To live in language is to keep flowing, as far as the stream will take you. In her acceptance speech for the Japan Foundation Award 2018, the writer and poet Yoko Tawada alluded to the quiet creativity of such a life in words. Singling out the Chinese character 流for "flow," she connected it to her own work and—as in the title of her most recent novel—that of other writers who are "scattered over the earth." As an astounding amount of information circles the globe at lightning speed, the flow of words, like a hidden stream, crosses all borders to seep into people's hearts, producing, as a sort of residue, literary works that contain a wide variety of elements, but that all have one—breath—in common.
Although she has lived mainly in Germany since 1982, the poet and writer Yoko Tawada freely crosses barriers of country and language as she travels between Germany and Japan. Her work in both German and Japanese has received a number of prestigious literary awards in both countries. In recognition of the important contribution she has made to promoting true mutual understanding that transcends national and cultural barriers, she has been chosen as the recipient of the Japan Foundation Award 2018. The following is Tawada's contribution based on the talk she gave at the Japan Foundation Awards Commemorative Lecture, entitled "Journey Carrying Words, Looking for Words."
I served as curator for MANGA⇔TOKYO, an exhibition featuring manga (comics) and anime (animation) that was held in Paris as part of Japonismes 2018. The Japanese government's desire to present manga and anime abroad reflects the popularity that these cultural products have been enjoying in other countries.
Sandra Phillips has been contributing to collect/exhibit Japanese photography at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art ever since she joined the museum's department of photography as a curator in 1987. Phillips has also helped disseminate Japanese photography in the world history of photography through her publications and lectures. In recognition of her achievements, she received the Photographic Society of Japan's International Award in 2018.