International Exchange in the past

Old International Exchanges
International Exchange Seminar.

The Role of Poets in Japan and Korea in Asia in 21st Century.

The Seminar by Two Poets from Korea.

 On September 20th, the international seminar The Role of Poets in Japan and Korea in Asia in 21st Century was held at Waseda Hoshien. We invited Ko Hyeong-ryeol and Kwon Taekmyung from Korea.
     Mr. Ko is a poet who was born in Sokcho, Gangwon-do province, 1954. He studied the Zhuangzi and the Buddhism. He writes idealistic poetry, and published numbers of books of poems. He is also known as a great editor of a literary magazine Creation and Criticism. He wrote a long verse Little Boy, focusing on the history of Japan, Korea, and America. He interviewed Korean victims of the atomic bomb to write the poem. He launched the literary magazine Poetry and Criticism. He introduced Japanese poets to Korea on the magazine. He is the poet who has associated with Japan for a long time.
     Mr. Kwon is a poet who was born in Gyeongju in 1950. While he works in a Tokyo branch of Korea Exchange Bank, he has translated Korean and Japanese poems for thirty years. He also has worked as an interpreter.

 [Part I]
Hisao Suzuki served the emcee. Toriko Takarabe, Chairman of Japan Poets Association, gave an opening speech. After that, Yutaka Hosono, President of Japan Poets Club, gave a guest speech. Ko Hyeong-ryeol gave the lecture. The theme of the lecture was The Role of Poets in Japan and Korea in Asia in 21st Century: Beyond the Aporia of Asian Poetry. Mr. Kwon served an interpreter.

[Lecture] The Lecture full of poetic imagination by Ko Hyeong-ryeol.

 “When the bloods are mixed, the two who marry transcend the ethnicity and nationality. When I went for an interview to the research lab of fishery at Yangyang County in Korea, I saw the artificial insemination of salmons. I think that was the removal to the other world.

    Yoshimi Takeuchi is a critique who studied Lu Xun deeply. Takeuchi mentioned Lu Xun saw the darkness (despair) when he was in dark mood. Lu Xun realized the darkness was fiction so that he could take a new step. I felt that every perspective changes completely with a single line. Kojin Karatani, a critique, said that novels are no longer at the center of modern literature. I take his words that modern literature is in the era of ending. We must have alternative idea.
     The poets in east Asia have variety of difficulties. It is difficult to look for the role of the Japanese and Korean poets in Asia. However, I agree that all the countries are struggling with the same problems of literature.
     Writing poems is to translate something the poets are looking in front of them. It is possible to communicate partially when one reads a poem in foreign language. However, the interpretation will end in incomplete. The birth, the form, and the interpretation of poetry may be but incomplete. Translation is important medium in modern times, though it is not something perfect.
 What do Asian poets want to know? What do they want to tell? Why do they need to see each other? They must have this sense of famine and hunger. Otherwise, “Asian Poets” are no longer necessary.
    Recently, a controversial book titled The Origin of Idea was published in Korea. Yoshimi Takeuchi studied Lu Xun. Sun Ge studied Takeuchi. No one ever has done the cross critiques before. Northeast Asia is moving correspondently and forcibly. I think this book has a great meaning in the time like now. There is a bridge in Northeast Asia that we should cross together.
     The poets need to have Asian eyesight. The poets in Japan and Korea should have the place and opportunity to think and view the three countries as their own.
     To form and translate poetry is a dream, but also a wall at the same time. I hope my body to be idealized as Asia by mixing the dream and the wall. The idea in the wall may be the aporia of Asia in truth. I hope the poetry of three countries to have Asian relationship. We should admit each other from the heart. This is as important as the domestic poetry circle. To strengthen the foreign literary bond is to stimulate the domestic poetry circle. The aporia exists to be overcome. However, northeast Asia remains solitude in the wall, and not being able to overcome the dream and imagination of the poet.
      All the poetry comes back to the lyre. I would like to rephrase this. All the people and civilization come back to the lyre.

Ko Hyeong-ryeol viewed Asia widely, and spoke us with full of imagination. I was also impressed by Mr. Kwon interpretation.

 After the lecture, a symposium was held. The theme was The History and Future of Contemporary Poetry in Japan and Korea. Aki Sagawa, who has published numbers of Korean translations, served the emcee. Panelists were Ko Hyeong-ryeol, Sankichi Shibata, Kunikazu Minami and Kwon Taekmyung.

  Ms. Sagawa shared us that she received 5th Changwon KC International Literary Prize for Poetry.
     In a symposium, each panelist spoke about the thoughts and poems in association with Japan and Korea.
    Since I came to Japan as a banker, I am interested in Japanese contemporary poetry, and introducing the poems to Korea. It is challenging to translate poetry, but there are Chinese letters in Japanese so I think I can translate more in original. I think we need more poetical exchanges. (Mr. Kwon)
 “I am impressed by Mr. Kos perspective of Japan, China, and Korea. I am also interested in the story of the lyre. I felt that Korean lyre is something inside unlike Japanese one. (Mr. Minami)
     I cannot stop thinking that the ancient Japanese crossed Genkai Sea to Korea. It is difficult to translate poetry, but there is something that can only be told by poetry. We all need to expand the imagination so that we can feel the same lyre. (Mr. Shibata)      Someday, I would like to read poems on Genkai Sea. Asia needs cultural and poetical exchange. It might be interesting to publish the best poems of the year in each country. (Mr. Ko)
I introduced some impressive comments here.
After the symposium, Korean folk music was played. It was a fantastic music.
     Michio Nakahara, Jun Nakamura, Miyako Ueno, and Masumi Nabekura talked about Korea. After that, they read their own poems.
 Mitsuo Kitabatake, Chariman of Japan Poets Assoication, gave a closing speech.

 [Part II]
We held a feast for the poets from Korea at Waseda Hoshien. Kosaburo Nagatsu and Masumi Nabekura served the emcee. Yuji Kanai, Vice Chairman of Japan Poets Association, and Shigeru Shimizu, an emeritus professor of Waseda University, gave the speech. The attendants seemed to be relaxed throughout the feast. Ken Niinobe, Chariman of Japan Poets Association, gave a closing speech. (A writer: Takanao Matsumoto)