Translating Modern Japanese Literature

This book presents and comments on four short works of Japanese literature by prominent writers of the early twentieth century, including Natsume Sōseki and Miyazawa Kenji. These are their first-ever published English translations.

The book is designed to be used as a textbook for the translation of modern Japanese literature—another first. Each chapter introduces the writer and his work, presents the original Japanese text in its entirety, and encourages students with advanced Japanese to make their own translation of it, before reading the author’s translation that follows. The detailed commentary section in each chapter focuses on two stylistic issues that characterise the source text, and how the target text—the translation—has dealt with them, before the chapter concludes with questions for further discussion and analysis.


Richard Donovan is an Associate Professor in Translation Studies and Literature in the Faculty of Letters at Kansai University, Japan. He has also worked as a translator at the Kyoto City International Relations Office. He obtained a PhD in Literary Translation Studies at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, in 2012 with a thesis titled “Dances with Words: Issues in the Translation of Japanese Literature into English”. His most recent publication, in the Asia-Pacific Journal, was entitled “Brought to You by Our Sponsors: The TBS Adaptation of Ishiguro’s Novel Never Let Me Go”.

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ISBN: 1-5275-3842-7

ISBN13: 978-1-5275-3842-9

Release Date: 13th September 2019

Pages: 261

Price: £61.99

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