Articles Tagged “Japan ”

Open Call for Manga

by Rohan Kamicheril, September 3, 2007

Ned Beauman at the Guardian's Book Blog gives us a refresher course in Japanese Manga and polls his readers in his most recent post. The perplexing and often misunderstood Japanese narrative art form has come under criticism from readers in the west for its sporadic pacing, sometimes unusual themes,…...read more »

Online Book Club for “The Diving Pool” by Yoko Ogawa

by The Editors, January 8, 2009

This January, we kick off the year in book clubs with an online discussion of Yoko Ogawa's Diving Pool. Ogawa is one of contemporary Japan's most celebrated authors, and her collection of meticulously crafted, dark and troubling novellas provides a glimpse into the subtle, twisted drama of everyday life.…...read more »

An Introduction to “The Diving Pool” by Yoko Ogawa

by Amber Qureshi, January 9, 2009

Amber Qureshi jumpstarts the discussion of Yoko Ogawa's Diving Pool with an introduction to the author, her work and contemporary Japanese literature. Amber will be posting her impressions of The Diving Pool on a weekly basis throughout January and we hope all of our readers, and the attendees of our…...read more »

Stephen Snyder talks about “The Diving Pool


Plumbing the Haunted Imagination of Yoko Ogawa

by Austin Woerner, January 13, 2009

Austin Woerner reports on the discussion between Stephen Snyder and Allison Powell at the Idlewild bookstore last Thursday, January 8, in New York City. You can find the video from the event at the Words Without Borders Youtube channel—Editors As a translator of a language very different from my…...read more »

Ogawa Book Club Post—“Pregnancy Diary”

by Amber Qureshi, January 16, 2009

In her second post for our Diving Pool-discussion, Amber Qureshi discusses "Pregnancy Diary,"one of the novellas from the book and poses questions for our readers. You can find links to previous posts in the discussion at the bottom of the page, and we encourage you to read them and to join in the discussion.—Editors…...read more »

Allison Powell on “The Diving Pool”

by Allison Powell, January 20, 2009

In an essay that was originally featured in the companion booklet to her and Stephen Snyder's discussion of The Diving Pool at the Idlewild bookstore in New York City, Allison Powell talks about Ogawa, the themes of the author's work and speculates about the riveting and twisted imagery and obsessions…...read more »

“The Diving Pool” Blog Post

by Amber Qureshi, January 27, 2009

In her blog post on the titular story from Yoko Ogawa's collection of novellas, Amber Qureshi discusses the author's unique use of rhythm and imagery and posits some questions for discussion. For links to other essays in this book club series, go to the bottom of the page, and do feel free to join in…...read more »

Amber Qureshi Discusses Yoko Ogawa’s “Dormitory”

by Amber Qureshi, January 30, 2009

In her final post for the Ogawa book club, moderator Amber Qureshi talks about the third novella in The Diving Pool and the author's cinematic use of light and shadow in her writing. Thanks to all for reading along and we hope that if you have a thought on this or any other post in the series, you'll…...read more »

Blogging about Graphics in February

by The Editors, February 3, 2009

As part of our third annual Graphic Novels issue, we'll be featuring blog posts on the art, inspiration, histories and technical details behind the most exciting graphic narratives out there. All this February, we're joined by Edward Gauvin, Yani Mentzas, Heinz Insu Fenkl and others, in a discussion…...read more »

Translated Fiction: Immensely Popular in the U.S.!

by Yani Mentzas, February 3, 2009

In his first post for our Graphic Novels blog line-up, Yani Mentzas, Editorial Director of Vertical, Inc., the publisher of—among other great work—Osamu Tezuka's Black Jack series, talks about contemporary Japanese literature, video games and one way to get U.S. readers to consume mass quantities…...read more »

Manga Translation: Only Poets Need Apply (Part I)

by Yani Mentzas, February 6, 2009

In his second post for our blog series on graphic novels this month, Yani Mentzas talks about ensuring quality in manga—in images and in words—and about the very physical constraints of translating for manga.—Editors A work of manga can be translated in a cavalier fashion with near…...read more »

Manga Translation: Only Poets Need Apply (Part II)

by Yani Mentzas, February 13, 2009

The Japanese language employs a mixture of phonetic scripts and ideograms. These latter, the Chinese or kanji characters, invariably take up more space than the original single glyph when rendered into English. There are other facets of the Japanese language that contribute to the tendency for the average…...read more »

Manga Translation: Only Poets Need Apply (Part III)

by Yani Mentzas, February 19, 2009

In manga translation, the English rendition of the original Japanese has to fit back into a bubble, and the spatial constraints can be formidable given that one language reads top-down and the other left-right. Not only the bubble's size but its shape comes into play, favoring the use of shorter words…...read more »

Shinji Ishii and The Story Behind the Novel

by Bonnie Elliott, May 6, 2009

As part of our month-long celebration of contemporary writing from Japan this May at Words without Borders, Bonnie Elliott provides an informative glimpse into the provenance of Shinji Ishii's novel Once Upon a Swing. You can read an excerpt from the novel, in Bonnie's translation, in this month's issue.…...read more »

Is Tezuka God?

by Yani Mentzas, May 7, 2009

Continuing our blog coverage this month to celebrate our Japan issue, Yani Mentzas, who many of our readers will remember from his appearance as a blogger during our Graphic Novels issue, holds forth on Osamu Tezuka. —Editors Back in February, when the Graphic Novels issue was up, I wrote here…...read more »

The World According to shinji ishii

by Bonnie Elliott, May 11, 2009

In her second dispatch this month, Bonnie Elliott tells us more about shinji ishii and the difficulties of resolving the real with the literary. You can find an excerpt from shinji ishii's Once Upon a Swing in this month's issue of the magazine. —Editors In our first email exchange, shinji explained…...read more »

Tanikawa Shuntaro, The Greatest Living Poet You’ve Never Heard Of

by Juliet Grames, May 13, 2009

In her dispatch for this month's issue on Japanese literature, Juliet Grames directs her attention to the post-war poet Tanikawa Shuntaro and his verse— lyrical, unusual, and largely unheard of in the U.S. —Editors There's nothing quite as exciting and frustrating as finding a piece of extremely…...read more »

Divine Comics

by Yani Mentzas, May 15, 2009

In his second post for our Japan issue, Yani Mentzas talks about the divine in the work of Osamu Tezuka —Editors In my previous post I pointed out that Osamu Tezuka—the God of Manga (manga no kamisama) and indisputably the most important figure in the history of Japanese comics—needs…...read more »

New Writers Explore the Dark Side of Japanese Literature

by Kay Ohara, May 19, 2009

Book sales are generally down in Japan, and for that matter, they've been down for more than a decade. Sure, you've heard of the rise of keitai shosetsu, novels written and read on the ubiquitous cell phones, but it's no Kindle and no one's getting royalties there. Excuse the pun, but it's something…...read more »

Deus Ex Tezuka: The Inaugural Episode of “Black Jack”

by Yani Mentzas, May 22, 2009

In his third post for our Japan issue, Yani Mentzas dissects the the moral (and national) background in Tezuka's work and discusses the religious imagery of a miracle-working doctor. —Editors Tezuka's ability to explore matters of divinity within manga, a form that was deemed inherently frivolous,…...read more »

Translating “The Tale of Genji”, the World’s First Novel

by Juliet Grames, May 27, 2009

In her second blog post for our issue of Japanese literature, Juliet Grames explores the roots of contemporary writing by discussing the now 1,000-year-old Tale of Genji. —Editors You may have heard the exciting news: it's the 1000th-anniversary of The Tale of Genji, the Japanese epic commonly…...read more »

Profession of Faith

by Yani Mentzas, June 1, 2009

In his final post in this series, Yani Mentzas takes us back to his childhood memories of Tezuka and talks about how public (and private) perceptions of the author's work have evolved over the years. —Editors While the perception that comics are mainstream in Japan is true to an extent, the case…...read more »

Baseball Springs Eternal

by Shizuka Ijuin, March 31, 2011

It was afternoon on Friday, March 11, 2011.  I was in the office at my home in Sendai, working on a manuscript I had just started.  Spring is the season of new beginnings.  In Japan, graduation ceremonies in March are followed by matriculation ceremonies in April.  For students it…...read more »

The Decline and Fall of a Translator’s Brain

by Jocelyne Allen, July 19, 2012

Just when you think you’ve figured out what is going on in the Toh Enjoe story “The History of the Decline and Fall of the Galactic Empire,” you trip on another oblique reference to some bit of the outside world. It’s a story that bears up to—and in fact, requires—multiple…...read more »