My new book to be published in Japan is entitled 新しい目の旅立ち in Japanese, which, I’ve been told, translates as “a journey with new eyes” or “new eyes journey.” It was published in Thai as ตื่นบนเตียงอื่น or “waking up on a different bed.”
The book is made up of essays about my research trip on an island in the Philippines called Siquijor. Siquijor is sometimes regarded as “black magic island” by the Filipinos because of its famous “mananambal” (healers), shamans, witch doctors and the likes. I had never heard of Siquijor before arriving in the Philippines for my research (on art and nature among the indigenous peoples), but several random passing comments about the island in conversations with writers and artists caught my interest. I was actually warned by a few people not to go, because “things happen to people who visit Siquijor.” So naturally I went there.
But the book is not really about Siquijor, which, by the way, is beautiful and, as far as could tell, black magic-free. It’s more like a journal in which I recorded my reflections on the meaning of nature, taking some of the Dutch philosopher Baruch Spinoza’s pantheistic ideas as my guiding inspiration.
The Japanese translation was done by Fukutomi Sho, and it was serialized in Azuma Hiroki‘s GENRON journal throughout 2018-19. I was thrilled to receive the news that Azuma wanted to include this work of mine in his journal, as I had read and admired his work. Now the thrill continues with the book getting its release in Japan in January 2020.
新しい目の旅立ち can now be pre-ordered here.
I will be in Tokyo for a couple of talk sessions related to the book and my future projects at Azuma’s Genron Cafe in March. Much looking forward to that too!