Richard, a scrutable Occidental, graduated from the University of Oregon way back in 1979 and immediately moved to Japan. He spent nine years translating and proofreading at a large electronic components corporation and then taught for 17 years at a private high school in Kyoto. He now resides in Saipan, which sounds like it's in China but is actually in the Northern Mariana Islands, a commonwealth of the U.S.
Richard has a bachelors degree in Philosophy and Religious Studies and has a Masters of Education. He's a Vietnam War Era veteran and receives gifts on Veterans Day.
He lives with his inscrutable Japanese wife, Yukari, and his younger son.
When did you first start writing?
I wrote my first story when I was four or five. An extremely short story about a rabbit that ran somewhere. The end.
What's the story behind your latest book?
When learning to read Japanese, I used to go to the local used book stores. Because my proficiency in Japanese was quite low, I bought books of Japanese folk tales, probably up to about a third grade level. As I got better, I kept reading tales written for higher levels. Not that I particularly liked all these stories. For me, a scrutable Occidental, many of the stories didn't really mean much. So many were about revenge, miracles and monsters, with endings that fell flat. I guess I kept reading because of the few gems I read. Interesting characters. Plots with twist endings. Those are the stories I told my kids, and they're the ones written in this book.
In "The Greedy Babyman," you'll find more than a dozen mostly funny Japanese tales with interesting characters and twist endings. A mistake at the fountain of youth. Boys who make an outlandish plan to get more mochi. A man with an uncommon mind proves why 30 and 30 don't make 60. Give this little book a try. If you've been disappointed in Japanese tales before, you won't be this time.