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Taiwanese work receives Japan's best translation award

05/20/2024 03:14 PM
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Tokyo, May 20 (CNA) The Japanese translation of Taiwanese novel "Chizuko and Chizuru's Taiwan Travelogue" (臺灣漫遊錄) by Yang Shuang-zi (楊双子) and translated by Yuko Miura has received Japan's "Best Translation Award," becoming the first Taiwanese work to receive the honor, the award board announced Sunday.

The novel, set in late 1930s Taiwan, follows a Japanese writer and her Taiwanese interpreter's trip along Taiwan's railway. They enjoy local foods while providing a perspective into the lives and experiences of Taiwanese women living under Japanese colonial rule.

The novel was published by Springhill Publishing in Taiwan in 2020 and Chuokukonron-Shinsha Inc. in Japan in 2023, with tai-tai books acting as the book's agent in Japan.

Yang congratulated Miura in a Sunday Facebook post, attributing the award to the work of the translator.

She also quoted and echoed the sentiment of her Taiwanese publisher, who said working on the book was an incredible journey, containing countless surprises and moments of deep joy.

Yang Shuang-zi was originally a shared pseudonym for twin sisters Yang Jo-tzu (楊若慈) and Yang Jo-hui (楊若暉). The elder sister Jo-tzu was responsible for creating works while the younger did the historical research and Japanese translations. Shuang-zi in Japanese Kanji means twins.

After her younger sister died from cancer in 2015, Yang Jo-hui continued with the pseudonym to honor her bond with her sister.

Another recipient of this year's award is "Lose Your Mother: A Journey Along the Atlantic Slave Route" by American writer Saidiya Hartman and translated by Sora Enomoto.

The award ceremony will take place at Tokyo's Digital Hollywood University on July 6, according to the award website.

The award, now in its 10th year, was established in 2014 and accepted submissions of translated works from Dec. 1 to Dec. 31 the next year.

This year, the award's longlist consists of 15 books in total, 10 of which are chosen out of works nominated by readers. The other five are chosen from books anonymously nominated by the jurors themselves.

Then, a shortlist of five books is chosen. From those, the jurors then select the one or two works that will be given the "Best" award.

Previous Taiwanese works that made the shortlist include Wu Ming-yi's (吳明益) "The Illusionist on the Sidewalk and other stories" in the second year and "The Stolen Bicycle" in the fifth year. Both works were translated by Kentaro Amano.

(By Tai Ya-chen, Wang Pao-er and Wu Kuan-hsien)

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