Cid Corman and his wife Shizumi Konishi Corman opened CC’s, a coffeeshop in Kyoto, in 1973. Cid had been living in Japan since 1962 (although he had visited Japan earlier). The coffeeshop had two floors. The lower floor, street level, was a narrow restaurant space and kitchen (with a back room that had a machine for making ice-cream). The second floor was a tatami space with a floor-to-ceiling bookshelf and a space where Cid hosted readings and talks. Soon after opening the shop Cid invited one of his many correspondents, an American named John Levy, to work at the shop for room and board. John worked at CC’s for approximately 6 months and continued to live in Kyoto for another year. In 1974 and 1975 John taped some of the readings Cid gave and also some of Cid’s talks on writers. The gatherings, which were attended by small groups of Cid’s customers and friends (who were often American and British writers either living in or visiting Kyoto). Cid and his audience would sit, often in a circle, on the tatami mats during the readings and talks. John’s tape recorder was an inexpensive machine and the recordings are not professional. CC’s had thin walls and was located on a busy street; car and truck noise provide a lively background.


Listen to the tapes in Videos: