When I think back on the the books I translated and published last year (2020), my book of short stories by Hayashi Fumiko (a notable Japanese woman author from the early 20th century) was by the far the most memorable, and the most enjoyable to produce. I also received some nice comments from a few readers that really motivated to me to make a second book of this author’s stories, though it took me a while to figure out which stories to do and set aside time to do the project.
“Days and Nights” is the result of my efforts in many areas (translation, editing, story selection, cover design, research, etc.), and with this book I hope to please the readers who enjoyed the first book, as well as hopefully gain a few more fans of Hayashi Fumiko.
This collection contains three stories which are loosely themed around family, with “Days and Nights” referring to spending a great deal of time with someone. (I talked about this little more in the book’s intro, which you can read on the free sample available on Amazon.) “Days and Nights” is also the title of one of the stories about a couple struggling with a failing business, which is hands down my favorite story of Hayashi Fumiko of what I’ve read so far.
While some of my other books contain translation notes, in this one I went the extra mile, adding nearly thirty notes on an array of historical, cultural, and geographical topics. This is the first book in some time where I’ve created in-line numbered footnotes, which are unobtrusive and fairly easy to use. But, just to be clear, these aren’t the types of stories you will be totally lost without the notes; I made sure the text was as easily understandable as much as possible even without them. But there are certain facts that I felt would add to the readers enjoyment and/or understanding so I decided to include them. While translating these stories and doing related research, I myself learned a great deal about Japan in the 1930s and 1940s.
Unlike my bilingual Ogawa Mimei series, this book doesn’t contain the original Japanese text, but the original text of each of these stories is freely available on Aozora Bunko (青空文庫) if you want to get some extra reading practice. (I should probably mention the two longest stories are somewhat difficult due to the older Japanese used, but I am considering writing some article(s) about helping to understand them.)
You can find “Days and Nights” available now on Amazon for only $0.99, as well as the previous book “Downfall and Other Stories”. You can see the series page with both listed here. (By the way, I am considering raising the price of the latter book to $2.99 in the near future.)
I hope you enjoy these stories, and feel free to give me feedback of any type (email: selftaughtjapanese [at] gmail.com), including other Hayashi Fumiko stories you’d like to see translated.