Mischief of the Gods: Tales from the Ethiopian Streets (Paperback)

Mischief of the Gods: Tales from the Ethiopian Streets By Itsushi Kawase, Jeffrey Johnson (Translator) Cover Image

Mischief of the Gods: Tales from the Ethiopian Streets (Paperback)

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"What a rich life it is to have these memories of time spent with the young Azmari singer Tigabu, the Lalibela poet Tilahun, and the other spirits of improvisation. I envy Itsushi Kawase. For him the streets of Gondar are close, dear, and touching."

―Ryuichi Sakamoto


This is the first English translation of 2021 Suntory Literary Prize-winning author and visual anthropologist Itsushi Kawase. In this playfully structured collection of stories and photographs, Kawase journeys from Japan to the Ethiopian streets of Gondar. Join him in Africa where he learns from a diverse cast of characters including local bards, prostitutes, musicians, priests, the homeless, spirit mediums and even a few deceptive guides. This work is sure to surprise and captivate readers.


Itsushi Kawase is an anthropologist, filmmaker, and poet born in Gifu, Japan. He has conducted research on Ethiopia's hereditary singer-poets since 2001. He is currently an associate professor at Japan's National Museum of Ethnology and the Graduate University for Advanced Studies. He has won numerous awards for his writing and films, most recently the 2022 Umesao Tadao Literary Prize.


The book's translator Jeffrey Johnson has an academic background in anthropology and literature. Born in America, he lived in Spain and now resides in Tokyo. Johnson has previously authored works of literary criticism and a poetry book titled Conjurers Dream of Voyage. In addition to this project, he is the translator of Landforms & Climates and he is also a founding editor of the Tokyo Poetry Journal.


Product Details ISBN: 9781937220112
ISBN-10: 1937220117
Publisher: Awai Books
Publication Date: June 30th, 2023
Pages: 170
Language: English