I clearly recall Donald Richie, described by Michael Ondaatje as, “a beautiful and subtle writer,” lamenting the lack of an English-language literary salon in Japan, an omission that forced him, as he put it, to “(live) alone in the library of my skull.” Were Richie alive today, he would likely be a fully paid up member of Writers in Kyoto, a group of authors whose influence is already being felt in literary circles.

Founded by established writer John Dougill in 2015, Writers in Kyoto was formed with the purpose of creating, as the editors of this anthology express it, a “sense of community,” to “help foster a literary culture for published English-language authors associated with the city.” Membership, as translator Juliet Winters Carpenter, notes in her foreword, “does not require being a resident of Kyoto, but having an affinity for it.”

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