Roland Kelts - On Contemporary Japanese Fiction & Japanamerica
Deep in Japan
Roland Kelts is a Tokyo-based writer, journalist, scholar, and authority on Japanese and Western cultures. His first book, Japanamerica, has been described as "the ultimate guide to Japan's pop culture juggernaut — required reading for many Hollywood producers, global artists, and academics worldwide." Currently, Roland splits his time between editing the literary magazine "Monkey: New Writing from Japan" and teaching literature as visiting professor at Waseda University.The Deep in Japan Podcast is completely independent and crowd-funded. And by that, I mean we are broke, impecunious, poor. Please consider supporting the show by becoming a patron at https://www.patreon.com/deepinjapan* LINKS * MONKEY: https://monkeymagazine.org/NIKKEI Asia: Japan's obsession with perfection is an Olympic-sized problem: https://s.nikkei.com/3yQWptZTHE FIFTH FLAVOR: Boundaries of Taste: Umami gives identity and intricacy to mother’s milk, a bowl of ramen, a writer poised between Japan and America: https://bit.ly/3usY8lJJAPANAMERICA: http://www.japanamericabook.com/* MUSIC *The outro was Ultraman Taro-Theme Song: https://bit.ly/3umuH4xThe intro was my own original mashup of Hokuto no Ken (Fist of the North Star) anime sound bites with “Dubstep" from BenSound.Got something to say? You can find me at the following:- www.facebook.com/groups/deepinjapan/ - firstname.lastname@example.orgAs always, thanks for listening!
S3E14: New York, Tokyo, and Back Again with Roland Kelts
Notebook on Cities and Culture
Colin Marshall sits down in Echo Park, Los Angeles with Roland Kelts, lecturer at the University of Tokyo, co-editor of the literary journal A Public Space, and author of the book Japanamerica: How Japanese Pop Culture Has Invaded the U.S. They discuss whether Japan has yet really figured out how to sell its pop culture abroad; the success of CrunchyRoll.com; his time growing up as a partial outsider in the white northeastern United States, and how anime and manga's focus on the outsider thus resonated with him; the commission he received from the Coppolas to write a story about Japan, which had him live in Osaka for a year; the subsequent offers that came his way to write about Murakami, Miyazaki, and Japanese youth culture; why the Wachowskis like anime so much; what his youthful Anglophilia revealed to him about the parallels, especially aesthetic, between Britain and Japan; how we even have sushi in American convenience stores, yet nothing like Japanese street vending machines; whether he felt, as did novelist Todd Shimoda, a not-fully-foreign presence in Japan; how he splits his time between New York and Tokyo, and the importance of maintaining ties with his native land; how the geographical oscillation provides him perspective on both cities, and what escapes his attention (Lena Dunham, for example) when he's away from each; the relative lack of coded engagement and easier physical flow of New York; his understanding of American psychology coming through a cross-country drive of vast spaces and non-major cities; and the passing of Donald Richie, which raises questions of how best to write about Japan, a country which must now return to doing more with less.