The Japan Foundation E-mail Magazine Vol. 302

■■ "en" Created by Architecture in the Aftermath of Disaster ■■

Dear readers,

It has been six years since the Great East Japan Earthquake. It seems that there is a long way to go until full reconstruction and recovery. However, a cheerful topic was reported on TV recently:

Milk based coffee drink produced by a company in Fukushima Prefecture is gaining popularity. The product has been widely available in Fukushima since 1976, of course, but outside the prefecture, it was rarely sold before.
The Great East Japan Earthquake partially damages the factory of this company, and after restarting service, their milk started facing reputational damages. But, they did not receive any complaints for the milk coffee drink.
At the same time, purchasing campaign to support Tohoku occurred all over the country. Some people bought the drink by chance and instantly fell in love with its taste.
Consequently, these people tweeted about the drink. You can imagine how powerful social media can be! The drink is now sold throughout the country, but it sells so well that it surpasses beyond its production capacity.

It is good to hear this kind of bright story. We wish a speedy recovery of the affected areas.

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▼△▼△Wochi Kochi Magazine▼△▼△

◇"en" Created by Architecture in the Aftermath of Disaster
The briefing session held in Tokyo to present the exhibition at the Japan Pavilion conducted as part of the 15th International Architecture Exhibition of la Biennale di Venezia.

◇Being Rocked on the Motorbike and Being Stirred up: An Encouragement of Beitou Heterotopia (Japanophone Taiwanese, That's What I Am! 10)
Japanophone Taiwanese author Wen Yuju went to Taipei and took a bike taxi ride to compose text for Beitou Heterotopia.

◇Lands and Voices -- A Japanophone Taiwanese Goes on Swaying -- (Japanophone Taiwanese, That's What I Am! 11)
Wen Yuju looks back at her trip to Hachinohe and the event at newly opened Hachinohe Book Center.

◇A New Series of Essays by Internationally Active Bonsai Master on the Traditional Culture of Bonsai
Introducing young bonsai master Takahiro Mori.


▼△▼△Library Information ▼△▼△

◇List of new books

-The Japan Foundation Library
-The Japan Foundation Japanese-Language Institute, Urawa
-The Japan Foundation Japanese-Language Institute, Kansai


▼△▼△ Worth Sharing ▼△▼△
Worth Sharing―A Selection of Japanese Books Recommended for Translation is the list of recommendable good books for translation that we compiled annually.

◇Haru no Niwa [Spring Garden] Author: Tomoka Shibasaki
Following his divorce, Taro moves into the View Palace Saeki III, a decrepit two-story apartment building scheduled for demolition. The eight units are cramped, and most of the residents live alone. One day Taro notices Nishi, a tenant on the apartment's second floor, gazing wistfully at the light-blue house next door.
Nishi is an unsuccessful manga artist who became fascinated by the light-blue house and the life of the family living there after discovering it in a collection of photographs titled "Haru no Niwa" when she was a high-school student. Unable to forget the house after moving out to live on her own, she tracked it down and moved in next door.
The story is nested in structure. Nishi delves into the lives of the couple who built and lived in the house before leaving it behind, and she becomes friends with the new owner so that she can see inside. Taro watches this carefully. Finally, another layer is added when Taro’s sister is seen observing the other two characters.
The light-blue house and the apartment building are the story's real protagonists, with space itself playing the central role, transected by the characters who appear in the story. With precise descriptions and a finely calibrated sense of space, the author makes a bold experiment a resounding success.
The human characters are not just supporting roles, though. Taro, Nishi, and the couple who built the light-blue house all have experienced the breakup of their households. Love, family, and everyday life are as fragile as glass: that is the message, conveyed with great emotional power, through this story of a house. It is a fairy tale for adults about the memory of past injuries and journeys of healing.

For more details:

About Worth Sharing


▼△▼△Japanese Film Screenings Overseas in March 2017▼△▼△

Japan film week (China)
Japanese Film Festival Autumn (New Zealand)
Japanese Film Series: 35mm Recent Works by Toho Pictures (U.S.A.)
Semana de Cine Japones 2017 (Panama)
Japanese ANIME week (Uruguay)
Odd obsessions: Desires, Hopes and Impulse in Japanese Cinema (U.K.)
Films "Power of Music" (Germany)
Japanese Film Series 2017 (Germany)
EIGA-SAI 2017 (Czech Republic)
Japanese Film week 2016 (Egypt)


◇Our next issue will be delivered on March 28, 2017.
JF E-mail Magazine would like to hear your comments and suggestions.

Vol.302 3/14/2017
The Japan Foundation Official Website



Wochi Kochi Magazine

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