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art by Natsuo Ikegami :: pix by Glen Emil

Translation or Transformation: A Chat with Motoyuki Shibata

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A WorldCat view of Prof. Motoyuki Shibata's works

Looking for Gorey in the Land of the Rising Sun? Try these companies. Most display Japanese only*

Kawade Shobo

* and if your computer isn't set up for Asian languages, you may see a lot of question marks


(Another G-note: karuta are card games, popular in Japan. Over time many karuta styles had come and gone or later evolved, but most karuta cards have the first character of the card in bold and highlighted, hence the emboldened Hiragana character in the translated The Glorious Nosebleed. The basic idea is players compete to complete as many poems or proverbs as they can, using partial phrases or lines of text printed on the cards. There are variations of theme and complexity. Most cards have strikingly colorful and bold illustrations. Akiyo Osumi, linguist and translator, notes that The Glorious Nosebleed follows the Iroha karuta style, "although I remember some of them try to follow the 5-7-5 style which is derived from Haiku. A lot of Iroha karuta try to follow the 5-7-5 style since it creates a nice rhythm in Japanese. 'I-ro-ha' also means 'ABC' or 'alphabetical' in Classic Japanese.")

G: And which are your favorite Gorey titles yet to be translated into Japanese?

MS: Of the untranslated titles I'm quite fond of The Insect God, but my editor is scared to death of that monster insect and she's forever putting off doing that one.”

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I purposely chose not to ask for translations, but to only provide a [lengthy] scenario about the circumstances from which these translations arose. I want to thank Toshinobu Hamanaka, Natsuo Ikegami, Timothy Hornyak, Akiyo Osumi, and Professor Shibata for their kind assistance and participation. (And please, if anyone has a recording of the Chichibu Mikado, please drop me a line at write2@goreyography.com).

Glen Emil,
March 2008

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2008 Illustrations by Natsuo Ikegami, Edward Gorey Charitable Trust and Goreyography+WZP. 著作権を所有します。