Japan Now East: Translating Cultures

Thursday 20 February, 2020
11:00am GMT - 1:00pm GMT

Jeffrey Angles (Professor of Japanese Literature, Western Michigan University)

Polly Barton (Translator)

Hiromi Itō (Poet)

Motoyuki Shibata (Translator)

What are the issues of translating between two such different cultures and literatures as Japanese and English? What are the challenges and how do translators solve them? Find out more about the art and craft of translation with this informal workshop led by award-winning writers and translators Hiromi Itō, Jeffrey Angles, Motoyuki Shibata and Polly Barton.

No prior translation experience or knowledge of Japanese necessary!

Part of Japan Now East 2020 and our Meet the World series.

The Japan Now festival returns for its finale in 2020, featuring the writers, translators, filmmakers and artists telling the key stories about the country, at a range of events across the UK. Full details at

About the workshop facilitators

Jeffrey Angles is a poet, translator, and professor of Japanese literature at Western Michigan University. His collection of original Japanese-language poetry won the Yomiuri Prize for Literature, a rare honour accorded only a few non-native speakers since the award began in 1949. He has translated into English dozens of translations of Japan’s most important modern authors and poets. He believes strongly in the role of translators as activists and has focused on translating socially engaged, feminist, and queer writers.

Polly Barton is a translator of Japanese literature and non-fiction. She was the winner of the inaugural JLPP Translation Competition in 2012. Recent publications include Spring Garden by Tomoka Shibasaki (Pushkin Press), Friendship for Grown-ups by Naocola Yamazaki and Mikumari by Misumi Kubo (both Strangers Press). Her translation of Aoko Matsuda’s Where the Wild Ladies Are is out with Tilted Axis Press in February 2020. She lives in Bristol.

Hiromi Itō is one of the most important poets of contemporary Japan. She is often credited with. She later moved to the U.S, and has since focused on migration and the psychological effects of linguistic and cultural alienation. She is the multi-award-winning author of over ten collections of poetry, numerous essay collections and translations and several novellas and novels. She is the author of Killing Kanoko / Wild Grass on the Riverbank (translated by Jeffrey Angles and published in February 2020 by Tilted Axis Press).

Motoyuki Shibata is a Japanese translator of contemporary of American fiction. He edits the English-language literary journal Monkey Business, which introduces contemporary Japanese authors to the English-speaking audience, and the tri-annual Japanese-language literary journal Monkey, in which he publishes new Japanese stories and poems as well as translations of those written in English.

Tickets are £15/£12 (concession). To book, please go to the National Centre for Writing website.


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