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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10285/94

NII Resource type: Departmental Bulletin Paper
Title: Shakespeare Translations in Japan
Authors: Niki, Hisae
Shimei: 聖路加看護大学紀要
Issue: 4
Start page: 40
End page: 54
Issue Date: 1-Apr-1977
ISSN: 02892863
Abstract-Alternative: Japanese translators have a great handicap in understanding and rendering Shakespeare's plays, which are the products of late sixteenth - or early seventeenth-century England. The Japanese language is remarkably different from English in both grammar and vocabulary. In addition, the Japanese have a dramatic tradition of their own which often obstructs the oral delivery proper to Shakespeare. Translating words and their meaning in the usual faithful manner, therefore, will not necessarily produce the desired effects on stage. The translated lines must materialize in the atmosphere of the theatre. Generally speaking, there are four distinct stages in the history of Shakespearean translations. The first peiod, when Shalespeare was first introduced in the early Meiji era, when there was a strong desire to absorb Western civilization, was the period of free translations and adaptations of his plays for the Japanese whose knowledge of English wa still too rudimentary to appreciate them in their original form. The second stage began around 1900, when Tsubouchi Shoyo started translating Shakespeare's plays. He attemped to translate Shakespeare's complete works and gloriously completed this task in about forty years. It must be remembered that the first complete presentation of a Shakespearean play on the Japanese stage was the production of Hamlet in 1911, performed by the members of the Bungei Kyokai organized by Shoyo. The third stage covers long years of strenuous efforts. The Shakespeare translators of this stage were largely well-qualified Shakespeare scholars who tried to bring their studies within the reach of well-educated people. They tried to give the exact meaning of every line and every sentence in the original plays, and nothing was omitted that should have been translated. After a long period of sterility in literary activities during the War, Shakespeare was revived, leadng to many translations and annotations from the latter half of the 1940's to the present. A great number of translators are trying hard to render Shakespeare's plays into the most familiar style of the present day spoken language. Since efforts are also being made to establish a set of principles for Shakespeare translations in Japan. It is desirable, therefore, that scholars and people in the theatrical world cooperate in achieving more successful translations in the future.
Bibliography: Toshiko Kawatake, Nihon no Hamuretto(Hamlet in Japan), Nanso-sha, 1972, 45-47.
Emil Hausknecht, "Shakespeare in Japan", Poet Lore, Vol.1, 1889, 466-470. Translated from Shakespeare Jahrbuch, XXIV, by Mary Harned.
Hisae Niki, "The Hamlet of Edwin Booth", Researcher, Vol.8, 1974, 62-80.
Hisae Niki, "The mixture of the Comic and Serious in Hamlet and Kanadehon Chushingura", Shakespeare Studies, Vol.XI, 1972-73, 60-77.
Katsuhiko takeda, "Toyama Shoichi no Hamuretto yakuho," (Translation of Hamlet by Shoichi Toyama), Eigo Seinen, CX,8, August, 1964, 554-555.
Hisae Niki "Shizaru Kidan: Jiyu no Tachi Nagori no Kireaji: Shoyo's First Translation of Julius Caesar," Shakespeare Translation, Vol.1, Yushodo Shoten, 1974, 53-68.
Shoyo Tsubouchi, Shakespeare no Kenkyu Shiori(Notes on the Study of Shakespeare), Shinju-sha, 1959, 305-310.
Minoru Toyoda, Shakespeare in Japan, Iwanami Shoten, 1939, 33.
Rintaro Fukuhara, Nihon no Eigaku-shi(The History of English Literature in Japan), Vol.111 of Nihon Bunka Kenkyu, Shincho-sha, 1959, 41.
Yasuji Toita, Joyu no Ai to Shi(Love and Death of an Actress), Kawade Shobo Shinsha, 1963, 76-77.
Akira Notani and ishitaro Tamaki, Soseki no Sheikusupia, Asahi Shuppan-sha, 1974, 54-59.
Hisae Niki, "The Present State of Shakespeare Translation in Japan," Shakespeare Translation, Vol.1, Yushodo Shoten, 1974, 88-91.
Junji Kinoshita, Zuiso Sheikusupia, Chikuma Shobo, 1969, 28.
The Asahi, The evening edition, January 25, 1977.
Kenichi Yoshida, Rintaro Fukuhara, and Tsuneari Fukuda, "Zadankai Nihon ni okeru Sheikusupia" (Symposium;Shakespeare in Japan"), Eigo Seinen, CX5.May, 1964,263.
Toshikazu Oyama, "Honyaku to Hon'an no Mondai," (Notes on Translations and Adaptations), Teatoro, No.347, Feb.,1972, 60.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10285/94
Appears in Collections:04号

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