Tokyo Launch of “Whisper of the Land”



About 40 people joined a great gathering at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club Japan in the heart of central Tokyo … the organising by the writer Edward Levinson and Allan Murphy (Fine Line Press agent) was immaculate, the food was veggey-friendly, the speeches were short and informative, the wine was tasty, there was a good live musician and the people were diverse and interesting. A good time was had by all, and a group of a dozen or so went on to a 2nd “party” nearby in Yurakucho. Thank you to everyone for attending. Graham


4.30: Slideshow, background music and chatting.

5.00: Ed Levinson welcomed everyone, thanked them for attending and stated the order of events, including speakers, buffet, live music, short film and raffle prize draw.

5.10: Naomi Arimura toasted the event open, saying that her father had been a photographer, and she was pleased to toast Edward Levinson, photographer of Japan landscapes.

5.15: Drinks and Buffet

5.30: Live music by Kev Gray: British singer-songwriter based in London and Tokyo. Highly respected on both the London and Tokyo music scenes, he won the prestigious Gaijin Sounds 2008 award for his song, “How The Story Ends”. His band Kev Gray & The Gravy Train love to play live.

5.50:  Barry Lancet (“JapanTown” fame ( was introduced by Allan Murphy (Fine Line Press, Tokyo). Lancet said that he was surprised to learn that Ed came from Virginia, a place not likely to produce hippy-type vagabonds doing meditation and getting to Tokyo for a life of organic gardening and photography. Reading the first draft of Ed’s memoir he had advised him to rewrite it  shorter. He was glad to see that Ed had done that. “Whisper of the Land” shows that Ed has led a full and rich and varied life, his memoir full of intriguing anecdotes and lyrically written.

Beth Lindsay (Editor of “Whisper of the Land”) told the story of how on first hearing about the manuscript she became enthusiastic and wanted to read it. The fact that the writing had a spiritual dimension was alluring. The manuscript happily found its way to her eventually in New Zealand. The story of a photographer, someone who literally “writes with light”, indeed a lightness to the whole book, a lyrical and poetic quality. Finding the title was a challenge, but Kitaro felicitously provided it when he agreed to write the introduction. It was a pleasure and a privilege to help with Ed’s memoir.

Graham Bathgate (Fine Line Press): Ed, thanks for the memories! Memoir writing is a great thing to do, everyone has a story to tell, and Ed tells a good one in “Whisper of the Land”. There is so much memoir writing  now, especially in the celebrity auto-biography sphere; most of the books on sale everywhere tend to be pulp fiction and celebrity stuff. I’m reminded of what somebody said to Mary King about her book on walking the length of Japan: if she’d been famous this would have been all right. So you have to be famous to bother doing anything! It’s great that people like Mary and Ed Levinson still want to write about their achievements and life, creating a book of quality. We can’t all be novelists and writers like some of the people here this evening (Barry Lancet, Hugh Ashton – or Patricia Daly Oe – , and we may not have the experience of Allan Murphy in interviewing BB King, but we can recall good stories in our lives and make something of them. Ed’s book is also one of a popular genre now, the nature genre; so the memoir and nature genres are a double hit. Thank you one and all for coming, thank you Ed, thank you Foreign Correspondents’ Club.

Ed Levinson film, “Tokyo Story”: Great shots of everyday people in Tokyo (12 mins, Pinhole camera).

Raffle Draw Prizes: First Prize: Framed colour photo of the scene on the front page of “Whisper”; 2. Whisper of the Land; 3. Glimpses of Old Tokyo

6.50: Ed Levinson readings from “Whisper of the Land”

7.00 – 7.30 Mixing, chatting.

Second party at nearby café/bar until 9.30.

Edward Levinson  Edward Levinson Edward Levinson
Barry Lancet introduces “Whisper of the Land”View from Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan, Tokyo;
Kitaro (picture), Beth Lindsay, Edward Levinson, May 17, 2015.

Contacts and references:

Edward Levinson