2013-14 Winner

3/11: Temporary Shelter (3.11 Rinji hinanjo)

Written by TANAKA Takuya
Translated by Edith Sarra and Yasuko Ito Watt
Introduction to this text
Afterword by the author

Edith Sarra is Associate Professor and director of graduate studies in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures at Indiana University, where she has taught pre-modern Japanese literature and language since 1989. She is the author of Fictions of Femininity: Literary Inventions of Gender in Japanese Court Women’s Memoirs (Stanford UP, 1999), and articles on classical Japanese memoir and fiction. Her current research and teaching interests include literary translation—its practice and poetics--and the representation of architectural space in Japanese court fiction and memoir.

Yasuko Ito Watt is Associate Professor Emerita of East Asian Languages and Cultures at Indiana University.  From 1992 until her retirement in 2008, she coordinated the Japanese Language Program and taught courses in Japanese language, culture, and language pedagogy. She is the co-author of Nihon o shirō:  People Who Played Important Roles in Japan’s Modernization (ALC, 2001), and Readers' Guide to Intermediate Japanese (University of Hawai’i, 1998).  She served on the Board of Directors of the Japanese Language Association and is a past President of the Midwest Conference on Asian Affairs. She belongs to Kokoro no Hana Tanka Association.

2012-13 Winners

Heading for Moscow (Mosukuwa sashite)

Written by NAKANO Shigeharu
Translated by Annika A. Culver
Introduction to this text

Annika A. Culver is Assistant Professor of Asian History and Asian Studies Coordinator at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke. She recently published the book Glorify the Empire: Japanese Avant-Garde Propaganda in Manchukuo (University of British Columbia Press, 2013). Current projects include a book chapter, “Japanese Mothers and Rural Settlement in Wartime Manchukuo: Gendered Reflections of Labor and Productivity in Manchuria Graph, 1940-1944” for Dana Cooper and Claire Phelan, eds., Motherhood and War, and a monograph on images of women and consumerism in early 20th century East Asia. In autumn 2013, Culver will join the faculty at Florida State University as Assistant Professor of East Asian History.

Skin of the Pike Conger Eel (Hamo no kawa)

Written by KAMIZUKASA Shoken
Translated by Andrew Murakami-Smith
Introduction to this text

Andrew Murakami-Smith is an Associate Professor at the Graduate School of Language and Culture at Osaka University. While writing his dissertation on “Dialects and Place in Modern Japanese Literature,” he did two years of research at Osaka University. After obtaining his Ph.D. from Princeton in 1997, he returned to Osaka to work as a translator at a patent lawyer’s office. He has a continuing interest in regional dialects and cultures of Japan, especially the dialect, culture, and image of Osaka. He has translated into English some 15 works of modern fiction, poetry, and essays relating to Osaka.

2011-12 Winners

Poems of the Atomic Bomb (Genbaku shishu)

Written by TŌGE Sankichi
Translated by Karen Thornber
Introduction to this text

Karen Thornber is Harris K. Weston Associate Professor of the Humanities in the Department of Comparative Literature at Harvard University.  She is the author of Empire of Texts in Motion: Chinese, Korean, and Taiwanese Transculturations of Japanese Literature (Harvard 2009), which won both the John Whitney Hall Book Prize of the Association for Asian Studies (2011), for the best English-language book on any contemporary or historical topic related to Japan in any field of the humanities or social sciences, and the Anna Balakian Prize from the International Comparative Literature Association (2010) for the best book in the world in the field of Comparative Literature published in the last three years by a scholar under age forty. Thornber is also the author of Ecoambiguity: Environmental Crises and East Asian Literatures (Michigan, 2012), the first book in any language on East Asian literatures and environmental degradation. Her two current book projects, for which she is learning Hindi and Urdu, are Texts in Turmoil: Global Health and World Literature and Reimagining Regions and Worlds: Literature, East Asia, and the Indian Ocean Rim.

Super Secret Tales from the Slammer (Gokunaibanashi)

Written by Narushima RYŪHOKU
Translated by Matthew Fraleigh
Introduction to this text

Matthew Fraleigh is Assistant Professor of East Asian Literature and Culture in the Department of German, Russian, and Asian Languages and Literature at Brandeis University. A specialist in Sino-Japanese poetry and prose, his work has appeared in journals including Japanese Studies, Monumenta Nipponica, Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies, Kokugo kokubun,and London Review of Books. In 2010, Cornell published his annotated translation, New Chronicles of Yanagibashi and Diary of a Journey to the West: Narushima Ryūhoku Reports From Home and Abroad, which was awarded the Japan-US Friendship Commission Prize. He is presently an Invited Visiting Scholar at Kyoto University, where he is completing a monograph entitled Plucking Chrysanthemums: Narushima Ryūhoku and the Uses of Chinese Tradition in Modern Japan.

2010-11 Winners

Hara-kiri of a Woman at Nagamachi (Nagamachi onna-harakiri)

Written by CHIKAMATSU Monzaemon c.1712
Translated by Paul S. Atkins
Introduction to the text

Paul S. Atkins is Associate Professor of Japanese at the University of Washington, Seattle. A specialist in the literature, drama, and culture of premodern Japan, he is currently writing a book on the poetry and poetics of the early medieval courtier Fujwara no Teika.


Written by KIM Saryang in 1940
Translated by Christina Yi
Introduction to the text

Christina Yi graduated from the University of Virginia with a B.A. in Japanese Language & Literature. Shortly after graduation, she left for Japan on the JET Program, working as a Coordinator for International Relations at Hamamatsu City Hall, Shizuoka Prefecture. She entered the Japanese Literature Ph.D. program at Columbia University in 2007. Her research focuses on the rise of Japanese-language literature by Korean colonial subjects during the 1930s and 1940s and its subsequent impact on discourse regarding "national" and "ethnic minority" literature in postwar Japan and Korea. She is currently conducting dissertation research at Waseda University as an exchange researcher and will remain in Japan until December 2012.

The Colonial Literature of Nakajima Atsushi
South Sea Tales: Happiness
Atolls: Napoleon
Landscape with Patrolman: A Sketch of 1923

Three short stories written by NAKAJIMA Atsushi in 1942
Translated by Robert Tierney
Introduction to the text

Robert Tierney is Assistant Professor of Japanese Literature in the Departments of East Asian Languages and Cultures and Comparative and World Literatures in the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His recent publications include Tropics of Savagery: the Culture of Japanese Empire in Comparative Frame (University of California Press, 2010). He is currently researching the history of Japanese adaptations of Shakespeare and Japan’s first anti-imperialist movement. He may be contacted at rtierney@illinois.edu.

White and Purple (Shiro to Murasaki)

Written by SATA Ineko in 1950
Translated by Samuel Perry
Introduction to the text

Samuel Perry is Assistant Professor of East Asian Studies at Brown University. He is currently completing a book entitled Bread and Roses: Gender, Childhood and Literary Activism in Proletarian Japan as a Visiting Scholar at the Center for Japanese Studies, UC Berkeley, and at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University. His translation of the Korean novel In’gan munje, written by Kang Kyŏng-ae in 1934, was recently published by the Feminist Press under the title From Wŏnso Pond.