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Quote of the Week: Kitano’s Dragonflies

From the opening story in the book Boy (Vertical), the newly published collection by Takeshi Kitano, who is best known in the United States as a filmmaker (Sonatine, Fireworks/Hana-Bi, Zatoichi):

Soft sunlight was pouring in through the classroom windows and dancing on the floors. Outside, red dragonflies were hopping between the top of the exercise bars, the drinking fountains, and the instrument shed.

It looked like someone had sprinkled musical notes all over the field. I rested my head on my hand and just took it all in.

That descriptive passage is from the story “The Champion in a Padded Kimono.” The book was published as Shonen by Shinchosha in Japan in 1987, two years before Kitano’s directorial debut, Violent Cop, and four years after his starring role in Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence. This new English-language edition, with a tremendous die-cut cover by graphic designer Chip Kidd, was translated by David James Karashima. More info at vertical-inc.com.

By Marc Weidenbaum

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