Translating from European languages into Japanese


English-Japanese simultaneous interpretation

23 Fri (National holiday) 10:30 - 11:40
EU Delegation to Japan Schuman Auditorium

Tokimasa Sekiguchi (winner of the Yomiuri Prize for his translation of Bolesław Prus’ The Doll [Lalka]) and Mika Nakajima (translator of contemporary Hungarian literature) will discuss their work: the art of translating from European languages to Japanese. Later, they will be joined by Kenichi Abe (translator of Czech literature) and Ayumi Kurosawa (translator of Latvian literature) for a joint discussion, moderated by Mitsuyoshi Numano (Professor of Literature, University of Tokyo).



Moderator/discussant: Mitsuyoshi NUMANO

Kenichi ABE




Tokimasa Sekiguchi, born in 1951, studied French Modern Literature and Comparative Culture at Tokyo University, and Polish literature at Jagiellonian University in Cracow as a graduate student on Polish Government Scholarship. He taught Polish culture at Tokyo University of Foreign Studies (1992-2013). Now he is the latter’s professor emeritus. He published in Japan and Poland the books with essays on Polish culture, i.e. “Poland and the Other [Porando to Tasha]” (Tokyo 2014), “Essays Not Quite Polish” (Krakow 2016). He has translated works by Polish authors such as: “Laments” by. Jan Kochanowski, “Ballades and Romances” by Adam Mickiewicz, “Forefathers’ Eve – Parts I, II, IV” by Adam Mickiewicz, “The Doll” by Boleslaw Prus, “Four Plays by Witkacy” by Stanislaw Ignacy Witkiewicz, “Ivonne, the Princess of Burgundy” by Witold Gombrowicz, “Mother Joan of the Angels” by Jaroslaw Iwaszkiewicz, “The History of Polish Literature” by Czeslaw Milosz, “Still alive” by Jan Kott, “Hospital of the Transfiguration” by Stanislaw Lem, “The Correspondence of Frryderyk Chopin 1816-1831”, etc. He received The LXIX Yomiuri Prize for Literature (2018) and The IV Japan Translation Grand Prix (2018 Nihon Honyaku Taisho) for the book “The Doll” published by Publisher Michitani Co. Ltd. in 2017.


Professor of Hungarian linguistics at Osaka University, and translator of Hungarian literature

Major translations:

  • Nádas Péter, Egy családregény vége, Kyoto:Shoraisha 2016
  • Esterházy Péter, Hahn-Hahn grófno pillantása – lefelé a Dunán, Kyoto:Shoraisha 2008
  • Krasznahorkai László, Északról hegy, Délről tó, Nyugatról utak, Keletről folyó, Kyoto:Shoraisha 2006
  • Ráth-Végh István, Könyv komédiája, Tokyo:Kawade Shobo Shinsha 1995
  • John Lukács, Budapest 1900, Tokyo: Hakusuisha 1991
  • Lukácsy András & Kass János, Gyermekjátékok, Flamand közmondások, Bábel tornya, Tokyo: Otsuki Shoten 1988

Major Publications:

  • “On Novel prize writer Kertész Imre” Arena No. 22. pp. 505-510、2017
  • New Express Hangari-go [Hugarian language textbook], Tokyo: Hakusuisha 2011
  • Hangari-go no nyumon [Hungarian for Beginners], Tokyo: Hakusuisha 2001
  • Budapest toshimonogatari [Illustrated Cultural History of Budapest], Tokyo: Kawade Shobo Shinsha 2001
  • Hangari-go no bunpo [Hungarian Grammar], Tokyo: Daigakushorin 1995

Kenichi ABE

Born 1972 in Tokyo. Associate Professsor, University of Tokyo, Graduate School of Humanities and Sociology.  Area of focus includes Central and Eastern European, in particular Czech literature and art, surrealism, and comparative literature. Author of numerous publications and responsible for translating works by prominent Czech authors (Michal Ajvaz, Jiří KratochvilBohumil Hrabal, Pavel Brycz, and Patrik Ouředník) into Japanese.


Translator and expert on Latvian language, Ayumi Kurosawa introduces Latvian literature available in Japanese translation, including but not limited to her own translations.


Mitsuyoshi NUMANO


Professor of Slavic Language and Literature at the University of Tokyo with a specialisation in Russian and Polish literature. Literary critic. Former lecturer at Warsaw University. Studied at Harvard University as a Fulbright fellow under the Polish poet  Stanislaw Baranczak. Received the 2002 Suntory Prize for Social Sciences and Humanities for A String of Sleepless Nights: Essays on Exile Literature and the 2004 Yomiuri Literature Prize for Utopian Literature. Translations from Polish include SolarisThe Man from Mars, and A Perfect Vacuum by Stanisław Lem, and The End and the Beginning by Wisława Szymborska, and Tales from the Kingdom of Lailonia and the Key to Heaven by Leszek Kołakowski.

EU Delegation to Japan

Europa House, 4-6-28 Minami-Azabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo 106-0047, Japan
10 min walk from Hiro-o station (Exit 1, Hibiya line)