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Milton in Translation$
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Angelica Duran, Islam Issa, and Jonathan R. Olson

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198754824

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198754824.001.0001

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Translating Milton’s Poetry into Japanese with a Case Study of Samson Agonistes

Translating Milton’s Poetry into Japanese with a Case Study of Samson Agonistes

(p.459) 27 Translating Milton’s Poetry into Japanese with a Case Study of Samson Agonistes
Milton in Translation

Hiroko Sano

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines translation theory and practice in the context of the specific linguistic and cultural challenges that arise when translating Milton’s poetry into accessible Japanese. Milton has been known in Japan as being as important as Shakespeare, but his works have a limited readership while Shakespeare has had a strong presence. Elements that account for Milton’s reception are Milton scholarship in Japan, characteristics of the Japanese language, the archaic sound of Milton’s grand English style especially given Japanese translational choices, and a Christianity articulated too immediately and profoundly for a culture in which Christian training and history are almost absent. This chapter then provides a personal account and the theoretical underpinnings of Sano’s recent Japanese translation of Samson Agonistes and her participation in a well-received production in 2012 of poet Takahashi’s adaptation of Milton’s tragedy in the Noh style.

Keywords:   English literature, translation into Japanese, Japanese writing systems, honyaku-cho/translationese, seven-and-five-syllable metre, five-and-seven-syllable metre, Meiji Restoration, International Milton Symposium, New Noh Samson, Mutsuo Takahashi

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