Ayatsuji Yukito Hon no Mushi Interview Part 2: The Future of Publication and the Charm of Mystery

The second part of an interview with Japanese mystery novelist Ayatsuji Yukito, on the future of publication in Japan and the charm of the mystery genre. Ayatsuji is 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. Please go to part one “The Roots of Ayatsuji Mysteries” to read the interview from the beginning.

Books continue to have that much charm.

I was told [the focus] is shifting away from reading literature now.
Jukkakukan no Satsujin (The Decagon House Murders)
Jukkakukan no Satsujin (The Decagon House Murders)

It can’t be helped. Alternatives such as games and internet are flourishing; it is inevitable that the amount of readers decrease. You won’t enjoy books if you don’t actively approach it, so it’s disadvantaged too in that sense. But on the other hand “reading addicts” also exist. Books continue to have that much charm. In a broad sense the culture of the printed word won’t ever fade, and novels won’t waste away. That’s how I view it optimistically.

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Miura Shion Interview Part 5: The Meaning of “Creating a Dictionary”

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. The interview consists of eleven parts; this is the fifth part on the creation and revision of dictionaries. Please go to part one “Encountering a Dictionary” to start reading the interview from the beginning.

The Meaning of “Creating a Dictionary”

Many people’s thoughts and views enter [the dictionary’s] production process, and it is completed in a series of silent discussions so to speak. We polish it repeatedly, like top-quality brewed sake, it truly is a work of… polishing.

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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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