Josai University Educational Corporation


Josai Hosts Tripartite Talk “Modern Poetry Event II:  The Sound that Soaks the Earth―Looking Back on a Century of Women and Poetry”

On November 7, 2014, the Josai University Educational Corporation hosted the tripartite talk “Modern Poetry Event II: The Sound that Soaks the Earth” with the theme “Looking Back on a Century of Women and Poetry” at the Tokyo Kioicho Campus. The talk was held by three renowned female poets―Ms. Moon Chung-hee from Korea, Ms. Hiromi Ito, and Ms. Noriko Mizuta―who discussed issues of pregnancy, childbirth, and life abroad, among other topics.

This event was a continuation of the International Symposium Commemorating Winners of the Cikada Prize held at Josai on June 7, 2014. The Cikada Prize is awarded by the Swedish government to exceptional Asian poets who are able to express the majesty of life through their work. December, 2013, Ms. Mizuta, a poet and scholar in comparative literature, was the third Japanese and sixth overall to receive the Cikada Prize. The June symposium was organized to commemorate this award, with Ms. Moon, recipient of the 5th Cikada Prize, appearing as one of the panelists and promising to appear again alongside Chancellor Mizuta at this event. With Ms. Moon and Ms. Mizuta, two leaders of the women’s poetry boom in the 1980s, and Ms. Hiromi Ito, whose work revolutionizes notions of female poetry, the panel was very well rounded.

The talk opened with each poet discussing their first encounters with poetry. Ms. Ito said that, “I first experienced the emotional power of poetry when I was afflicted with an eating disorder at 18. I learned that my poetry was not oriented toward society, but toward my own body.” Ms. Moon then related her own experience by saying, “When I first married, I was haunted by the specter of tradition. I discovered that writing cute verse just wasn’t enough for me.” Ms. Mizuta followed by saying, “It’s very interesting to consider generational difference in terms of female expression. When I listen to the words of the two of you, they are both refreshing and devastating.” The three then proceeded with discussion of childbirth, motherhood, patriarchy, life abroad, and other topics. Nearly 170 people were in attendance, including poets, university faculty, and students, and listened with great interest to the discussion, posing provocative questions during the Q&A.
  During the free conversation portion, Mr. Mutsuo Takahashi dove into the discussion, eliciting much excitement from the audience.

From second left: Hiromi Ito, Moon Chung-hee, and Noriko Mizuta

From second left: Hiromi Ito, Moon Chung-hee,
and Noriko Mizuta

During the free discussion

During the free discussion

After the talk, a friendly reception was held, joining participants and audience members, during which the three panel members also gave readings of their work.

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