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Minae Mizumura

Renowned Japan writer Minae Mizumura will speak at a free public symposium and a graduate students and faculty seminar at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa in April to discuss the recently published English translation of her book, Nihongo ga horobiru toki (“The Fall of Language in the Age of English”).

Nihongo ga horobiru toki addresses the impact that English as a universal language has on national languages and literatures. Mizumura’s historical and theoretical insights into language and translation have relevance for the humanities in general, and especially resonate in Hawaiʻi’s complex linguistic landscape. The book has become a national bestseller upon its release in Japan, and received the prestigious Kobayashi Hideo Prize.

Event Details

  • Wednesday, April 22, 12–1:15 p.m.
    East-West Center, Burns Hall 2118
Mizumura will speak at a seminar for UH Mānoa graduate students and faculty as part of the International Cultural Studies Speaker Series.
  • Friday, April 24, 4–6 p.m.
Center for Korean Studies Auditorium
At this free public symposium, Mizumura will read from the Nihongo ga horobiru toki translation. A guest panel composed of Juliet Winters Carpenter (Doshisha Women’s College of Liberal Arts), Shoichi Iwasaki (UH Mānoa Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures), Brandy Nālani McDougall (UH Mānoa Department of American studies) and Nathalie Segeral (UH Mānoa College of Languages and Literatures of Europe and the Americas) will engage in discussion.

Mizumura’s visit was planned by UH Mānoa American Studies Professor Mari Yoshihara, who translated the book into English with Juliet Winters Carpenter, and UH Mānoa East Asian Langauges and Literatures Professor Ken Ito.

More on Mizumura

Mizumura is an award-winning writer of Japanese fiction and cultural criticism. She is renowned for sophisticated rewritings of literature and defying boundaries of language and genre. Her first novel written in 1990, Zoku Meian (“Light and Dark, Continued”), caused a sensation because she dared to complete the work of major canonical writer Natsume Sōseki.

Since then, Mizumura has subverted other literary forms in works such as Shishōsetsu from left to right, in which she mounted a bilingual challenge to a genre considered uniquely Japanese. Her Honkaku shōsetsu, a novel which reimagines a Wuthering Heights set in Japan, has been released in English translation under the title A True Novel in 2013. Her latest work of fiction, Haha no isan: Shinbun shōsetsu (“An Inheritance from My Mother”), examines aging and death.

For more information, read the UH Mā,noa news release.

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