Spotlight on Kaseumin!

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earthcalling
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Post by earthcalling » August 5th, 2006, 12:33 am

What part of the world do you come from? Live now?

I was born and raised in Kochi prefecture, known as Tosa Province, Japan. I wish I could write a book like, �The Liars' Club� by Mary Karr. I�d feel completely satisfied! Tosa is actually a nice place to live except for the typhoons and earthquakes. What made my childhood singular is my parents� peculiarity.

Now I�m living in Ichikawa, Chiba, where Kafu Nagai and Rohan Koda spent their last years. Koda was a Japanese novelist and literary critic, who takes rank with Koyo Ozaki.

How did you find out about Librivox?

Hugh posted a message at my website: "How about Japanese lit for LibriVox?"

What do you do here ie read, proof listen, coordinate? and why?

To read and listen. I�m curious about what peole are reading. I often spend time reading messages on books for enjoyment.

That's interesting, because one thing that's sometimes mentioned here is that there isn't much space for people to talk about the content of the books, as opposed to the recordings.

I didn�t notice that!� Probably I am not reading messages carefully. I just look through titles of messages and titles of books. I enjoy recollecting my experiences in reading related to the books.
And if I don�t know about the books, I make mental notes.

Have you had any previous experience in this area? ie theatre, radio, podcast? How did your site get started? How do you choose what to record? What's your audience?

I had no experience at all, and had no idea that I would read aloud "The Tale of Genji". Most of my audience are Japanese learners. I was surprised to know I even have some Japanese listeners, because in Japan, audiobooks are rather unpopular. I was shocked when I found that audio books in local libraries are even labeled as �for the physically-challenged�. It makes me feel that I am exploiting something when I borrow audiobooks.

I suspect that may of us are 'physically challenged', but only because of the number of hours we spend in front of the screen/mic, rather than out in the air! (Seriously, I've put on weight since starting at LV!). My teacher said that "The Tale of Genji" was the first book written with hiragana (Japanese phonetic script) rather than all in kanji (characters of Chinese origin). Is it revered in Japan? Is it difficult for a modern Japanese person to read?

In that sense, I think I am!
The Tale of Genji is translated into modern Japanese by Junichiro Tanizaki, Akiko Yosano, and the rest.
They are apparently facinated by stories of Genji. Yes, it is revered and difficult work to read.
Sometimes I ask myself, 'why did you take this project?'. I am slowly getting used to read ancient writings, though. There�s a difference in tempo between the first and fourth chapter of my reading Genji Monogatari.

Is there a particular LibriVox book which you like the best because of the quality, the overall effort involved, its popularity, or for some other reason?

Ulysses by James Joyce. It�s the only collaborative project I took part in.
The Imitation of Christ, by Thomas a Kempis. I wanted to read it for some time because I see this book often quoted as I read on Christianity.

What type of literature do you prefer to read/help with?

Philosophical, religious works. I�d like to listen to, for example, Meister Eckhart�s writings.

Who is your Favorite author(s)?
Jorge Luis Borges, Stendhal, Ernst Robert Curtius, etc�

May I say, you're extraordinarily well read in Western works. I assume that's unusual for a Japanese person. How did that come about?

I was a lonely child and had no friends. When I couldn�t confront the reality, I took sanctuary in books. My safe haven in my childhood was in the books I read. Consequently, I became accustomed to talk with authors of the past.
Much the same way you get to know your friends� friends, I found fascinating authors to read.
For instance, if you�d hear Ernst Junger and Carl Schmitt talking about Leon Bloy in a caf�, perhaps you�d become intrigued and feel like to meet Bloy in person or read his books.

What do you do for fun ie hobbies, reading, knitting?
I do Iai, a sword-based Japanese martial art.
When I was young, I used to play games with Nintendo, Play Station, Sega, you name it!
But now I rarely do. I gave them to my brother, who is 15 years junior to me.

Favorite website/ personal site?
I like to visit other podcasters� websites. To see what they are reading now.

Any particular favorite podcasts?

Other than LV, my favorites are:

Incipit Blog
Miette's Bedtime Story Podcast

In an average week, how many hours do you spend in LibriVox recording / forums / etc. (what does LibriVox "etc" mean to you?)

I spend 1 to 2 hours for recording Japanese classics. If I count in my homework for reading, it�ll be doubled.
For example, to read Genji Monogatari for 10 munutes, I do my homework for about 20 minutes, looking up ancient words, checking pronunciations, etc.

In an average week, how many hours do you spend outside? [you know, not in a building, that kind of outside]

Almost zero!

What is your recording and editing set up?

Sony VAIO PCG-V505E
Microsoft Windows XP, Home Edition
Mobile Intel Celeron 1.8 GHz, 768MB RAM
For recording: Edirol UA-3FX (USB Audio interface)?plus mic.
Software: Sound it! 3.0LE , iTunes

If you had three clones of independent means, where would they be and what would they be doing?

One would be studying French in Paris. The other, Italian in Rome. The last one would be in London to find books.
All of them would be translating books that I want to read in Japanese.

What was your first recording for LibriVox?

Oku no Hosomichi by Matsuo Bashō. (If that link doesn't work in your browser, please go here).

Have you tried adding background sound to any recordings?

Yes, but after adding background sound to several recordings, I found that it can be distractive as one of my listeners pointed out.

What makes you tick? Or, in a nutshell, what is your philosophy?

Gilbert Murray wrote that he was led to his studies �by the wish to fill up certain puzzling blancks of ignorance in my own mind.�
I have similar sentiment; my philosophy of life is to find treasures in literature and to fill in my emptiness.

What helped you personally to get through "what-if-i-suck" stage?

It's not "If", for me. I am aware of my inferiorities and hoping to be better. Though I rarely think of myself as I used to�There are so many essential writings of authors to read and think.

You say that, but everyone who listens to your recordings loves them...

That�s very encouraging to hear!
I want to thank those who encouraged me to keep reading. Without their kind comments, I couldn�t continue podcasting. They are so generous.

What's one single instance of your vision of utopia? (More are welcome!!)

The world without war.
So many atrocites are out there, and I cannot believe or envision utopia as people did in 16th in Europe.
Joseph De Maistre wrote that the world is a slaughterhouse. It's much easier for me to agree with him and imagine hell rather than utopia.
But, if I am allowed to have such vision, it'll be the world where children are safe from any dangers.

-----------------------

All Spotlight interviews can be found here:-
http://librivox.org/wiki/moin.cgi/SpotlightOn

Starlite
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Location: Thunder Bay Ontario, Canada

Post by Starlite » August 5th, 2006, 3:35 am

Wow great interview guys! Nice to get to know you better Kaseumin!
"Reasonable people adapt themselves to the world. Unreasonable
people attempt to adapt the world to themselves. All progress,
therefore, depends on unreasonable people." George Bernard Shaw

kaseumin
Posts: 52
Joined: October 8th, 2005, 12:04 am
Location: Japan
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Post by kaseumin » August 5th, 2006, 4:29 am

Thank you, Starlite :)
I was a little bit nervous to be interviewed.
But David helped me to answer those questions. Correcting grammatical errors, giving comments...
Thank you, David !

Cloud Mountain
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Post by Cloud Mountain » August 5th, 2006, 6:36 am

どうもありがとう
Thank you Kaseumin!

A very calm, pleasant interview.
I plan to visit your site and see if I can learn something helpful.
Or maybe just to enjoy myself.

Good luck!

くもやま
.

kaseumin
Posts: 52
Joined: October 8th, 2005, 12:04 am
Location: Japan
Contact:

Post by kaseumin » August 5th, 2006, 7:32 am

雲山さん
コメントをどうもありがとうございます!

I�m very delighted to have your comment !
I hope my site will give you some help.

かすみ

kayray
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Post by kayray » August 5th, 2006, 8:04 am

It's very nice to know you better! Thanks for the interesting interview. I, too, lived in a world of books when I was a child, mostly because I was (and am) quiet and introverted. The children in the books I read became my friends.
Kara
http://kayray.org/
--------
"Mary wished to say something very sensible into her Zoom H2 Handy Recorder, but knew not how." -- Jane Austen (& Kara)

Cloud Mountain
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Post by Cloud Mountain » August 5th, 2006, 11:48 am

kayray wrote:It's very nice to know you better! Thanks for the interesting interview. I, too, lived in a world of books when I was a child, mostly because I was (and am) quiet and introverted. The children in the books I read became my friends.

I was (and am) quiet and introverted
I notice this not to distract from kaseumin's very excellent interview, or to be disrespectiful to you Kara, but I had to giggle, knowing that those words were coming from the person who has logged the greatest number of posts in LV's one year history! Now where is that interview!? Mmmmm. Let me see... And now that I think of it, you are.
.

kaseumin
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Joined: October 8th, 2005, 12:04 am
Location: Japan
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Post by kaseumin » August 5th, 2006, 6:16 pm

Kara, it seems we have in common other than having frinds in the books and experiences with gaming.
Jane Austen!
I've seen films, have DVDs (BBC?s TV adaptation) and 3 cpoies of ?Pride and Prejudice? ?
:)

LibraryLady
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Joined: November 29th, 2005, 5:10 pm
Location: St. Louis, Missouri

Post by LibraryLady » August 5th, 2006, 8:36 pm

Great interview David, good to know you better Kaseumin! Fascinating that audiobooks are labeled for the physically disabled in Japan.
Annie Coleman Rothenberg
http://www.anniecoleman.com/

"I hear the sound I love, the sound of the human voice." ~Whitman

kaseumin
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Post by kaseumin » August 6th, 2006, 12:21 am

Annie,
Well....I think it?s a sort of bureaucracy in my local library.
Record companies are not selling those audiobooks as for physically disabled.

Thank you,:D for your reading ?Pride and Prejudice?!
It?s a shame that there?s no Japanese version available for LV.

KATWAL
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Joined: May 17th, 2006, 2:22 pm
Location: Calhoun, Kentucky

Post by KATWAL » August 7th, 2006, 7:37 am

Glad to know a bit about you Kaseumin.

You've got me curious as to what made your childhood singular and what is peculiar about your parents. Are you referring to the solitude of your childhood or something else? (if you care to share.) My mother worried about the solitude in my childhood, yet those times were very rich with learning. I wouldn't trade those times for anything. They seem like a gift to me now.

Good interview David. Thanks for taking the time.

Kathy

kaseumin
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Post by kaseumin » August 7th, 2006, 9:03 pm

Kathy,

It?s nice to hear about you.
Did you try to find a friend? I tried to but failed at that time.(I was fastidious...)
So I enjoyed being alone and busy with learning, too :)

kaseumin

KATWAL
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Location: Calhoun, Kentucky

Post by KATWAL » August 8th, 2006, 6:50 am

Eventually made friends. My first was a grandfatherly man who had a large gourd farm. He was great to put up with me. Even though he was at least in his 60's and I was about 6, I considered him my first best friend.

Growing up we spent many holidays and weekends camping in extremely isolated beaches in Baja California. We would be the only people there, I would be the only child. It was adventourous to me. I played by myself, exploring the beaches and inlets. It was actually great. I certainly learned to entertain myself, be at peace alone and learned a wonderful appreciation for nature. I could easily be a hermit today if I allowed myself to do so. The drawback was socially I'd say I was backwards and I was extremely shy.

Not so today. Well, at least I'm not shy.

Have you overcome your lack of friends?

Kathy

kaseumin
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Post by kaseumin » August 9th, 2006, 12:51 am

Sounds like you had the fascinating and adventourous childhood!
And I suppose you have a lot of valuable experiences, stories to tell :)

Unfortunately, no.
(I should be more amiable :( )
Perhaps this is why I like to read correspondances that reflect their mutual friendship.

a.r.dobbs
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Post by a.r.dobbs » August 9th, 2006, 1:36 am

Kaseumin-san, thank you for a rich interview -- rich in atmosphere and quiet. A calm focus throughout.
I have listened with great pleasure to your ambitious project at LibriVox. I can't understand anything (a single word here, then there), but I am mesmerized by its grace.

Anita

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