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Taiwan literary works in Japanese translation on display in Osaka

  • Date:2023-10-25~2023-11-25
Taiwan literary works in Japanese translation on display in Osaka

Jointly organized by the National Museum of Taiwan Literature (NMTL), Osaka University Taiwan Research Project, and Minoh City Semba Library, an exhibition displaying Japanese translations of Taiwanese authors’ works is staged from now on until Nov. 25 at the Osaka University Library.


This exhibition showcases 60 Taiwanese literary works that have been translated into Japanese, featuring themes such as gender and indigenous culture. When the exhibition concludes, these books will be part of Osaka University Library’s collection. 


Director Nikky Lin (林巾力) of NMTL said that due to the frequent exchanges between the two countries, most of the important and outstanding works from Taiwan have Japanese versions. This exhibition selects representative authors’ works and presents the achievements of Taiwanese literature in Japanese translation, hoping to provide a portal to the world of Taiwanese literature for Japanese readers, she added. 


In conjunction with the exhibition, Taiwanese indigenous author Paelabang Danapan  (孫大川) was invited to give an author talk on Oct. 31. It focused on the development and significance of indigenous literature in Taiwan. Japanese scholar Shimomura Sakujiro (下村作次郎) and professor Lin Chu-mei (林初梅) of Osaka University Graduate School of Humanities were also present at the author talk.


At the event, Paelabang Danapan explained that even though indigenous people have oral history, the indigenous communities “lost their voice” over a period of time because of the lack of textual records. He said that following the call for “indigenization,” he started to create possibilities of conversations between indigenous people and other communities through literature, as well as taking indigenous literature to the global stage through translation. 


Professor Lin, one of the organizers of the event, said that this exhibition not only displays Japanese-translated works, it also includes the original version of selected important works such as “Crystal Boys (孽子)” by Pai Hsien-yung (白先勇), “Notes of a Crocodile (鱷魚手記)” by Qiu Miao-jin (邱妙津), “Reef (暗礁)” by Badai (巴代), “Cold Sea, Deep Passion (冷海情深)” by Syaman Rapongan (夏曼.藍波安), and “Plants Grow Towards the Sun (向光植物)” by Li Ping-yao (李屏瑤), allowing visitors to make a direct comparison.