Tag Archives: literature

Japanese book review: “文藝年鑑” (Literature Yearbook) [an important guide for acquiring rights to publish Japanese works]

In the process of researching how to obtain official legal permission to translate and publish certain Japanese authors, I discovered the book “文藝年鑑” (bungei nenkan), which can be translated as “Literature Yearbook”. In this post I’d like to review this important reference guide, especially useful to translators and those deeply interested in Japanese literature. (By… Read More »

Japanese literature review: “Utopia” (ユートピア) by Kanae Minato (湊かなえ)

On a recent trip to Japan (which I am in the process of reporting on here), I browsed through many bookstores. Because my reading speed in Japanese still hasn’t quite caught up to my English reading speed, rather than actually read a few pages of a book I generally focus on searching for covers and… Read More »

Japanese Literature Review: 「猫を抱いて象と泳ぐ」 (Swim With an Elephant, Embracing a Cat) by 小川洋子 (Yoko Ogawa): A nostalgic ode to chess

Yoko Ogawa (小川洋子) is an award-winning Japanese author who has written over 30 works, with at least eight of them translated into English so far. She is perhaps most known for her novel “The Housekeeper and the Professor” (博士の愛した数式) which was also made into a movie. I read Ogawa’s book “Little Bird” (ことり) last year… Read More »

Be a better translator: 10 tips to take you to the next level

Here are some tips to help you take your translation skills to the next level: 1. Develop your language sense Your sense of language, for both the source and target languages, is one of the core things that drives the quality of your translations. 2. Read often Reading from a diverse set of authors (again for… Read More »

Japanese short story highlight: Yoko Ogawa’s “Hexagonal Room” (6角形の小部屋)

Since reading (and reviewing) Yoko Ogawa (小川洋子)’s novel “Little Bird” (小鳥), I’ve been interested in exploring more of what this unique author has to offer. Just today I came across an audio narration of one of her short stories called  “Hexagonal Room” (6角形の小部屋)here on Youtube, apparently from a radio talkshow. (Make sure you start listening… Read More »

Japanese Novel Review: “Boy of Civilization” (文明の子) by Hikari Ota (太田 光)

I’ll be the first to admit that the novel “Boy of Civilization” was a hyoushigai (表紙買い) for me, which basically means I bought it after being attracted by the cover. Not only was it beautiful on its own, but it also reminded me of the cover of “Lagos on a Journey” (旅のラゴス) by Yasutaka Tsutsui.… Read More »

Book Release: Japanese Dystopian Fiction (“Eighteen O’Clock Music Bath” by Juza Unno)

(Quick link to the book on Amazon) Early this year, I published my first ebook: a translated collection of works by the Japanese science fiction author Juza Unno (海野十三). That book contained five short stories that I thought were worthy of English translation, selected from the author’s ~200 works. After publishing this book, I immediately… Read More »

Japanese novel translation: “House Ephemera” by Hatasu Shikishima [Chapter 7]

This is the 7th chapter of a story I am translating titled “House Ephemera” (蜉蝣の家) by Hatasu Shikishima (識島果). Thanks to Sherayuki for helping proofread this chapter. You can read the full Japanese text of this chapter here. See this page which contains a brief synopsis and links to other chapters (as they are posted).… Read More »

Japanese novel translation: “House Ephemera” by Hatasu Shikishima [Chapter 6]

This is the 6th chapter of a story I am translating titled “House Ephemera” (蜉蝣の家) by Hatasu Shikishima (識島果). Thanks to Sherayuki for helping proofread this chapter. You can read the full Japanese text of this chapter here. See this page which contains a brief synopsis and links to other chapters (as they are posted).… Read More »

Japanese novel review: “Little Bird”(ことり) by Yoko Ogawa (小川洋子)

Generally when I pick a Japanese novel to read, either the story itself caught my attention or there was something else about the book (for example, it won one or more awards) that made it seem a worthy read. In the case of the novel “Little Bird” (ことり) by Yoko Ogawa (小川洋子), it was clearly… Read More »