‘Out of his struggles’, two bi-lingual readings from the work of poet and political activist, Kosuke Shirasu, (1905-1943), by the joint interpreters, Bruce Barnes and Jun Shirasu.
Please Note start time of 7.00p.m (website clock seems locked)
The two readings are in memory of the poet’s daughter, Ichiko Shirasu, and each will focus on
a different aspect of his writing:
Friday 13/10/17 7.00-8.30 p.m
5 Caledonian Road
King's Cross ,London N1 9DX, Tel 020 7837 4473
‘Out of his struggles-the poems of Kosuke Shirasu
-an interpretation by Jun Shirasu and Bruce Barnes’ is published by:
The Utistugu Press 37 Wilmer Road,
Heaton, Bradford,BD9 4RX. U.K.
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About Kosuke Shirasu: (1905-1943):
Kosuke was born in Tokyo, and worked as a journalist and pamphleteer. His involvement in the Japanese Communist was reflected in his work in Akita City producing and circulating a newsletter for local workers as well as documenting the farmers riots against local landowners. In the same year, 1928, he joined NAPF, the All Japan Federation of Proletarian Arts contributing to its official magazine, Battle Flag; by 1930 he had collected and published many of these contributions in his pamphlet Strike.
Proletarian writers such as Kosuke worked under extremely adverse conditions: state censorship, the mass arrests of communists and other political activists that began in 1928, and the impact on morale of the renunciation of communism by the Party’s two most experienced activists, Manabu Sano and Sadachika Nabeyama, in 1933.
His poems are influenced by European styles of free verse and often explore multiple perspective; however his main concern appears to be a desire to record the day to day experience of workers in struggle.
The ‘interpretation’ process:
Over a four year period, Jun Shirasu, the poet’s grandson, searched libraries and journals for Kosuke’s work and then shared his partial English translation with the co-author Bruce Barnes; a definitive Interpretation was then developed through email exchange, and through Bruce Barnes background reading on the Japanese social history of the period, the development of Communism and the proletarian writers movement in Japan.
About Ichiko Shirasu:
Ichiko Shirasu, the poet’s daughter, was the inspiration for the publication: a BBC World Service journalist, translator, and a polymath who kept faith with her father’s socialist principles by demonstrating them through her kindness and generosity. Sadly, her untimely death meant that she was unable to see her idea come to fruition.
Time: 11:30am (7.00 p.m start )
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