[A POETIC MOMENT] NIGHT TALK

Night Talk James Au Re-think the words I said a thousand times – Expel the love of what’s unreal to you – My passion, too, has been for ages tried – I sob in stealth; my moon is blue. You told me you were fetishized by sounds. Voice actors, vocaloids, idols, or actors – whoever... Continue Reading →

[A POETIC MOMENT] I HAD A DREAM ONE NIGHT

I Had A Dream One Night James Au I had a dream one night, in which I danced and sang with you behind a mask. Of white. Attached hard. I wish you’d take it off. But no, and thus you said, and with your heart that had at once my wishes barred. The moon was... Continue Reading →

[A POETIC MOMENT] RECURRENCE

Recurrence James Au You say hello to a stranger you don’t know. We begin with what we feel so awkward to begin. I say I ruin my spareribs. You laugh with your emojis. You send a picture of a male rabbit, whose eyes are bright, sharp and rigid. I put aside my phone and play... Continue Reading →

[REVIEW] “STILL THE NIGHT CALL” BY JAMES AU

Joshua Senter, Still the Night Call. Roubidoux Press, 2021. ISBN: 978-1-7375856-0-2 (Paperback) 186 pgs. Review by James Au   Today the world has been battered by a few unprecedented crises: The wave of coronavirus infection is coming one after another; Ukraine war is sparking fear for the third world war; the shortfall of energy and... Continue Reading →

LEARNING LANGUAGES VIA edX

By Ma I am not sure if any of our readers have taken any online courses for a certificate, especially in the times of pandemic. I came across edX, an American massive open online course provider created by Harvard and MIT. So far, three sorts of language courses have been offered for potential learners to... Continue Reading →

[REVIEW] “An Intellectual Exchange: A Review of 𝐸𝑑𝑜 𝐽𝑎𝑝𝑎𝑛 𝐸𝑛𝑐𝑜𝑢𝑛𝑡𝑒𝑟𝑠 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑊𝑜𝑟𝑙𝑑” by James Kin Pong Au

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Donald Keene and Shiba Ryōtarō (authors), Tony Gonzalez (translator), Edo Japan Encounters the World: Conversations Between Donald Keene and Shiba Ryotaro, Japan Library, 2018. 137 pgs.

I remember when I was pursuing a Master’s in Japanese literature in London, my teacher in the first modern Japanese literature class asked us to refer from time to time to Donald Keene’s voluminous—more than 1,30 pages long—Dawn to the West: Japanese Literature of the Modern Era: Fiction (1984). I was rather perplexed back then, because the size of the book was almost comparable to that of a dictionary. Now as a junior researcher, I consult it whenever I encounter an unfamiliar Japanese literary figure or work.

Shiba Ryōtarō (1923-1996)

Shiba Ryōtarō, on the other hand, is a novelist renowned for his rekishi shōsetsu (roughly translated as “historical fiction” in English). His signature works such as Ryōma ga yuku (Ryōma Goes…

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