Tawada Yoko and Mitsutani Margaret participate in workshop and reading session at TUFS

June 8, 2021

Writer and poet Ms. TAWADA Yoko and Kyoritsu Women’s University professor emeritus and translator MITSUTANI Margaret were invited to an online workshop on May, 19, 2021, on the topic, “Going Overseas, ‘The Emissary’—Words that get a voice through translation.”

The workshop was originally intended to be held in commemoration of last year’s Tokyo University of Foreign Studies publication of “Heiner Muller—on the field theatrical representation” (Written by TAWADA Yoko, edited by TANIKAWA Michiko, YAMAGUCHI Yusuke and KOMATSUBAR Yuri). However, we decided to feature Ms. TAWADA’s Japanese dystopian novel, The Emissary,given that this year marked the tenth anniversary of the Fukushima nuclear accident.

The Emissary won the National Book Award for Translated Literature in 2018. Guest professor MITSUTANI Margaret translated The Emissary into English..

This workshop focused on the reading of nine student translations of The Emissary in Czech, Portuguese, German, Chinese, English, Russian, Thai, Turkish and Korean. The Portuguese translation iis yet to be published while a fragment translated by a graduate school international student was used for the Russian translation.

The translators were all TUFS students (including a Rio de Janeiro State University student who will come to TUFS in October). he students read sections of their choosing while the translations were displayed on the screen. They also commented on the translations and discussed how they added to the original work. Ms. TAWADA and Professor MITSUTANI both asked the students questions and made further comments. The workshop provided a valuable opportunity to think about The Emissary’s powerful message as well as the endless possibilities of translation.