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Date 2021-03-09


A Study on Cultural Translation in Ryu by Akira Higashiyama: Mutual Annotation and Supplementation of Different Languages


Xie, Hui-Zhen

Contract Assistant Professor, Department of Japanese Language and Literature, Wenzao Ursuline University of Languages


Ryu, the winning work of 153rd Naoki Award by Akira Higashiyama (Chen-Hsu Wang), a Taiwanese writer, describes the historical memory of Taiwan, China and Japan and the prospect of the inheritance of "repetition with difference" between generations through a teenager Ye Qiu-sheng, who started the investigation of his grandfather's murder.

The question thus came up: how a novel based on the stage in Taiwan resonates with Japanese readers? Ryu is committed to the integration of Taiwanese language and culture into the Japanese context. However, there are many cultural translation strategies overlooked in the Chinese version, which inadvertently creates "The Third Space" in Ryu that can be negotiated and coordinated between ideologies and different cultures.

Ryu has applied the common memory of the Japanese readers of the Chinese regions and ensured the resonance mechanism through reference to Chinese classical novels "The Romance of the Three Kingdoms" and "Outlaws of the Marsh", the intertextuality between modern Taiwanese film "Monga" and the local drama, as well as the recalling of the memory during the Japanese occupation. In the aspect of language, the approach of Japanese "furigana" and self-translation with mutual annotation and supplementation in form, sound and meaning are adopted for cultural translation - the foreignization technique which implies the Taiwanese cultural background with metaphor.

When dealing with the antagonistic and emotionally dependent war stories between China, Japan and Taiwan, the above attempts provide different voices for the Japanese concept of history, which, in the words of Sakai Naoki, is an "articulatory practice" that can change the society. It allows Ye Qiu-sheng to obtain an understanding and "re-write" the third-generation's view of history through juxtaposition of the different standpoints of the first and second generations. The narrative stand is worth of attention by the Chinese regions.

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Bulletin of Taiwanese Literature