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The 2019 Kyoko Selden Memorial Translation Prize in Japanese Literature, Thought, and Society

See below for information about the prize.

 

Farewell to Nuclear Power – A Lecture on Fukushima  原発を即時廃炉に

 

Hirose Takashi with an introduction by C. Douglas Lummis

 

Many people in Japan have understood for years that the country’s nuclear power industry was heading for catastrophe; few people have worked as hard or as passionately to prevent that catastrophe as Hirose Takashi.  Since the early 1980s he has written a shelf of books, mostly on that subject.  The first to attract notice was his Tokyo ni, Genpatsu wo! (Nuclear Plants in Tokyo! [1981]), a reductio ad absurdum of the nuke promoters’ argument: if they are so safe, why not put them in the center of the city, rather than hundreds of miles away, forcing you to build expensive and destructive power lines all over the country, which also eat up a vast amount of electricity in the wires?  The book was a bombshell, exposing as it did big-city egoism: we get the electricity, somebody else gets the danger.  The exposé applies to the 3/11 catastrophe: many people haven’t noticed the significance of the fact that the plants at Fukushima belong to the Tokyo Electric Co.  The electricity they (used to) generate goes (went) to Tokyo; Fukushima’s electricity comes from elsewhere.

 

Before the catastrophe, Hirose had written that if a nuclear catastrophe ever really happened in Japan, he would go silent.  Of course, he has not been able to do that.  Over the years he has been attacked as a fear monger, and indeed, he has generally written about worst-case scenarios. (How would you like it if your fire department took the attitude, Don’t worry, there probably won’t be any fires?)  Now the worst has happened and, astoundingly! most people don’t seem to realize that it has.  Today Hirose is doing the work he hoped he would never have to do, writing article after article, doing interview after interview, travelling around the country on grueling speaking tours, explaining to people the obvious:  yes, this is a genuine nuclear catastrophe, and no, there is no reason to believe that that was the last major earthquake. 

 

The following is a video with English translation of Hirose Takashi lecture in Tsuchiura, September 11, 2011. You can skip the first eight minutes of introduction to go directly to the lecture. The video was translated and subtitled by Hiroaki Kobayashi, Kazko Kawai and Fritz Spencer.

 

 

 

There also exists a translation – the first of any of his books – of his Fukushima Meltdown: The World’s First Earthquake, Tsunami, Nuclear Disaster which Hirose wrote in the weeks following 3/11.  It is available as an online book at Amazon Kindle.

 

 

 

 

Other Asia-Pacific Journal articles by Takashi Hirose and translated by C. Douglas Lummis:

 

The Nuclear Disaster That Could Destroy Japan – On the danger of a killer earthquake in the Japanese Archipelago

 

Japan’s Earthquake-Tsunami-Nuclear Disaster Syndrome: An Unprecedented Form of Catastrophe

The 2019 Kyoko Selden Memorial Translation Prize in Japanese Literature, Thought, and Society

The Department of Asian Studies at Cornell University is pleased to announce the 2019 prize honoring the life and work of our colleague, Kyoko Selden. The prize will pay homage to the finest achievements in Japanese literature, thought, and society through the medium of translation. Kyoko Selden's translations and writings ranged widely across such realms as Japanese women writers, Japanese art and aesthetics, the atomic bomb experience, Ainu and Okinawan life and culture, historical and contemporary literature, poetry and prose, and early education (the Suzuki method). Recognizing the breadth of Japanese writings, classical and contemporary, and with the aim of making such materials more widely available, we ask that prize submissions be of unpublished translations. Collaborative translations are welcomed. In order to encourage classroom use and wide dissemination of the winning entries, prize-winning translations will be made freely available on the web. The winning translations will be published online at The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus.

Prize selections will take into account both the quality of the translation and the significance of the original work. In cases where a text already published in English is deemed worthy of retranslation, new translations of significant texts are accepted (please provide date and place of earlier publication). Applicants should submit the following hard copies to the Kyoko Selden Memorial Translation Prize, Department of Asian Studies, 350 Rockefeller Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853:

  • 1 copy of an unpublished translation
  • 1 copy of a statement of up to 1,000 words explaining the significance of the text. Although we do not require that the translator has already obtained permission to publish the translation from the copyright holder, please include in the statement information about whether preliminary inquiries have been made or whether or not the work is in the public domain.
  • 1 printed copy of the original Japanese text
  • A brief c.v. of the translator
  • In addition, please send electronic copies of all the above as attachments to seldenprize@cornell.edu.

The maximum length of a submission is 20,000 words. In case

of translation of longer works, submit an excerpt of up to 20,000 words. Repeat submissions are welcomed. Please note that

the closing date for the prize competition this year will be August 1, 2019. For the 2019 competition, one prize of $1,500 will be awarded in two different categories:

1) to an already published translator; 2) to an unpublished translator. The winners will be informed by November 1, 2019.

For further information, please visit the Asian Studies website or send questions to seldenprize@cornell.edu.