The Japanese publisher Hakusuisha and the translator Nami Kaneko awarded with the II Etxepare-Laboral Kutxa Translation Prize

Euskara. Kultura. Mundura.

2016-09-30

This Translation Prize, created last year by the Etxepare Basque Institute and Laboral Kutxa, has been presented today in its second edition, coinciding with the International Translation Day. The award recognizes the translation of a literary work written and published originally in Basque, and as announced today, the winners this year are the Japanese publisher Hakusuisha and the translator Nami Kaneko, for the Japanese translation of the novel  Mussche by Kirmen Uribe.


The jury was composed by Inaxio Garro, Director of Euskera at Laboral-Kutxa, Mari Jose Olaziregi, director for the Promotion and Dissemination of the Basque Institute and professor at the UPV / EHU, Elizabete Manterola, professor at the UPV / EHU and member of EIZIE, Lourdes Auzmendi, professor at the UPV / EHU, translator and interpreter.

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This Translation Prize, created last year by the Etxepare Basque Institute and Laboral Kutxa, has been presented today in its second edition, coinciding with the International Translation Day. The award recognizes the translation of a literary work written and published originally in Basque, and as announced today, the winners this year are the Japanese publisher Hakusuisha and the translator Nami Kaneko, for the Japanese translation of the novel  Mussche by Kirmen Uribe.


The jury was composed by Inaxio Garro, Director of Euskera at Laboral-Kutxa, Mari Jose Olaziregi, director for the Promotion and Dissemination of the Basque Institute and professor at the UPV / EHU, Elizabete Manterola, professor at the UPV / EHU and member of EIZIE, Lourdes Auzmendi, professor at the UPV / EHU, translator and interpreter.


The director of the Etxepare Basque Institute, Aizpea Goenaga, began the award giving ceremony  thanking the work of the writers in Basque language, as well as the translators and foreign publishers who work to publicize our literature around the world. She recalled that the purpose of this call is to promote the translation and publication of literature written in Basque outside our borders, and pointed out that in the edition of this year there have been 8 candidates. Specifically, works translated into Castilian, Catalan, Lithuanian and Japanese.


Inaxio Garro
revealed that the ward this year are the Japanese publisher Hakusuisha and the translator Nami Kaneko, and explained the reasons on which the jury based its decision, which was granted unanimously. Regarding translation, they took into account the quality of the translation done, the complexity of translating the work directly from Basque into Japanese, and the extensive professional experience of the translator. As for the publisher, they considered  the long history of over 100 years of Hakusuisha, and the magnificent promotion work that the publisher has done in Japan. He also stressed that the translation of this work has won in 2016the Grand Prix Translation of Japan (Nihon Hon´yaku Taishō).

Mari Jose Olaziregi
congratulated Nami Kaneko from New York, highlighting her extraordinary professional profile. Not only because she has learned Basque and is a big fan of literature, but also for the caring and promoting Basque literary works in Japan. In fact, explained Olaziregi, besides being a qualified translator, Kaneko "is also literary critic and in recent years her research is focused on creating bilingual environments. Her profile is unusual in Basque letters. "

Speaking at the ceremony, Nami Kaneko had words of appreciation for the promoters of the Prize for recognizing the work that is done outside, because "that individual work is often is forgotten." The translator also recalled the pioneers whose work still give her much food for thought: on one side Hiromi Yoshida, who opened her the doors to the Basque language, and Sho Hagio, for the work done in the dissemination of the Basque culture and his generosity; on the other the previous generation: the researcher Suzuko Tamura, first professor of Euskera in Japan and the historian Michico Kano, thanks to whom she could read in Japanese the memories of lehendakari Agirre or works about the Civil War.

Taking inspiration from the text by Holding hands by  Ryoko Sekiguchi, and playing with the title of Kirmen Uribe’s book Bitartean heldu eskutik (Meanwhile Take My Hand), Kaneko said she sees many languages and authors caught by the hand, and that she has chosen to "go hand in hand with the Euskera" both in life and in translation. She also showed her gratitude to her teachers, schoolfellows, friends and publishers for holding out their hands to her, in addition to thanking Kirmen Uribe and her family for their confidence.

Kirmen Uribe was also happy and grateful to the publisher Hakusuisha for supporting his career. He stressed the importance of coming across specific supportive people in the world, in his case those he met at the Etxepare Basque Institute or Nami Kaneko and the other translators. The latter, he said, fall in love with the books, so "is not a mechanical work, but an emotional one."

To end the event, Kirmen Uribe and Nami Kaneko  read an excerpt from Mussche,  in Basque and Japanese. An excellent way to celebrate the International Translation Day.

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