An introductory talk on Japanese literature was held in the Japan Cultural Center, Consulate General of Japan in Karachi, yesterday, under the aegis of Pakistan Japan Literature Forum (PJLF). Well-known writer & critic Dr. Asif Farrukhi was the guest-speaker, while a select audience from different walks of life was present there to listen to the able writer who had recently toured the ‘Land of Rising Sun’.
Khurram Sohail the founder of the Forum (PJLF) began with the introductory remarks to keep the audience abreast with the modern Japanese literature, citing a few famous and world’s renowned names. When asked to express his views, Dr. Asif Farrukhi had abruptly said, ‘little is left now for me to add’. He, however, took a few minutes to share his experience of the currently concluded visit to Japan, while frankly quoting the most popular literary works of world-class Japanese fiction writers. Amazingly, he was in no mood to say a few words about the old or modern Japanese poetry.
Dr. Asif Farrukhi reminded the audience of the establishment of Urdu Department in Tokyo University-Japan in 1908 and the publishing of an exclusive issue on Japanese literature & culture by the prestigious Dehli-based Urdu literary journal ‘SAAQUI’, edited and published by none other than veteran Urdu writer, Shahid Dehlvi in 1936. When Khurram Sohail took liberty of interrupting him to disclose that the PJLF would soon re-publish the historic magazine for the literary enthusiasts. Dr. Asif proposed to invite the siblings of both Shahid Dehlvi and Noor-ul-Hasan Barlas, the man behind this venture in the ‘launch’ function of the old magazine.
This may not be out of place to mention here that the Urdu literature go introduction of Japanese poetic forms, for the first time in December, 1922, when another esteemed literary magazine of its time, NIGAR (Lucknow) had published an informative article of Barrister Abid Jafry. It was discovered and re-published in 2001 by Haiku International, edited and published by Sohail Ahmed Siddiqui courtesy late Professor Dr. Farman Fatehpuri.
The PJLF convener had briefly stated about his future plans to further strengthen the literary relations of Pakistan & Japan, announcing the prospective session of Haiku and Haiku International, as the mention of the same and the services of Pakistan Haiku Society, founded by Iqbal Haider was erroneously missed by him during his formal introductory talk. Similarly, there used to be another society with the same name, under the patronage of Rawalpindi-based Naseem Sehr in the same era.
This is but natural that people expect the most updated information on the topic from an able litterateur like Dr. Asif Farrukhi, who had also suggested to have close literary relations with China, keeping in view the gigantic plan of CPEC. This is not inappropriate to mention here that for the same purpose, Pak-Cheen Bazm-e-Adab (Pak-China Literary Foundation) has recently been formed by the same penman, the man whose brainchild was Haiku International.
Among others, Ms. Khursheed Haider, Naseem Anjum, Saleem Siddiqui, Ashfaq Ahmed of Hussain Group of Companies and Nafees Ahmed Khan, President Social Students Forum were prominent.