My own muses are much more prosaic. But, still, I would like to share with you how I came to write the essays I’ve posted to my blog The Asia Collection. I’m sure people wonder, because it is a bit of a mishmash: the suicide of a Japanese writer, an introduction to Indian literature, a Japanese diplomat who saved Jews, an Indian tennis player, a North Korean mountain, to name a few.
And why Asia? Well, as I said in About Me, I specialized at university in Far East Asian studies, focusing on Japanese language and Asian history. As soon as I completed my degree, I traveled to Japan, where I spent a year, working some of the time at Expo 70 − which explains one of my essays. While I was there, I experienced a dramatic event, which left a traumatic imprint on Japanese society: the suicide by harakiri of the famous Japanese writer Yukio Mishima, after trying to incite a group of servicemen to rise up against their country. Needless to say, this affair also left an indelible impression on me, hence my decision to write about it. The Foreigner behind the Mask in Japanese Traditional Theater was born after a chance meeting through my editing work with the Israeli theater director and professor of East Asian studies Zvika Serper.
India is also close to my heart since I love literature about this country, by both Indian and non-Indian writers. I thus thought I’d introduce some of their work to those unfamiliar with this rich and colorful literature. An article in an Israeli newspaper about a charismatic Indian general led me to further research and the essay Lieutenant General J.F.R. Jacob: An Indian Officer with a Difference.
And to those who wonder what an essay about North Korea is doing there. Well, North Korea is in the news a lot, and it’s a mysterious country. I therefore thought I’d focus on a topic that would have some human interest: the rare and emotional meetings between North and South Koreans.
So there we have it: a random collection of essays originating from various experiences and associations throughout my life. My point is that one does not have to be creative to write. Nobody’s life is boring. There are always things to write about and many types of writing, and all are legitimate. So don’t think you have to be creative to write. I’m trying to encourage not only creative writing for this site, but essays and book reviews, too. If you’ve never written before, try it; if you’re a drawer writer, whether creative or not, pull it out!