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, 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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