Writers In Kyoto

English-language authors in Japan’s old imperial capital

Category: Featured Writers (page 1 of 8)

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

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

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

Basho’s blossom kimono

Blessings Unto Kasane: Basho’s Haibun and Tanka of Hope to a Newborn Girl Translation and commentary by Jeff Robbins Assisted by Sakata Shoko                (Basho’s own words in bold to stand out) Illustration by Ogura Reiko (Photos by J. Dougill) In Summer of 1689 Basho and Sora, on their journey to the Deep North, …Read More

Edith Shiffert, RIP

(John Dougill writes…)  News comes of the passing away of Edith Shiffert (1916-2017), long time resident poet and a revered figure for those of us who belong to Writers in Kyoto.  Other English-language authors lived in Kyoto before her, but for the postwar generation and those who followed in their footsteps, Edith was a groundbreaking …Read More

Cats and Dogs in Basho

         CATS AND DOGS IN BASHO Selection, Translation and Commentary by Jeff Robbins Words of Basho in this font, bold     Last January David Duff posted his loving discussion of cats on this site which included no poetry about our feline friends. Here, to complement David’s article, are five Basho haiku and six renku links about cats, …Read More

5 Competition entries, 2016

This years WiK Competition closes in just over a week on March 1, and with time running out for entries we look back on some of the best runners-up from our previous competition in 2016.  Our thanks to all those who submitted, and we hope that their ideas will stimulate new submissions in these closing …Read More

Older posts

© 2017 Writers In Kyoto

Based on a theme by Anders NorenUp ↑