By the time you read this, Patti Smith will have been in Japan for nearly a week. The iconic poet, author, painter and “Godmother of Punk” hasn’t yet played a gig with her band; that will come later. First, Smith is reconnecting with a country with which her affinity runs deep.

“I’ve always loved Japan ever since I was a little girl,” Smith begins. “I think it is because I was born right after World War II, and my father was stationed in the Philippines and the Solomon Islands during the war. He was very heartbroken when the Americans dropped bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and he told me about that when I was very small. And I remember being such a little child, not quite understanding but being so sad about that and wanting to learn more about the country. So I have done a lot of studying about Japan since I was young and I wanted to come earlier on this time to speak to the people.”

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