An Invitation to the Translation Studies in Japan
Online ISSN : 2185-5307
Print ISSN : 2185-5315
ISSN-L : 2185-5307
Research Notes
R. H. Blyth’s English Translation of Haiku
Zen and Haiku
Hironori MATSUMOTO
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2016 Volume 15 Pages 47-63

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Abstract

Reginald Horace Blyth’s Haiku, published in four volumes from 1949 to 1952, were anthologies of Japanese haiku. His books attracted the attention of many writers, most notably the Beat school poets such as Allen Ginsberg, Gary Snyder and Jack Kerouac mainly because of his assumption that the haiku was the poetic expression of Zen. The purpose of this paper is to examine how R. H. Blyth’s translation of haiku was affected by his perception of haiku. First, it provides an overview of translations of haiku before Blyth in order to clarify characteristics of his translation. Next, it discusses his perception of haiku and features of his haiku translation. It concludes that Blyth’s perception of haiku affected various aspects of his translation.

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© 2016 The Japan Association for Interpreting and Translation Studies
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