Archive for the ‘Children of Tohoku’ Category

Tomo Anthology Update, Six Years After

By Holly Thompson, Kamakura

March 11 marked the sixth anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake  (東日本大震災 Higashi Nihon Daishinsai), and the subsequent tsunami that ravaged the Tohoku region’s Pacific coastline followed by the triple meltdown of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. Throughout Japan, a moment of silence was held at 2:46 p.m. on March 11, the time the quake struck.

This month also marks five years since the publication of Tomo: Friendship Through Fiction—An Anthology of Japan Teen Stories. Proceeds from sales of Tomo have for five years been donated to the Japan-based NPO Hope for Tomorrow. Hope for Tomorrow has provided much-needed support to high school students in the form of financial assistance to enable students in the hardest hit areas of Tohoku to take costly university entrance exams. Having succeeded at what they set out to do, Hope for Tomorrow will cease operations at the end of this Japanese academic year (at the end of this month). Thank you to Hope for Tomorrow for providing a unique form of support to high school students in Tohoku during the most difficult years after 3/11.

The Tomo anthology has recently gone out of print, but the book is still available as an ebook in Kindle format. Future proceeds will be donated to other organizations that support youth in the areas of Tohoku still struggling six years after. Please continue to read, give and recommend the Tomo anthologya collection of 36 stories including 10 in translation—so that we may continue to offer our friendship and support to teens in Tohoku.

May we remember that many thousands in Tohoku are still displaced, that reconstruction and the delicate work of rebuilding lives continues, and that many thousands still reside in prefab “temporary” housing in Fukushima, Miyagi and Iwate—the three hardest hit prefectures.

Here are a few articles to read on this six-year anniversary:

SIX YEARS AFTER: 34,000 People in Tohoku Region Still in Makeshift Housing UnitsAsahi Shimbun, 11 March 2017

Six Years After the 3/11 Disasters, Japan Times editorial, 11 March 2017

A New Shopping Center for a Tsunami-Struck Town, Nippon.com, 11 March 2017

Destroyed by the Tsunami, JR Onagawa Station is RebuiltSpoon & Tamago, 10 March 2017

Six Years On, Fukushima Child Evacuees Face Menace of School Bullies, Reuters, 9 March 2017

This blog post also appears at tomoanthology.blogspot.com.

For a running list of news items about 3/11 and young people, please see Children of Tohoku.

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Five Years after 3.11, The Tale of Hamaguchi Gohei Resonates

Gleanings in Buddha-FieldsBy Sally Ito, Winnipeg, Canada

Today is the five-year anniversary of the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, also called the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011, or 3.11.

Not long after this disaster struck five years ago, I arrived in Japan for four months with my family while my husband taught English literature as a visiting scholar at Kwansei Gakuin University in Nishinomiya, near Kobe. A few people at home in Canada worried about us going to Japan at such a time. Because of widespread media reports of the disaster, there was a general feeling of panic and unease about the country, even though the area where we were going was unaffected. However, Nishinomiya was not necessarily any safer than Tokyo or Tohoku; it was affected by the Great Hanshin Earthquake of 1995. Not far from the house we lived in was a memorial commemorating citizens of the area who had perished in that disaster. If you live in Japan, it is impossible not to be affected at one time or another by earthquakes, floods, landslides, or tsunamis. But who can really be prepared for such events? As sophisticated as our technology has become, we still know neither ‘the hour nor the day’ of a disaster’s coming.

What the Japanese do have is their lore of such events, which helps people come to terms with the fickle nature of the geo-physical forces in their environment. Take, for example, the Tale of Hamaguchi Gohei and the Tsunami by Lafcadio Hearn, posted here by translator Sako Ikegami. In this tale, a wizened old village chieftain manages by intuition and quick-thinking to save villagers from certain death. After this post ran in April of 2011, the inaugural year of this blog, it became the third-most viewed post that year, and it continued to be viewed frequently, becoming the top-most viewed post in 2013, 2014, 2015, and so far in 2016. It is the all-time most popular post on this blog. I encourage you now to click the link and read the tale, to immerse yourself in the ‘hour and the day’ of a disastrous event and its effect on the Japanese people.

The Tale of Hamaguchi Gohei and the Tsunami

Above: Gleanings in Buddha-Fields (1897) by Lafcadio Hearn is the source of the Hamaguchi Gohei story. The text of this book is not in copyright. Cover image located here.

Two Stories for Children Commemorate 3.11

The Cape for Waiting for the Wind

By Deborah Iwabuchi, Maebashi, Japan

As March 11 draws near, it’s time to count another year since the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami of 2011. It’s hard to believe it has already been five years.

NHK World/Radio Japan’s The Reading Room is currently featuring two stories for children that relate to the earthquake. The first is “The Cape for Waiting for the Wind” by Sachiko Kashiwaba, and the second is “The Wind Telephone” by Yoko Imoto (and our appreciation goes to the anonymous translators!).

Both stories illustrate the pain of loss in very Japanese ways, but they end with the  universal hope that thoughts sent up to the departed have been successfully communicated.

While listening, I was reminded of how Japanese children’s stories can sometimes cross the line of what we might expect young children to understand, but, in a culture where not everyone feels free to talk about their feelings, children’s stories are often a source of comfort to adults. “The Wind Telephone,” especially, prodded that inner child in me who will never quite recover from what happened on March 11, 2011.

The Wind Telephone by Yoko Imoto

Top: Illustration for NHK World/Radio Japan broadcast of Kaze machi misaki (The Cape for Waiting for the Wind) by Sachiko Kashiwaba. Above: Picture book Kaze no denwa (The Wind Telephone), written and illustrated by Yoko Imoto. Click on either image to access the NHK broadcast (20 minutes) and complete copyright information.

 

Fourth Anniversary of 3/11

Tomo: Friendship Through Fiction—An Anthology of Japan Teen StoriesThis week marks the fourth anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 11, 2011.

Tomo: Friendship Through Fiction—An Anthology of Japan Teen Stories (Stone Bridge Press) is a collection of YA fiction compiled to help teen survivors of the 3/11 disaster. This benefit anthology was edited by Holly Thompson.

Tomo offers 36 stories including 10 translations from Japanese (one from Ainu). These are:

“Anton and Kiyohime” by Fumio Takano, translated by Hart Larrabee

“Blue Shells” by Naoko Awa, translated by Toshiya Kamei

“The Dragon and the Poet” by Kenji Miyazawa, translated by Misa Dikengil Lindberg

“Fleecy Clouds” by Arie Nashiya, translated by Juliet Winters Carpenter

“Hachiro” by Ryusuke Saito, translated by Sako Ikegami

“House of Trust” by Sachiko Kashiwaba, translated by Avery Fischer Udagawa

“The Law of Gravity” by Yuko Katakawa, translated by Deborah Iwabuchi

“Love Letter” by Megumi Fujino, translated by Lynne E. Riggs

“Where the Silver Droplets Fall” by Yukie Chiri, translated by Deborah Davidson

“Wings on the Wind” by Yuichi Kimura, translated by Alexander O. Smith

The epigraph of Tomo, an excerpt from the poem “Be Not Defeated by the Rain” by Kenji Miyazawa, was translated by David Sulz.

All proceeds from sales of Tomo benefit teens via the NPO Hope for Tomorrow. Interviews and an educators’ guide may be found at the Tomo blog. Tomo is also available as an ebook.

 

Reflections on Kenji: Visionary, Green, and Ever the Optimist

By Sako Ikegami, Kobe

Renowned translator of Japanese literature Roger Pulvers writes this week in the Japan Times about Kenji Miyazawa (creator of Ihatov) and how his life and views have meaning for us today, two-and-a-half years after the Tohoku earthquake.

Long-gone writer tells it how it is

An Essay from Tohoku

On Friday, March 11, 2011, a 9.0-magnitude earthquake off the coast of Tohoku, Japan’s rural northeast, combined with a destructive tsunami to wipe out villages, ignite a nuclear crisis, and cause the greatest mass loss of life in Japan since World War II.

Caught in the disaster were the children of Tohoku, who went from finishing a school year one moment to facing tragedy the next.

On this second anniversary of the disaster, we highlight an essay written afterward by then-second grader Mai Nakamura of Sendai. The essay appears in the book Children of the Tsunami: The Unwritten Stories (Bungeishunju Ltd., 2011), which is being offered for full translation and publication abroad on the J-Lit website Books from Japan.

For more stories, please also visit our updated Children of Tohoku page.

Thank you for joining us as we remember the children and teens of Tohoku on 3.11.

Announcing SCBWI Tokyo Translation Day 2012!

The SCBWI Tokyo Translation Group announces SCBWI Tokyo Translation Day 2012: Bringing Japanese Teen Literature to the World! We hope everyone interested in J-E translation for children, teens in particular, will join us on June 16 in Yokohama. Full details below.

 SCBWI Tokyo Translation Day 2012: Bringing Japanese Teen Literature to the World

A day of presentations, critiques, and conversation for published and pre-published translators of Japanese children’s literature into English, with a focus on young adult (YA) literature.

Time: Saturday, June 16, 2012, 8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

Place: Yokohama International School, 2F Pauli Bldg

Fee: Advance Registration 3,000 yen SWET and SCBWI members; 4,000 yen non-members. At the Door 4,000 yen SWET and SCBWI members; 5,000 yen non-members.

Details: For full details and presenter bios, see www.scbwi.jp and below this intro.

This full-day event includes:

  • “Of Video Games, Novels, and Translating for Teens,” with Alexander O. Smith, translator
  • “Thoughts for Translators after Editing TOMO: Friendship Through Fiction—An Anthology of Japan Teen Stories,” with Holly Thompson, author
  • “Translating for TOMO” with Holly Thompson plus Juliet Winters Carpenter, Sako Ikegami, Deborah Iwabuchi, Hart Larrabee, Lynne E. Riggs, Alexander O. Smith, and Avery Fischer Udagawa, translators
  • “Practical Ways to Explore the Children’s and YA Book Market” with Avery Fischer Udagawa, translator
  • “SCBWI Tokyo Translation Group and Networking Opportunities” with Sako Ikegami, translator

Plus a workshop led by Alexander O. Smith:

  • “Translating Japanese Teen Literature in Contrasting Genres”

Advance registrations and translations of short texts for the workshop must be received by Saturday, May 19, 2012. To register and request workshop texts, send an email to contact (at) scbwi.jp

This event will be in English.

* * * * * * * * * * *

SCBWI Tokyo Translation Day 2012 Schedule 

8:30   Registration

8:50 Opening Remarks

9:00-10:00 Translator Alexander O. Smith: Of Video Games, Novels, and Translating for Teens

As a translator of novels, video games, and two novels about video games—Brave Story and ICO by Miyuki Miyabe, the former a winner of the 2008 Mildred L. Batchelder Award—Alexander O. Smith discusses translating for today’s teens. His presentation will include an eye-opening look at the nuts and bolts of entertainment translation, both for the screen and for the printed page; advice for translators just starting out; and an open discussion about what constitutes a “good” translation. Bring your ideas and questions!

10:15-10:45 Author Holly Thompson: Thoughts for Translators after Editing Tomo: Friendship Through Fiction—An Anthology of Japan Teen Stories

The YA anthology Tomo was released in March 2012 in honor of the March 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami victims and survivors. The book’s 36 Japan-related stories include 10 translations from Japanese. Tomo editor and YA author Holly Thompson reflects on editing translations for Tomo and probes what can make Japanese fiction marketable in English-language YA markets.

11:00-12:00 Roundtable: Translating for Tomo: Friendship Through Fiction—An Anthology of Japan Teen Stories

Holly Thompson joins Tomo translators Juliet Winters Carpenter, Sako Ikegami, Deborah Iwabuchi, Hart Larrabee, Lynne E. Riggs, Alexander O. Smith, and Avery Fischer Udagawa to discuss the process of acquiring, translating, and editing translations for the book. Panelists will discuss how stories or authors were chosen, how translators got involved, and how stakeholders collaborated to revise drafts and launch Tomo.

12:00-1:15 Lunch Picnic—Bring a lunch and “talk shop” with other translators in the event room or nearby Minato-no-Mieru Oka Koen. Enjoy self-introductions and discussion of current projects in a casual setting.

1:30-3:00 Workshop with Alexander O. Smith: Translating Japanese Teen Literature in Contrasting Genres

Alexander O. Smith comments on participants’ translations of contrasting excerpts from Japanese fiction for teenage readers and up. The discussion will highlight ways to translate faithfully and consider the YA market.

Translation Day participants must submit their translations of selected text excerpts for this workshop by May 19. To request the texts and register for Translation Day, send an e-mail to contact (at) scbwi.jp

3:15-3:45 Translator Avery Fischer Udagawa: Practical Ways to Explore the Children’s and YA Book Market

Like writers and illustrators, translators can explore the children’s and teen book market through reading, professional networking, school visits, and children’s publishing events. Avery Fischer Udagawa offers ideas. 

4:00-4:15 Translator Sako Ikegami: SCBWI Tokyo Translation Group and Networking Opportunities

The SCBWI Tokyo Translation Group offers an email list, group blog, and industry “connectivity” to all JE translators for children. Sako Ikegami outlines recent projects and opens a discussion of future directions.

4:15-5:00 Discussion/Q & A and Closing Comments

* * * * * * * * * * *

SCBWI Tokyo Translation Day 2012 Presenters and Panelists

Juliet Winters Carpenter, a Midwesterner by birth, is a longtime resident of Japan. Her many translations include mysteries, romance novels, haiku and tanka poetry, historical fiction, and works on Buddhist philosophy. Volume one of Clouds Above the Hill: A Historical Novel of the Russo-Japanese War, her joint translation of Ryotaro Shiba’s Saka no ue no kumo, is forthcoming from Routledge in December 2012. She lives in Kyoto, where she is a professor at Doshisha Women’s College, and on Whidbey Island, Washington. She translated “Fleecy Clouds” by Arie Nashiya for Tomo: Friendship Through Fiction—An Anthology of Japan Teen Stories. www.swet.jp/index.php/people/juliet-winters-carpenter

 Sako Ikegami of Kobe can lay claim to various titles (clinical pharmacist, medical translator/writer, children’s book reader), but best enjoys working with young adult books. She aspires to bridge her two cultures, US and Japanese, by translating children’s literature in both. Her translations include Ryusuke Saito’s The Tree of Courage and Angela Johnson’s First Part Last. She translated a story by Saito for Tomo: Friendship Through Fiction—An Anthology of Japan Teen Stories. http://www.sakotrans.com

Deborah Iwabuchi made her first trip to Japan at age 17 and took up permanent residence soon after college. She has translated, among other works, novels by popular Japanese authors, including The Devil’s Whisper and The Sleeping Dragon by Miyuki Miyabe. Originally from California, she lives in the city of Maebashi with her family and runs her own company, Minamimuki Translations. She has co-authored bestselling books on writing and reading English for the Japanese market. She translated the story “The Law of Gravity” by Yuko Katakawa for Tomo: Friendship Through Fiction—An Anthology of Japan Teen Stories. http://minamimuki.com/en

Hart Larrabee was born in New York State, majored in Japanese at Carleton College in Minnesota, and earned postgraduate degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and University of Hawaii. A full-time freelance translator, he currently lives with his family in Nagano Prefecture. He translated the story “Anton and Kiyohime” by Fumio Takano for Tomo: Friendship Through Fiction—An Anthology of Japan Teen Stories.

Lynne E. Riggs is a professional translator based in Tokyo. She is an active member of the Society of Writers, Editors, and Translators and teaches Japanese-to-English translation at International Christian University. Her fiction translations include Kiki’s Delivery Service by Eiko Kadono and School of Freedom by Shishi Bunroku. She translated “Love Letter” by Megumi Fujino for Tomo: Friendship Through Fiction—An Anthology of Japan Teen Stories. http://www.cichonyaku.com

Alexander O. Smith has been translating video games and novels from Japanese to English since graduating from Harvard University with an MA in Classical Japanese Literature in 1998. He is the founder of Kajiya Productions Inc., co-founder of Bento Books Inc., and based in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom and Fukuoka. His translation of YA fantasy novel Brave Story by Miyuki Miyabe earned the prestigious Mildred L. Batchelder Award for translated children’s literature in 2008. At the time, only two books from Japan had earned the award in its 40-year history. Smith has translated more than twenty other novels, including Harmony by Project Itoh, recipient of the Phillip K. Dick Award special citation in 2010 for science fiction, and The Devotion of Suspect X by Keigo Higashino, a nominee for Best Novel in the 2012 Edgar Awards for mystery—only the second book from Japan to be so distinguished. Smith has also localized numerous video games including Final Fantasy XII, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, and most recently, Tactics Ogre: PSP. He is currently working as lead writer on an as-yet unannounced game project. Smith translated a parable in verse by Yuichi Kimura for Tomo: Friendship Through Fiction—An Anthology of Japan Teen Stories. http://www.kajiyaproductions.com

Holly Thompson earned an MA from the NYU Creative Writing Program and is the author of several works that take place in Japan: the novel Ash, the picture book The Wakame Gatherers, and the verse novel Orchards, which received the 2012 APALA Asian/Pacific American Award for Young Adult Literature. She edited Tomo: Friendship Through Fiction—An Anthology of Japan Teen Stories. A longtime resident of Japan, she teaches creative and academic writing at Yokohama City University and is regional advisor of the Tokyo chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). http://www.hatbooks.com

Avery Fischer Udagawa grew up in Kansas and now parents, writes, and translates in her bicultural (Japanese-American) family living near Bangkok. She holds a BA in English and Asian Studies from St. Olaf College and an MA in Advanced Japanese Studies from The University of Sheffield. Her translations from Japanese include the middle grade novel J-Boys: Kazuo’s World, Tokyo, 1965 by Shogo Oketani and a story by Sachiko Kashiwaba in Tomo: Friendship through Fiction—An Anthology of Japan Teen Stories. She contributes the column Four Worlds to the online magazine Literary Mama. http://www.averyfischerudagawa.com

www.scbwi.jp