A Look into Yanagi Kouji’s Workspace

Two months ago I posted an interview with Yanagi Kouji on the Joker Game novel series. It goes deeper into the series’ latest installment “Last Waltz”. This post features a short interview on one of his stand-alone novels “Knight & Shadow”. However, it’s actually more about his lifestyle and cats… err, workspace.

Yanagi Kouji’s international strategy novel “Knight & Shadow” depicts the theme ‘first class man’

Yanagi Kouji and one of his cats
Yanagi Kouji and one of his cats

The paperback edition of Yanagi Kouji’s “Knight & Shadow” went on sale the other day. We conducted this interview around the time of the hardcover edition release (July 2014).

“My hobby is moving residences,” Yanagi Kouji-san said. His current house is the sixth one since his debut thirteen years ago. “I only work at home, so when I reach a dead end, I move houses and refresh my mood.”

He loves reading so much that he says: “I cannot live without reading books. If there are books at my workplace, I read them against my better judgment and end up not doing my work.” Because of this he puts all of his books in an archive, with the exception of books for reference. His book collection is a careful selection of approximately 3,000 books of which Yanagi says he “repeatedly reads in particular”. That point “books which may be read any number of times” is certainly also an aim for him as a writer.

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Miura Shion Interview Part 2: Comparing Dictionaries

Miura Shion is the writer of Fune wo Amu (2011) otherwise also known as The Great Passage. Starting from October 14, an anime adaptation will be broadcast on the 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 second part on comparing dictionaries. Please go to the previous post “Encountering a Dictionary” to start reading the interview from the beginning.

Comparing Dictionaries
A still from Fune wo Amu (The Great Passage) film (2013) directed by Ishii Yuya.

Comparing Dictionaries

I released myself from rigidly perceiving words and having thought patterns like “There definitely has to be an answer. There must be a right answer”. In a good way I got over it myself too and became more at ease.

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Hatsuno Sei x Ooya Hiroko Dialogue Part 3: What’s next for HaruChika?

What's next for HaruChika?
What’s next for HaruChika?

This is the third and last part of the dialogue between HaruChika author Hatsuno Sei and book reviewer Ooya Hiroko. The author talks about the use of social minorities in his works and the next developments in HaruChika. Translated from the article at honto.jp on March 30, 2016.

Longing for an utopia filled with heavy themes

Ooya: HaruChika is a humor mystery which can make you laugh out loud, however, it continues to handle heavy themes such as illness, the elderly and disabilities quite a lot.

Hatsuno: It doesn’t mean they’re “pitiful” just because of that. I hate looking down on them and being satisfied with the status quo. So I write them without that kind of impression. In “Frequency: 77.4 MHz” (included in First Love Sommelier), didn’t the elderly men and women seem like they were having fun? Those people live doing as they please, and don’t involve young people with suspicious philosophical views. Instead of that, they take a philosophic views that make you laugh.

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Yuri!!! On ICE Opening Theme Goes International

Victor Nikiforov in competition
Victor Nikiforov in competition

This shouldn’t come as a surprise, but the commentary on the Yuri!!! on ICE opening reveals that the song was written with international audience in mind. The choice for the opening theme artist is also interesting as Dean Fujioka broadened his horizons outside Japan. Fujioka studied in Seattle (USA) and gained fame as a model and actor in Taiwan and Hong Kong. Currently, he works in Japan and lives in Indonesia with his family. In addition, the production of the opening theme also involved an Indonesian DJ.

Read Dean Fujioka’s commentary below, along with those of the storyboarder and the director.

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Miura Shion Interview Part 1: Encountering a Dictionary

Sanseidou published an interview with Miura Shion in 2013. Miura Shion is the original author of Fune wo Amu (2011) otherwise known as The Great Passage. Its movie adaptation (2013) went on to be selected as Japan’s submission for the “Best Foreign Language Film” at the 86th Academy Awards. Starting from October 14, an anime adaptation will be broadcast on the noitaminA block. This interview consists of eleven parts. As such, I will translate the interview in eleven posts over the course of the next couple of months while the anime airs.

Miura Shion “The World of Dictionaries” Interview

The anime "Fune wo Amu" (The Great Passage) is based on a bestselling novel by Miura Shion.
The anime “Fune wo Amu” (The Great Passage) is based on a bestselling novel by Miura Shion.

Encountering a Dictionary

It was heavy, full of words, and wildly different from the dictionaries I had used up until that point. I thought, “I became a grown-up!”. The sensation of doing things such as turning over the pages was also amazing.

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