Irish poet to be focus of Yeats Day at Waseda


Staff Writer

One of the first attempts to combine the literary traditions of the English and Japanese languages occurred in 1916, when Irish poet William Butler Yeats tried his hand at a noh play. The result, “At the Hawk’s Well,” tells the story of a mythological hero Cuchulain, but it’s best known for its masked protagonists.

Yeats’ efforts at bridging two literary traditions continue to make him a popular subject of study both here and in his native country. This weekend, the Irish Embassy in Japan will host a local version of Yeats Day, an annual festival held in the author’s hometown of Sligo on his birthday, June 13.

The event will feature talks by Yeats Day founder Susan O’Keeffe, and University of Limerick professor Margaret Harper. The day will be rounded out by a performance of Yeats-inspired music penned by Japan-based composer Paul Hayes.

Yeats Day in Japan will be held in Room 501, Bldg.11, Waseda Campus, Waseda University in Tokyo on June 22 (1 p.m.). To register, email tokyoembassy@dfa.ie with “Yeats Day in Japan 2013″in the subject.