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5th JLPP International Translation Competition
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5th JLPP International Translation Competition

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.

  1. Purpose
    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.
  2. 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 (including co-translations) are not eligible, although translations published in magazines and/or anthologies are permissible.
  3. Target Languages
    English and German
  4. 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.

    (1) Fiction Category
    “Tokyo Shosetsu Kateihen” by Nosaka Akiyuki
    “Minnano Shitto” by Ito Hiromi

    (2) Criticism and Essay Category
    Three short essays by Tanikawa Shuntaro: “Omoitsumeru,” “Kyoiku ni tsuite,” and “Zentei to shite”
    “Hiroin no Namae” by Tanabe Seiko
  5. 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:

    [1] Mail
    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.
    [2] 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.

    * The name of the translator must not appear anywhere on the submitted translations.
    * Applications submitted via methods other than those described above in [1] and [2] (e.g. via email) will be disqualified.
    * In the paper application method [1], 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 [2], files must be formatted according to the instructions outlined above for the paper application method [1] 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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 with a certificate and a trophy.
    (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.
  8. 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)