This just in from Ian Hogarth:
Idiot! Good thing you enrolled in the Department of Contemporary Literary Studies! You don’t know the first thing about the contemporary world, let alone about contemporary Japan!
But not to worry. I’ll do what I can to help, starting with a crash course (similar to the one you gave your mother) in contemporary Japanese culture that focuses on manga, popular music, and contemporary fiction. But first you’re going to have to get over this Nagai Kafū-wannabe anti-modern sourpuss phase that you seem to be stuck in.
You’d do well to start by looking into these three writers:
1. Furukawa Hideo (1966- )
2. Machida Kō (1962- ), punk rocker, poet, and novelist. As far as I know, none of his works has been translated. I recommend his 1996 novel, Gussun Daikoku. And here is his official website.
3. Ishiguro Tatsuaki (1961- ), physician and novelist. Biogenesis and Other Stories was published this year.
So look through the works of these three writers, choose a work you particularly like, and translate it. This is a good opportunity for you to embark on your first major translation project. You’ll also want to register here. You’re not getting any younger, so the sooner you make your debut as a translator the better.