Publication details [#11666]

Gallimore, Daniel. 2006. Measuring distance: Tsubouchi Shōyō and the myth of Shakespeare translation in modern Japan. In Hermans, Theo, ed. Translating others 2. Manchester: St. Jerome. pp. 483–492.
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Article in jnl/bk
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The present article discusses the Japanese translation of Shakespeare. The discourse on Japanese translation of Shakespeare dates back to the late nineteenth century, above all to the work of Tsubouchi Shōyō (1859 1935), who regarded Shakespeare as both an ancient and his contemporary. This dual response is reflected in Shōyō's style, and helpfully precludes the problem of the writer's moral ambiguity; translating Shakespeare is always an educational activity in Japan. Although he is careful to avoid ideological commitment, Shōyō's attempts to combine ancient with modern are modernist in tone, substantiating the myth of national unity. Shōyō's legacy survives not so much in his actual translations but in a belief in the power of Shakespeare to assimilate and integrate disparate elements of Japanese language and culture.
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