Japan Special: Ryuichi Sakomoto, Japanese Short Stories, Sou Fujimoto

A Japanese-themed edition of Front Row as the Oscar-winning composer Ryuichi Sakamoto, whose scores include Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence and The Last Emperor, talks to Stig about being inspired by nature, and how he came back from treatment for throat cancer to write the music for The Revenant.

The editor of The Penguin Book of Japanese Short Stories, Jay Rubin, tells how he curated the selection and reflects on his career as one of Haruki Murakami's main translators. And Junko Takekawa, Senior Arts Programme Officer at the Japan Foundation and a guest curator at this year's Cheltenham Festival of Literature, selects some of her favourite Japanese novels.

The architect Sou Fujimoto describes how the boundaries between nature and buildings, inside and outside, inspire his work - and reveals the artistic potential of a pile of crisps!

Presenter: Stig Abell
Producer: Sarah Johnson.

Release date:

Available now

30 minutes

Last on

Thu 28 Jun 2018 19:15

Ryuichi Sakamoto

Ryuichi Sakamoto

The documentary film Ryuichi Sakamota: Coda is in UK cinemas from 29 June 2018 , certificate PG.


Main image above, and image to the left: stills taken from the film Ryuichi Sakamoto: Coda,

produced and directed by Stephen Nomura Schible



Japanese short stories

Japanese short stories

The Penguin Book of Japanese Short Stories, curated by Jay Rubin is out now, in hardback and as an eBook.

Image: Jay Rubin


Sou Fujimoto

Sou Fujimoto

The Futures of the Future exhibition is at Japan House, London until 05 August 2018.

Image: Sou Fujimoto

Image credit: Vintiner David

Japanese literature recommendations

Japanese literature recommendations

Junko Takekawa, Senior Arts Programme Officer at the Japan Foundation, London gives her personal favourite three modern Japanese books:

Villain by Shuichi Yoshida, translated by Philip Gabriel

Mikumari by Misumi Kobo translated by Polly Barton

Tomorrow by Mitsuharu Inoue.  Not available in an English translation.


Image: A writers' event at the Japan Foundation

Image credit: The Japan Foundation



Role Contributor
PresenterStig Abell
Interviewed GuestRyuichi Sakamoto
Interviewed GuestJay Rubin
Interviewed GuestJunko Takekawa
Interviewed GuestSou Fujimoto
ProducerSarah Johnson

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