Posts Tagged ‘Hans Christian Andersen Award’

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!

screen-shot-2017-02-23-at-10-30-50-am

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.

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Moribito Giveaway at Cynsations!

IMG_1917Members of SCBWI Japan Translation Group have published an interview with translator Cathy Hirano at Cynsations, the children’s literature blog.

The interview includes a giveaway (open to entrants worldwide) of Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit by Nahoko Uehashi, translated by Cathy Hirano.

This title won the 2009 Mildred L. Batchelder Award for publisher Arthur A. Levine Books, and Uehashi later won the 2014 Hans Christian Andersen Award for Writing. The hardback version of Moribito is now a collector’s item. Four more days to enter!

Cathy Hirano and Cynsations‘ own Cynthia Leitich Smith will speak at Asian Festival of Children’s Content (AFCC), 25-29 May 2016.

 

Japanese Children’s Literature “Dream Team” to Speak in Singapore

By Avery Fischer Udagawa, Bangkok

Pinch me! I cannot believe that next month, I’ll be at the National Library in Singapore for Asian Festival of Children’s Content 2016, rubbing shoulders with . . . AFCC 2016 Speaker Highlights

 

These are just a few speakers set to appear in the Japan: Country of Focus track at this year’s AFCC. A full list of Japan presenters is here. This dream team includes:

Akiko Beppu, editor. Ms. Beppu nurtured the Moribito fantasy novels by Nahoko Uehashi, which became bestsellers and the basis of manga, anime, radio and TV versions (the TV dramatization is airing in Japan over three years). In a show of confidence and initiative, Ms. Beppu commissioned a full English translation of the first Moribito novel. This move helped overseas publishers read the novel in its entirety and appreciate its true quality. Result? Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit and Moribito II: Guardian of the Darkness were published in English and other languages, won a Mildred L. Batchelder Award and Batchelder Honor, and paved the way for Uehashi to win the 2014 Hans Christian Andersen Award for Writing—a biennial award also dubbed the Nobel Prize for children’s literature.

Cathy Hirano, translator. Originally from Canada, Hirano has spent her adult life in Japan and become a leading translator of children’s and YA books from Japanese to English. She translated the middle grade realistic novel The Friends by Kazumi Yumoto, which won a Batchelder Award and a Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for Fiction. She translated Moribito and Moribito II, leading to Uehashi’s Andersen Award, a Batchelder, and a Batchelder Honor—becoming one of few translators to produce multiple Batchelder winners in different genres. Her first translation of the fantasy novel Dragon Sword and Wind Child by Noriko Ogiwara won so many fans that when it fell out of print in the U.S., it became a collector’s item and got republished, with a sequel. She is translator of Hanna’s Night by beloved printmaker-illustrator Komako Sakai.

fuji-2_320_320Kazuo Iwamuraauthor-illustrator, created the long-selling Family of Fourteen picture book series. This series—partially translated into English for the Japan market by the amazing Arthur Binard, and order-able from anywhere—portrays a clan of fourteen mice who bathe, sleep, cook, sing and play in ways quintessentially Japanese. It’s impossible to watch them savor their homemade bento lunches, doze off in their snug communal sleeping area, or view the full moon (from a special platform in a tree) without admiring Japan’s best traditions around family, nature and childhood. Mr. Iwamura’s books will make you want to move to Japan.

Kyoko Sakai, editor, shepherded the Family of Fourteen books and many works of kamishibai, for which her company Doshinsha is known worldwide. Yumiko Sakuma, translator, has brought famous children’s titles into Japanese, including the Rowan of Rin series from Australia and the book Of Thee I Sing by U.S. President Barack Obama. Dr. Miki Yamamoto, manga artist, has created stunning works such as How Are You? and Sunny Sunny Ann, and the wordless picture book Ribbon Around a Bomb. Satoko Yamano, singer,  is well-known for performing children’s songs in Japan, as is Toshihiko Shinzawa, singer. 

Naomi Kojima, illustrator, created the classic picture book Singing Shijimi Clams. Chihiro Iwasaki (1918-1974), artist, illustrated the novel Totto-chan: Little Girl at the Window, which is one of the world’s most-translated children’s titles. Iwasaki will be discussed by staff of the acclaimed Chihiro Art Museum, located in Tokyo and in Azumino, Nagano Prefecture.

Holly Thompson, Mariko Nagai, and Trevor Kew, authors who write from and about Japan in English, will speak about their vocation of writing between cultures.

Staff of the extensive International Library of Children’s Literature, part of Japan’s National Diet Library, will speak—as will representatives of Bookstart Japan, which provides picture books for newborn babies in more than half of the cities and towns in Japan.

I get to speak too, and I am quaking in my boots.

These folks have created a treasury of Japan children’s content, and helped to build the publishing world and literate society that support it. If you can be in Singapore on May 25-29, 2016, come hear this incredible dream team. Such a line-up of speakers is rare to see even in Japan!

Illustration © Naomi Kojima

Upper right: Logo for AFCC 2016 Japan: Country of Focus. Above: Illustration from Singing Shijimi Clams © Naomi Kojima

Andersen Award Sparks Interest in Nahoko Uehashi’s Moribito Series

Nahoko Uehashi (Goodreads)By Avery Fischer Udagawa, Bangkok

Author Nahoko Uehashi has smiled out from many a feature article, sales display, and book obi (advertising “sash”) in Japan since receiving the 2014 Hans Christian Andersen Award for Writing—a biennial award sometimes dubbed the Nobel Prize for children’s literature.

This past New Year’s Eve in Kamakura, I watched Uehashi help judge the TV special Kohaku uta gassen (Red and White Singing Contest)a celebrity sing-off as famous in Japan as New Year’s Rockin’ Eve in the U.S. Uehashi judged alongside figure skater Yuzuru Hanyu and other stars. Already a bestselling author, Uehashi is now a household name.

Her acclaimed Moribito novels have been adapted for radio, manga, and anime, and the first novel will become a four-part TV drama aired beginning this March in Japan. Overseas, rights to the full book series have sold in China, with rights to individual books sold in Brazil, France, Italy, Spain, Indonesia, Taiwan, the U.S., and Vietnam. In the U.S., the first two Moribito novels—translated by Cathy Hirano as Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit and Moribito II: Guardian of the Darkness—have won the Mildred L. Batchelder Award and a Batchelder Honor for publisher Arthur A. Levine Books, an imprint of Scholastic, Inc.

Haruka Ayase as Balsa (NHK)

Above: Haruka Ayase stars as Balsa in the upcoming NHK TV dramatization of Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit. 

Many readers of English long to see more translations of books in the Moribito series—as shown in comments to the 2014 post on our blog announcing Uehashi’s Andersen Award. Since 2014, this post has ranked among our blog’s top-three most viewed.

Have you treated yourself to a reading of Moribito and Moribito II? If not, both books are worth adding to your 2016 reading list. Happy reading, and Happy New Year!

Moribito I and Moribito II (Goodreads)

Above: Click to read more about Nahoko Uehashi and the Moribito series at Goodreads.

 

 

Announcing SCBWI Japan Translation Day 2014!

The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators presents

A True Novel by Minae Mizumura, translated into English by Juliet Winters Carpenter

A True Novel by Minae Mizumura, translated into English by Juliet Winters Carpenter

SCBWI Japan Translation Day 2014: Japanese Literature in English for Young Adults

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, October 18, 2014, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (Registration at 8:30 a.m.)

Place: Yokohama International School, 2F Pauli Bldg

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

Advance registrations and translations of text for workshop with Juliet Winters Carpenter are due by Friday, October 3, 2014.

Registration: To reserve your place and request workshop texts, send an e-mail to japan (at) scbwi.org

This event will be in English.

* * * * * * * * * * *

SCBWI Japan Translation Day 2014 Schedule

8:30 Registration | 8:50 Opening Remarks

9:00-9:45 Cathy Hirano: Why Translate for Children and Teens in a Translation Resistant Market?

Cathy Hirano’s translations of Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit and Moribito II: Guardian of the Darkness enabled Nahoko Uehashi to win the 2014 Hans Christian Andersen Award in Writing. Cathy explores why translations into English matter, and considers some specific issues in how to translate from Japanese for growing readers.

10:00-10:45 Juliet Winters Carpenter: How to Voice Novels in Translation

A translator of folktales, poetry, nonfiction, and novels—including A True Novel by Minae Mizumura, winner of the 2014 Next Generation Indie Book Award’s Grand Prize in Fiction—Juliet Winters Carpenter discusses how she translates voice.

11:00-12:00 Daniel Hahn: Pathways to Publication in the UK

As Program Director of the British Centre for Literary Translation and compiler of a forthcoming new edition of the Oxford Companion to Children’s Literature, Daniel Hahn knows what it takes to publish translations for children and young adults in the UK. In this exchange via Skype, he responds to questions generated by SCBWI Japan Translation Group.

Lunch—Bring a lunch and “talk shop” with fellow translators in the event room or nearby Minato-no-Mieru Oka Park.

1:30-3:00 Juliet Winters Carpenter: Novel Translation Workshop

Juliet Winters Carpenter critiques participants’ translations of selected text from a novel for young adult readers and up.

Translation Day participants must submit their translations of the selected text for this workshop by October 3, 2014. To request the text and register for Translation Day, send an e-mail to japan (at) scbwi.org

3:15-3:45 Alexander O. Smith: Demonstration of Voice Recognition Software

The cofounder of Bento Books and translator of Brave Story by Miyuki Miyabe, winner of the Mildred L. Batchelder Award, shows how voice recognition software enhances his translation process.

4:00-4:30 Lynne E. Riggs and Avery Fischer Udagawa: SWET, SCBWI and Key Resources

The translator of Kiki’s Delivery Service describes the Society of Writers, Editors and Translators (SWET) and its resource for all who work with English about Japan: Japan Style Sheet. The translator of J-Boys describes the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and its resource for all who work with children’s/YA lit: The Book.

4:30-5:00 Discussion/Q & A and Closing Comments

* * * * * * * * * * *

SCBWI Japan Translation Day 2014 Speakers

Juliet Winters Carpenter was born in the US Midwest and studied Japanese literature at the University of Michigan under Edward Seidensticker, as well as at the Inter-University Center for Japanese Language Studies, then in Tokyo. Her translation of Kobo Abe’s novel Secret Rendezvous won the 1980 Japan–United States Friendship Commission Prize for the Translation of Japanese Literature. Her many subsequent translations include mysteries, folktales, romance novels, haiku and tanka poetry, historical fiction, and books on Buddhist philosophy. She has translated signature works by Fumiko Enchi, Miyuki Miyabe, Machi Tawara, and Junichi Watanabe. She took part in the landmark project to translate Clouds Above the Hill: A Historical Novel of the Russo-Japanese War by Ryotaro Shiba. A longtime resident of Kyoto, she teaches at Doshisha Women’s College of Liberal Arts and authored the book Seeing Kyoto. Her recent translations for younger readers are “The Fox and the Otter,” “The Grateful Crane,” and “The Tale of the Bamboo-Cutter” for NHK World Radio, and the story “Fleecy Clouds” by Arie Nashiya for Tomo: Friendship Through Fiction—An Anthology of Japan Teen Stories. Her translation of A True Novel by Minae Mizumura—a remaking of Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights set in postwar Japan—has won the 2014 Next Generation Indie Book Award for Fiction: www.otherpress.com/books/true-novel/

Cathy Hirano grew up in Canada and studied at International Christian University in Tokyo. She lives in Takamatsu, Kagawa prefecture, and translates texts in a variety of fields, including anthropology, sociology, and architecture, as well as children’s and young adult (YA) literature. She has translated seven middle grade and YA novels: The Friends, The Spring Tone, and The Letters by Kazumi Yumoto; Dragon Sword and Wind Child and Mirror Sword and Shadow Prince by Noriko Ogiwara; and Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit and Moribito II: Guardian of the Darkness by Nahoko Uehashi. The Friends won the Mildred L. Batchelder Award, a prestigious prize for translated children’s books, in 1997; Moribito and Moribito II earned the Batchelder Award and a Batchelder Honor, respectively, in 2009–2010. These translations paved the way for Nahoko Uehashi to win the international Hans Christian Andersen Award for Writing in 2014. Cathy has also translated numerous picture books, including Hannah’s Night by Komako Sakai. Her essay “Eight Ways to Say You” deftly describes translating Japanese literature into English for young people: http://archive.hbook.com/magazine/articles/1999/jan99_hirano.asp

Daniel Hahn is a British writer, editor and/or translator of more than forty books. He has authored the nonfiction titles The Tower Menagerie and The Oxford Guide to Literary Britain and Ireland, as well as biographies of Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Percy Bysshe Shelley. His translations from Portuguese, Spanish and French include fiction by José Luís Peixoto, Philippe Claudel, María Dueñas, Eduardo Halfon, and Gonçalo M. Tavares. He has translated nonfiction by Portuguese Nobel laureate José Saramago and Brazilian footballer Pelé. He has co-edited The Ultimate Book Guide, a series of reading guides for children and teens, and authored the picture book Happiness is a Watermelon on Your Head. He is compiling the new Oxford Companion to Children’s Literature, currently made up of 3,640 entries. A former chair of the Translators Association, Hahn is national program director of the British Centre for Literary Translation, the leading organization for development, promotion, and support of literary translation in Britain. BCLT programs for translators from Japanese have included mentorships, summer schools, and master classes, often offered in conjunction with the Nippon Foundation. www.bclt.org.uk

Lynne E. Riggs of Komae-shi, Tokyo, is an active member of the Society of Writers, Editors and Translators (SWET) and teaches translation at International Christian University. Her translations include the novel Kiki’s Delivery Service by Eiko Kadono and “Love Letter” by Megumi Fujino for Tomo: Friendship Through Fiction—An Anthology of Japan Teen Stories. www.cichonyaku.com

Alexander O. Smith is the founder of Kajiya Productions Inc., co-founder of Bento Books Inc., and based in Kamakura. His translation of the YA fantasy novel Brave Story by Miyuki Miyabe earned the Batchelder Award in 2008. He translated the parable in verse “Wings on the Wind” by Yuichi Kimura for Tomo: Friendship Through Fiction—An Anthology of Japan Teen Stories. www.bentobooks.com

Avery Fischer Udagawa lives near Bangkok. Her translations include the middle grade historical novel J-Boys: Kazuo’s World, Tokyo, 1965 by Shogo Oketani and the story “House of Trust” by Sachiko Kashiwaba in Tomo: Friendship through Fiction—An Anthology of Japan Teen Stories. She coordinates activities of the SCBWI Japan Translation Group. www.averyfischerudagawa.com

japan.scbwi.org

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AFCC 2014 (Part 2): Found in Translation

 

afcc-logoPaul Quirk, Ena City, Gifu Prefecture

2. Translator Cathy Hirano

Cathy Hirano, who has more than 25 years’ experience translating Japanese children’s literature—and is the translator for Nahoko Uehashi, winner of the 2014 Hans Christian Andersen Award for Writing—gave a presentation at AFCC 2014 about the need to provide more Asian content to the world’s children. Cathy-Hirano_130_162_90_s_c1This is a brief summary of some of the topics she covered.

Motivation for translating children’s books 

One of the unfortunate things about the business of translating is that translators can only do one job at a time. Most translators interested in children’s books have to fit their book translations in between other better paying jobs, and many people would ask, why bother?

To answer that question, Cathy discussed the importance of giving children exposure to different cultures through books. By reading books with protagonists from other cultures, children (and adults) can see that, although people may have a different idea of what is ‘normal,’ it doesn’t matter which country they live in, or what language they speak, everyone is capable of laughter, of shedding tears, of feeling pain, love or sadness; they just have different ways of expressing it.

So while it may not be well paid, the translation of literature for children is important. It enables children from different parts of the world to better understand each other.

moribitoGoing beyond the translation 

In the second part of her talk, Cathy gave examples from Uehashi’s Moribito series focused on bringing fluency to a text. In the case of Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit and Moribito II: Guardian of the Darkness, Cathy was blessed with enthusiastic editor Cheryl Klein of Arthur A. Levine Books, an imprint of Scholastic, who approached the books as if they were actually written in English. Nahoko Uehashi also played an important role in the translation, remaining open to ideas for altering the book for its North American readership. Cathy’s role morphed into the position of mediator, with the final translation becoming a collaboration among author, editor, and translator. Although this collaboration created more work for Cathy, the end result was a book which flowed a lot more smoothly and captured reader’s hearts.

In the audience for Cathy’s talk, there were quite a number of young people interested in translating children’s literature from Asia. Many of them went up to Cathy at the conclusion of her talk to thank her for inspiring them.

Personally, I also felt very inspired from listening to Cathy’s talk and meeting her in person. She is incredibly passionate about translating and promoting children’s literature and it really comes across when she talks. I found myself wondering, does she get all this energy from translating children’s books, or is she able to translate all of these children’s books because she has so much energy . . . ? It might be a bit of both.

The Bear and the WildcatAnd now, having read some of the books that she has translated, I know that she picks great books to translate (other titles she has translated include Mirror Sword and Shadow Prince by Noriko Ogiwara, The Friends by Kazumi Yumoto, and The Bear and the Wildcat also by Kazumi Yumoto, illustrated by Komako Sakai). If you haven’t read these then you really should grab a copy.

One other thing worth mentioning: Cathy didn’t have copies of the Moribito series to show people at the AFCC, but an anonymous donor sent four copies of Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit to make sure that Cathy had some available. Of course these sold out in no time, and Cathy donated the money from sale of the books to AFCC, for the cause of promoting children’s literature from Asia.

See Part 1 of this series.

The Poetry of Michio Mado

By Lynne E. Riggs, Komae, Tokyo

 

Earthworm

My robe is the earth

My overcoat, the universe

—Both without a spare

By Michio Mado

Translated by Empress Michiko

From bilingual anthology Eraser, p. 9

 

Michio Mado

Michio Mado

The celebration of National Poetry Month in the United States offers a good opportunity to call attention to the work of Mado Michio (1909–2014), Japan’s first winner of the Hans Christian Andersen Award for Writing and the author of numerous poems popular in Japan among readers of all ages.

Mado’s poetry captures an intimacy and a scale of things that reminds us of nature’s scheme. Simple words, sparely used are his trademark—no fancy haiku-like allusions or rigid conventions can contain him. He brings humans to the level of smaller creatures, and smaller creatures to the level of humans: Birds become “little brothers of the clouds,” a caterpillar expresses shock at the idea of a “haircut”; the poet shows sympathy for a pumpkin’s “stiff shoulders.” This is a world children instinctively understand in those halcyon days before formal education dominates their attention.

Mado grew famous in Japan soon after World War II and published numerous poetry collections throughout his career. His poems “Elephant” (Zōsan), “Goats and Letters” (Yagi-san yūbin), “When I Enter First Grade” (Ichinensei ni nattara), and others became such popular children’s songs that the author’s name was often forgotten. International recognition for Mado began late, with publication of the first Japanese-English bilingual anthology of his poems in 1992.

Bilingual anthologies Eraser and Rainbow

Bilingual anthologies Eraser and Rainbow

He was 85 years old in 1994 when, following nomination by the Japanese Board on Books for Young People (JBBY) and its preparation of a dossier in English on him for the screening committee, he won the Andersen Award. Only a fraction of his tremendous output has been translated into English, most of it with great sensitivity by Empress Michiko. To the bilingual volumes The Animals and Magic Pocket, published in the 1990s, Eraser and Rainbow were recently added. Determined to “portray things as they have never been portrayed before,” Mado was also a prolific visual artist.

In Japanese, adults can access a fine volume, Jinsei shohō shishū (Mado Michio: Prescriptions for Life Anthology), which contains Mado’s selected poems, reproductions of pages from his diaries, examples of paintings and other artwork, essays about his work, and a biographical sketch by the volume’s editor, Noriko Ichikawa. Ms. Ichikawa tells me that compilation of the truly complete works of Mado, who died on February 28, is now underway.

Jinsei shohō shishū offers prescriptions of Mado’s poems for times when “the world makes no sense to you,” “you end up comparing yourself with others,” “you feel philosophical,” and so on. Under the heading “when you want to laugh,” it gives a taste of Mado’s mischievous sense of humor, which delights adults as well as children. Below is an excerpt from his piece “Foreign Loanword Dictionary” (Gairaigo jiten), which throws the gauntlet at any translator. The original Japanese is followed by a romanization (hark to the auditory qualities of the words) and a provisional English translation (try your own translation, too!).

 

がいらいごじてん

ファッション == はっくしょん

ア ラ モード == あら どうも

ミニ スカート == 目にすかっと

パンタロン == ぱあだろう

ネグリジェ == ねぐるしいぜ

ダイヤモンド == だれのもんだ

マニキュア == まぬけや

~

Fasshon = hakushon

A ra mōdo = Ara dōmo

Mini sukatto = Me ni sukatto

Pantalon = Paa darō

Negurije = Negurushii ze

Daiyamondo = Dare no mon da

Manikyua = Manukeya

~

Fashion = (sneeze) Bless you, but . . .

Á la mode = Oh! my dear!

Mini skirt = Max to the eyes

Pantalons (trousers) = Balloonhead

Négligée = Not good for sleeping, I say

Diamond = Who does that belong to?

Manicure = You need a cure

Translation by Lynne E. Riggs

 

The words and Mado’s perspective remind us that he lived from a time when kimono was standard dress for both men and women and forms of dress were being adopted from other cultures.

Zosan (Elephant) by Michio Mado

Zosan (Elephant) by Michio Mado

Mado’s poetry enchants in Japanese, of course, but with care, it translates successfully. Translation is one way to truly engage with Mado’s muse, as I discovered when I helped with the materials supporting JBBY’s nomination of Mado for the Andersen Award. To encounter lines like “Enokorogusa . . . kaze o te ni onegai shinakereba” (Foxtail . . . I’ll ask the wind to touch you with its hand) in Rainbow takes me back to childhood days, playing in the woods and fields of a place now far away.

Lynne E. Riggs is a professional translator and editor based in Tokyo. She is a founding and active member of the Tokyo-based Society of Writers, Editors, and Translators (SWET).