Posted by debito on September 14th, 2007
Hi Blog. Fascinating magazine “Courrier Japon” (Kodansha pubs) has in their October 2007 issue an interesting interview with three panelists: South Korean Kim Byon-Gi (Journalist for the Chuo Nippo Daily Paper), Russian tour guide and model Elena Vinogradova/Hino Erena, and…
American Citizen Tony Laszlo!
(Sorry, can’t recreate the accents over the last name as per the romaji below. American text usually eschews them anyway)
(click on the image to expand in your browser)
Yep, the person who’s been portrayed as kinda European (his nationality has been ambiguously expressed both by the first Daarin wa Gaikokujin book, and reviews in Rakuten Books et al, as “Hungarian father and and Italian mother, raised in the US”), finally comes out as a garden-variety American! Howdy, pardner! Not that there’s anything wrong with being American, of course. It’s just good to see your stripes at last.
And you just gotta love Laszlo’s Bio above:
“Writer, Specialist in Languages, American origin. First came to Japan in 1985 [Daarin wa Gaikokujin pg 41 mentions his unicycle]. Representative of ‘Issho Kikaku’, which thinks about cultural co-existence. Character in the bestselling “Daarin Wa Gaikokujin” books (Oguri Saori, author).”
Note the missing “journalist” tag nowadays. And whatever happened to this “Issho Kikaku” organization that keeps finding its way to attach itself to Laszlo’s name? The Issho Kikaku website (http://www.issho.org) has been offline for “website renewal” since December 2005, and years of Issho mailing list and website archives, the work of hundreds of former members, have long since disappeared. Doesn’t seem as if the group even exists anymore.
No matter. And never mind Laszlo’s threat of lawsuit towards another writer on Japan’s internationalization, either. Sauce for the goose. Laz even mentions his adventures with sauce in an okonomiyakiya in his very first comment in the interview. Clearly, it’s important to keep one’s comic-book-created persona lightweight for public consumption nowadays…
Here is the interview in full (click on images to expand in browser). Love the illustrations. And Courrier Japon magazine in general is excellent.
Arudou Debito in Sapporo