Ayatsuji Yukito Hon no Mushi Interview Part 1: The Roots of Ayatsuji Mysteries

The first part of an interview with Japanese mystery novelist Ayatsuji Yukito, well-known for his debut novel The Decagon House Murders and Another, which received an anime adaptation in 2012. The interview was originally conducted in 1999, and published as a preface interview in a special issue of the magazine Hon no Mushi.

Ayatsuji Yukito: “A glimpse of the roots of Orthodox Mystery”

Ayatsuji Yukito
Ayatsuji Yukito

Mr. Ayatsuji has been busy as of late. He announced the long-awaited new book “Don don hashi, ochita”. He also made an appearance on television as the original author of mystery dramas, delighting us fans.

Twelve years have passed since his debuting novel “The Decagon House Murders“. This time we probed the roots of the Ayatsuji mysteries, and inquired about his reading experiences in his childhood.

Did you often read books when you were a child?

I suppose I read about as much as the average person until my third year in primary school. We were of the “manga generation”; as a kid I read a lot of manga, but …not so much when it came to text-only novels. I wasn’t an active reader even if I was assigned to do a book report.

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Miura Shion Interview Part 4: The Difficulties of Expressing in Words

Miura Shion is the original author of Fune wo Amu (2011) otherwise also known as The Great Passage. The anime adaptation started airing from October 16 on Fuji Television’s noitaminA block. For this reason I decided to translate an interview with the author over the course of the next couple of months while the anime is airing. The interview consists of eleven parts; this is the fourth part on the difficulties of interpretation and expression of words. Please go to part one “Encountering a Dictionary” to start reading the interview from the beginning.

Fune wo Amu
Majime is at a loss for words.

The Difficulties of Expressing in Words

Even if there is a word called “やさしい” (yasashii)1)kind, tender, gentle, graceful, affectionate, amiable, there’s a gradation in a position which approximates to pointing out the type of circumstances. You could say it’s vague. It is definitely very difficult to explain that.

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Notes   [ + ]

1. kind, tender, gentle, graceful, affectionate, amiable

The Red Turtle Interview with Michael Dudok de Wit: “Loneliness Will Drive You Crazy”

This interview with The Red Turtle director Michael Dudok de Wit was originally published on July, 2016 in the NRC. If you can read Dutch, please head over to NRC.nl to read the interview in its original language. In addition I also highly recommend watching the documentary “Het verlangen van Michael Dudok de Wit“.

‘Loneliness Will Drive You Crazy’

Michael Dudok de Wit’s film ‘The Red Turtle’ for the Japanese animation studio Ghibli was to Cannes’ liking.

The Red Turtle
The Red Turtle by Dutch director Michael Dudok de Wit: “I did not draw along on purpose, I would have slowed down the process.”

July 6, 2016: Why did that enormous red turtle repeatedly destroy the raft that the castaway wanted to use to escape from his tropical island? An island with fresh water, bamboo, fruits and clams, but without any company?

“The man who inspired Robinson Crusoe had suffered greatly. Loneliness will literally drive people crazy,” the 52 year old Dutch animator Michael Dudok de Wit said on the roof terrace of Club Silencio in Cannes. Just now, his first long animation film The Red Turtle was praised, even welcomed with applause by the film press, and won a special jury award.

Surely he kept a turtle as a little boy? Indeed, he smiled. “A beautiful type of loneliness lurks inside a turtle. She shuffles onto the beach on her own, lays eggs and once again disappears in the sea. God knows where she goes. It’s not a social animal, but the swim movements appear very human-like. I don’t want to be too philosophical about it, it’s more of a feeling. The turtle doesn’t let the man return to civilization, but I believe the nature is also our home. I hope that you as the viewer also experiences the same.”

Anyone who sees The Red Turtle understands why the famous Japanese animation studio Ghibli approached Michael Dudok de Wit to direct their first non-Japanese feature film. A gentle, sensitive man. “He hovers a little above the ground,” a colleague said in a documentary that the VPRO broadcast yesterday evening. Ghibli admired his Oscar-winning short film Father and Daughter, and he admired Ghibli. Particularly the work of the 75 year old maestro Hayao Miyazaki.

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Miura Shion Interview Part 3: Karma and Romance Swirl in the World of Dictionaries

Miura Shion is the writer of Fune wo Amu (2011) otherwise also known as The Great Passage. The anime adaptation recently started airing on Fuji Television’s noitaminA block. For this reason I decided to translate an interview with the author over the course of the next couple of months while the anime is airing. The interview consists of eleven parts; this is the third part on karma in the dictionary world. Please go to part one “Encountering a Dictionary” to start reading the interview from the beginning.

Editor-in-chief Araki shows Majime into the reference room.
Editor-in-chief Araki shows Majime into the reference room.

Karma and Romance Swirl in the World of Dictionaries

The journey to reach that place is far. Moreover, the so-called feeling that there are countless of routes, manifests into the existence of plenty dictionaries in this world.

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The Red Turtle Director: “It Had to Be an Auteur Film”

I created Story Unlocker with an intention of translating Japanese interviews with Japanese creators, but I want to make an exception for the director of The Red Turtle, Michael Dudok de Wit. This Dutch news article was originally published at NRC.nl on May 11, 2016. The article provides an insight on the role of Studio Ghibli in the production process.

It’s a rare opportunity for me to translate from my native language on this site. This news article is quite short, so please consider it as a “preview” to a translation of a longer interview which will be posted later this month. Of course, if you can read Dutch, please head over to NRC.nl to read the news article in its original language. I also highly recommend watching the documentary “Het verlangen van Michael Dudok de Wit“.

Dutchman debuts in Cannes with an animation film

Michael Dudok de Wit comes to Cannes, which starts tonight, with his animation film ‘The Red Turtle’.

The Red Turtle
In Michael Dudok de Wit’s Japanese-French animation film ‘The Red Turtle’ a stranded man on an uninhabited island attempts to return to civilization.

May 11, 2016: How he started working for the legendary animation studio Ghibli? It all began with a somewhat complimentary letter in 2006, Dutch animator Michael Dudok de Wit remembers. He shook the hands of maestros Isao Takahata (80) and Hayao Miyazaki (75) once. Now they asked if he wanted to make a feature film with Ghibli. “I asked: why me? Who else did you ask? But they wanted me.”Continue reading“The Red Turtle Director: “It Had to Be an Auteur Film””