1. What is the oldest thing you own?
A copy of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Our Old Home: A Series of English Sketches, published in 1863 by a Boston publisher Ticknor and Fields.
2. What is the oldest thing you have in your possession?
A home magic lantern. I’ve owned it as far as I can remember – slightly less than 60 years. (Photo attached)
3. What was the most recent thing you made by hand?
Last month my wife and I built a model of a classic tea-serving automaton, which is supposed to walk up to you, bow, and offer you the cup of tea. At the moment, though, our man acts exactly like this:
4. What is your recent memorable purchase?
I buy hardly anything these days except food. I had, though, my Mont Blanc fountain pen totally overhauled last year and it really worked – they replaced just about everything except the tip for a very reasonable price.
5. If you had a carte blanche to buy "Art," what would you purchase?
Netherlandish Proverbs, the painting by Pieter Bruegel the Elder
Motoyuki Shibata is a writer, translator and professor of English literature. He has translated works by Paul Auster, Steven Millhauser, Stuart Dybek, among many others. He launched Monkey Business International in 2011, an annual literature magazine which has been introducing new writings of Japanese writers including Haruki Murakami, Hideo Furukawa and Yoko Ogawa. The issue 7 came out in this March and schedule of reading tour by Shibata and other contributors in NYC will be available shortly on the magazine's website.