentations by June 1, with guidelines available here: http://www.japanwritersconference.org/call-for-papers.html

Antiquarian Book Fair

Kyoto has three annual book fairs of interest to expatriates, for amongst the Japanese selections are a number of English books going relatively cheap, including art books and ukiyo-e prints. The spring fair is coming up next week at the Miyako Messe in Okazaki, the summer fair is at Shimogamo in August, the autumn fair …Read More

Of Poetry and Pottery (Robert Yellin)

Robert Yellin yesterday launched the third year of WiK with a wonderful talk at The Gael, which was inspired and inspiring in the passion for pottery which infused his every word. Now recognised as a world expert on the subject, Robert is in demand as a speaker at museums and galleries abroad as well as …Read More

Hearn on silhouettes

On this day, over a hundred years ago, Lafcadio Hearn wrote a journal entry in Kyoto that found its way into the collection of essays in his book Kokoro (1896).  Here, long before Kawabata wrote his well-known thesis In Praise of Shadows, Hearn describes evocatively the attraction of silhouettes on shoji (paper screens) and the …Read More

WiK Competition 2017 Winner

The Joys of Silence and Bewilderment by Jane Kramer, California Yesterday I went with our Japanese obaachan, aged 87, for a massage. I didn’t know for sure if we were really going because my Japanese is primitive. But at 8:15 she emerged from her machiya [traditional wooden house] carrying a bag with polka dot material. …Read More

WiK Competition 2017 Runner-up (Leow)

Yamaguchi-san by Florentyna Leow, Malaysian student in Kyoto That’s a nice haori you’re wearing. Are you on an errand now? Taking photos? Come in. I’ll make you some matcha. I’m all alone anyway. Well, come on in. Sit here. I’m 104 years old, you know. 104. The doctor paid me a visit, right before you passed …Read More

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