Echoes: Writers in Kyoto Anthology 2017
John Dougill, Amy Chavez, Alex Kerr, Mark Richardson
Kyoto holds a special place in heart of many a traveler to Japan.
I will admit that for years I preferred Nara, and even today choose the older capital when I can't face the crowds of the more popular neighbor to the north. However a few years ago I began to visit Kyoto again for work and was taken aback in a different way than during my original visits over a decade ago. It felt like art. It smelt like history. It tasted much less saucy than the takoyaki and okonomiyaki sold in the streets of Osaka.
Kyoto became quickly an important part of my life. It was a balance against the honest plainness that I found in my daily life in Osaka and Hyogo. It was a bit more polished and proud than my weekend visits to Nara. In Kyoto I could dream that I was a part of the art scene. I could walk the rivers and peek inside the stores and restaurants and feel like I was part of the scene. Not a big part, but maybe some part. Kyoto was my geisha mistress who made me feel alive.
That is my Kyoto story. What's yours?
In Echoes over 20 authors with connections to Kyoto present short works of poetry, fiction, and various examinations of pottery, journalism, and Hearn.
The level of writing ranges from interesting and enjoyable all the way to important and useful.
Karen Lee Tawarayama and Isil Bayraktar both present sweet tales of very different love, one for a son and the other for a lover lost too soon.
Dougill's look at Lafcadio Hearn brought me back to my visit to the Hearn museum in Matsue, and for anyone unable to make it to the out of the way castle town, Hearn, Myself and Japan offers a museum's worth of tidbits and information about one of the first japanophiles.
And Alex Kerr's introduction to three old old Kyoto hands is marvelous and makes this a must for any fan of the famous Japan expert.
So, this is a good opportunity to read through writers, some new and others widely experience, and hear numerous stories of Kyoto, and Japan, and art, pottery, poetry, and love.
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