Archive > Peter Owen in Japan 1979 – Audio Interview

Peter Owen with Shusaku Endo outside the new house Mr Endo was having built In Kyoto – 12th November, 1979. Photo © Peter Owen Publishers

Peter Owen with Shusaku Endo outside the new house Mr Endo was having built In Kyoto – 12th November, 1979. Photo © Peter Owen Publishers

Peter Owen launched his independent publishing house in April 1951. He was only 24 at the time, but had already been in publishing for a few years having co-founded the company Peter Nevill at the age of 21 and also worked for the Bodley Head. Over the course of the last 64 years, Peter Owen has accumulated a vast archive of material which we are currently investigating and preserving. There are some fascinating discoveries. Amongst the documents and photographs are some rare cassette recordings which we are in the process of trasferring to digital media.

The first of these archive gems is a recording of Peter Owen talking about his friendship with Shusaku Endo and the company’s translations of many other important Japanese authors, including Yukio Mishima, Osamu Dazai, and Natsume Soseki. This short interview, made in Tokyo in 1979 for The Student Times (part of The Japan Times), gives a brief glimpse of Peter Owen in his globe-trotting days as a pioneering international publisher. You can listen to the entire 7 minute interview on our new dedicated Soundcloud channel here:

 

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