[I-House Lecture] Mori Ôgai: A Life of Translation

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  • Lecturer: Nagashima Yoichi (DNP Associate Professor Emeritus, University of Copenhagen)
  • Date: Friday, March 16, 2018, 7:00-8:30 pm
  • Venue: Lecture Hall, International House of Japan
  • Language: Japanese (without English interpretation)
  • Admission: 1,000 yen (Students: 500 yen, IHJ Members: Free) (reservations required)

Mori Ôgai translated The Improvisatore, an autobiographical novel by Hans Christian Andersen, and changed it into his own work. His way of translation can be interpreted as “creative translation.” In fact, he applied this method as he wrote his first novel, The Dancing Girl. He made use of his experiences in the West as the original text to create a novel. In the same way, Mori’s historical novels, historiography, and Komadori Tsuushin are all translations. In this lecture, Professor Nagashima will examine how Mori “translated” himself and his life into his works.

Nagashima Yoichi
Born in Tokyo. Acquired Ph.D (Japanese Literature)at University of Copenhagen in 1982. He specializes in Comparative Literature and Comparative Culture. The focus of his study is Mori Ôgai, Hans Christian Andersen, and the history of culture exchange between Japan and Denmark based on his perspective on bias and mistranslation in cultural exchange.Professor Nagashima interprets them not only as negative but also as elements that stimulate a new culture.

His publications in English include “Mori Ôgai : a translator of cultures” Begegnungen: Symposium zum 150. Geburtstag des Dichters Mori Rintarô, genannt “Ôgai”( Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin,2013),Nora-Mori Ōgai’s “Cultural Translation” of A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen (Harrassowitz Verlag,2014), and “Talking of Cultural Relations between Europe and Japan,” Rethinking ”Japanese Studies” from Practices in the Nordic Region: Overseas symposium in Copenhagen 2012 (International Research Center for Japanese Studies, 2014.)

He has translated many books including Andersen’s “The Shadow”, “The Little Mermaid”,”The Story of a Mother”,and “The Snowman”.