Thursday, June 9, 2011

More on Japanese Literary Journals

A couple months ago I was really getting into the literary journal scene in Japan. It was really only because I got my hands on some recent issues of Bungakukai, but I started looking into Gunzo as well. I did some research, and if you want to stay afloat on the Japanese literary scene but not in Japan yourself, here are some possible means to do so.

 I found out you can order Bungakukai through Amazon, which is pretty freaking awesome. The only problem is that it costs $224 for a year's subscription, or twelve issues. A little over 18 bucks an issue, which is not an impossible price (though certainly out of my price range right now), and it is a lot of content—roughly 3600 pages of fiction, poetry, author interviews, and essays. 

Even better (though for not nearly as much content) is that I found out that Gunzo has an iPhone/iTouch/iPad "preview" app. It's a best of collection, that includes whole short stories, the first chapters in serialized novels and essays (including one about Murakami in America), poetry, and best of all, it's completely free. Obviously this is only useful for those with an iWhatever, but, it's kind of cool to offer it all for free. 

Gunzo and Bungakukai are also on Twitter, where they often announce who is going to be what issue, who has won their big prizes, and retweets people's (favorable) responses to whatever they just published. 

It goes without saying that all of these are only useful if you can read Japanese...

[In the next post, I'm going to look at a literary award (and one of it's recipients) that hasn't been mentioned in English yet because it is fairly new and none of the pieces have been translated yet into English - The Kenzaburo Oe Prize.]

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