December 31, 2020:
Happy New Year’s Eve, Maplopers! So! We knocked out the final portion of our translation of Natsume Soseki’s Botchan today. We hope you enjoy it as much as we’ve enjoyed translating it. We spent many months on this particular project, balancing it between many updates on the site, including the addition of our galleries (Doc’s photography, calligraphy from Reiko’s father, and our ever-expanding parallel text gallery for those of you interested in learning Japanese and/or English). We also wrote a number of original essays and short stories, and Reiko has even begun translating some of Doc’s stories into Japanese. Reiko also wrote several in depth pieces covering the work of Nakanishi Susumu. If you’re in love with Japanese words as much as we are, you owe it to yourself to check them out.
It has been a whirlwind year for us, and we’re forever grateful for the visitors, emails, and overall support all of you have offered throughout the year. A special thank you to Kimberly Tierney from NHK, for doing a read of our Atsushi Nakajima story, Legend of the Master, and to Taiyo Fuji for granting us permission to translate a few pages from his award winning science fiction novel, Hello World!
Also, we would be remiss not to mention the special degree of gratitude we hold for BSD Bibliophile. Anne’s work is an incredible asset to the world of Japanese literature, and anyone interested in the Bungo Stray Dogs franchise. She has been a fervent believer in our efforts from nearly day one (literally the first month), and we are so thankful to have her in our world. Please lend your attention to her projects if you’re interested at all in learning more about the Japanese writers we cover here at Maplopo, not to mention those we haven’t as of yet. She is always on fire!
So, what’s coming next year? Well, for now, we’re gearing up to finish our currently abridged first release of Sakaguchi’s “Wind, Light and the Twenty-Year-Old Me” as well as a vignette by Ango about the experience of soldier demobilized and returning from the front at the close of WWII. Our first Sakaguchi story is also being translated into Vietnamese by Emily Evans, a reader who does English to Vietnamese translations. Wow! Next year, we’ll also have more Masters of Story coming your way… we’re considering a number of works, including many by female writers—some of whom are incredibly dear to Reiko.
Aside from translating the work of Japanese writers long gone now, we’d also like to translate the work of living writers (as well as those recently departed), so we’re hoping to free up some of those materials if at all possible through the proper channels. It’s a slow moving train sometimes, and we’ve experienced a bit of that this year, but we’re hoping next year will yield a bit more fruit. We’ve had contact with a number of Japanese publishers to date regarding rights, so we’ll see what next year brings.
Well! We guess that’s it for now… have a lovely New Year, and if you haven’t signed up for the Reading Circle to be certain you never miss a new release, please consider doing so… we reach readers in 104 countries right now. Crazy!
December 27, 2020:
Doc’s most recent short story, Kohi, and another of our Maplopo Originals was posted today. It’s a little vignette about a couple from Muroran, Hokkadio that discover a shared love for coffee, cycling and one another shortly before the war. Originally, this story was envisioned as an animated short without any dialog, so if you know of any brilliant animators who would like to help make this story move on screen, please don’t be a stranger. Enjoy.
December 26, 2020:
As we approach the conclusion of our Chapter Six translation of Botchan by Natusme Soseki, we enter the meeting scene. In this part of the story, Botchan finds himself at his very first professional meeting. He’s got a lot to say, but is without the attendant skill to have the words eloquently exit his mouth. He’s angry, and frustrated by the futility of it all, and could use a hand… will an unsuspecting ally rise to the occasion? Check out The Meeting Scene and get ready for the wrap… coming soon!
December 23, 2020:
In today’s intallment of our English translation of Soseki’s “Botchan,” Botchan and Porcupine are about ready to break out into fisticuffs in the faculty room—right in front of the other teachers. And, Botchan’s about ready to wrestle Noda to the ground as well. What the heck has the pair so ticked off…? A woman? The students? Or, something far more serious? Find out in the lead-up to the “Meeting Scene!” There’s some wonderful back’n’forth dialog in this scene, that just might have you thinking that Aaron Sorkin grabbed a few style tips from Soseki!
December 20, 2020:
Today, we’ve released the very first portion of our English translation of Soseki’s “Botchan.” This chapter has always been a favorite of Reiko’s, and the text we used as our translation source is the same book she read when in elementary school… it’s been read and re-read so many times, it’s literally falling apart at the seams.
In this chapter, Botchan’s frustration with some of his work colleagues comes to a crest, leaving him a bit exasperated, and quite introspective. As a character, he’s often talking to himself, seeking clarification on things, or being wonderfully witty in ways that quickly prompt laughter. We see a lot of that in this chapter. We hope you enjoy this kick-start, as we roll out Chapter Six in its entirety. Enjoy.
December 17, 2020:
Maplopers! And, now…. the final grab of our Background Notes of “Botchan,” from Natsume Soseki. In Chapter Five, Redshirt and his henchman Noda set out to confuse Botchan as to who his true allies are at school—a plot that sets him on a collision course with the strong-headed, Porcupine. Don’t miss it. It’s the culmination of a masterful buildup by Soseki that leads us nicely to our English translation of Chapter Six… the real meat of this project! We’ll start dripping out that part of the story very soon. So, stay tuned… same Bat-time. Same Bat-channel!
December 9, 2020:
In today’s episode, Botchan is taking jabs from all sides… both human and non-human alike. The result is his face ends up more closely resembling Mr. Pasty Squash, and his ego ends up in need of some serious repair. Check out the Grasshopper and Battle Cry Incident in our latest Background Notes on Natsume Soseki’s “Botchan.”
December 5, 2020:
Dropped in another Background Notes write-up for our Chapter Six translation of Natsume Soseki’s “Botchan.” This time, we introduce you to the Tempura Noodles and Dango scene—also from Chapter Three!
December 2, 2020:
Added the second Background Notes write-up for our Chapter Six translation of Natsume Soseki’s “Botchan.” Today’s passage from Chapter Three is entitled: The Ikagin Inquisition.
December 1, 2020:
Added the first of our Maplopo Background Notes to the Natsume Soseki “Botchan” translation page. Notes added today are from Chapter Two, and entitled: Porcupine and Botchan.
November 26, 2020:
Keeping up with the tradition of releasing new calligraphy from Seri Ichiei when new translations pop, we added a new Botchan parallel text card to the parallel text gallery. There are several in there from Botchan now to help with your Japanese or English language learning! You can check them out in the Natsume Soseki author gallery, as well as in the larger, complete parallel text card gallery. Enjoy.
November 24, 2020:
Added a sneak peak of our English translation of Natsume Soseki’s Botchan to the Literary Translations page. Today’s update includes the short bios of the books cast of characters.
November 7, 2020:
Added a gallery of Doc’s photography work.
October 24, 2020:
Posted Reiko’s essay about Kojima Nobuo’s The American School (in Japanese) to her Reiko’s Write-ups page.
October 15, 2020:
Posted a new essay from Doc in Doc’s Desk entitled: The Ritual.
October 12, 2020:
Created a parallel text gallery by author, and added Natsume Soseki and Nakajima Atsushi to kick things off.
October 9, 2020:
Added a second Natsume Soseki Botchan card to the Japanese to English parallel text gallery (Mr. Pasty Squash)
October 8, 2020:
Added a new Natsume Soseki Botchan card to the Japanese to English parallel text gallery (“It won’t do with that face.”)
October 7, 2020:
Added a draft version of our Maplopo Original, The Rubber Band King of Lopatcong, in Japanese. Keep tabs on it as it comes to life!
October 3, 2020:
Launched the Maplopo News Page. Previous happenings have included the addition of our Japanese to English parallel text gallery with recent entries from: Ogawa Yoko, Natsume Soseki (English / Japanese) translations of Botchan, Murakami Haruki, Akutagawa Ryunosuke, and a ton more.
In prior months we also released our Japanese calligraphy gallery featuring the masterful work of Reiko’s father, Seri Ichei. His work covering Nakajima, Natsume, Dazai, Sakaguchi, Nakanishi, and others is not to be missed.
A tiny video archive also debuted with book trailers and other goodies.
Several new Maplopo Musings have been released with new translations of (Dazai, Sakaguchi and Oda at Bar Lupin, Hayashi Yoshikatsu (photographer of the Bar Lupin shot), modern science fiction writer, Fujii Taiyo), and the biggest news of all is the full release of our entire current Japanese Masters of Story archive (Osamu Dazai, Ango Sakaguchi, Atsushi Nakajima).
We also added the full archive of our Maplopo Reading Circle campaigns, so you can see what you’re signing up for when you sign up for our mailing list.
Things that went away: The Daily Dose (in favor of creating the continually updated parallel text gallery), and the deletion of our Maplopo Twitter account.