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Japan Society Book Club: Heaven’s Wind by Angus Turvill

9 April 2018 — 7:00 pm

Monday 9 April 2018 7.00pm

The Japan Society
13 / 14 Cornwall Terrace
London NW1 4QP

Free for Japan Society Members
Book online here

Heaven’s Wind is published by the Japan Society and is available for sale here.

Heaven’s Wind is a collection of short stories by five of Japan’s leading contemporary authors: Kuniko Mukoda – The Otter; Natsuko Kuroda – Ball, Kaori Ekuni – Summer Blanket; Mitsuyo Kakuta – The Child over There; and Aoko Matsuda – Planting. These writers were born over five decades, from 1929 to 1979, and all of them happen to be women. The pieces themselves were written between 1963 and 2012. The fictional worlds they portray are set against pre-war to present-day backdrops, including towns, suburbs, the countryside and the coast. They engage with themes of childhood and child loss, work and society, marriage and isolation, deceit, illness and disaster. The stories are presented in Japanese and English translation, in a parallel-text format.

The book club is held every month. There is no restriction on the nationality of the authors read, but books should be available in translation in both Japanese and English. The discussion is conducted mainly in English, but you can choose the language in which you read the book. The intention is simple: to explore the themes of the book, express personal opinions on the style and content, discuss how the book has changed (or not) in translation and to have a relaxed discussion with others who have similar interests.

Kuniko Mukoda was born in Tokyo in 1929. Besides her literary output, she was a leading scriptwriter of television and radio dramas. She has one collection of stories available in English: The Name of the Flower. The Otter is one of three stories for which she was awarded the Naoki Prize in 1980. She was killed in an air crash in Taiwan in 1981.

Natsuko Kuroda was born in Tokyo in 1937. She won the Akutagawa Prize in 2013 for ab Sango. Since then work translated into English includes an extract from ab Sango (Words without Borders) and The Voice on the Road (Two Lines Journal). Before 2013 she had spent much of her career as a proof reader, but has always been an active writer. Ball won the Yomiuri Newspaper Short Story Prize in 1963.

Kaori Ekuni was born in Tokyo in 1964. Awards include the 2004 Naoki Prize. Works published in English include the novels Twinkle Twinkle and God’s Boat. Summer Blanket is from her Shugoro Yamamoto Prize-winning 2002 collection Oyogu no ni anzen demo tekisetsu demo arimasen (Not Safe or Suitable for Swimming).

Mitsuyo Kakuta was born in Kanagawa Prefecture in 1967. Awards include the 2005 Naoki Prize. A number of her works have been adapted for television and cinema. Works available in English include The Eighth Day and Woman on the Other Shore. The Child Over There is from a collection of the same name that won the Izumi Kyoka Prize in 2012.

Aoko Matsuda was born in Hyogo Prefecture in 1979. Besides writing her own fiction and essays, she is a translator of contemporary English language literature. The first individual publication of her own work in translation – The Girl who is Getting Married – was launched in 2017. Planting was first published in Japanese and English in aid of 2011 tsunami relief.

Angus Turvill is an award-winning translator of Japanese. His other translations include the work of anti-militarist Hisashi Inoue, Akutagawa Prize winner Masatsugu Ono and decluttering guru Nagisa Tatsumi. He teaches Japanese translation at Durham University.

To reserve your place, please call the Japan Society office on 020 3075 1996 or email events@japansociety.org.uk or submit the online booking form.



9 April 2018
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
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    The Japan Society
    13/14 Cornwall Terrace
    London NW1 4QP