7th JLPP International Translation Competition

JLPP 文化庁


Entries for the 7th JLPP International Translation Competition closed.

Details of the 7th JLPP International Translation Competition are as follows. The winners of previous JLPP translation competitions are now actively working as literary translators all over the world. Aspiring translators of contemporary Japanese literature are eagerly encouraged to apply.

7th JLPP International Translation Competition flyer

Click the image to open the PDF file.

Source Texts

  • Fiction Category

    by Hiromi Kawakami
    (from Kamisama, Chuobunko)
    Hiromi Kawakami


  • Criticism and Essay Category

    “Kotoba no soto he — Bunko maegaki”
    by Kazushi Hosaka
    (from Kotoba no soto he, Kawade Bunko)
    Kazushi Hosaka
    Kotoba no soto he—Bunko maegaki

Source texts may be downloaded via the links below.
“Natsuyasumi” by Hiromi Kawakami “Kotoba no soto he — Bunko maegaki” by Kazushi Hosaka


Prize winners will be awarded a certificate and trophy, as well as a monetary prize of 1,000,000 yen for Grand Prize winners and 250,000 yen for Second Prize winners for each language pair.

Winners will be contacted individually and posted on this website at the end of January 2023. The translations of the prize winners will also be posted on this website, along with their bios and observations on their work.

Winners will be invited to translator-development events hosted by the JLPP, such as a translation workshop.

Judging Process

  • Submission Period
    June 1st (Wed)
    – June 30th (Thu) 2022
  • Judging
    July – November 2022
  • Winners Announced
    January 2023
  • Award Ceremony
    March 2023


Submission Period Wednesday June 1st – Thursday June 30th 2022 (JST)
Application Requirements Applicants must translate two source texts: one from the Fiction category, and one from the Criticism and Essay category.
Purpose The JLPP International Translation Competition aims to foster the translators of the future while enrichening world literature by encouraging the translation of superb literary works from Japan.
Eligibility There are no nationality or age-related eligibility criteria. However, because the purpose of the competition is to foster emerging translators, those who have published book-length literary translations are not eligible, although translations published in magazines and/or anthologies are permissible.
Target Languages and Scoring This year’s target languages are French and English. Applicants must translate two source texts: one from the Fiction category, and one from the Criticism and Essay category.

(1)Fiction Category “Natsuyasumi” by Hiromi Kawakami

(2)Criticism and Essay Category “Kotoba no soto he — Bunko maegaki” by Kazushi Hosaka

Application Procedure

(1)Applications are to be submitted via the JLPP website. After clicking “7th JLPP International Translation Competition” below, click the “Application Page” banner to proceed with your application. For details on the application procedure, please visit the application page, which will be made public on June 1st, 2022. Applications submitted via email will be disqualified.

(2)Applications submitted via any other methods will not be accepted.

(3)Translation manuscripts must be formatted on A4 or letter-size paper, in portrait orientation, written horizontally, at 32 lines per page, using 12-point Times New Roman font, with left and right margins of at least 1.5 cm, specifying the “page number of total pages” on each page. Formatting discrepencies caused by differences in software will be selectively permitted. Files must be submitted as PDFs. When converting to PDF, please check for conversion errors and correct before submitting.

(4)The name of the translator must not appear anywhere on the submitted translations.

(5)Applications failing to comply with the above requirements will be disqualified, barring extenuating circumstances to be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.

Judging Proces

(1)Judging will comprise a preliminary selection process, followed by a meeting of the judging committee members, who will examine the translations which passed the preliminary selection process and select the prize winners.

(2)The Grand Prize will be awarded, in principle, to one (individual) translator for each target language whose translation is considered to be of exceptionally high quality.

(3)Second Prizes will be awarded to no more than two translators for each target language whose translations are considered to be of very high quality.

(4)At the discretion of the judging committee, Honorable Mentions will be awarded to (individual) translators whose efforts show great promise, but are not considered to qualify for the Grand Prize or a Second Prize. The number of Honorable Mentions will not exceed the total of the Grand Prize and the Second Prizes.

(5)Those who have received the Grand Prize in past JLPP International Translation Competitions are not eligible for any prize.

Judging Committee


  • Shibata Motoyuki
    Shibata Motoyuki
    (Translator of American literature, Professor Emeritus, University of Tokyo)
  • Toko Koji
    Toko Koji
    (Translator of American literature, Professor, Department of English, Waseda University)
  • Lucy North
    Lucy North
    (Translator of Japanese literature)
  • Allison Markin Powell
    Allison Markin Powell
    (Translator of Japanese literature)


  • Nozaki Kan
    Nozaki Kan
    (Professor Emeritus, University of Tokyo, Professor of Liberal Arts, Open University of Japan)
  • Hakata Kaoru
    Hakata Kaoru
    (Professor, Faculty of Humauities Department of French Literature, Sophia University)
  • Anne Bayard-Sakai
    Anne Bayard-Sakai
    (Professor, Department of Japanese Language and Literature, Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales (INALCO))
  • Jacques Henrik LEVY
    Jacques Henrik LEVY
    (Professor, Department of French Literature, Meiji Gakuin University)