Monday, March 5, 2012

March was made of Yarn























Recently bought a copy of March was made of Yarn, edited by Elmer Luke and David Karashima, the book collects fictional and non-fictional pieces, manga and poetry, a compilation of stories and reflections on the tsunami and nuclear crisis caused by the earth quake of March last year. The book opens with a poem, Words by Shuntaro Tanikawa, translated by Jeffrey Angles and closes with a historical story by David Peace, which takes the reader back to the time of the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923 and it's aftermath centering around the writer Akutagawa Ryunosuke. Some of the pieces refer to the Earthquake more literally than others, but all carry a poignancy that provoke reflection and inform. Hideo Furukawa's piece Sixteen Years Later, In The Same Place, translated by Michael Emmerich, traces he and his wife as they return to their native Fukushima for their wedding anniversary and describes the initial damage caused by the earthquake and how this has impacted on the lives of his family and also of the consequences of the nuclear meltdown. The story conveys very accurately that this is the only beginning of a disaster that will take decades to recover from. The brief manga is from Nishioka Kyodai, (who are brother and sister), entitled The Crows and the Girl and is translated by Alfred Birnbaum. Other contributions are from Tawada Yoko, Murakami Ryu, Ogawa Yoko, Ikezawa Natsuki, Kawakami Hiromi, Kawakami Mieko, Abe Kazushige, and many more, and of course needless to say their respective translators, I won't go into too much further detail on the pieces, other than to recommend buying a copy and reading it, royalties from the book will be donated to charities working towards the reconstruction of North Eastern Japan.

The book is published in the U.K by Harvill Secker and in the U.S.A by Vintage.

Japanese Red Cross

Video at IFRC


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