Ise Shrine, Racism, and Reporting

The former president of Akafuku, a traditional Japanese confectioner that sells its goods in the Okage Yokochō shopping area adjacent to Ise Shrine, apparently doesn’t seem to want foreigners coming around the place. According to this article, Hamada Masutane stated at a November 26 forum held in the city of Tsu:  “I don’t want to […]

101 Writing Tips

Every sentence should make sense in isolation. Like that one. Excessive hyperbole is literally the kiss of death. ASBMAETP: Acronyms Should Be Memorable And Easy To Pronounce, and SATAN: Select Acronyms That Are Non-offensive. Finish your point on an up-beat note, unless you can’t think of one. Don’t patronise the reader–he or she might well […]

The History of Yasukuni Shrine

I wrote this thing to be posted on Nippon.com as part of this series of articles on Yasukuni. When the Japanese document I was half-translating, half-simply-eyeballing as I put this together got tossed in the reject bin, the English went along with it . . . so here I am with a big thing to […]

August in Japan

A little something we published in Japan Echo in 2005, the sixtieth year after the end of the war. I like to revisit it when August rolls around. Remembering Hiroshima August has arrived. Soon Hiroshima will commemorate the anniversary of its atomic bombing. At 8:15 in the morning on August 6, a call for silent […]

Translators in an Italian dungeon

The Telegraph has an article on some of the more interesting working conditions I’ve heard of in the translation business: “Dan Brown’s Inferno: the hellish conditions endured by those translating author’s new blockbuster.” The guy’s latest “mysterious religious/artistic stuff happens but brave American academic is up to the task” novel is going to be released […]