Interpreting and Translation Studies: The Journal of the Japan Association for Interpreting and Translation Studies
Online ISSN : 2436-1003
Print ISSN : 1883-7522
How to Write Japanese in the Middle Meiji Era: Case Study of a Handwritten Manuscript Translation of The Steam House
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2018 Volume 18 Pages 65-84


This article explores how a translator, Morita Shiken(1861–1897), wrote Japanese in the middle Meiji era(1868–1912). It focuses on an analysis of Morita’s handwritten manuscript translation of a text titled The Steam House(Daihankai), comparing it with a printed version published in 1889. In the Meiji era, or the time of modernization, many intellectuals argued about ways of writing Japanese because the Japanese people did not have a singular, concrete system of writing then. This means that translators in the era, including Morita, had several choices for their target texts(translated texts)in Japanese. Among the various aspects of a system for Japanese writing, this study focuses on a method of punctuation and the choice between Chinese characters and kana(a Japanese system of syllabic writing). The analysis of Morita’s handwritten manuscript suggests that the translation process involved selecting particular ways of writing from among several options.

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© 2018 The Japan Association for Interpreting and Translation Studies
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