Japan Foundation UK: How Do They Read?

Updated: Jul 13

Voices and Practices of Japanese Literature Translators


Direkt-Link zum Webinar auf Youtube (18. Juni 2020):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LsypT0d1e8I  (1h 3 min)

Einführung von Junko Takekawa:


The efforts, influence, as well as the responsibility of literary translators in catapulting Japanese literature into global popularity should not be overlooked. Inviting three experienced translators of Japanese literature, Prof. Stephen Dodd, Polly Barton and Ginny Tapley Takemori, this talk aims to reveal the daily practices of translation behind the scenes and to discuss how these professionals overcome not only the difference in language but also in culture.

Stephen Dodd (Moderator) is Professor Emeritus of Japanese Literature at SOAS, University of London. He has written widely on modern Japanese literature. His translation of Mishima Yukio’s Life for Sale (Inochi urimasu, 1968) was published through Penguin in 2019, and he is now translating Mishima’s sci-fi novel, Beautiful Star (Utsukushii hoshi, 1962).

Polly Barton is a translator of Japanese literature and non-fiction, based in the UK. Her translation of Kikuko Tsumura's There's No Such Thing as an Easy Job is upcoming from Bloomsbury. After being awarded the 2019 Fitzcarraldo Editions Essay Prize, she is currently working on a non-fiction book entitled Fifty Sounds.

Ginny Tapley Takemori is a Japan-based literary translator who has translated over a dozen Japanese authors. Her translation of Sayaka Murata’s Convenience Store Woman was selected Book of the Year by Foyles book shop and numerous publications including The New Yorker. Her translation of Murata’s Earthlings will be published this autumn.