Donald Richie





Donald Richie

Author profile


born
in Lima, Ohio, The United States
April 17, 1924

died
February 19, 2013

genre


About this author

Donald Richie is an American-born author who has written about the Japanese people and Japanese cinema. Although he considers himself only a writer, Richie has directed many experimental films, the first when he was 17. Although Richie speaks Japanese fluently, he can neither read nor write it.

During World War II, he served aboard Liberty ships as a purser and medical officer. By then he had already published his first work, "Tumblebugs" (1942), a short story.

In 1947, Richie first visited Japan with the American occupation force, a job he saw as an opportunity to escape from Lima, Ohio. He first worked as a typist, and then as a civilian staff writer for the Pacific Stars and Stripes. While in Tokyo, he became fascinated with Japanese cultu...more


Average rating: 4.01 · 1,492 ratings · 164 reviews · 71 distinct works · Similar authors
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More books by Donald Richie…
“Japan never considers time together as time wasted. Rather, it is time invested.”
Donald Richie, A Lateral View: Essays on Culture and Style in Contemporary Japan

“When I started to learn how to read, I discovered the same kind of power. I could create an environment that I didn't have, and I could order this environment in the way that I couldn't in my actual life. Then, when I learned to write, I learned that I could do this not only for myself, but for other people. I could create whole things that were believable, at least to myself, at that point. And in this way, I began to wield an authority and a power that I had not had before. In other words, every child goes through this. Some pick football and some pick the library. I picked the library.”
Donald Richie, The Donald Richie Reader: 50 Years of Writing on Japan

“What happened was that sometimes I was, from a young age, put in the theater to watch movies because they kept me quiet and they kept me entertained, and they got me out from under the feet of my parents. So from a very early age, I went to the movies and I soon grew to prefer the life of the movies to my own life. The reality that the movies offered was preferable to the reality that I was experiencing. I became a child movie addict. I would go in with great pleasure and I'd never look at what was playing -- what was playing was unimportant. The fact was that I was entering a new world, an environment where not only was it much more attractive than my life was ordinarily, but also I could manipulate it to an extent by coming and going, and by looking at scenes or not, which I could not in my own life. I was subjected to my own domestic life. But I discovered a kind of power at the movies.”
Donald Richie, The Donald Richie Reader: 50 Years of Writing on Japan

Topics Mentioning This Author

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