Tuesday, June 2, 2009

about this blog

Among other things, I am a professional translator of Japanese to English. It's true that being born and raised in Japan gave me an edge in the field, but what made me determined to pursue this career was a chance encounter with a book. A novel by Miura Ayako. I was back in Japan for the summer after my second year at an American college, and I was looking for something to read. Something that would refresh my Japanese, which had grown a bit rusty with disuse. I picked a book from my father's book case. The title Hitsujigaoka (sheep hill) intrigued me because I was familiar with the part of town it referred to. I became so gripped by the novel that for the next three days I could barely tear myself away even to eat or to sleep. By the time I finished it, I knew that I would spend the rest of my life gaining the skills and education necessary for me to introduce Miura's works to English readers.

That was almost 35 years ago. I did become a translator. In what bits of spare time I could find between the commercial translating jobs I took to help put food on the table, I lovingly labored over Miura's novels. Until she passed away in 1999, I corresponded with her regularly, and on several occasions met with her to discuss projects. This blog is intended to supplement the World of Miura Ayako website and the Miura Ayako Book Club on Facebook. I hope to use this as a forum to link readers and bloggers who are already fans of Miura, and post news and articles of interest to us all. Ultimately, though, my desire is to get more of Miura's works published in English for English readers all over the world. I hope to link up with people who can support and encourage this endeavor, as I intend to support and encourage the efforts of others who feel as I do.