By Jasper Sharp.
If it weren’t for Donald Richie’s and Joseph L. Anderson’s invaluable The Japanese Film: Art and Industry (1959), the first book-length study on the subject in the English language, or Richie’s monographs The Films of Akira Kurosawa (1965) and Ozu: His Life and Films (1974), one wonders what the state of overseas appreciation or understanding about Japanese cinema might be. Curiously, Richie never regarded himself a film critic, but in more general terms as a writer, and more specifically a commentator and chronicler of the country that was his home for over 60 years until his death, aged 88, four years ago on 19th February 2013.
Over the decades, Richie held court over such diverse topics as Japan’s history, literature, food, fashions, fads and phallic iconography. However, never one to play down his own presence in these mediations between East and West, some of his finest writing was on subjects with which he had a more personal acquaintance, such as Public People, Private People: Portraits of Some Japanese (1996) – the lyrical collection of character sketches of ranging from the esteemed novelists Yasunari Kawabata and Yukio Mishima, through movie icons like Toshiro Mifune and Zatoichi-star Shintaro Katsu, to the notorious pre-war femme castratrice who inspired Nagisa Oshima’s In the Realm of the Senses (1976), Sada Abe. He also wrote a candid memoir, The Japan Journals: 1947-2004 (2005), a gaijin’s-eye account of Japan’s dramatic post-war reconstruction, and social changes spanning the period since he first arrived as an early-20-something clerk typing inventories for the US occupying forces, through to the early years of the new millennium.
Considered his best work by many, including the author himself, is The Inland Sea (1971), a poetic travelogue detailing several months in the late-1960s spent voyaging amongst the islands and coastal towns of the stretch of water that separates three of Japan’s main islands, Honshu, Kyushu and Shikoku. Stone Bridge Press’s 2015 reissue, the fourth edition since its original publication, not only serves as a reminder of just how good Richie the writer could be, but also how good travel writing can be – something of a dying art in this global age when anyone can hop on a plane or train to an alien land and immediately post their thoughts and impressions on social media before they’ve had time to ferment. Continue Reading
Today join Jeremy, Kat, Andrew and Keith for another fun time of discussion that this week includes perhaps more business talk than there has been in recent weeks as we discuss in detail our upcoming release schedule for titles coming out in August & September! As if that wasn't enough there's other random chatter including the possibility of a racing tournament in the office, a Kerry sighting, some talk about how things are shaping up for our home video releases of A Silent Voice and Your Name, and the random topic generator returns to bring you random delights such as talk on ice cream and convention stories.
A fun podcast as always! We hope you enjoy listening to it and we'll be back next Friday with another episode for you. We'll be putting out the call for questions on our social media channels early next week, so stay tuned!
NOTE: As always please note this podcast contains strong language and any views expressed by individuals in this podcast do not reflect those of Anime Limited.
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Chris Perkins on the history of Britain’s first anime magazine.
In 2017, British anime fans wanting to read about their favourite medium are spoiled for choice. Be it print magazines such as Neo, MyM or Otaku USA from across the pond, or one of the numerous online sources, you’ve never had it so good. It wasn’t always this way. Back in the early 1990s, there was very little written about Japanese animation in English at all, leading a group of early fans to get together and do it for themselves.
The magazine was like a Petri dish of new writers: the place that gave figures like Jonathan Clements, Peter J Evans, and James Swallow their first steps in writing about Japanese animation. Without Anime UK, the industry today would be a very different place. Its roots were in the thriving fanzine culture of the pre-digital age. Before virtually anyone could start a website, dedicated fans of every stripe were hard at work producing fan-made zines out of their bedrooms or offices. Anime UK began life as a newsletter, mailed out to a small number of subscribers. It started back in 1990, when Helen McCarthy and Steve Kyte curated an anime programme at the National British SF Convention – believed to be the first such anime event of its kind in the UK. It went down so well that it was clear that there was a potential audience wanting to know more about this anime thing.
By Tom Smith.
What’s a Radwimps? Only one of the hottest bands from Japan right now, that’s what! I don’t mean it lightly, either. Radwimps have been huge for years, long before their songs ended up part of Japan’s second-highest grossing film ever, Your Name.
Before the film’s release, all eight of their studio albums had shifted more than a million units from first week sales alone. They’ve also achieved a couple of number one singles, including 2011’s Dada, a song that had a huge impact on me upon its release and made me determined to set up a record label in London for great music from Japan (JPU Records). Heck, the song’s so good I still listen to it today with the same levels of excitement as day one. Continue Reading
By Raz Greenberg.
Eric Reinders’ The Moral Narratives of Hayao Miyazaki often feels uncomfortably detached from the director’s position in the world of anime. Instead, it places these works in another context, one with which religious scholar Reinders is more at home. Devoting a chapter to each of Miyazaki’s films, from Nausicaa to The Wind Rises, Reinders examines their religious aspects from a wide variety of perspectives – the presence of Shinto symbolism, Buddhist philosophy, Christian iconography, Greek myths and even elements from the writings of JRR Tolkien. Continue Reading