POESSAYWORLD
West Meets East and Aristotle Meets Basho

Kyoto Social Club
Reviews EN not YEN

"Gambari-kun" is the nom-de-plume of a certain well known and equally liked scholar who has apparently been resident in Kyoto long enough for the feel of the place to have sunk in.

That "feel" has broken out of its chrysalis in the form of his latest literary effort "EN not YEN".

One first has to define Gambari-kun's delivery vehicle, and I must confess to some confusion initially whilst trying to come to grips with "poessays", which are exactly what the name implies, "poetry melded with essay". In any case, after picking up "EN not YEN", I found all confusion magically disappearing page by page. In fact, I devoured the book, and literally couldn't wait to get to the next "poessay".

The beauty of the "poessay" is that all the garbage - the punctuation, sentence form - is dross. Gambari-kun gets you straight to his point in an instant and still manages to inject pathos, nostalgia, appreciation ... all the trappings of poetry without the frippery and lace.

As an English teacher, I feel that "poessays" are an excellent way to convey a normally long, boring story into something short, to the point and very stylish.

I noticed too that a day after reading "EN not YEN", I could still recall, if not recite, quite a few of the gems from the book.... That alone in these days of pulp fiction is an achievement.

VERDICT

Gambari-kun
has created
something
new

in the
Poessay genre

His
observations
via
the poessay
porthole

gives
the viewer
a unique
sometimes caustic
often shocking

but
lasting
impression

of
things
Japanese

Reviewed by
Michael Wilkins
in
Kyoto Social Club
September 2000

Kansai Time Out
Reviews EN not YEN

Kyoto Social Club
Reviews EN not YEN

Kyoto Visitor's Guide
Introduces EN not YEN

Bilingual
Hiragana Times's Poessay Series


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