Japanese Authors, Poetry and Songs

  • Part I (30 min) – Japanese Authors

Ryoko Adachi and Andrew McKay, currently adjunct fellows of the Japanese Studies Centre, Monash University, co-authored Shadows of War and co-edited Echoes of War.

Ryoko Adachi has long experience as a journalist and author. As a foreign correspondent in Australia she has written for Japanese media including The Japan Times and Nichigo Press. She authored My Australia – Australia Through  A Woman’s Eyes and translated Full Fathom Five by Mary Albertus Bain – both published in Japan. Her weekly program, Ryoko’s Letter From Australia, was broadcasted for years on Radio Australia.

Andrew McKay is a veteran journalist, working as a columnist in the Canberra Press Gallery, then as a foreign correspondent for the Sydney Morning Herald in London. He worked for Murdoch publications in New York as the first Australian journalist on the New York Post and then covered North and South America for the News Ltd Bureau. Returning to Australia he became News Editor and then Victorian Editor of The Australian. He has written numerous non-fiction books and TV scripts.


Authors researched Shadows of War – a unique and provocative book which records the thoughts and opinions of Australians involved in the fight against the Japanese during the Second World War.

As the 60th anniversary of that war approached, the authors realized that while Australia-Japan relations were very good in trades and cultural and human exchanges there was still an anti-Japanese sentiment in Australia caused by the war. They believed strongly that for better relations between the two countries shadows of the war should not be allowed to linger. And that Japanese people must understand about the shadows.

They collected more than 200 responses from Australians whose lives were influenced by the war: ex-POWs of Japan, ex-servicemen and women who fought Japan and their families. (They asked them about their wartime experiences, their feelings and opinions about Japan and the Japanese both during the war and just after the war. Also their current feelings and views and how these might have changed. Or how they have not changed.)

And here is an excerpt from the book showing the emotion it uncovered.

Reading: Shadows of War  from P.9-Long Way from Kokoda …to p.11 …

Yoko Pinkerton

Rumi Komonz (小紋寿ルミ)holds B.A. Gakushuin, Dip Ed Monash, LLB La Trobe ’07. As a law student, she had publications in equal opportunity and criminal law, particularly with issues for non-English speaking women in domestic violence. She was one of the finalists for the 7th Bungeishichoo Literature award 2010. She writes her historical fiction Kicho & Nobunaga for a Japanese writers’ magazine and a Japanese ebook site, where it remains popular. English version is now published and is available from Amazon.

  • Part II (30 min) – Japanese Poetry – haiku, tanka and translations

Lyn Reeves is a Tasmanian writer whose poetry, stories and haiku have been published widely in journals and anthologies throughout Australia and overseas. In 1999, Lyn Reeves was runner up in the Gwen Harwood Memorial Poetry Prize, sponsored by Island Magazine. The Literature Board of the Australia Council awarded her a grant in 2002 to develop a collection of poetry, and she was also awarded a Varuna Fellowship for May, 2002. In October 2002, Lyn was writer-in-residence at St. Helens (through an award granted by the Tasmanian Writers’ Centre’s Tasmania – Island of residencies).

Sue Stanford’s  The Neon City, a collection of her haiku was published in 2008. Sue is enrolled at Monash University in a PhD on haiku traditions. Sue has translated Japanese haiku by witnesses of Hiroshima and the bombing of Tokyo. She is associated with the organisation Japanese for Peace. She has also won prizes for her haiku, here and in Japan, including the Hobo Haiku Competition and the Melbourne Poet’s Union National Poetry Competition. Her previous collection Opal was published in 2006.

Sofia Chapman is a playwright and poet, currently Cafe Poet at Open Studio, Northcote, through Australian Poetry. She studied Modern Languages at University in Tasmania and is still avid to travel and learn new languages and her plays feature multilingual characters. Her poems have been published in Prelude and Inscribe, and her plays include The Anorexic Chef and the Accidental Death of an Accordionist. Her epic The Four Accordionists of the Apocalypse  will run at Carlton Courthouse this Fringe Festival.

Rebecca Kylie Law is an Australian poet. She holds a Masters Degree in Poetry from The University of Melbourne, a Post-graduate Diploma in English Literature (UOM), a Graduate Diploma in Creative Writing(UOM) and a Bachelor Degree in Fine Art(RMIT). Her poetry has been published in several literary journals and online (internationally: 2012). She will undertake two residencies as a poet in Melbourne and Italy this year, 2012; and her first collection of poetry will be released in August, 2012 by Picaro Press.

  • Part III (30 min) – Japanese Songs

Hiroko Sugimoto is the current conductor of Yukari Echo Japanese Women’s Choir.  She is a graduate of Ueno Gakuen Music University, majoring in vocals. Hiroko’s charity concert featuring opera arias from Madam Butterfly, Samson et Dalila and others, in November 2011 was supported by catholic community in Melbourne and Caritas Australia. She raised AU$9,000 including the government’s contributions, which helped the children of Somalia, Kenya, South Sudan and Ethiopia through Caritas-Urgent East African Appeal.

Yukari Echo Japanese Women’s Choir is the only choral group which enjoys the support of the Japanese Society and the Japanese Chamber of Commerce in Melbourne. They regularly visit aged care facilities to entertain elderly residents. They have also performed at the BMW Edge, Federation Square Stage, the Concert Hall, the Art Gallery and various charity and cultural events. Yukari Echo 30th Anniversary Help Japan Charity Concert in September 2011 raised over AU$4,500 to donate to the Soma City Earthquake Disaster Orphan Scholarship Fund.



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