Jul 1, 2011

Why I Translated Haruki Murakami's Speech into English

I translated Haruki Murakami's speech for the Catalonia Prize into English.

Kevin, who has tried to support Japan in recovering from this disaster, read my translation, and revised it, and translated it into many other languages.

I got an e-mail message from him to requesting my comment about the reason why I translated this speech.

This is my reply.

Hello Kevin, I'm glad to read your mail.

I don't have enough time and ability to write a long comment, so I'll write a short comment. If it sounds unnatural, please correct it.

Why I Translated Haruki Murakami's Speech into English

I've been a fan of Haruki Murakami for 25 years and watching that he's been transforming a young author into a worldwide author.

Japan's been keeping excess of exports over imports of industrial goods, but we import a lot of foreign culture and export very little Japanese culture. So I'm glad that Haruki Murakami's works have been translated into many foreign languages and he's popular all over the world.

After the earthquake and the accident of the Fukushima nuclear plants, we, Japanese people, think about nuclear power deeply, but I think that it's hard for us to express our thought abroad.

I don't agree with everything in Haruki Murakami's speech, but his speech expressed Japanese people's thought. I hoped that foreign people would read his speech and I thought that they would pay attention to what Haruki Murakami said.

I'm really glad that many people have read his speech and know what Japanese people think of the earthquake and the accident.

Thank you very much, Kevin.


  1. Hi Salaryman,
    It's a great effort to translate that speech. I've read two books by Murakami so far, but this speech is the first time I've actually liked his work.
    I was just wondering, which parts about the speech don't you agree with?

  2. Thank you for your comment. I'm very glad to hear that someone read my translation.

    I wrote about where I didn't agree with his speech on my journal bellow.


    If you don't mind, please read this journal.