Posts Tagged ‘Nahoko Uehashi’

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.

Kyoto Journal Features Translator Cathy Hirano

Kyoto Journal 86 Page 132

By Wendy Uchimura, Yokohama

The inspiring talk “Why I Translate for Children and Teens in a Translation-Resistant Market,” given by translator Cathy Hirano at the 2014 SCBWI Japan Translation Day, a biennial event, has been skillfully adapted into an article that appears in Kyoto Journal Volume 86.

Cathy Hirano is an award-winning translator whose works include The Friends by Kazumi Yumoto, as well as Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit and Moribito II: Guardian of the Darkness by Nahoko Uehashi.

With an introduction by Avery Fischer Udagawa, this article delves into why we should bother to translate children’s literature, the benefits of sharing culture, how the English publishing world can sometimes act as an obstacle, and how the translator can play mediator between the author and the editor.

Top: page 132 of Kyoto Journal Volume 86. This issue is downloadable here.

Kyoto Journal 86

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.

 

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.

 

 

How Is This Book Not Translated?!

By Emily Balistrieri, Tokyo

Probably anyone who knows a language besides English can think of at least couple great books that remain surprisingly untranslated. Last month The Guardian’s children’s books site started up a conversation to collect a list.

The GuardianWhich brilliant books have never been translated into English? Join the discussion Children’s books | The Guardian

Avery Fischer Udagawa chimed in wondering how it is that only the first two books in Nahoko Uehashi’s Moribito series have made it over. Any other Japanese children’s titles that seem like obvious candidates? (The inherent dilemma here, of course, is that translators don’t want to give away their next dream projects in the comments. Right?! Man!)

We could also examine the flip side: What are some classic Japanese children’s books that probably wouldn’t work in English (and why not)? If a picture book is a masterpiece but the first page is a visual pun, is there anything to do but sigh and savor the Japanese?

Bonus: As an example of the good work being done to allow beloved children’s lit to flow across language barriers, The Guardian highlights Ginny Tapley Takemori’s translation of The Secret of the Blue Glass by Tomiko Inui with an excerpt. Check it out! An interview with Takemori appears on this blog here.

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.

SCBWI  Logo

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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