Hamish Downie’s Five Questions With Robert Weis

Editor Note: Hamish has another in his series of Five Questions With…

Hamish came up with this idea because he was accumulating too much material for his Famous News Sushi column and asked if he could do these mini-interviews. Why would we say no?

Thank you, Hamish, for being such a trooper for us. We really appreciate all of your hard work.

Let us know what you think of these interviews in the comments below.

TGGeeks: This week, we have one of the editors of the anthology, “The Nature of Kyoto,” Robert Weis. Recently, as museum curator, he worked with filmmaker Felicity Tillack to show the four seasons of Kyoto:

TGG: So beautiful. So without further ado, could you please introduce yourself to our readers?

Robert Weis: My name is Robert Weis, I am a Luxembourg national (quite exotic, I guess!), a paleontologist in my day job, and also a passionate and multilingual writer and poet. I mainly publish travel books and poetry in French and English, and also like to serve as an editor for anthologies. I have been fascinated by Japanese culture and spirituality since I was a teenager and am a frequent visitor, especially to Kyoto, a city that resonates with me and where I found friends and a sense of belonging.

TGG: Could you tell us about your piece/chapter in the anthology?

RW: My piece “Thinking Kyoto as a Mountain” deals with the natural environment around the city and, more especially, the iconic mountains that surround it and their symbolism and sentimental meaning. Mountains are sacred places in Japanese culture, and this feeling is very tangible in Kyoto especially.

TGG: What does being a Writer in Kyoto mean to you?

RW: It means a lot, and becoming a member of Writers in Kyoto back in 2020 has entirely changed my writing practices. WiK gave me the opportunity to publish small pieces about my travels in Japan which subsequently became the core of my first book that is now published (though in the French language). Moreover, through the Wik social media, I got to know many inspiring writers, some of which have become dear friends.

TGG: What’s next for you?

RW: I am currently busy with the promotion of my book Retour à Kyoto. Later this year, I plan to self-publish a collection of my poems translated into English under the title “A tiny nature.” And then I started writing a new book, once again related to Japan, which I hope to finish in 2024.

TGG: Let us know when the English Language version is out! So, finally, how can we best support you?

RW: You can follow me on my Facebook account (under my name):

and on my website The Route to Kyoto – Travel writing and geopoetry on a journey to an ideal place

My recently released French book Retour à Kyoto is available through all major online bookstores, including Kinokuniya in Japan.

Book link: Transboréal – Librairie – Retour a Kyoto – Robert Weis

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