Your English resource on 「Dragon Sword and Wind Child」

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Welcome to Tales of Magatama, your English resource on Dragon Sword and Wind Child (空色勾玉) and Noriko Ogiwara’s Magatama trilogy (勾玉三部作). Information can be found in the About and The Books sections; media downloads (art, music, etc.) can be found in the Media section.

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SCBWI Tokyo interviews Cathy Hirano

Alexander O. Smith interviews Cathy Hirano on behalf of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (Tokyo Translation Group) on her experience translating Dragon Sword and Wind Child and Mirror Sword and Shadow Prince:

“Ogiwara’s battle scenes…convey the emotional intensity of the moment but the smaller details are rather blurred, as if viewed through the subjective lens of a particular character’s mind. At one crucial point, for example, I knew that the heroine, Toko, had stabbed someone but it wasn’t until I tried to translate that part that I realized this fact is not actually stated. Her intent to stab him and subsequently the fact that a knife is protruding from the person’s side are there but not the act itself. In Japanese, readers easily connect these dots but in English, they don’t. So as the translator I had to decide when this act actually takes place and how to convey it without losing the tone.”

Read the full interview here:
Catching Up with Cathy Hirano (SCBWI Tokyo Translation Group)

Publishers Weekly reviews Mirror Sword

With less than a month left till the release of Mirror Sword and Shadow Prince, today Publishers Weekly posted their review of the novel.

….Ogiwara avoids the temptation to write a simple quest story; the representations of divine power are more burdens than gifts, weighing possessors down with obligation and terrible temptations, and while Oguna does not entirely lack agency, Toko’s determination is sometimes misapplied. The result is a morality tale where faith in external struggle can be misplaced; in the words of the Buddha, peace comes from within.

Read the full review here:

Haikasoru Cathy Hirano Q&A

Haikasoru interviews Cathy Hirano on translating Dragon Sword and Wind Child:

Noriko Ogiwara’s Dragon Sword and Wind Child is loosely based on the ancient Japanese creation myths while Mirror Sword and Shadow Prince is inspired by the tale of Yamato Takeru, a legendary Japanese hero of the fourth century. These myths are an integral part of the Japanese psyche—and not at all part of the English reader’s psyche. For me, the foreign reader, this adds to the books’ charm, but for me, the translator, this means learning as much as possible about the historical context, identifying implied and unstated information that is essential for the non-Japanese reader and presenting it in a way that does not bog down the text and detract from the English reading experience.

Read the rest here:
Haikasoru: Translating Genre from Japan (