From the S&S archives: On the Town
January 27, 1957
"I DON'T INTEND TO WRITE ANYTHING ABOUT 'Sayonara'," says author Truman Capote. "Not a line."
This was Capote's. way of putting the squasheroo on rumors that he is in Japan to do a "hatchet job" on Warner Bros.' "Sayonara," now being filmed in Kyoto.
We talked to the pint-sized author of "Other Voices, Other Rooms" in his Kyoto Hotel room Thursday. His horn rimmed glasses were resting on the tip of his nose and Truman was lolling on the bed, an Olivetti typewriter at his side.
THE ABOVE statement came after ten minutes of thrust-and-parry conversation concerning his reasons for being here.
"What do you mean by 'hatchet job'," asked Capote. "I'm here to do an article on Japan for the New Yorker. Mostly about. Kabuki and the Japanese theater.
"I thought before that I might include something about 'Sayonara' but I've changed my mind. It no longer fits in with my plans."
WE ASKED about his plans, but Truman refused to elaborate. He also refused to comment on his next book, mostly because "I have had so many wrong things said about me," and besides, "If I talk too much about a book before writing it —1 don't write it."
THE FOLLOWING DAY ON THE "SAYONARA" SET. at Kyoto's famed Nishi Higanji temple, we cornered Director Joshua Logan. Rumor had it that Logan wasn't exactly turning handsprings over Capote's presence.
"I've heard that Truman is here. for that purpose," said Logan, referring to the "hatchet job" stories. "He's certainly capable of it ... I only hope he won't make fun of us like he did the Porgy and Bess company.
"Of course the New Yorker doesn't have a large enough circulation among the right people to do us much harm ... But we are very vulnerable, you know. You get a bunch of Hollywood people on a location like this and a good writer like Truman can have a field day.
"I REALLY hope, though, that he won't make fun of us ... because a thing like that could spoil the picture's effect. But don't misunderstand me, Truman and I are terribly good friends."
At this time, Capote came walking by bundled up in an enormous jacket with, a red-and-yellow scarf about his neck. Logan stopped him.
"You might as well hear this," said Josh. "We're talking about you." We assured Truman that Logan had just assured us they are "terribly good friends."
"THAT'S WHAT I told you yesterday," said Capote, an indignant rise in his voice.
So we're convinced.