Posts Tagged ‘Minae Mizumura’

SCBWI Japan Translation Day 2014 in Yokohama

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By Deborah Iwabuchi, Maebashi, Japan

Thirty-one translators and future translators from throughout Japan (and beyond) gathered on October 18, 2014, at Yokohama International School for SCBWI Japan Translation Day 2014. This event was packed with sessions guaranteed to satisfy and inform Japanese-to-English translators of all interests and levels.

We participants gained valuable insight into many aspects of translation. Along with learning about theory, new trends, new equipment, resources available to us, and advice for doing a better job, we were encouraged by the need for translated children’s literature in the world as a whole, and in the English-language market in particular.

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Cathy Hirano discusses the importance of and barriers to children’s literature in English translation.

Cathy Hirano, translator of the Moribito series by 2014 Hans Christian Andersen Award winner Nahoko Uehashi, began the day with a moving talk about why she translates for children and teens in a translation-resistant environment. Juliet Winters Carpenter followed with a talk about translating voice, based on her work translating A True Novel by Minae Mizumura, which won the 2014 Next Generation Indie Book Award Grand Prize for Fiction and the 2014 Lewis Galantière Award from the American Translators Association.

A Skype session followed with Daniel Hahn, program director of the British Centre for Literary Translation, about pathways to publication in the UK. Located in Karachi at the time, Hahn gamely used video, audio, and instant messaging to describe ways to approach British publishers.

Daniel Hahn appears via Skype from Pakistan.

Daniel Hahn appears via Skype from Pakistan.

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Juliet Winters Carpenter discusses developing characters in her translation of A True Novel.

After lunch, Carpenter offered a workshop in which she critiqued translations of two excerpts from A True Novel. Fifteen translators had submitted versions of one or both excerpts in advance, and Carpenter considered each submission in turn. Later, Carpenter selected and edited several translations of one passage for the SCBWI Japan Translation Group blog:

One Passage, Seven Translations—Minae Mizumura

After Carpenter’s workshop, Alexander O. Smith, translator of the Batchelder Award-winning novel Brave Story by Miyuki Miyabe, demonstrated how he uses voice recognition software to translate first drafts. Finally, Lynne E. Riggs and Avery Fischer Udagawa spoke about resources offered by the organizations SWET and SCBWI.

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Lynne E. Riggs introduces SWET and the book Japan Style Sheet, a guide to publishing in English about Japan.  Avery Fischer Udagawa next described SCBWI and its resource The Book, focused on children’s publishing.

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Alexander O. Smith (seated far left), among others, offered an impromptu seminar during lunch.

SCBWI Japan’s biennial Translation Days (see reports from 2010 and 2012 in PDF) are characterized by the intimacy of a small gathering. The YIS venue provides us with an ample, comfortable room and the equipment for presentations and workshops. Talks and breaks and lunch are all held in the same space, so there is a great deal of mingling. Friends enjoy time together, and we get to know people we usually only see on email lists and Facebook. At this year’s sessions, about half of the participants were “old hands,” and about half were younger translators and graduate students thinking about a career in the field.

Speakers at Translation Day are top professionals in our field. Some had traveled quite a distance to be there this year, and all had prepared well for their presentations. That, one might assume, would be sufficient, and yet each and every one of these talented people spent any free time they might have had answering questions and giving advice to anyone who cared to approach them. Most of us translators work in relative isolation, so we appreciate (more than words in any language can express) these rare opportunities for enrichment and networking.

Participants were delighted with this event, and non-SCBWI members commented on how impressed they were by its organization. The program was coordinated and emceed by SCBWI Japan Translator Coordinator Avery Fischer Udagawa. Avery, based in Bangkok, together with Regional Advisor Holly Thompson, traveling in Massachusetts, and Assistant Regional Advisor Mariko Nagai in Tokyo, miraculously planned and executed Translation Day. YIS teacher and SCBWI member Trevor Kew kindly and efficiently took care of logistics. Many thanks to all in charge, to all who spoke and to the many translators who attended!

Most of the group at the end of a productive day—translators from all over Japan and beyond.

Most of the group at the end of a productive day—translators from all over Japan and beyond.

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One Passage, Seven Translations—Minae Mizumura

Honkaku shosetsu 1By Avery Fischer Udagawa, Bangkok

At SCBWI Japan Translation Day 2014 on October 18, Juliet Winters Carpenter presented a workshop using excerpts from A True Novel (in Japanese, Honkaku shosetsu) by Minae Mizumura. A True Novel is a re-imagining of Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights set in postwar Japan and the U.S.

For the workshop, 15 participants translated one to two selected excerpts from the novel in advance. Their submissions were blinded and critiqued by Carpenter in a 90-minute session.

For this blog post, Carpenter has selected six translations of one excerpt, and edited each of the translations slightly. Below are the original Japanese passage, the six translations, and Carpenter’s own rendering.

This portion of A True Novel appears in chapter 5, “Lightbulbs,” and contains recollections about two children, Taro and Yoko. The narrator is a woman named Fumiko who worked as maid for Yoko’s family. At the time she is recalling, she would have been in her late teens.

Carpenter’s published translation of A True Novel won the 2014 Next Generation Indie Book Award Grand Prize for Fiction and was first runner-up for Best Translated Book of 2014. Carpenter will soon receive the American Translators Association’s 2014 Lewis Galantière Award for A True Novel.

 

Original Passage

Honkaku shosetsu 2 庭の隅に一人乗りのブランコがあり、一人何十回かづつ漕ぐと交替するらしく、女中部屋で本を読むわたしの耳に遠くから、おまけのおまけの汽車ぽっぽ、ぽーっと鳴ったら代わりましょ、と歌うよう子ちゃんの声がくり返しくり返し聞こえてきます。子供というのは飽きっぽいようで大人にはとうていがまんがならないほど同じことをしつこくくり返すのが平気で、ある日小一時間してもまだ、おまけのおまけの汽車ぽっぽ、が聞こえてくるので、呆れて本を閉じて見にいけば、ブランコの板の上に立ったよう子ちゃんが太郎ちゃんに背中を押してもらって、両手できつく綱をつかみ、両足を踏ん張り、くっくっくっと歓喜が身体中からこぼれ出るように笑いながら漕ぐ姿がありました。太郎ちゃん自身が漕ぐときはあまりに勢いをつけ過ぎて一回転してしまったりもします。あんたがたどこさ、肥後さ、肥後どこさ、熊本さ、熊本どこさ、と鞠つきもします。ゴム跳びもします。よう子ちゃんが跳べる高さ以上にはしませんが、太郎ちゃんはそれで構わないようです。

[Source: Honkaku shosetsu by Minae Mizumura (Shinchosha, 2002)]

 

Translation A

There was a swing in one corner of the lot. When one child had swung several dozen times, the other would take a turn. As I sat reading my book in the servant’s room, I would hear Yoko announce that they should switch off after singing, “Steam train, steam train, hear the whistle blow!” She would chant this again and again. Children may seem impatient, but they can repeat something over and over that would drive an adult crazy. One day when nearly an hour had passed and I could still hear “steam train, steam train, hear the whistle blow,” I gave up trying to read and went to watch them. I found Yoko standing upright on the wooden swing, having Taro push her from behind. She gripped the ropes tightly, her feet planted on the seat, and squealed in delight. Taro, for his part, swung so hard on his turns that he flipped over the crossbeam. They sang other chants such as, “Where are you from, Sir?” “Higo, Sir!” “Where in Higo, Sir?” “Kumamoto, Sir!” “Where in Kumamoto, Sir?” They bounced a ball as they chanted. Sometimes they also stretched a rubber cord out and took turns jumping over it. They would never set it so high that Yoko could not jump over, however. Apparently that was fine with Taro.

 

Translation B

There was a single seat swing in the corner of the garden where the children played, each swinging a dozen or so times before giving way for the other to take a turn. I could hear them in the distance from the servant’s room where I sat reading, singing one of those nursery rhymes that children have the capacity to chant tirelessly over and over again in a way that adults can never bear to do: Choo choo train, whistling down the track, time to change over, don’t look back! One day I had been listening to them sing Choo Choo train endlessly for almost an hour when I decided to give up reading and go see for myself. Yoko stood tightly gripping the swing ropes, her feet planted firmly on the plank seat as Taro pushed her from behind, spilling peals of joyous laughter as her body rose into the arc of each swing. When it was Taro’s turn he sometimes put so much power into the swing that he would go right round in a complete circle. Where are you from? I’m from Higo. Where in Higo? Kumamoto. Where in Kumamoto? they sang while throwing a handball between them. And sometimes they played jumpies with elastic. They couldn’t set the elastic higher than Yoko could jump, but Taro didn’t seem to mind.

 

Translation C

In the corner of the yard there was a swing and it seemed like they were trading off after one of them had swung some number of times: reading a book in my room, I could hear Yoko’s voice faintly as she chanted the choo-choo train song about taking turns over and over. Children are capricious and yet have no problem doing the same thing so many times it would drive an adult up a wall: one day after almost an hour they were still chanting; I couldn’t believe it and when I closed my book and went to look, Yoko was standing on the seat, gripping the ropes tightly with both hands, legs braced, getting pushed by Taro; as she swung she laughed and laughed as if the delight inside her were spilling out. When Taro swung he would sometimes pump so hard he would flip the bar. They’d bounce a ball and sing a song about Tanukis in Kumamoto. They’d do Chinese jump rope. Taro jumped only as high as Yoko could, but he didn’t seem to mind holding back.

 

Translation D

The children took turns pushing each other on the single swing that hung in the corner of the yard. From the maid’s chambers where I read, I could hear them singing their song again and again.

Listen to the choo-choo’s whistle blow,
When the train goes toot then you must go!

Children soon tire of things, yet some things that would bore any adult to tears they have no trouble doing over and over, and so that day, after a good hour of hearing the train going toot, I put down my book with a sigh and went to take a look. I found Taro pushing Yoko’s back as she stood, her little hands gripping the chains tightly, feet planted firmly on the swing, chuckles of mirth bubbling out as she swung back and forth. When Taro swung he pumped his legs so hard that sometimes he circled clear over the bar. I used to see them play with balls, bouncing them in time with their songs.

Where are you?
In Higo, friend!
Where’s Higo?
In Kumamoto!
Where o where is Kumamoto?

They played with a large rubber band, too—as large as a jump rope—which they hopped over and twisted around their feet. Though they could only go as high as Yoko could jump, Taro didn’t seem to mind.

 

Translation E

In one corner of the yard there was a swing, which only one child could use at a time, and they were apparently taking turns, each yielding his or her place after a certain number of swings. From the maid’s room where I sat reading, I could hear Yoko’s voice chanting over and over again: “When the train goes choo-choo, then it’s my turn too.” You might think that children are quick to grow tired of something, but they can also be surprisingly persistent, endlessly repeating the same thing in a way that an adult would find unbearable. One day, having found myself listening to “the train goes choo-choo” for close to an hour, I finally closed my book and went to see what was going on. Yoko was standing on the plank while Taro pushed her from behind, her hands wrapped tightly around the ropes and both feet standing firm, pumping her legs and laughing pouring out of her, as if pure joy was coursing throughout her entire body. When it was Taro’s turn, he pumped with such strength that sometimes the swing would do a complete 360-degree turn. They also played a bouncing ball game, accompanied with a traditional children’s song, and a kind of Chinese skip rope. The rope would, of course, only be raised as high as was possible for Yoko to jump, but that didn’t seem to bother Taro.

 

Translation F

In a corner of the garden, there was a swing where one of the two would swing back and forth a few dozen times before it was the other one’s turn. Far off in the maid’s room where I was reading, I could hear over and over again Yōko’s voice childishly chanting the familiar line, All aboard, all aboard! Take turns! Choo choo, that’s your cue! Children are entirely fine with doggedly repeating something that adults could never tolerate for as long. That day, even after nearly an hour, I could still hear, All aboard, all aboard! Take turns! Choo choo, that’s your cue! Irritated, I shut the book and went to take a look. I saw Yōko standing on the seat of the swing with Tarō pushing her. Both hands clutching the ropes tightly, her feet planted firmly, she was swinging while laughing with squeals of delight, joy overflowing from her entire body. When Tarō himself was on the swing, he would sometimes push much too forcefully and go all the way around. They also played a maritsuki game, bouncing a ball back and forth under one leg while singing, Where are you from, hey! Higo, hey! Where in Higo, hey! Kumamoto, hey! Where in Kumamoto, hey!1 They also played jump rope. They could only go as high as Yōko could jump, but Tarō didn’t seem to mind.

1A well-known song said to have originated during the Bakumatsu era (1853-1867) and sung when playing this children’s ball game. Higo Province was an old province in southern Japan in the area now known as Kumamoto Prefecture, where the city Kumamoto is now the capital.

 

Translation by Juliet Winters Carpenter

There was a swing in one corner, and they took turns on it, each child being allowed a certain number of swings. As I sat in my room reading, in the distance I’d hear Yoko chanting over and over again:

A-True-Novel-Slipcase-225x390Swing, swing, here comes the train.
When you hear the whistle, then we change again.

Children have such short attention spans, and yet they will cheerfully go on repeating the same thing endlessly, beyond the endurance of any adult. One day that everlasting “Swing, swing” kept up for a good hour, until finally I shut my book and went to have a look. Yoko was standing on the wooden seat while Taro pushed her from behind, her hands clutching the ropes and her feet braced, her whole body quivering with joy as she pumped her little legs for all she was worth and laughter poured out of her. When it was Taro’s turn, sometimes he got so carried away he’d swing right around, full circle.

They also bounced balls while chanting songs to the rhythm:

Tell me where you’re from, sir.
I’m from Higo, sir.
Where in Higo, sir?
Kumamoto, sir.
Where in Kumamoto, sir?

And they tried high-jumping over a long chain of elastic bands attached to trees. It was never higher than Yoko could jump—so actually low-jumping—but Taro didn’t seem to mind.

[Source: A True Novel by Minae Mizumura, translated by Juliet Winters Carpenter (Other Press, 2013)]

SWET Interview with Juliet Winters Carpenter

Minae Mizumura, author of A True Novel, and translator Juliet Winters Carpenter

Minae Mizumura, author of A True Novel, and translator Juliet Winters Carpenter

By Wendy Uchimura, Yokohama

An in-depth interview with Juliet Winters Carpenter, talking about her experience translating Minae Mizumura’s award-winning book A True Novel, is now up on the SWET website.

“True Collaboration on A True Novel,” by Anna Zielinska-Elliott and Lynne E. Riggs

The English version of A True Novel has received many positive reviews and won the 2014 Next Generation Indie Book Award’s Grand Prize in Fiction. The story explores growing up in various Japan-related backgrounds and time periods, and it conveys the many forms that love can take. Young adults will find this an interesting read as it shows them how life can take many different paths.

Carpenter will be appearing at the SCBWI Japan Translation Day 2014 on Saturday, October 18, in Yokohama to talk about how to translate voice. She will also hold a translation workshop. It promises to be an exciting and productive event, so please come along. More details here.

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.

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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

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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

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