Fun Link Friday: Roudoku Podcasts

Today’s fun link features the Ohanashi Pod website, listing hundreds of pod-casters and groups engaged in the art of roudoku, reading aloud from literature. Live roudoku circles are a fairly regular occurrence in Japan, but enthusiasts are also active online and the content is usually free.

If you search for 朗読 on Google, you will find many amateur hobbyists and semi-professionals regularly updating with their latest reading. There are several websites devoted to categorizing all this information. Ohanashi Pod is just one example of many, but I think it’s a good starting point with links to a few great podcasts.

The kiki-kurabe archive provides links to sample how several readers interpreted the same work, such as roudoku favorites like Miyazawa Kenji’s Ginga Tetsudo no Yoru (for more Miyazawa try here) or Akutagawa Ryunosuke’s Rashomon. Many roudoku bloggers use works from Aozora Bunko’s digital library as source material in the public domain, so in many cases you can follow along with the text.

Although it hasn’t been updated since last spring, Japanese Classical Literature at Bedtime is one of my favorite roudoku blogs and the reader, Kasumi, is one of the few who seems to address an audience of Japanese language learners and English speakers. She has recorded excerpts from Tsurezuregusa, Makura no Soshi, Ginga Tetsudo no Yoru, etc.

Ohanashi Pod is the tip of the iceberg for roudoku podcasts. Voiceblog is a more general site, but the roudoku section hosts excellent readers like Saki’s Roudoku, including the entirety of Higuchi Ichiyo’s Yuku Kumo.

Listening to roudoku can be an interesting way to experience the tone and inflection of the original language, so enjoy exploring the multitude of devoted roudoku fans out there creating these podcasts!

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