NHK Website Offers Folktale Translations

By Juliet Winters Carpenter, Kyoto

Japan’s public broadcaster NHK has a new website that offers translations into multiple languages of three Japanese folktales. (I translated the second folktale, The Tale of the Bamboo-Cutter, into English.)

NHK World Once Upon a Time in Japan

The translations into other languages—Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, Indonesian, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish, and Vietnamese—are all based on the English versions, which announcer Yuko Aotani reads aloud beautifully, with appropriate music and sound effects. The illustrations are great too—and all three stories will eventually be published as picture books.

The website does a terrific job of introducing the Japanese-to-English translators, as well, offering “studio interviews” with profiles, photos, and extended interviews about the translations. What a great idea!

Juliet Winters Carpenter and Aotani

Juliet Winters Carpenter (left) and announcer Yuko Aotani

Aotani and Arthur Binard, translator of Urashima (or Urashima Taro)

Aotani and Arthur Binard, the translator of Urashima (or Urashima Taro)

Aotani with Roger Pulvers, translator of Crackle Mountain

Aotani and Roger Pulvers, the translator of Crackle Mountain

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