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Translating Japanese Free-Verse Poetry: Strategy and Theory in Translating Kawaji Ryūkō’s Roadside Flowers

  • Author / Creator
    Danzinger, Matthew
  • The publication of Kawaji Ryūkō’s (川路柳虹, 1888-1959) Shinshi yonshō (新詩四章 “Four New Poems”) in the journal Shijin (詩人) in 1907 has been described as pioneering the genre of Japanese free-verse poetry. This poetry differed from previous Japanese poetic works in both form and content by eschewing traditional poetic metres and subject matter. Despite Ryūkō’s work being widely noted as innovative, scholarship in English has been scant, and there have been few English-language translations of his work. Furthermore, there has been little research on the translation of modern Japanese free-verse poetry (自由詩, jiyūshi) into English, in both English and Japanese scholarship. This study seeks to fill these gaps in the following ways: by defining the unique aspects of this genre; by translating select poetry from Ryūkō’s first full collection of poetry, Robō no hana (路傍の花 Roadside Flowers, 1910), into English; by explaining and justifying translation choices and strategies using theoretical models from the field of translation studies; and by hypothesizing as to why Ryūkō’s work has been neglected up to this point in English-language studies of Japanese free verse. In doing this, I aim to expand the English-language canon of translated modern Japanese poetry, contribute to the growing body of research on modern Japanese poetry, and offer new theoretical models for the translation of free- verse poetry in general.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2021
  • Type of Item
    Thesis
  • Degree
    Master of Arts
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/r3-6hhy-d458
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.