Name: Yurika Yoshida
Company: Japan Foreign-Rights Centre, Tokyo
Question #1: Where and when do you read?
I read books on the commuter trains mostly. It might be widely recognized how terribly crowded commuter trains in Tokyo are. So, I leave home much earlier than rush hours and keep space for a book reading in the morning and make my day.
Question #2: Which book have you most given as a present?
A picture book entitled STRAWBERRIES by Susumu Shingu, first published in Japan 1975 and still stays in our market. The book follows the growth of strawberries connecting with the power of life, miracles of nature and even expanding the imagination to the space. Shingu is an internationally known sculptor whose works move by the natural energies of wind and water. This is his first picture book. HERMES, the French fashion brand has supported his “Wind Caravan” world exhibition tour. Several picture books and pop-ups have been published by Editions Gallimard, Paris. STRAWBERRIES will be finally published in French, too, by Gallimard in 2018.
Question #3: What do you remember about your first book fair?
There is an English proverb, “So many men, so many minds”. In Japanese we say, “Ten people, Ten Colors”. That’s what I learn from my first Bologna Children’s Book Fair in 1989.
There is an episode. Before my first Bologna, I read 50 new picture books to be exhibited at our booth. Some, I enjoyed, but some I didn’t. After reading them, Akiko Kurita, our ex-president, let me guess which book she liked most. It was hard, but, “Bingo!” I could make it. – Publishers and editors have their own tastes. Each book has its own taste. That’s what I learned at the very first step.
Question #4: Tell us the resolutions you have made for this year.
“Don’t be angry.” – Autonomic nerves take 3 hours to return to peaceful conditions once they dance. If so, it is such a waste of life if your emotion is in post-anger or irritation. That’s what I got as the other person’s resolution of the year at our family’s Christmas gathering. In order to follow it, I prepared a notebook and wrote down what irritated me to be able to see things differently.
Question #5: Tell us about a bad habit, an obsession or a particular attitude you have picked up since starting to work at JFC
Firstly, I can say, I read books faster than before. Oh, I confess, I am terribly slow to read – I was the slowest in the university class when figuring out the reading speed. Secondly, being agent means to know the authors/artists personally. They are not strangers behind books any more. Their personality or memories in the past, work as a spice of reading.
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