Mutsuo Takahashi was born in Japan in 1937, and educated at Fukuoka University of Education. An eminent playwright and poet, he has published many collections of haiku and tanka and more than twenty collections of free verse in his native Japanese. On Two Shores draws to some extent on that earlier work but also features more recent poems, including more than a dozen written during and after a tour of Ireland in the summer of 1999, a trip which, according to Nobuaki Tochigi in his Introduction, led to Mutsuo Takahashi’s “regaining his faith in poetry”. On Two Shores is translated into English by Mitsuko Ohno and Frank Sewell. The book is presented in two ‘halves’, with the English translations mirroring the Japanese originals.
This is a delightful volume, especially for anyone who knows the Irish poets Takahashi finds himself among. But it has much to offer any reader. The Japanese and English texts run in opposite directions, and there are some sketches in the middle, where they meet. It is perhaps the first book of this kind to appear in Ireland, and the translators have done a fine job.”
— David Burleigh, The Japan Times Online
ISBN 9781904556497 Paperback
146 pp, 140 x 216 mm