Okinawa: Two Postwar Novellas

by Oshiro Tatsuhiro and Higashi Mineo
translated by Steve Rabson
Institute of East Asian Studies, UCB, 1989.

Although the novellas differ sharply in tone and form, both are first-person narratives of individual protagonists whose lives are profoundly affected by the U.S. occupation and military presence. The novellas are presented here in translation together with an introduction providing historical background and a concluding essay that compares and evaluates them. The introduction is intended to supply information that will help the reader understand specific points in the stories. For both essays, the author has drawn on Japanese and English-language sources including materials collected in Okinawa during eight months of a 1967-68 overseas tour in the U.S. Army and on subsequent visits to the island.

Oshiro Tatsuhiro was born in 1925 in Nakagusuku, Okinawa Prefecture. He has published numerous books and articles on Okinawa’s culture and history a well as works of fiction and drama. His work The Cocktail Party was awarded an Akutagawa Prize in 1967.

Higashi Mineo was born in 1938 in Mindanao, The Philippines. His work Child of Okinawa was awarded an Akutagawa Prize in 1971.

Okinawa Explorer: A Complete Guidebook to Okinawa

by Kenny Ehman
TK2 Productions, 2005.

In order to help visitors plan a wonderful trip to Okinawa, the Okinawa Explorer first provides background information about local customs, language, public transportation, costs, and much more. There is also an easy-to-follow Navigation section that enables visitors to choose the best locations for enjoying what interests them the most.

Kenny Ehman has lived in Okinawa since 1992. He is an English teacher at a local elementary school and has been writing professionally since 1997. Ehman is the Vice President and co-founder of NPO Okinawa O.C.E.A.N. – a non-profit organization that educates Okinawan children about marine conservation. He is currently writing a children’s book and a book of short stories about Okinawa.

Modern Korean Fiction: An Anthology

edited by Bruce Fulton and Youngmin Kwon
Columbia University Press, 2005.

To represent the past century of Korean fiction, this collection extends beyond familiar writers, challenges cultural norms, and crosses political borders. By including stories from neglected female, North Korean, and “wlbuk” writers (those who migrated to the North after 1945 and whose works were widely banned in South Korea) and by bringing politically engaged works together with experimental ones, this anthology articulates the ruptures and resolutions that have marked the peninsula.

From sketches of desperate peasants in straitened circumstances to fast-moving, visceral tales of contemporary South Korea, the works in this collection bear witness to the dramatic transformations and events in twentieth-century Korean history, including Japanese colonial rule, civil war, and economic modernization in the South. The writers explore these developments through a variety of literary and political lenses, revealing with precision and poignancy their impact on Korean society and the lives of ordinary Koreans. This anthology includes an introduction, which synthesizes the key developments in modern Korean literature, and a comprehensive bibliography of Korean fiction in translation. (Publisher’s description)

Bruce Fulton occupies the Young-Bin Min Chair in Korean Literature and Literary Translation at the University of British Columbia. He is the co-translator of Words of Farewell: Stories by Korean Women Writers; Land of Exile: Contemporary Korean Fiction; and A Ready-Made Life: Early Masters of Modern Korean Fiction.

Youngmin Kwon is professor of Korean literature at Seoul National University.

And So Flows History

by Hahn Moo-Sook
translated by Young-Key Kim-Renaud
University of Hawai’i Press, 2005.

And So Flows History (Yŏksanŭn hŭrŭnda, 1948) depicts the relentless power of exterior forces on the individual lives of three generations of the illustrious Cho family—from the waning years of the Chosŏn dynasty in the late nineteenth century to the tumultuous post-liberation era. The novel opens with a tragic confrontation between two classes: the rape of a young slave by her master, the respected magistrate Cho Tongjun. Within a year, the magistrate has been murdered by Tonghak rebels, and his two sons are leading the family to ruin—one on account of his blind adherence to tradition, the other owing to his collaboration with the Japanese. Only Tongjun’s youngest child provides hope for the future through her marriage to a enlightened young teacher and patriot. (Publisher’s description)

Hahn Moo-Sook (1918–1993) is one of Korea’s most successful writers of modern realist literature. She received many awards for her writing, including the 1986 Grand Prix of the Republic of Korea Literature Award for her novel Encounter. And So Flows History, Hahn’s first novel, received first prize in a 1947 contest organized by a major Korean daily.

Young-Key Kim-Renaud is the eldest daughter of Hahn Moo-Sook. She is chair of the Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures and professor of Korean language and culture and international affairs at George Washington University, Washington, D.C.

Japanese Demon Lore: Oni from Ancient Times to the Present

by Noriko T. Reider
Utah State University Press, 2010.

Oni, ubiquitous supernatural figures in Japanese literature, lore, art, and religion, usually appear as demons or ogres. Characteristically, they are threatening, monstrous creatures with ugly features and fearful habits, including cannibalism. They also can be harbingers of prosperity, beautiful and sexual, and especially in modern contexts, even cute and lovable. There has been much ambiguity in their character and identity over their long history. Usually male, their female manifestations convey distinctively gendered social and cultural meanings.
Oni appear frequently in various arts and media, from Noh theater and picture scrolls to modern fiction and political propaganda, they remain common figures in popular Japanese anime, manga, and film and are becoming embedded in American and international popular culture through such media. Noriko Reider’s book would be the first in English devoted to oni. Reider fully examines their cultural history, multifaceted roles, and complex significance as “others” to the Japanese. (Publisher’s description)

Noriko T. Reider is associate professor of Japanese at Miami University. She is the author of Tales of the Supernatural in Early Modern Japan: Kaidan, Akinari, Ugetsu monogatari (2002). Her articles and reviews have appeared in such journals as Asian Folklore Studies, Japan Forum, Film Criticism, and International Journal of Asian Studies.

Modern Poetry of Pakistan

edited by Iftikhar Arif and Waqas Khwaja
Dalkey Archive Press, 2011.

Modern Poetry of Pakistan brings together not one but many poetic traditions indigenous to Pakistan, with 142 poems translated from seven major languages, six of them regional (Baluchi, Kashmiri, Panjabi, Pashto, Seraiki, and Sindhi) and one national (Urdu). Collecting the work of forty-two poets and fifteen translators, this book reveals a society riven by ethnic, class, and political differences—but also a beautiful and truly national literature, with work both classical and modern, belonging to the same culture and sharing many of the same concerns and perceptions. (Publisher’s description)

Iftikhar Arif is an Urdu poet and scholar. He is currently the Chairman of Pakistan’s National Language Authority and has received the Presidential Pride of Performance award. His poetry has been translated into several languages, including English in the collection Written in a Season of Fear.

Waqas Khwaja is an Associate Professor of English at Agnes Scott College. He has published three collections of poetry, a travelogue, and has edited several anthologies of Pakistani literature.

Aphrodite’s Island: The European Discovery of Tahiti

by Anne Salmond
University of California Press, 2009.

Aphrodite’s Island is a new account of the European discovery of Tahiti, the Pacific island of mythic status that has figured so powerfully in European imaginings about sexuality, the exotic, and the nobility or bestiality of “savages.” In this book, Anne Salmond takes readers to the center of the shared history to furnish insights into Tahitian perceptions of the visitors while illuminating the full extent of European fascination with Tahiti. As she discerns the impact and meaning of the European effect on the islands, she demonstrates how, during the early contact period, the mythologies of Europe and Tahiti intersected and became entwined. Drawing on Tahitian oral histories, European manuscripts and artworks, collections of Tahitian artifacts, and illustrated with contemporary sketches, paintings, and engravings from the voyages, Aphrodite’s Island provides an account of the Europeans’ Tahitian adventures. (Publisher’s description)

Anne Salmond is a historian, writer and academic. She worked closely with Eruera and Amiria Stirling, noted elders of Te Whaanau-a-Apanui and Ngati Porou, a collaboration which led to the publication of several books. Salmond has been the recipient of numerous literary awards, scholarships and academic prizes. In 1995 she was made a Dame Commander of the British Empire for services to New Zealand history, in 2004 she received a Prime Minister’s Award for Literary Achievement for non-fiction, and in 2007 she became an inaugural Fellow of the New Zealand Academy of the Humanities.