[REVIEW] β€œAn Intellectual Exchange: A Review of πΈπ‘‘π‘œ π½π‘Žπ‘π‘Žπ‘› πΈπ‘›π‘π‘œπ‘’π‘›π‘‘π‘’π‘Ÿπ‘  π‘‘β„Žπ‘’ π‘Šπ‘œπ‘Ÿπ‘™π‘‘β€ 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 voluminousβ€”more than 1,30 pages longβ€”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 β€œhistorical fiction” in English). His signature works such as Ryōma ga yuku (Ryōma Goes…

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