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A Life In Folk (And Other Bitter Songs) by Kan Mikami
Published by Public Bath Press, paperback & CD, 312 pp, 2017
Postage and packing: UK – free
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Rest of world airmail – £4
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Legendary folk singer, poet and actor Kan Mikami is one of the giants of Japan's underground culture. This is his autobiography from 2000, translated and edited by Kato David Hopkins plus additional writing and interview material.
The book includes a live CD of Mikami performing in Sapporo in February 2017. A deep inside look at "the most radical folk singer in Japan", where he came from and where he is now.
Clive Bell writes in The Wire 412: "Hopkins has done a great job with a wild text. He has fleshed out the story by including extracts from Mikami's 1973 writings, plus an interview reviewing the ten records he made in the 1970s when Columbia tried repeatedly (and failed) to make him a star... The lasting impression is Mikami's passion in everything he tackles, and his thoughts about his spiritual and artistic path as he approaches his 70th birthday: 'In order to keep your essence pure, you have to become dirtier than the thing that tries to foul your pure essence'."