Monday, January 28, 2013

Korean Literature Recommendations

In this post I would like to make a few Korean literature recommendations.  While more and more is being written about this topic, it is still sometimes a little difficult to know where to get started.   I am not an expert by any means, for that I will direct you to Charles Montgomery of KTLIT.  His site offers the most information about K-Lit (in translation) I have seen in one place, including reviews, news and author interviews.  I would, nonetheless, still like to suggest a few selections.

As someone who tries to avoid reading reviews of books before I read them, I am not writing reviews here.  I will however give a very short description of each work and have provided links where you can read a little more about each author and work if you wish.


"Photo Shop Murder" by Young-ha Kim (김영하)
Korean noir detective fiction and the most recently written of my recommendations.  You can find a review here

The General's Beard (장군의 수염) by Yi Oryong / Lee Oyoung (이어령)
More dectective fiction:  A man is dead.  Two men are investigating, one a detective, the other a writer.  Was it murder or suicide?  Who will uncover the truth first, and why it happened?

"The Wings" (날개) by Yi Sang (이상)
The oldest of my selections and the story of the possibly insightful rambalings of a tomented husband (think Dostoyevsky's Notes from Underground).  A rich text, lending itself to various literary interpretations.  Charles of KTLIT has a full review here.

All three recommendations are novellas or (longer) short fiction.  Both "Photo Shop Murder" and "The Wings" are exteremely inexpensive and come with additional short stories.  The General's Beard can also be purchased online, but the link I provided is to the complete story, from the translator's own site.

I hope that people enjoy these recommendations.  If you have already read these or would also like to recommend something, please feel free to leave a comment.  Additonally, if you liked these and would like me to make more recommendations, just ask, as I may add to this list in the future.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Haruki Murakami Reading Challenge 2013

This is the first reading challenge that I have joined, and as I usually read a few Murakami books every year, it seemed a natural choice.

I first became interested in Murakami through the film director Wong Kar-Wai.  I mentioned him in my guest post on January in Japan as introducing me to Osamu Dazai.  I have to credit him once again for bringing another giant of Japanese literature to may attention.  Many years ago, in the course of my so-called research about Wong Kar-Wai, I came across the information that Murakami's short story "On Seeing the 100% Perfect Girl One Beautiful April Morning" was an influence for his film Chungking Express.  You can read more about the connection here and here

So for this reading challenge, I plan to read:

Hear The Wind Sing
Pinball, 1973
A Wild Sheep Chase
Dance, Dance, Dance
The Elephant Vanishes

While I guess 5 books puts me at the Toru level of participation, I will graciously decline that level and remain at the Sheep Man level, which I believe is more fitting.

Speaking of the Sheep Man, thanks to Tony of Tony's Reading List, I ran across the story "The Sheep Man's Christmas" on a post at brilliantyears, with a link to a translation here.  Will have to add that one to the challenge too.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Japanese Baseball NPB in English on Twitter

I enjoy and follow NPB (Nippon Professional Baseball), the pro baseball league in Japan.  However, as someone who doesn't speak Japanese, finding information, especially up-to-the-minute information, can sometimes be difficult. 

When I decided to join Twitter, I wanted to follow people who tweeted about NPB in English.  I asked around a bit and finally found some good people to follow.  My purpose in this post is to create a resource, so that non-Japanese speakers, who like NPB, can easily find a good group of accounts to follow on Twitter.

I have divided the accounts into two catagories: the first is accounts that mainly tweet about NPB, and the second is people who sometimes tweet about NPB.  

I am still finding new people everyday and will try to continue to update the list.  If you know of any others that you do not see here, please feel free to let me know in the comments section.  I will be putting together a more comprehensive NPB resource post in the future.

And for all of the people on this list, thank you for keeping us connected to NPB.  And those of you who are Tigers fans: "Win or Lose, Always Tigers Pride"

Mainly NPB



Sometimes NPB



Monday, January 21, 2013

Blog Introduction

Welcome to my so-called research.

My name is Patrick (aka ResearcherNo1) and I have many interests, including: books, baseball (MLB, KBO, NPB), food (cooking and eating), travel, Asia, movies and music.  I spend many hours searching for information about these topics.  I am not a professional researcher and this is not professional research.  However, one might call what I do a kind of research, hence 'so-called' research.  I have decided to publish some of the results of my research that might be helpful to others.  I will be posting on a wide variety of topics, but mainly related to my previously mentioned interests.  My posts will include, but will not be limited to, information that I have not been able to find easily or is not really available in an simple format.  I will inevitably comment on some information and express my opinion on various things, but that is not my main purpose.

My goals for this blog are to produce a record of all the time I spend searching for information, and help others save time.  If you notice anything missing or can add something, please feel free to comment.  I plan to update posts as new information becomes available.

I will post as often as possible, so please enjoy.

You can also find me on twitter: @ResearcherNo1

Osamu Dazai Short Stories

As a follow-up to my first post I am posting a list of Osamu Dazai short stories that have been translated into English.  Dazai was primarily a short story writer, and many of his stories have been translated into English.  However, I have been unable to find a complete or almost complete list of them.  I now own most of his works that have been translated into English, so I am able offer a much more complete list than I have been able to find previously. 

This first list, including the works where the stories appear, has been compiled based on what I own.  There is some duplication of the stories that have been translated multiple times or appear in multiple books.

8 Scenes From Tokyo (RM)
8 Scenes From Tokyo (SP)
8 Views of Tokyo (SDO)
8 Views of Tokyo (SSS)
100 Views of Mount Fuji (RM)
100 Views of Mount Fuji (SP)

Almanac of Pain, An (SDO)
Alt Heidelberg (KBB)

Blue Bamboo (BB)

canis familiaris (SP)
Cherries (SP)
Cherry Leaves and the Whistler (RM)
Cherry Leaves and the Whistler (BB)
Chiyojo (ALC)
Chrysanthemum Spirit, The (BB)
Click-Clack Mountain (O)
Courtesy Call, The (WJF)
Crackling Mountain (CM)
Currency (SSS)

Das Gemine (SSS)

Early Light (SP)

Fallen Flowers (MN)
Father, The (MN)
Female (SP)

Garden (SP)
Garden Lantern, The (ALC)
Going Home (SDO)
Golden Picture, A (ALC) / Seascape With Figures in Gold (SP)

Handsome Devils and Cigarettes (SP)
Heed My Plea (CM)
Homecoming (SSS)
Hometown (SDO)

I Can Speak (SP)
Island of Monkeys, The (SSS)
Lanterns of Romance (BB)
Leaves (CR)
Little Beauty, A (SP)

Magic Lantern (SA)
Memories (ALC)
Memories (CM)
Memories (SSS)
Mermaid and the Samurai, The (BB)
Merry Christmas (SP)
Monkey Island (CM)
Monkey’s Mound, The (CM)
Morning (MN)
Mother (MN)
Mound of the Monkey’s Grave, The (SSS)
My Elder Brothers (SP)
My Older Brothers (SSS)

No Kidding (SP)

One Snowy Night (RM)
On Love and Beauty (BB)
On the Question of Apparel (CM)
On the Question of Apparel (SSS)
Osan (SSS)

Poor Man’s Got His Pride, A (CM)
Poor Man’s Got His Pride, A (SSS)
Promise Fulfilled, A (RM)
Promise Fulfilled, A (SP)
Putting Granny Out to Die (SSS)

Recollections (SDO)
Romanesque (BB)
Run, Melos! (CM) [Melos, Run!]
Run, Melos! (RM)

Schoolgirl (S)
Schoolgirl (RM)
Seascape With Figures in Gold (SP) / Golden Picture, A (ALC)
Sound of Hammering, The (CM)
Sound of Hammering, The (SSS)
Sparrow Who Lost Her Tongue, The (O)
Stolen Wen, The (O)

Taking the Wen Away (CM)
Taking the Wen Away (SSS)
Thinking of Zenzo (SP)
Toys (SSS)
Train (SP)
Transformation (SSS)
Two Little Words (SP)

Undine (CM)
Urashima-San (O)

Villon’s Wife (MJL)

Waiting (MN)

(MJL) - Modern Japanese Literature: From 1868 to the Present Day
(ALC) - A Late Chrysanthemum: 21 Stories from the Japanese, edited by Lane Dunlop
(SSS) - Dazai Osamu: Selected Stories and Sketches, translated by James O’Brien
(BB) - Blue Bamboo: Tales of Fantasy and Romance, translated by Ralph F. McCarthy
(KBB) - Blue Bamboo: Tales of Fantasy and Romance, translated by Ralph F. McCarthy (Kurodahan Press)
(CM) - Crackling Mountain and other stories, translated by James O’Brien
(RM) - Run, Melos! and Other Stories, translated by Ralph F. McCarthy
(SDO) - The Saga of Dazai Osamu: A Critical Study With Translations by Phyllis Lyons
(SP) - Self Portraits: Stories, translated by Ralph F. McCarthy
(WJF) - The World of Japanese Fiction - edited by Hakutani Yoshinobu
(SA) - The Showa Anthology
(S) - Schoolgirl, translated by Allison Markin Powell
(O) - Otogizoshi, translated by Ralph F. McCarthy
(MN) - Monumenta Nipponica

(CR) - Chicago Review

This second list includes more of Dazai's short stories translated into English, but I do not own them.  I have just come across them in my so-called research.

“December 8th” - The Columbia Anthology of Modern Japanese Literature: From Restoration to Occupation, 1868-1945 (Modern Asian Literature Series) (vol. 1)

“Ha” (Leaves) Eric Gangloff. Chicago Review 20 (1968): 31-41
“Hanin” (The Criminal) Takashi Kojima. Ei-Bei Bungaku (English and American Literature), no. 2 (1956): 1-11
“Kakekomi uttae” (I Accuse) Tadao Katayama. The Reeds 4 (1958): 69-88
“Mesu ni tsuite” (Of Women) Edward Seidensticker. Encounter I, no. I (1953): 23-26. Reprinted in Atlantic Monthley 195 (1955): 145-47

This list should represent the most extensive list of Osamu Dazai short stories translated into English on one single site.  Unfortunately, many of the books that these stories are found in are out-of-print, which makes finding this information more difficult. 

If you notice any missing stories, please feel free to mention it in the comments section.  This is an ongoing project for me and I will continue to update the list.  Eventually I would like to include the Japanese titles next to the English titles.

Osamu Dazai: Suicide, rebellion, addiction and genius

My first post is actually a guest post on the January in Japan site by Tony at Tony's Reading List. The post is about the modern Japanese author Osamu Dazai.  I give a short introduction about his life and recommend a few of his books.

You can find the post here:
J-Lit Giants 5 Osamu Dazai

My next post will be a follow-up to this post.