Results of the 5th JLPP International Translation Competition
Hosted by the Agency for Cultural Affairs, the JLPP International Translation Competition endeavors to discover and uplift promising translators of Japanese literature. Results of the 5th International Translation Competition, which opened for submissions in June 2020, have now been determined.
Below is a list of the winners for the English and German categories, along with their winning submissions and comments from the judges. The names of those who passed the first round of judging are also listed, as honorable mentions.
*6 redundant or incomplete applications were excluded from the screening process.
Parentheses indicate the winner’s nationality.
Grand Prize: Richard Donovan (New Zealand, United Kingdom)
Second Prizes: Angelo Wong (Hong Kong), Yuki Tejima (Japan)
“Jealousy’s For All of Us”
“Deep in Thought” – “On Education” – “A Premise for Living”
“Tokyo Stories: On Family”
“Obsession,” “Regarding Education,” “Coming to Terms”
“The Whole World is Jealous”
“A Heroine’s Name”
Critiques by the Judges
Ken Inoue Michael Emmerich
Stephen Snyder Janine Beichman
Shortlist (in order of submission)
Rychelle Brittain Lam Rachel Oliver Stanyon Anna Hill
James Salvona Yui Kajita Brendon Vetter Joshua Cole
Gwendoline Baines Alicja Kaniecka Jennifer O’Donnell Edmond Brookes
Owen Maskiell Tobias Rushbrook Rebecca Black Gregory Khezmejat
*1 redundant or incomplete application was excluded from the screening process.
Grand Prize: Robin Weichert(Germany)
Second Prizes: Janett Claus (Germany), Nancy Yanagita (Germany)
“Die ewige Eifersucht”
“Sinnieren” / “Über Erziehung” / “Vorausgesetztes”
“Ein Roman aus Tokyo. Familien.”
“Die Namen meiner Heldinnen”
“Unser aller Eifersucht”
“Der Name der Protagonistin”
Critiques by the Judges
Nobuo Ikeda Eduard Klopfenstein
Irmela Hijiya‑Kirschnereit Miho Matsunaga
Shortlist (in order of submission)
Inga Neuhaus Elena Hilgenberg Anna Sanner Stefanie Koyanagi
Tina Kapica Stefanie Iwai Isabelle Mathes Alina Goertz
Hajime Suga Stadler Nikolas Scheuer Anette Liebhart
Applications for this Competition has been ended.
Winners of the JLPP Translation Contest will now receive prize money!
Starting with the 5th JLPP International Translation Competition, the Agency for Cultural Affairs will now be awarding Grand Prize winners for each language pair 1,000,000 yen, while Second Prize winners will be awarded 250,000 yen. Submissions for the 5th competition will be accepted through July 31st (Friday).
To those applying to the 5th JLPP International Translation Competition
Submissions will be accepted from June 1st (Monday) through July 31st (Friday) 2020.
Applicants must translate two source texts: one from the Fiction category, and one from the Criticism and Essay category. For more details, please consult the application instructions section of the website.
●Online applications will be accepted via the application portal below.
●Paper applications may be mailed to the following address.
Please note that in accordance with the Japanese Act on the Protection of Personal Information, the mailing address is not the same as that of the JLPP Office. Applications must be postmarked on or before July 31st, 2020.
★The 5th JLPP International Translation Competition Entry Form
Souka-shi, Saitama 340-8501
5th JLPP Translator Development Program
(JLPP International Translation Competition)
We are happy to announce the details of the 5th JLPP International Translation Competition. 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 most welcome to apply.
The JLPP International Translation Competition aims to foster emerging translators of Japanese and promote Japanese literature around the world by encouraging the translation of superb literary works from Japan.
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 (including co-translations) are not eligible, although translations published in magazines and/or anthologies are permissible.
- Target Languages
English and German
- Source Texts
Applicants must translate two source texts: one from the Fiction category and one from the Criticism and Essay category. Each category has two texts to choose from. Select one text from each category, submitting a total of TWO translated works. Source texts may be downloaded via the links below, or can be mailed in print upon request.(2) Criticism and Essay Category
Three short essays by Tanikawa Shuntaro: “Omoitsumeru,” “Kyoiku ni tsuite,” and “Zentei to shite” OR “Hiroin no Namae” by Tanabe Seiko
- Application Period and Procedure
(1) Application Period
Monday, June 1st ~ Friday, July 31st, 2020 (postmarked no later than July 31st).(2) Application Procedure
Download the 5th JLPP International Translation Competition Application Form here.
There are two ways to apply:
Download the Application Form, which will be posted on this website on June 1st, 2020. Together with the completed application form, please send a digital copy (CD-ROM or USB) and a hardcopy (paper) version of your translated texts via physical mail, using the mailing address announced on this website in May 2020. Online
Instructions for the online application and the Application Form will be posted on this website on June 1st, 2020, under the banner “5th JLPP International Translation Competition.”
Follow the instructions for uploading your two translations in PDFs together with the completed Application Form.Note:
* The name of the translator must not appear anywhere on the submitted translations.
* Applications submitted via methods other than those described above in  and  (e.g. via email) will be disqualified.
* In the paper application method , hardcopies must be printed out 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.
* In the online application method , files must be formatted according to the instructions outlined above for the paper application method  and sent as PDFs. Applicants will be responsible for any conversion errors which transpire in the creation of the PDFs.
* Applications failing to comply with the above requirements will be disqualified, barring extenuating circumstances.
* Submitted materials will not be returned.
- Judging Process
(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 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) Honorable Mentions will be awarded, at the discretion of the judging committee, to 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 the Grand Prize and the Second Prizes.
(5) Those who have received the Grand Prize in the past JLPP International Translation Competitions are not eligible for any prize.
- Announcement of Prize Winners
(1) The announcement of the Grand Prize and Second Prize winners will be posted on this website at the end of January 2021, prior to which the prize winners will be contacted individually. Only prize winners will be contacted about the results of their applications.
(2) 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.
(3) Bios of the prize winners as well as observations on their translations will be posted on this website.
(4) Winners will be invited to JLPP translator-development events held in Japan, such as an intensive multi-day translation workshop.
- Judging Committee (in alphabetical order)
Janine Beichman (Scholar of Japanese Literature, Professor Emeritus at Daito Bunka University)
Michael Emmerich (Scholar of Japanese Literature, Associate Professor at University of California, Los Angeles)
Inoue Ken (Scholar of Comparative Literature, Professor at Nihon University, Professor Emeritus at The University of Tokyo)
Stephen Snyder (Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs & Dean of Language School, Professor of Japanese Studies at Middlebury College)
Ikeda Nobuo (Scholar of German Literature, Professor Emeritus at The University of Tokyo)
Irmela Hijiya-Kirshnereit (Scholar of Japanese Literature, Professor at Free University of Berlin)
Eduard Klophenstein (Scholar of Japanese Literature, Professor Emeritus at the University of Zurich)
Matsunaga Miho (Scholar of German Literature, Professor at Waseda University)