How to create spaces that close the gap between people and books

Date and time: Saturday, November 24th, 12:30-4:00 p.m.
*Doors open at 12:00 noon

Location: The Museum of Modern Japanese Literature

Speakers at this event will include officials from the literary museums that are leading the way with their efforts in Japan, as well as experts from abroad who have promoted local development through literature. In addition to presentations on the efforts being made in a variety of locations, this symposium will include an exchange of views on the future of literary museums. The speakers will explore the roles that museums of literature should be playing today, and what their future could be.

*Please note that simultaneous interpreting will not be available at this event. Consecutive interpreting from English to Japanese will be provided.


Natsuki Ikezawa (Writer/Poet / Honorary Director, Hokkaido Museum of Literature)
Born in Obihiro, Hokkaido in 1945, Natsuki Ikezawa is a writer and poet. From the end of elementary school onward, he grew up in Tokyo. Following stays of 3 years in Greece, 10 in Okinawa, and 5 in France, the well-traveled Mr. Ikezawa now resides in the city of Sapporo. In 1987, he won the Akutagawa Prize for Still Lives. Among his subsequent works are The Navidad Incident: The Downfall of Matías Guili, A Burden of Flowers, and Shizukana daichi (“The Silent Earth”). He has served as editor for a collection of world literature, publication of which concluded in 2011, and a collection of Japanese literature, which has been in publication since 2014.

Kazuhiro Odajima (Assistant Director and Curator, Kamakura Museum of Literature
Kazuhiro Odajima was born in Kanagawa Prefecture in 1965. He has worked at the Kamakura Museum of Literature since 2000. Among the projects in which he has been involved at the museum are the honoring of over 300 literary figures with connections to the city of Kamakura, as well as exhibitions and promotional work. Most recently, he has overseen the exhibitions Meiji, BUNGAKU Creators and Reading the Kamakura Period: From the Classics to Modern Works.

Yuki Segawa (Arts and Sciences Department Head, Setagaya Literary Museum)
Yuki Segawa is a graduate of the Yokohama City University Faculty of Literature and Science. After working at the Kanagawa Museum of Modern Literature, she joined the staff of the Setagaya Literary Museum in 2001. She has been responsible for exhibitions including The Bold Life of Kuniko Mukoda, Teruhiko Kuze: The Voice That Calls the Wind, Mori Ogai and His Daughters, and Mokichi Saito and Nireke no hitobito. She has been head of the Setagaya Literary Museum’s Arts and Sciences Department since April 2015.

Kunihiko Nakajima (Emeritus Professor, Waseda University / Managing Director, the Museum of Modern Japanese Literature)
Dr. Kunihiko Nakajima was born in Tokyo in 1946. He earned a doctorate in literature from Waseda University. Having served as a professor at the Waseda University Faculty of Letters, Arts and Sciences, Dr. Nakajima is now Emeritus Professor of Waseda University and Managing Director at the Museum of Modern Japanese Literature. His written works include the Yamanashi Literature Award-winning Kindai bungaku ni miru kanjusei (“Sensitivity in Modern Literature,” 1994, Chikumashobo), and Soseki no chizucho (“The Soseki Atlas,” 2018, Taishukan).

Yoshitaka Haba (Policy Advisor, Toyooka City / Litstock)
Yoshitaka Haba is the President of BACH Ltd. As a book curator, he oversees the development of retail spaces and libraries, with the aim of bringing books and people closer together. Sites of his recent projects include the Kobe Eye Center and Japan House Los Angeles. As author, his bibliography includes Hon nante yomanakutatte ii no dakeredo (“You Don’t Have to Read Books, But…”). Mr. Haba also serves as a policy advisor for the city of Toyooka, Hyogo Prefecture, where he has worked on museum design and curation at the Kinosaki Literary Museum.

Kate Griffin
Kate Griffin is Associate Programme Director at the National Centre for Writing, with a particular focus on international literature and translation. Formerly international programme director at the British Centre for Literary Translation, Kate has developed projects in the Middle East, the Far East, Asia and Europe. As international literature officer at Arts Council England she was a judge for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize from 2006 to 2010, and in 2018 she was a judge for the Singapore Literature Prize. In the 1990s she lived and worked in Brussels and Moscow. She has a photography blog at

Martin Colthorpe
Martin Colthorpe is literary events programmer and festival director. He was Senior Literature Programmer at Southbank Centre for 10 years, where he launched the London Literature Festival and ran the year round literature events programme. He also worked on cross artform festivals which celebrated Southbank Centre’s unique festival site. He is currently Programmer Director of International Literature Festival Dublin, which marked its 21st anniversary in 2018, and directs the annual Japan Now festival, bringing contemporary Japanese, writers, thinkers and artists to the UK.



Venue Address
4-3-55 Komaba, Meguro-ku, Tokyo

Agency for Cultural Affairs, Litstock

The Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation
British Council