Archive for the ‘TOMO’ 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.

Thirty Japan Kidlit Picks

By Avery Fischer Udagawa, Bangkok

Looking for good reads? At the last Japan Writers Conference, I recommended thirty Japan titles for young readers (picture books, middle grade, and YA) including about two dozen translations. Here is the full slideshow, downloadable or viewable online. Happy reading!

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Translator Cathy Hirano, the YA novels Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit and Moribito II: Guardian of the Darkness, and Andersen Award-winning author Nahoko Uehashi. Click image for full slideshow.

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.

 

Little Keys and the Red Piano—Translation for Ebook (Part 3)

By Deborah Iwabuchi, Maebashi, Japan

This post is the third and final part in a series about translating Little Keys and the Red Piano by Hideko Ogawa for ebook. Read Parts 1 and 2 below.

The Publisher, and Some Thoughts about Amazon写真[1]

We finally got through the initial draft and sent it off to the Japanese publisher for editing. Unfortunately there was to be no editor. The publisher was, as it turned out, a book designer interested in getting into the ebook market. They were still learning how to put out ebooks in Japanese and they were counting on us to do the entire English book—their very first English book—on our own.

We tried to talk them into finding an editor. After doing the entire translation by request and without pay, we had hoped that at the very least we’d have the benefit of some editorial input. Several months later, though, we re-read and edited the book the best we could. It was going to be published as-is. Months and months later, when the delayed publication date was drawing near, it turned out the company had no idea about layout either. The book had a brand new cover, lots of lovely photographs, maps and lists and a pretty good translation. All we needed now was someone who knew about publishing English books. Kazuko sorted out the layout and sent it off.

The finished product looked better than we had imagined, although the paragraphs, spacing and indentations were extremely rough, so we can’t help but wonder what an editor’s deft hand could have achieved. To the publisher’s credit, we did sign a contract and Kazuko and I have the rights for publishing the book in print as well as a royalty agreement for the ebook version.

I’d like to add a few words about Amazon’s take on translators. Amazon is anxious for anyone with books to make a page on Author Central. Kazuko has one on amazon.co.jp and I have one on amazon.com and one on amazon.co.jp. However, amazon.com will not let you list books if you are the translator. They are very clear about it. I cannot list Little Keys and the Red Piano as my book (nor the anthology TOMO, which many Japan SCBWI members were a part of).

Fine, I thought, we can put Little Keys on our Japanese author pages. But no, amazon.co.jp will not let you list books that are yosho, or Western books—in other words, that’s the job of their US parent company.

It is not always clear why books are categorized as  “Japanese” or yosho on amazon.co.jp. For example, all of the books published by the late Kodansha International were classified as “Japanese” on amazon.co.jp, so I got to list the books I translated for them my amazon.co.jp author’s page. I was also listed as an author for some of them, so they are on my amazon.com author’s page. (Sometimes the translator is inexplicably listed as the author of a book on amazon.com, and in this case, the book can go on the translator’s author page.) The publisher of Little Keys and the Red Piano is a Japanese company, but the title is considered yosho for some reason, and Kazuko and I were carefully listed as translators, not authors, so we missed out on author’s pages for both amazons. 写真[2]

To Wrap Up

Ebooks will doubtless be creating new opportunities to get our work out there. Always try to get as much information as you can about projects you are offered so that you know what you are getting into. Publishers are often in a hurry to produce a translation and it is easy to let the questions we have slide—only to be unpleasantly surprised later. At the very least you should know what payment conditions are and what the plans are for the finished translation.  Will you be paid up front? If so, at what point in the publication process? Will you be eligible for royalties? Will the publisher provide a contract? Does the contract make it clear whether you can pursue other publishing options in other markets? (For the record, in the next project I was involved in, the Japanese publisher was able to give me a detailed description of the process–which involved an experienced US editor–and gave me the payment schedule. )

Following the progress of your book and knowing when it is scheduled to be released is also an issue. Make sure you have email addresses where you can send your queries on all of these matters.写真[3]

Despite the aspects of editing, layout and so on, Kazuko and I do not regret our work on Little Keys and the Red Piano because we liked the book and it was a delight to work with the author. It was also a valuable experience in children’s literature. The next time, though, we might think a little longer and ask a few more questions before we jump into a new project. We hope that these postings will be helpful for translators faced with similar situations.

If you have a chance please take a look at Little Keys and the Red Piano. Details are here in Japanese and English.

You do not need to buy a Kindle reader to read Kindle books. To download a free reader for ebooks for your computer, tablet or smartphone, visit these pages on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.jp.

For more details on ebooks and Internet reading resources, please visit the One Chapter Reading Club blog.

Translator in the Classroom

By Avery Fischer Udagawa, Bangkok

Translators, like children’s authors and illustrators, can offer school visits!

HS Tomo Visit

Preschool kamishibai visit

HS Skype visit

In the past year I have offered visits at international schools in Japan and Thailand. The visits have been a great way to meet readers and entice them to explore new stories. They have also shown me that students and teachers are keen to learn about translation as a vocation.

In planning visits, I observed school presentations by noted authors and illustrators, including author Jack Gantos and illustrator Keith Baker. I listened to author Holly Thompson present about school visits at the Asian Festival of Children’s Content, Singapore. I also referred to the School Visits section of the SCBWI Publication Guide, now called The Book (members can download).

I learned that effective visits offer a concrete connection between my work and what students are learning in the classroom. To this end, I performed kamishibai for grade four students who read Allen Say’s picture book Kamishibai Man, and discussed translating “House of Trust” by Sachiko Kashiwaba for Tomo: Friendship through Fiction–An Anthology of Japan Teen Stories with a high school class about to read stories by Ryunosuke Akutagawa in translation.

I learned that co-presentations with an author can highlight both the content and the translated nature of a book. Shogo Oketani and I took turns reading, in his Japanese and my English, from the original and translated versions of J-Boys: Kazuo’s World, Tokyo, 1965, for elementary and high school students in Japan after J-Boys was nominated for a 2013 Sakura Medal.

ES/HS J-Boys visit

Finally, I learned that my visits can interest readers in translations besides my own, such as winners of the Mildred L. Batchelder Award and the Marsh Award. I have shown students covers of books that they did not know were translations–such as the Babar, Pippi Longstocking, and Inkheart books–and asked them to guess where they came from. This exercise is a fun icebreaker!

I now take a page from Holly Thompson’s book by considering visits even as I translate. What props or activities could help me bring a work to life? What images from my research should I save for a PowerPoint? What passages would illustrate a particular translation challenge?

I encourage other translators to learn about and offer school visits in 2013. Observing author/illustrator visits and surfing the SCBWI website are ways to begin.

A Rainy Saturday to Remember

SCBWI Tokyo Translation Day 2012 brought translators from all parts of Japan (and Thailand!) together for presentations, discussions, a workshop, and lively conversation on a drizzly day in Yokohama.

Translators at SCBWI Tokyo Translation Day 2012

Featured speaker Alexander O. Smith emboldened participants to push beyond word-for-word renderings to recast works in English, using fascinating examples from game translation. Author and editor Holly Thompson probed ways to make Japan-born translations marketable in the U.S. YA market, and an eight-member panel discussed the making of Tomo: Friendship Through FictionAn Anthology of Japan Teen Stories. After a translation workshop led by Alex, Avery Fischer Udagawa wrapped up the day by leading a discussion on personal websites, networking, time-share editing, and our potential within the SCBWI organization.

Many of the participants were veteran translators, so this was an excellent opportunity to meet and catch up  and, more importantly, share ideas and get tuned in to new possibilities.

Watch for a write-up of this event in the summer 2012 issue of Carp Tales, the SCBWI Tokyo newsletter. Thanks to all who made Translation Day 2012 a success!

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