On Familiar Terms: A Journey Across Cultures

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Kodansha International, Jan 1, 1994 - Biography & Autobiography - 292 pages
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"This is the intimate and inspiring story of one of the truly great cosmopolitans of our time. During an exceptional career spanning five decades, Donald Keene has brought the works of Japan's greatest writers to worldwide attention through his highly acclaimed writings, translations, and anthologies. On Familiar Terms is the deeply personal story of his remarkable life - from a Depression-era childhood through his wartime experiences as a naval intelligence officer in the Pacific, his early enchantment with the now-vanished world of old Kyoto, and the diverse and lasting friendships he made in New York, Japan, and England." "In this poignant and engaging portrait of intellectual, spiritual, and personal growth, Donald Keene recalls his lifelong journey, including fascinating relationships with and illuminating anecdotes about such writers as Yukio Mishima, Yasunari Kawabata, Kenzaburo Oe, and Kobo Abe." "This is a story of universal interest, of self-discovery among shifting cultural boundaries, and the making of a committed internationalist against the backdrop of a complex and restless world."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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ON FAMILIAR TERMS

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In this memoir, critic and translator Keene ( Seeds in the Heart , Holt, 1992.) has many stories to tell from his Depression-era childhood, his life as a World War II Navy interpreter, his discovery ... Read full review

Contents

Digging to Japan
1
A Pacific War
21
Living Tradition
75
Copyright

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About the author (1994)

Donald Keene was born in Brooklyn, New York on June 18, 1922. He received a bachelor's degree in 1942, a master's degree in 1947, and a doctoral degree in 1951 from Columbia University. During World War II, he served as an intelligence officer in the Navy and worked translating for Japanese prisoners. He taught at Columbia University for 56 years and was named the Shincho Professor of Japanese Literature in 1986 and University Professor Emeritus. Keene is considered to be a "Japanologist". He has written, translated, or edited numerous books in both Japanese and English on Japanese literature and culture including The Pleasures of Japanese Literature, Essays in Idleness, So Lovely a Country Will Never Perish: Wartime Diaries of Japanese Writers, Three Plays of Kobo Abe, Twenty Plays of the No Theater, and The Breaking Jewel. His awards include the Kikuchi Kan Prize of the Society for the Advancement of Japanese Culture, the Japan Foundation Prize and the Tokyo Metropolitan Prize. Soon after the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, Keene retired and moved to Japan with the intention of living out the remainder of his life there. He acquired Japanese citizenship, and adopted a Japanese legal name. This required him to relinquish his American citizenship, as Japan does not permit dual citizenship.

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