Tag Archives: Misgivings

Kodwo Eshun reads Tagore’s Japan Lecture

Excerpt of the 1916 Japan a Lecture, Delivered for the Students of the Private Colleges of Tokyo and the Members of the Indo-Japanese Association, at the Keio Gijuku University.

At first, I had my doubts. I thought that I might not be able to see Japan, as she is herself, but should have to be content to see the Japan that takes an acrobatic pride in violently appearing as something else. On my first arrival in this country, when I looked out from the balcony of a house on the hillside, the town of Kobe,—that huge mass of corrugated iron roofs,—appeared to me like a dragon, with glistening scales, basking in the sun, after having devoured a large slice of the living flesh of the earth. This dragon did not belong to the mythology of the past, but of the present; and with its iron mask it tried to look real to the children of the age,—real as the majestic rocks on the shore, as the epic rhythm of the sea-waves.

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Kodwo Eshun reads a 1916 lecture from Tagore. Evocation of the roots of Kobe as Dragon. In the letter the traveler the person that brings a specific optic. Kodwo Eshun talks about reception, misgivings and curiosity.