I’ve been reading more about how stenography helped bring modernity to Japan in the Meiji era. The details are in Seth Jacobowitz’s book, Writing Technology in Meiji Japan – a Media History of Modern Japanese Literature and Visual Culture. The… Read moreHere’s a good resource
A Tokyo dealer in rare and antique books, has produced an amazing catalogue of publications, many of them devoted to sokkibon (stenographic book) versions of Henry Black’s narrated tales. The catalogue is by Kagerou Bunko for the Melbourne Rare Book… Read moreRare books by Henry Black go on sale
I was in Rome in February (2018) as a guest speaker at “Realms of Words”, a symposium hosted by the Japanese Department at Istituto italiano di Studi Orientali at Sapienza University. The symposium focused on how ideas are transmitted across… Read moreHenry gets a mention in Rome
Met up with Toshiki (Toshi) Asakura-Ward on 27 Oct (2017) for a chat at Town Hall Espresso about our mutual interest in the Japan-Australia relationship. Toshi, who has been studying at Western Sydney University, has just submitted for examination his… Read moreResearching the revival of interest in Henry
My first experience of rakugo was back in 1973 when I was staying with the Kakehashi family in Tokyo’s Sengawa. Mr Kakehashi loved showing me the best of Japanese culture, so one day he took me and my visiting parents… Read moreLike a classical music performance
JAPANESE humour studies has lost one of its greatest researchers, Professor Miyoko Sasaki. Together with her long-time colleague Heinz Morioka, Prof. Sasaki wrote Rakugo – the Popular Narrative Art of Japan (Harvard East Asian Monographs, 138, Council on East Asian Studies, Harvard … Read moreYes, we have a sense of humour – Prof. Miyoko Sasaki
TODAY I was at St Augustine’s Anglican Church to hear the rakugoka, Tatekawa Koshira, crack lots of jokes and puns! A big audience belly-laughed through his stories, especially the classic tale Shinigami [The God of Death].
Henry Black also acted. Here he is in the kabuki role of Omiwa in a postcard sent to him by an admirer. (Image courtesy of Mr Hisashi Kano).
An exciting day because Hideaki Kobayashi has been working hard behind the scenes to set this website up and now we are underway.