Amy Chavez started writing her ‘Japan Lite’ column for the Japan Times in 1997, shortly after moving to Shiraishijima, where she documented the traditional life on a small island of 900 people in the Seto Inland Sea.
In 1998, Amy took to the 88-Temple Shikoku Pilgrimage to seek enlightenment. Spiritually coached by the Shingon Buddhist Priest on Shiraishi Island, she was able to complete the 900-mile pilgrimage running almost a marathon a day for 31 days. Her book, “Running the Shikoku Pilgrimage,” is an in-depth look at the quest for enlightenment as preached by the Buddhist Saint Kobo Daishi. Her book has been highly praised by Alex Kerr, Boye LaFayette DeMente and Robert Whiting.
Amy’s American great grandfather navigated through the Inland Sea over 100 years ago. Intrigued by his diary that spoke of ponies shod in zori sandals and women who joyfully worked doing hard manual labor, she decided to retrace his route. She and two Australian crew members left Osaka Bay in 2004 in a 44ft yacht and sailed for six weeks through the Inland Sea stopping at various islands along the way. Once in the Pacific Ocean headed for Okinawa, they hit a storm, their yacht capsized and the three of them spent four days adrift at sea until finally being rescued by the Japanese Coast Guard.
After marrying one of the Australian crew members from that fateful trip in 2004, they attempted the journey again in 2013 on a 45ft yacht, successfully landing on Ishigaki Island.
In addition to an MA in Teaching ESL, Amy holds a BA in Creative Writing and an MA in Technical Writing. She writes for the Japan Times, blogs for the Huffington Post and freelances for various magazines. Amy still resides on Shiraishi Island whose population has dwindled to 580 people, and where she now documents Japan’s disappearing traditional island culture.
The library committee is offering a cocktail party - "Meet the Author" - starting at 6.15 pm. Followed by dinner at 6.45pm. Drinks can be ordered on a cash basis from the bar in the room.
Book Break charges 2,000 yen (including tax) for the event. Sign up now at the reception desk (03-3211-3161) or REGISTER through FCCJ website.To help us plan proper seating and food preparation, please reserve in advance, preferably by noon of the day of the event.Those without reservations will be turned away once available seats are filled. Reservations cancelled less than 24 hours in advance will be charged in full.