I thought you might be interested to hear that I've just published an English translation of Musume Junreiki, Takamure Itsue's (1894-1964) account of her pilgrimage to Shikoku when she was 24. It's a very interesting tale with lots of information about what rural life was like in the Taishō era.
You are probably wondering about the quality of the translation in this book. Before deciding to self-publish, I submitted the translation to the Kodansha International publishing company in Tokyo and the senior editor there, Barry Lancet, praised it and sent it to their New York office to be evaluated for publication. The New York office rejected publication because they said that the topic lacked mass appeal and the book would not be commercially successful. Because I was determined that Takamure’s pilgrimage account be made available to an English speaking audience, I decided to self-publish. I felt that just as English speakers have been enriched by reading translations of Sei Shonagon's or Murasaki Shikibu's account of Heian court life, so would they be enriched by reading Takamure’s account of her pilgrimage. Her tale deserves to be read by people outside Japan.
The book is titled The 1918 Shikoku Pilgrimage of Takamure Itsue: an English translation of Musume Junreiki and is available through Amazon.com.
Saturday, March 20, 2010
This just in from Susan Tennant, retired professor of literature: