Tag Archives: literature

The Taisho Era: When modernity ruled Japan’s masses via The Japan Times

Note: Fascinated with era of Japan (forgotten in between the epic Meiji Restoration and industrialization and the militaristic/imperial period leading up to the Asian/Pacific etc. war / working on finding more books and films exploring this “forgotten” time (started with Naomi by Tanazaki)

The Taisho Era: When modernity ruled Japan’s masses via The Japan Times, July 29, 2012, by Michael Hoffman

One hundred years ago this week — on July 30, 1912 — Emperor Meiji passed away and Japan, traveling blind and hardly knowing where it was going, entered a new age.

The Taisho Era (1912-26), sandwiched between the boldly modernizing Meiji Era (1867-1912) and the militarist tide of early Showa (1926-1989), deserves more recognition than it gets.

Taisho is Japan’s Jazz Age. Can it be summed up in a phrase? It often is: ero-guro-nansensu — eroticism, grotesquerie, nonsense.

All three filled the air. Was Taisho, then, mere frivolity? To cite only the plainest evidence to the contrary: World War I; the 1918 Rice Riots; “Taisho Democracy;” the founding in 1922 of the Japan Communist Party; the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923; the granting of universal manhood suffrage in 1925; and the repressive Peace Preservation Law passed barely two months later.

Source: The Taisho Era: When modernity ruled Japan’s masses | The Japan Times (may be paywalled)

(Brief) Intro to The Beat Generation #video

A rollicking rapid-fire, mixed-media introduction to The Beat Generation – made especially for youth (specifically, a 11th grade lit class at a DoD base school) – with topics including:

  • what made The Beats, the beats (ergo: time, place, circumstance, intentions, global mindset, searching for “holy”)
  • characteristics of style (freeverse, spontaneous prose, collaboration, diversity, art + craft + integrity)
  • notable writers and characters including: Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg William S. Burroughs, Gary Snyder, Neal Cassady, Lawrence Ferlinghetti
  • roots and branches extending from the Beats like: Merry Pranksters, folkies, hippies, yippies, punks, DIY and even “digital nomads”
  • riffs about censorship, “obscenity” trials, sexuality, religiosity
  • call to action about the importance everyone with something to say “saying it” – including YOU
  • plus more notable writers: Gregory Corso, Richard Brautigan, Ruth Weiss, Diane DiParma & currently working Ron Whitehead and Anne Waldman
  • namechecks and cameos for: The Clash, Tom Waits, Jello Biafra, Ken Kesey, Wang Ping, Masa Uehara, Nanao Sakaki many more…

Presented from a historic barn in provincial Japan with vinyl records, artifacts, ephemera, loads of books, postcards etc – by storymaker Dave Olson who invites you to ask questions via postcard (address included within).

Continue reading (Brief) Intro to The Beat Generation #video

“Meet the Beats“ ~ Upgrade your Heroes #1

A rapid-fire introduction to the “Beat Generation” focused on the story of “6 Poets at Gallery 6” reading Oct, 1955 SF CA when Allen Ginsberg, Phillip Whalen, Gary Snyder, Micheal McClure, Jack Kerouac, Neal Cassady, Lawrence Ferlinghetti et al were all in the room for a reading hosted by Kenneth Rexroth that would go into legend and launch a poetry renaissance in San Francisco and the world. Presented by Cannaverse Club.

Includes extended erstwhile members of the movement and “what happened” after that night as the poets and their friends scattered their influence globally (with, not surprisingly, a little bit of extra emphasis on Japan, Zen, India/Nepal) plus Merry Pranksters, Furthur bus, Grateful Dead and even the Simpsons. Whoa!

Lots of the usual ephemera, show & tell, couple of vinyl records, loads of books, various digressions and asides, hats & homework.

Note from UW: “If you’re curious *at all*, please share your questions and comments &/or “Replay live chat” at Youtube to catch some of the stuff I forgot to say during the premiere”

Continue reading “Meet the Beats“ ~ Upgrade your Heroes #1

Lost the Plot (Finding Home), Video – Postcard #85

Thinking about “going home in October” or even more, going far away with this video version of the audio-first podcast.

+ Lost the Plot (Finding Home) – Postcard #85 podcast, but video(!) +

Take some spoken word poetry and add some shaky tuktuks and random trains with assorted filters and voila, ya got a podcast you can watch AND listen to if that’s your thing. 

+ Lost the Plot (Finding Home) – Postcard #85 podcast, but video(!) +

Blurb: Thinking about “going home in October” or going far away via freeverse poetry backed by trains from Moncton to Sri Lanka and tuk tuks from Kerala and Thailand, read by a weary fella in barn in Japan. 

Note: Postcards from Gravelly Beach, literature podcast, est 2006, now with 85 dispatches, each handcrafted with affection.

fondly, dvo

Audio-only version of “Lost the Plot (Finding Home) – Postcard #85

Continue reading Lost the Plot (Finding Home), Video – Postcard #85

Lost the Plot (Finding Home) – Postcard #85

LOST THE PLOT (FINDING HOME) – POSTCARD #85

Thinking about “going home in October” or even more, going far away from home via freeverse poetry, read directly from scribbled travel scrapbooks and backed by trains from Moncton to Sri Lanka and tuk tuks from Kerala and Thailand, by a weary fella in an olden barn in provincial Japan. Fondly home. 

Be Lost at Home: Lost the Plot (Finding Home) #85
(17MB, 10:26, 192 kbps, mp3, stereo)

Continue reading Lost the Plot (Finding Home) – Postcard #85

“Thunderstorms in the Crash Years” – audio story about #MECFS & #Fibro

Dave working on healing at Peacock Ayurveda near Galle, Sri Lanka (with Dr.)
Dave working on healing at Peacock Ayurveda near Galle, Sri Lanka (with Dr.)

 

Amidst a thunderstorm at 4AM on a balcony in Chiang Mai, Dave discusses – with excessive frankness and emotion – various medical conundrums (Fibromyalgia and CFS-ME) and details the physical feelings of “crash mode” as well as the mental strain in dealing with self de-identification and inter-personal relationships, confusion in seeking help, and various alternative treatments.

audio story about #MECFS & #Fibro, just click play below

Always be kind for: Thunder in the Crash Years – Postcard #75 (75MB, 37:09, mp3, stereo)

No sympathy or advice requested.

(un-licensed but fairish-use) music by:

  • Tegan and Sara “Wake Up Exhausted” (demo)
  • Billy Bragg “Must I Paint you a Picture” (extended)
  • New Pornographers “The Crash Years” and “Adventures in Solitude” (studio)
 

 

Jack Kerouac Exhibit in Kobe: books, typewriters, vibes

“On The Road” – Learn about Jack Kerouac’s classic novel in Kobe

“On The Road” – Learn about Jack Kerouac’s classic novel in Kobe, Japan from July 3 to August 8. This book is the fountainhead of so much what we now call counter culture – breaking out of the illusions of postwar malaise and sparking so much of what we know to be true today about personal expression, practical freedom, and mind expansion.

This exhibit will feature rare and unique editions of Kerouac and contemporaries books, typewriters and a faithful reproduction of the original sc/roll of On the Road as well as a speaker series.

More information at BB Plaza Museum of Art’s event listing.

Also: a fantastic guide about On the Road for Japanese readers made by Prof Theado and his classes outlining and explaining much of the unique vocabulary, slang, colloquialisms and cultural references – plus a rundown of Jazz musicians – from the book specifically for Japanese audiences. 

Sure hoping all comes together safely and we can celebrate this story together after last year’s event being thwarted by public health concerns.

PS Kerouac in Kobe FB group

++ Hattip to Matt Theado and regards to Jim Canary.

Note: credit for the Japanese readers’ guide are: 

Designed and Edited by 
Akane Kawaguchi and Sana Adachi (神戸市外国語大学 M.Theadoゼミ所属) 

Cooperated by
Students in American Culture Seminar class
 at Kobe City University of Foreign Studies(神戸市外国語大学Theadoゼミ)

Books by Post – Japan Cottage Musings

+ Books by Post / Japan Cottage Musings catch-up riff +

Wearing stolen hotel pyjamas, Dave riffs about: Larry Harper’s “70” variety collection, various Richard Brautigan items (Rick Lupert’s Van Nuys Tokyo Express, William Hjortsberg’s Jubilee Hitchhiker, and “the world’s mightiest hat” gift from Marty and Willis), then onwards to the legendary Joan Anderson letter from Neal Cassady to Jack Kerouac, and Jack Micheline’s poems and ephemera… also riffs about analog and digital creative symbiosis and and namechecks Douglas Coupland and others… plus importantly, Ichiro bathtime, Ryoko’s chainsaws, and the usual postcards. Yowza.

Fondly from Tsuchida Cottage, Okayama, Japan.

Pub: “Letters from Russia” (excerpt and art) – RainZine (Vancouver), 2010

Pub: RainZine (Vancouver) / Spring 2010, cover / art by Jer Crowle

“Letters from Russia” (excerpt and art) in Rain Zine (Radical Art in Nature) Spring, 2010

Cover art by Jer Crowle, also includes Kris Krug, Dan Mangan, Bex Apostoli , Dorian Taylor, Carla Bergman and Indigo

Pub: RainZine (Vancouver) / Spring 2010, flyleaf (art by Indigo)
Pub: RainZine (Vancouver) / Spring 2010, CD including Dan Mangan
Pub: RainZine (Vancouver) / Spring 2010, “Letters from Russia” excerpt and art by Dave Olson

Publication: “MUD 201-H” literature fanzine, UVCC, 1989 (w/ excerpts)

“MUD 201-H” literature fanzine, UVCC, 1989, cover

A “literary fanzine” produced as a project at Utah Valley Community College (formerly Utah Technical College, later Utah Valley State College > Utah Valley University) for Larry Harper’s inaugural “creative writing hono(u)rs” program (course number 201H – hence the title).

At this time, I was working the night shift at the college library and had access to copy machines so, the final product was produced in one weird night. Design and layout by frequent collaborator Brandon G Kiggins and me, while Larry’s miraculous Army-trained typing speed banged out tuned-up text as needed. Assembled in classic “scissors and glue” style with magazine clippings, ephemera and oddities as design elements. 

My contributed story, “What I thought in Sweetgrass” is included below in full, along with Brandon’s sudden story, and a short poem by Larry – the rest is (probably) available upon request/permission by the creators.

A few other “meta pages” ergo: preface; table of contents; a section of “obituaries” as author bios; and a signature page – are included for historical record.

“MUD 201-H” literature fanzine, UVCC, 1989, flyleaf & table of contents
“MUD 201-H” literature fanzine, UVCC, 1989, preface by Brent H. Bateman
“MUD 201-H” literature fanzine, UVCC, 1989, “The Rail Yard” by Brandon K. Kiggins, p. 1
“MUD 201-H” literature fanzine, UVCC, 1989, “What i Thought in Sweetgrass” by Dave Olson, p. 1
“MUD 201-H” literature fanzine, UVCC, 1989, “What i Thought in Sweetgrass” by Dave Olson, p. 2-3
“MUD 201-H” literature fanzine, UVCC, 1989, “What i Thought in Sweetgrass” by Dave Olson, p. 4-5 + “The Soft Wing” by L. S. H-B
“MUD 201-H” literature fanzine, UVCC, 1989, “Obituaries” author bios)
“MUD 201-H” literature fanzine, UVCC, 1989, signatures
“MUD 201-H” literature fanzine, UVCC, 1989, back cover

See also: “What I Thought In Sweetgrass” story