After a year of getting feedback from readers, I’ve been happy to hear how readers were moved and impressed by Tei’s remarkable story but very few readers can really evaluate the quality of my translation.
Happily, last October I received a letter from Columbia University after I submitted Tei to the 2015- 2016 Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission Prize for the Translation of Japanese Literature. I didn’t win the translation competition but the judges sent me a very nice letter which I will share below.
Translation, especially from Japanese to English, is a tricky business since the two languages are so very different. I want the translation to be as accurate as possible and at the same time, the English version to be as readable as possible.
I’m grateful the translation judges felt I did a decent job. I hope Tei Fujiwara will be happy to know that English readers are can also appreciate the rich textures and nuances of the story she wrote seventy years ago.