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[Tokyo International Literary Festival] Asia Session 2
China and Japan Today Seen Through Literature

  • *This event has finished.
  • Speakers: Sheng Keyi (Writer), Nakajima Kyoko (Writer), Iizuka Yutori (Professor, Chuo University)
  • Ms. Sheng Keyi has had to withdraw from this year’s festival, due to unforeseen circumstances. We will have a talk session of Ms. Nakajima and Prof. Iizuka on the same topic.
  • Date: Saturday, March 5, 2016, 7:00-8:30 pm
  • Venue: Iwasaki Koyata Memorial Hall, International House of Japan
  • Seating: 200
  • Language: Chinese / Japanese (with simultaneous interpretation)
  • Co-organizers: Nippon Foundation, Japan Foundation Asia Center
  • Admission: Free (reservations required)
  • The Tokyo International Literary Festival (founded by the Nippon Foundation) has been held since 2013 to promote Japanese literature abroad and Tokyo as a literary focus of the world coming abreast of New York, London and Paris. The aim is to bring together leading novelists, poets, editors, and translators and to encourage new dialogue about books from different countries and cultures. As part of the festival, I-House will co-organize the Asia session.

    For Asia session ②, we have invited the promising Chinese writer Sheng Keyi, whose first book Northern Girls dealing with women’s rights in Chinese society is highly rated internationally, and Nakajima Kyoko, who won the Naoki Prize for The Little House capturing the age of war from a woman’s perspective. Ms. Nakajima is distinguished for her knowledge of China and has written stories set in Beijing and Shanghai. Their heroines reveal the contradictions and universal problems in their societies. What kind of issues in present-day China and Japan do we see through their works?

    Nakajima Kyoko

    Kyoko Nakajima
    Born in Tokyo, in 1964. She made her debut with Futon in 2003. In 2009, she joined an international creative writing program at the University of Iowa. Nakajima won the Naoki Prize with The Little House in 2010, the Shibata Renzaburo Award with Katazuno!, and the Chuo Kouron Literary Prize with Nagai owakare. She co-translated Hong Kong writer Dung Kai-cheung’s Chizu shu with Fujii Shozo. She has a wide knowledge of Asia and has written stories set in Beijing, Taiwan, and Shanghai collected in Noro noro aruke.

    Iizuka Yutori

    Born in 1954. Obtained a master’s degree from Tokyo Metropolitan University. Currently a professor of the Faculty of Letters at Chuo University. Iizuka’s specialty is modern and contemporary Chinese literature and theatre. He has published books such as Chugoku no shingeki to nihon and translated Yu Hua’s To Live, China in Ten Words, Chronicle of a Blood Merchant, and Seventh Day; Gao Xingjian’s One Man’s Bible, Soul Mountain, andMother; Tie Nin’s The Bathing Women; Su Tong’s Binu and the Great Wall of China, andRiverside and more. In 2011, he won a Special Book Award of China.

    Sheng Keyi (She has cancelled her visit to Japan for this year’s festival)

    sheng keyi (盛可以)写真
    Born in Hunan province, China. Sheng lived for a time in Shenyang, Guangdong province, working in a stock company and a publishing company. In 2002, she started writing and in 2003, she won a Chinese literary award for “Water and Milk” depicting young Chinese people’s conflicts. Her novelsNorthern Girls and Death Fugue have been translated into English. Now living in Beijing, Sheng is one of the newer generation of writers who deal primarily with contemporary China. Her works cover a wide range of emotional and social territory.