October 4, 2006
Director of Media Relations
AMHERST, Mass.—Donald Richie, a novelist and essayist noted for his role in introducing Japanese film to the West, will speak at several public events during his visit as the 2006-07 Robert Frost Library Fellow at Amherst College next week. Richie will deliver a lecture on “Tokyo as Structure” drawn from his book, Tokyo: A View of the City (1999), at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 11, in the Pruyne Lecture Hall (Fayerweather 115) at Amherst College. Richie will join an informal talk about the “Position of Foreigners (Americans) Abroad (in Japan)”to complement a reading of his most recent book, Japan Journals 1947-2004 (2004), at 3 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 12, in Room 101 in Chapin Hall. The 1991 documentary film of his 1971 book The Inland Sea will be screened at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 12, in the Pruyne Lecture Hall (Fayerweather 115), with discussion to follow. Richie will join professor of fine arts and Asian languages and civilizations Samuel Morse for a gallery talk on the exhibition Gifts from the Ebb Tide and the World of Kitagawa Utamaro at 1 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 13, in the Mead Art Museum. Richie also will present a talk to the annual meeting of the Friends of the Amherst College Library at 4 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 13, in the Pruyne Lecture Hall (Fayerweather 115). All events are free and open to the public.
A resident of Japan since military service there in 1947, except for years spent in New York as a student at Columbia University and as curator of film at the Museum of Modern Art, Richie was the film critic for The Japan Times for many years.
Richie expanded his film criticism in such books as The Japanese Film: Art and Industry (with Joseph Anderson, 1959), The Films of Akira Kurosawa (1965), Ozu (1974) and Japanese Cinema: An Introduction (1990). He also has written about his adopted homeland in Tokyo Nights (1988), Public People, Private People (1991) and The Honorable Visitors (1997).
Sponsored by the Friends of the Amherst College Library, the biennial Frost Fellowship brings a visiting scholar to campus to participate in courses, consult with students and participate in activities that “reflect the central and interdepartmental role of the library in the academic life of the college.” Richie’s residence as Frost Fellow, from October 9 to 13, is being coordinated by Samuel Morse, the chair of the department of Asian languages and civilizations at Amherst College.