BOOKS / 出版物

If There Were No Japan

If There Were No Japan

A Cultural Memoir

Roger Pulvers

Social Sciences


Published by JPIC | Hardcover | ISBN 978-4-916055-44-6 | 248 pages | 210mm (h) x 148mm (w) | March 2015

About the Book

An award-winning writer and translator who has immersed himself in Japanese culture for half a century delivers a firsthand account of the country’s customs and the profound changes occurring in contemporary Japanese society.

Originally published in Japanese, If There Were No Japan: A Cultural Memoir was acclaimed for its insights into Japanese life, bringing together aspects of history, culture and everyday life to paint an original and revealing portrait of the Japanese people and the pressing issues facing them today. This national bestseller was hailed as a roadmap for “innovation of the mind”—essential knowledge that could guide Japan out of the economic and psychological doldrums that have held sway for the past two decades.

During his decades of passionate engagement with Japan, Pulvers became close friends with many of the most gifted writers, filmmakers, actors and journalists in the country. Whether delving into ancient traditions or providing vivid accounts of contemporary customs, analyzing characters in Japanese fiction or recounting personal encounters with individuals, the author illuminates those inventive elements that have made Japanese culture and design the envy of the world—and that signal a way forward into the twenty-first century.

About the Author


Roger Pulvers is an acclaimed author, playwright, theater director, translator and journalist. He has published more than forty books in Japanese and English, including novels such as The Death of Urashima Taro, General Yamashita’s Treasure, The Honey and the Fires and The Dream of Lafcadio Hearn. His most recent novel, Starsand (2015), was written in Japanese and is published by Kodansha. He received the Kenji Miyazawa Prize in 2008 and the Noma Award for the Translation of Japanese Literature in 2013. Over the past forty-five years he has translated prose, drama and poetry from Japanese, Russian, and Polish.

His plays have been widely performed in Australia, Japan and the United States, including his translation and adaptation of Nikolai Gogol’s The Government Inspector for two actors, which enjoyed a month-long run at the Sydney Opera House and a national tour in Australia in 2007. He has twice directed at the Adelaide Festival of the Arts.

Pulvers has also worked in film and television. He was assistant to director Nagisa Oshima on Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence. He also co-wrote the script for the Japanese film Ashita e no Yuigon (Best Wishes for Tomorrow), which won the Crystal Simorgh Prize for Best Script at the 27th Fajr International Film Festival in Tehran. In 2010–11 he hosted and wrote the popular weekly NHK television show about famous sayings in Japan and around the world, Gift: E-meigen no Sekai.

Roger Pulvers currently divides his time between Sydney, Australia, and Japan.







1944年アメリカ生まれ。作家/劇作家/演出家/元東京工業大学 世界文明センター長。ハーバード大学大学院ロシア地域研究所で修士号を取得。その後、ワルシャワ大学とパリ大学への留学を経て、1967年、初めて日本の地を踏む。以来、ほぼ半世紀を日本で過ごす。その間、精力的に日本各地を旅し、そこに住む人々や文化、風土、言語の特異性に直に触れるいっぽう、様々な文化人と、深く親密な交流を結び、世界にまれな日本と日本人のすぐれた特質と独自性に驚嘆。

大島渚監督作品『戦場のメリークリスマス』の助監督などを経て、執筆活動を開始。著書に、『旅する帽子 小説ラフカディオ・ハーン』『ライス』(ともに講談社)、『日本ひとめぼれ』『英語で読み解く賢治の世界』(ともに岩波書店)『英語で読む 桜の森の満開の下』(ちくま文庫)、『新バイブル・ストーリーズ』(集英社)『ハーフ』(書肆パンセ)『賢治から、あなたへ』『驚くべき日本語』(ともに集英社インターナショナル)など多数。また、日本での劇作家としての仕事は、小泉堯史(たかし)監督作品『明日への遺言』(2009年テヘラン国際映画祭・脚本賞受賞)など。深く敬愛してやまない宮沢賢治の作品の英訳にも数多く携わる。その功績から、2008年、第18回宮沢賢治賞を受賞。2013年、「雨ニモマケズ」の翻訳で第19回野間文芸翻訳賞受賞。2015年、『10年間勉強しても英語が上達しない日本人のための新英語学習法』(集英社インターナショナル)、日本語で執筆した小説『星砂物語』(講談社)が刊行。






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Original Japanese Edition / 原書情報



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