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This is the archive for 23 January 2011

Sunday, January 23, 2011

I was re-reading Tatsuno Kazuo's "How to write scripts" (文書の書き方) last night, and I found a phrase worth framing in gold.

準備はあくまでも準備であっても、本番は別だ。準備した情報にしばられてはいけません。

For how much you can prepare in advance, the "real show" is another thing. You must not allow the information gathered in advance to bind you down.

He's referring to the work of the journalist reporter. A good reporter will gather information in advance and prepare himself; for example he will write down a list of questions to pose in an interview. However, the "real show" it's another thing. A good reporter must face an event on the spot with clear mind (Kazuo uses the term 無心, mushin, and even if he jokes on the fact that it's a term that smells of Zen he's not the person to write of such things, the smell of Zen, or actually Bushido, stays). To clear his mind he must also prepare in advance; but then he must not allow his preparation-in-advance to bind him down when the real showtime comes.

As a side note, the term "real show" (honban) sounds pretty a funny neologism in English, but it's actually a relatively ancient word in Japanese. Rhetoric devices using terms borrowed from the theater terminology have been used for centuries, and not just in common speech.