日付変更線 International Date Line
My department, the Department of World Languages and Literatures at Western Michigan University, just published the inaugural issue of Transference, a journal of poetry in translation.  The inaugural issue can be downloaded as a PDF by clicking here. It includes some wonderful translations of many poets from around the world, including many Japanese poets—Fujiwara Shunzei, Takamura Kōtarō, Yamanokuchi Baku, Doi Bansui, Ishihara Yoshirō, and even Natsume Sōseki.  
We have just opened the reading period for the second issue.  The journal publishes English translations of poetry from Arabic, Chinese, French and Old French, German, Classical Greek and Latin, Japanese, and Russian.  We encourage translators to submit a short commentary on the art and process of translating along with their translations.Submissions for our second issue will be accepted through January 5, 2014. Submissions can be sent in via the Transference website.

My department, the Department of World Languages and Literatures at Western Michigan University, just published the inaugural issue of Transference, a journal of poetry in translation.  The inaugural issue can be downloaded as a PDF by clicking here. It includes some wonderful translations of many poets from around the world, including many Japanese poets—Fujiwara Shunzei, Takamura Kōtarō, Yamanokuchi Baku, Doi Bansui, Ishihara Yoshirō, and even Natsume Sōseki.  

We have just opened the reading period for the second issue.  The journal publishes English translations of poetry from Arabic, Chinese, French and Old French, German, Classical Greek and Latin, Japanese, and Russian.  We encourage translators to submit a short commentary on the art and process of translating along with their translations.

Submissions for our second issue will be accepted through January 5, 2014Submissions can be sent in via the Transference website.

Letter from Pablo Picasso to Gertrude Stein (1919)—Écrivez si le coeur vous le dit. 
Via saddest-summer

Letter from Pablo Picasso to Gertrude Stein (1919)
—Écrivez si le coeur vous le dit.

Via saddest-summer

The always beautiful literary journal Manoa, published by the University of Hawai’i, has an especially impressive and beautiful new issue centering on the theme of freedom and what that means for individuals, societies, cultures, nations, and religions.  It also contains an extract from my translation of Takahashi Mutsuo’s Twelve Views from the Distance—the entire first, unforgettable chapter of the book about a young boy dealing with his own mother’s attempts to find freedom in adversity.  Check Manoa out by clicking here.   

The always beautiful literary journal Manoa, published by the University of Hawai’i, has an especially impressive and beautiful new issue centering on the theme of freedom and what that means for individuals, societies, cultures, nations, and religions.  It also contains an extract from my translation of Takahashi Mutsuo’s Twelve Views from the Distance—the entire first, unforgettable chapter of the book about a young boy dealing with his own mother’s attempts to find freedom in adversity.  Check Manoa out by clicking here.   

Mark McHarry wrote a thoughtful, detailed review of my book Writing the Love of Boysfor the online Australian journal Intersections: Gender and Sexuality in Asia and the Pacific.  He begins, 

Edogawa Ranpo (1894–1965) and Inagaki Taruho (1900–1977) were widely read in early twentieth-century Japan. Murayama Kaita’s (1896–1919) works would prove influential among other authors. Writing the Love of Boys shows how they sought new ways to describe non-heteronormative sexuality in literature, and in so doing developed an aestheticism that would be taken up, in part, by boys’ love.[2] Of the three, and in English, Ranpo’s works may be the most anthologised, but his keen interest in male homoeroticism is not widely known, and the homoerotic writings of Kaita and Taruho perhaps less so. Jeffrey Angles situates their work in modernist Japanese literature, mainly during the Taishō (1912–1926) and pre-war Shōwa (1926–1989) periods. His book is a fascinating glimpse of male-male desire in literature at a time of cultural and political ferment in Japan, and well worth reading by anyone interested in Japanese modernism, Japanese homoeroticism, or boys’ love.

Thank you, Mark, for the review!

The Joy of Books (Filmed in Toronto)

詩人の多田智満子が自分の詩「ひぐらし」を朗読します。
This film shows the Japanese poet TADA Chimako reading her poem “Higurashi” (Evening Cicadas).

I discovered this little video that my friend took when transferring my files over to a new computer.  It comes from a visit we made to her home in Kobe in 2001, just a short time before Tada Chimako was diagnosed with the cancer that eventually killed her.  In this touching, intimate poem, which she reads almost fifty years after its first publication, I cannot help but feel that Tada is somehow foreseeing her own imminent illness and death.  With Tada’s family’s permission, I have edited this film and posted it on Youtube as a tribute to this visionary Japanese poet.

For more of Tada’s poems in English translation, see Forest of Eyes: Selected Poems of Tada Chimako, trans. Jeffrey Angles (Univ. of California Press, 1990).

PDFs of thousands of Japanese books available free online

Voyager Japan releases 4,000 Japanese eBooks on Internet Archive

Voyager Japan, Inc. in Tokyo, Japan, in conjunction with the Internet Archive in San Francisco, California, has released 4,000 Japanese ebooks in PDF format from Japan’s public domain book archive, Aozora Bunko. Aozora Bunko, or “Blue Sky Library,” advocates for the increased availability of free Japanese literature online and is known as Japan’s Project Gutenberg. The complete Aozora Bunko contains more than 10,000 public domain books and short stories.

Readers can search for books in either Japanese or English at the Internet Archive’s Open Library (http://openlibrary.org/) website, making them more accessible to students of the Japanese language. PDF ebooks can be viewed on computers, tablets, and smartphones using freely available reader software, or directly in the browser at the Open Library web site. EPUB3 files will be available in 2012. Over the next year, Voyager Japan and the Internet Archive will work to expand the total number of Aozora Bunko titles available. General information on the collection is available at the Internet Archive (http://www.archive.org/details/aozorabunko).


The titles include famous Japanese authors such as Natsume Sōseki, Mori Ōgai, Akutagawa Ryūnosuke, and Dazai Osamu, as well as one of the most famous Japanese novels, The Tale of Genji by Murasaki Shikibu. In addition, the collection includes books by Unno Jūza, the father of Japanese science fiction; writings from the writer/physicist Terada Torahiko; and western masters in translation such as Edgar Allan Poe, Charles Dickens, and Jonathan Swift.

The Internet Archive makes available a public XML catalog of all the Aozora Bunko titles using Open Publication Distribution System (OPDS: http://opds-spec.org). OPDS is an open data format that can be imported by multi-platform reading applications including Aldiko, Bluefire Reader, and Mantano, among others. The XML catalog is located at http://bit.ly/sq1cEX.

For more information, contact Peter Brantley, Director of the BookServer Project, Internet Archive, peter@archive.org.