Publication details [#11695]

Yoshihiro, Ohsawa. 2005. Amalgamation of literariness: translations as a means of introducing European literary techniques to modern Japan. In Hung, Eva and Judy Wakabayashi, eds. Asian translation traditions. Manchester: St. Jerome. pp. 135–154.
Publication type
Article in jnl/bk
Publication language


Source-oriented attitudes formed through early contacts with Classical Chinese texts led to an acceptance of 'translationese' in Japan and continued to shape translators' attitudes throughout subsequent contacts with texts in European languages. This paper discusses how the great differences between the indigenous literary tradition and European texts newly imported in the Meiji Period (1868–1912) sparked moves for a new vernacular-based written language and a revitalization of native literary traditions by drawing on translations for inspiration. The resulting language had a foreign ring to it, but its innovative effect led to its use not only in translations, but also in original works right through to today, such that the Japanese language now represents an amalgam of European and Japanese literary elements, with foreign elements being incorporated on a selective basis. The paper concludes by contrasting the situation in Japan with the typically target-oriented English translations of Japanese literature.
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