No. 7 — September 30, 1983

This is our seventh issue. When I started the newsletter in May, I hoped it would grow into a sort of networking agency. It can indeed fulfill that function, but now it is obvious that what the newsletter is trying to do is to draw a sort of panoramic picture of the world inhabited by Japanese-to-English translators. I intend to continue in this general direction: excluding nothing, serious or frivolous, which I or the readers think might be of interest to translators working in this field. The publication is uncopyrighted and free, but readers who want to help may send in money, postage stamps, international reply coupons, food stamps, etc. to help pay for expenses. (Thanks to those who have sent in items for publication and/or money for the expenses, and warnings to those who send neither: your names may soon be removed from the mailing list.) This issue we welcome ten new readers who were on LKA's mailing list. From now on, they will be receiving the Newsletter directly from me. If you know any professionals who are not on the mailing list, please share your issues with them, or have them drop me a line to get on the mailing list.

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I interview author/interpreter/translator Frederik L. Schodt, author of Manga! Manga! The World of Japanese Comics (Kodansha International). This was a high-tech interview done completely on a word processor, with both of us taking turns sitting down and inputting our questions and answers. There are news items about two research projects on machine translation: the Tanaka group at the Electrotechnical Laboratory, and Professor Nagao's group at Kyoto University. Minolta is going into Japanese word processors and will market a highly sophisticated bilingual model made on an OEM basis by Sanyo. There is news about some new publications. Karaoke fans will be delighted to read in this issue that karaoke sets are to be marketed sometime soon in the U.S. under the name "The Singing Machine." And I reproduce some help-wanted ads for translators in Japan.

Coming up in the next issue is an in-depth interview with Alexander Shkolnik, a recently emigrated translator from the U.S.S.R. who has encyclopedic knowledge of Japanese-to-Russian translation in that country.

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Q: You are the author of Manga! Manga! The World of Japanese Comics (Kodansha International) and are also a technical translator. I believe you also do considerable work as an interpreter. Tell me first how your career started. How old are you and when did you first begin to learn Japanese?

A: I'm 33 years old, and first began studying Japanese when I was 20, in 1970, at International Christian University in Japan. Actually, however, I first went to Japan when I was fifteen, and spent two and a half years at the American School in Japan, but I didn't learn a shred of Japanese. My guidance counselor at the time insisted that I study French, because that is what I had taken in my former school, and, she said, because Japanese wouldn't be accepted by any universities in the United States and wouldn't do me any good in the future. I'm sure other people have horror stories like this from high school, but considering my career at this point, I find it difficult to forget, even forgive. My career as a professional translator started in 1977, after I finished a training program on a Mombusho scholarship and began working in Tokyo for Simul International, one of the major translation firms in the area.

Q: What kind of courses did you take at ICU in the area of translation or interpreting?

A: I took a couple of courses in the theory of translation which I found interesting, but not very useful from the standpoint of actual work. Then I also took a year long course in simultaneous and consecutive interpreting, which had a much more practical orientation.

Q: Who were the professors, and what kind of practical work did they give?

A: The professor for the course on translation theory, I believe, was Noel Brannan. The professor for irterpreting was Mitsuko Saito, who was instrumental in forming Simul International years ago, hence the connection when I sought employment later. The course in interpreting I found very useful, with extensive practice in the lab aid in class, with an emphasis on techniques and presentation. Just standing up in front of people and making mistakes was great practice.

Q: So it's been about 13 years since you started to learn the language. You learned it mostly while living in Japan. Was your family in Japan?

A: My family was in Japan for around two years when I was in high school, but as I mentioned earlier, I didn't learn any Japanese at that time.

Q: I want to know something about the internal aspects of your process of language learning. What role, if any, did inanga play in that?

A: When I was studying Japanese intensively at university I ran into the problem that many others have — namely that the language in the textbooks didn't seem to be the same language I was hearing on the streets and from my friends. Reading manga became not only a diversion from what I considered boring and often irrelevant texts, but a way of tapping into the living language. Manga were a mainline into what I saw as the true Japanese popular culture.

Q: Some people regard manga as vulgar. Did you pick up any "negative speech patterns"?

A: I learned a lot of slang words, certainly, but manga also helped me to communicate. As you know, jokes, slang, and "vulgarity" often help make friends, or at least understand what others are enjoying in their lives.

Q: You get considerable insights into the fantasy world of the readers. Did you find a great deal of violence in the manga world?

A: Aha. The stock question. Obviously, yes. Japanese comics are probably among the most violent in the world, and also the most erotic, I might add. I think one reason for this, however, is that comics in Japan are a mature medium, or at least on the way to becoming one. In other words, artists are free to deal with themes that in our culture are inconceivable in what is essentially a children's medium. The comparison would be novels and film. If you were to take a random sample of what is being enjoyed by the masses in the United States, I suspect you would find that a great deal of it is even more violent and erotic than Japanese comics. The problem is that most Americans view Japanese comics from the viewpoint of a culture that turned the medium into a creative ghetto in the 1950's. Still, I don't want to be in the position of justifying the more negative trends in Japanese comics.

Q: I think your book is well edited and beautifully printed, but I understand that Kodansha International decided to publish it "after much hesitation and long discussion." What were they discussing and why were they hesitating?

A: Thanks for the compliment in the first part of the sentence. I think that much of the hesitation on the part of Kodansha International stemmed from a vestigial prejudice against manga. This was somewhat of a surprise to me, because manga are pretty much accepted by society at large today, and also because Kodansha, K.I.'s parent company, is the largest publisher of comics in Japan. K.I. was formed some years ago with the goal of introducing Japan and works on Japan to the West, and, until recently their main thrust has been along the lines of the Zen and High Tech sort of stuff, with very little in between. Somehow, the idea of presenting Japanese "popular culture", or the "real" culture, seemed a little risky to them. We had some grave misunderstandings in the beginning, to say the least.

Q: I used to read a comic magazine called Garo and was impressed with the surrealistic touch. I guess not many foreigners were reading it. Student radicals used to read that magazine when they were in jail, I remember.

A: Garo is still being published in Japan, and has become a classic of sorts, it is probably the most experimental comic magazine in Japan, and many of the artists who debut on its pages later go on to great fame. It is so famous, in fact, that most of the people drawing for it don't earn any money — they work for free. I guess it's the closest thing to an "underground" comic Japan has.

Q: They work for free? What a rip-off. All for the sake of art, I guess. Did you encounter any resistance to yourself, among the Japanese, as a connoisseur of manga because you are what is known as a gaijin?

A: No. Usually Japanese are overjoyed to find out that someone enjoys the same things that they do, especially the younger generations. Because manga are so close to the Japanese subconsious, however, the idea of gaijin reading them may at times be a little disconcerting.

Q: At the end of your book you have a lengthy bibliography on Japanese comics. Did you find any insightful scholarly writings on the subject?

A: Since the manga industry in Japan is so huge today, there are dozens of books out now on various genres, artists, and history. Many of them are rather superficial, and written for younger audiences to make a fast buck, but there are also works by university professors, often with the typically obfuscated style that they write in. One good reference work, with an emphasis on history is Reiji Matsumoto and Satoshi Hidaka's Manga Rekishi Dai Hakubutsukan, published in Tokyo, 1980 by Buronzusha. I expect we will see a lot more serious, insightful works in the next few years. The "professional comic critic" is a new and growing career.

Q: In an interview in The Japan Times you said that "Japan is probably the most information-intensive society in the world. It is also crowded, noisy and increasingly complex." You go on to say that manga are a light form of reading and entertainment which matches such a society. I guess you mean something for people who are smart and intelligent but have a short attention span and who are fighting an up-hill battle against lots of noise and interruptions.

A: I'm not sure if those would be my exact choice of words, but they're close enough. I think manga represent part of the Japanese over-mind, the collective subconscious of over one hundred million people. As such they include a lot of musings and prattle on that level, all of which fits somewhere in between studying for exams and working at the company and drinking after work, etc. Do I make sense?

Q: It is admirable in a translator to get down to the deepest depths (I almost said sewers) of the subconscious mentality in order to really understand what is going on. That brings me to the next area(s) of your praxis. You work also as an interpreter and technical translator. How do your insights into the native psychology help, for example, in interpreting for a Japanese film crew on location in the U.S.?

A: Sometimes they help, and sometimes they don't help at all. I just finished working on a film in June and July here the US and Japanese crews squared off and nearly had a fist fight. As the interpreter I found it to be a very unenviable position. Frankly, I learned that in a situation like that there is very little that you can do, other than run away. Preconceptions, attitudes, once set in intellectual concrete, are frightening. I learned how wars start. Nonetheless, the job was completed, and who knows, it may be a great film. In art, poor communication may not necessarily be an obstacle, eh?

Q: There is a character in Oshima Nagisa's film "Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence" who has a similar problem. He found it impossible to interpret the Japanese to the English and vice versa, but somehow he survived the prison camp. Why was that film such a flop?

A: Who says it's a flop? I've seen it twice already, and just because the critics can it in the U.S. doesn't mean it won't make money — the "bottom line' (a hackneyed phrase of the eighties). In France the film is a big hit. The biggest criticism I've seen in the U.S. is that the film is too violent. I think it probably could have been made more powerful if more attention had been paid to the cultural clash and the problems of the interpreter. A lot of that did get lost in the scenes of hara-kiri, etc. and the attempt to get a lot of mileage out of the big name stars like Bowie and Sakamoto. Personally, I thought the acting by Tom Conti and Beat Takeshi was wonderful.

Q: So did I. The film was so moving I couldn't speak for hours after leaving the theater. When I said a flop I meant it was obviously not a critical success. Some critics said that the film was too "Japanese" and was a "thinking" picture rather than one for family entertainment. In other words, a bit above the lowest common denominator. But I liked the film's message that in international conflicts no one side has the monopoly on being right. All translators will sympathize with the characters in the film who are trying to bridge communication gaps. The film really brought out how difficult international communication is, anytime anywhere. What percentage of the work you do is technical translating?

A: My work until now has been divided into three areas: translating, interpreting, and writing. Until recently I did technical work only sporadically, but I recently undertook a job translating computer manuals on a regular basis, and I went out and bought a computer/word processor, so I'm hoping to achieve more proficiency in this field. I should point out that I don't have a technical background at all (which is probably obvious from this interview). In that sense I feel quite inspired by you, Don, because you are by far the most dedicated, proficient and prolific technical translator of Japanese that I have yet met in the US, and yet I understand you came out of a non-technical background yourself. Don't you think we're operating under a handicap compared to translators who, for example, have degrees in electrical engineering or nuclear physics?

Q: Obviously it is better to have knowledge about a field rather than not, but it is debatable whether simply having a degree means that you are well qualified to translate any given job. A chemist with a Ph.D. in chemistry may be able to translate chemistry better than I can, but he or she may not be able to translate a document about some other technical subject any better than I. How could a person possibly have a degree in each one of the many different technical fields that a "generalist" translator is called upon to translate? Some translators do specialize narrowly in certain fields but I don't. You just have to do your own research. What did you major in in the university?

A: I majored in Asian Studies at U.C. Santa Barbara, where I received my B.A. "Asian Studies" at the time included anything in the area bounded by Israel and Hawaii, as I recall. In other words, it was like majoring in "Northern Hemisphere". Obviously, though, I spent most of my time learning Japanese.

Q: I must compliment you on your knowledge of spoken Japanese. I find that some technical translators don't speak both languages equally well, and I can see that that would be a handicap in some kinds of work. What kinds of things would you suggest for translators to do if they wanted to perfect their spoken Japanese?

A: The obvious things go to Japan and live for a few years, marry a Japanese woman/man, watch as many Japanese movies and as much TV as possible, and — of course — start reading manga.

Q: What is the most probable scenario for your future career? Do you think you might end up like me? (ironic)

A: This is a subject I think about a lot. Assuming we're not all blown up in the next few years, or that we don't start living in rusted-out car bodies beneath bat and ivy-infested skyscrapers, I might continue with more of the same. I'd like to keep translating and interpreting as a career, and also pursue projects that interest me, either in writing or film. I am, as someone said once, a 'Whitman sampler" in life ... the typical dilettante. Sort of like you, Don, but I have to log a lot more hours in technical work before I feel as confident in the field.

Q: With your excellent grounding in Japanese, I am sure you will be very successful. Best wishes.

Sept. 18, 1983

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Why all this attention to machine translation? To put it simply, it is a question of Japan's national security. Japan perceives that its international position will depend, in the advanced information society of the future, on its ability to export Japanese-made data bases as "bargaining chips" in exchange for foreign information. To be exported, the Japanese data bases must be in English. It would be immensely costly to translate all of the items in Japanese databases one by one into English, even if enough qualified translators could be found. A national translation crisis is developing in Japan, and the language barrier is perceived as a potentially threatening national security problem. This is why such a high priority is being given to machine translation. If there were a system by which a computer could translate Japanese texts automatically into English with an accuracy of 80% or 90%, even this would be an amazing success for the Japanese data-base business. (Nikkei sangyō shimbun, September 20, 1983)

Syntactical analysis, the basic technique for parsing texts input for machine translation, is a basic requirement for machine processing of natural languages. Various techniques for syntactical analysis are being studied in connection with the development of artificial intelligence type computers such as Japan's Fifth Generation Computer.

The Electrotechnical Laboratory of the Agency of Industrial Science and Technology claims to have developed a high-speed syntax analytical system using an improved version of PROLOG, an artificial intelligence type programming language developed at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. (Nikkei sangyō shimbun, September 20, 1983)

The work on natural language processing at the Electrotechnical Laboratory is being done in the Reasoning Mechanism Laboratory (Suiron Kiko Kenkyushitsu), currently headed by Hozumi Tanaka, 41. In October Tanaka will go from the Electrotechnical Laboratory to Tokyo Institute of Technology, where he will continue research on questions of linguistics and computers. (Nikkei sangyō shimbun, September 19, 1983)

Another specialist dealing with machine translation is Professor Makoto Nagao of the Faculty of Engineering, Kyoto University, who is presiding over a three-year research project commissioned jointly by the Science and Technology Agency and the Ministry of International Trade and Industry. The three-year project, which began in fiscal year 1982, aims at developing a system for automated translation of scientific and technical documents from English to Japanese and from Japanese to English.

The Kyoto University group of Professor Nagao has produced a prototype software system for using Japanese-language word processors for inputting texts aimed at machine translation. Professor Nagao has determined that, in order to increase the efficiency of translation it will be necessary to introduce into Japanese a special system of punctuation aimed at machine translation. The word-processing assistance system is to help operators to input texts according to this new system of punctuation.

The new punctuation system uses English commas in addition to the two Japanese type punctuation marks (similar to period and comma). This system makes it possible to clarify the grammatical ambiguities of Japanese utterances of the following type: nedan no takai dairiseki no chookoku ga aru tsukue. In such utterances, it is claimed, a machine would find it difficult to determine whether the adjective meaning "expensive" applies to the marble, the sculpture, or the desk.

It is claimed that, in the machine translation systems now being developed, one sentence input without using this new punctuation system could result in tens or even hundreds of different translations, but if this new system is used it is claimed that it is possible to obtain a single translation which will reflect the meaning of the author relatively accurately. (Nikkei sangyō shimbun, August 15, 1983; Nihon keizai shimbun, August 15, 1983.)

Professional J-E translators will agree that ambiguities of this kind sometimes present difficulties in interpretation, but they occur far less frequently than another, more common kind of ambiguity: the absence of distinctions between singular and plural numbers in Japanese nouns and verbs. If Professor Nagao proposes to introduce a system for marking Japanese sentences to edit out their ambiguities when inputting them into a word processor for machine translation, I think that, in addition to his novel punctuation system, he ought to provide a system for marking singular and plural nouns and verbs.

On the other hand, if the success or failure or machine translation is going to depend on perfecting some novel system of inputting which will mark the text to smooth out the ambiguities which are inherent in the language itself, we can only conclude that the work of inputting will in a sense become a part of the translating process. In some cases it would be necessary to go back to the original author of the text to straighten out the ambiguities - such as whether a noun is singular or plural.

I don't know how much money is currently being spent on the perfection of machine translation systems. The Fifth Generation Computer project is to cost ¥100 billion or $414 million (see No. 4, p. 1). This could definitely become a real kane-kui-mushi.

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In the last issue we learned about the Sanyo SWP-3400 bilingual word processor (No. 6, p. 9–10). Now the Sanyo group has started manufacturing two word processors for Minolta Camera Co., Ltd. One of these word processors is of the same type as the SWP-3400.

Minolta, a manufacturer of optical machines and goods, announced on September 19 that it will market two models of word processors. The first, the MWP201, is a Japanese-language 8-bit processor with a three-way inputting system using either kana, romaji, or the touch-sensitive kana tablet ("pen-touch") system. It is manufactured for Minolta by Tokyo Sanyo Electric Co., Ltd. It also has a number of editing and graph functions. It will sell for ¥1,238,000 and will be marketed beginning on September 20.

The upper-end model is the MWP301, a 16-bit bilingual word processor with English word-processing and graphics functions. Manufactured for Minolta on an OEM basis by Sanyo Electric Co., Ltd., it will sell for ¥2,450,000 and will be marketed beginning on October 1. The MWP301 has 64 Japanese type styles, chiefly those of the Ming dynasty type, and five English type styles, chiefly of the Prestige type. Optional English fonts can also be used to bring the number of type styles to a maximum of 13. This model uses a 32 x 32 dot thermal printer and features sophisticated graphics and editing functions. It appears to be quite similar to the Sanyo SW-3400.

Minolta expects for the time being to sell 300 units a month of these two models of word processors. Annual sales for the first year are expected to amount to about ¥5,000,000,000 (about $20,576,000)

Following after Canon and Ricoh, Minolta will be Japan's third camera manufacturer to begin selling word processors. (Nikkei sangyō shimbun, Nikkan kōgyō shimbun, Dempa shimbun, September 20, 1983)

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The karaoke phenomenon (see No. 3, p. 6; No. 5, p. 15; No. 6, p. 18) in Japan has now gone beyond a mere boom and has come to be referred to as a "new culture." The "empty orchestra" tapes have been known for years among professional musicians as "music, minus one" (in the U.S. musicians also call such music "canned music"). Around 1972, a snack bar in Kobe installed a machine playing canned music for the customers to sing along with, and around 1976 this type of bar entertainment turned into a boom around Osaka. Then it spread all over the country. Today there are said to be about 600,000 commercial sets installed all over Japan, and 'home karaoke" are now becoming popular. In 1982, 1,200,000 sets were sold for home use, and it is only a matter of time when the rate of dissemination of karaoke sets in Japanese homes will exceed 10% of all households. The karaoke market, including the tapes ("sofuto"), is said to be a ¥200 billion (about $823,045,000) market, according to a survey by Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. (Dempa shimbun, August 16, 1983)

Now attempts are being made to bring karaoke to the U.S. Hal Roach Studios plans to distribute products made by Clarion and Nikkado. Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. plans to begin marketing sets in the fall in conjunction with two U.S. tape software producers, and Victor Company of Japan Ltd. (JVC), Sharp Corp., and Hitachi, Ltd. are also said to be planning to market their products in the U.S. The Japanese manufacturers are enthusiastic about the market prospects, but most Americans and Japanese who are familiar with U.S. conditions point to the cultural differences between Japanese and Americans and are somewhat restrained in their predictions about how popular karaoke will be in the U.S. (Dempa shimbun August 26, 1983) The divergence of musical tastes among different sections of the American public is very great, and I would think that such equipment might prove to be more popular in countries with uniform musical tastes, such as perhaps Africa or South America. Specifically, I can't easily envision any way that karaoke could attain popularity among rock fans in the U.S.

The karaoke product to be marketed by Hal Roach Studios will be called "The Singing Machine." It will initially be marketed in five models priced from $300 to $2,000 per unit. A library of 500 specially recorded song tapes has been created, and background scores for ten Broadway shows have been produced for staging these shows with the Singing Machine.

The company appears to be quite sanguine about the prospects, saying that the product has a potential mass public appeal comparable to that of the video tape recorder a few years ago. U.S. markets envisioned by Hal Roach Studios for their Singing Machines include: public places, piano bars, restaurants, fairs, game arcades, waiting areas, lobbies, club cars, cruise ships, retirement homes, educational and remedial institutions, resort and camp facilities, and, of course, homes. The company anticipates sales of $10.7 million during the first full fiscal year, but sales of $100 million are expected by 1988. We will just have to wait and see whether these predictions come true. (The Penny Stock Journal, September 1983)

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The first issue of a new Japanese-language magazine called "Congress & Convention" was published in September. The magazine is to be published four times a year and aims at covering the entire field of information and knowhow about the convention industry. Besides articles devoted to the convention industry, there are features about specific cities of interest to the industry (the first issue features Singapore and Kyoto) as well as calendars of future conventions to be held in Japan and overseas. The magazine is published by Kokusai Kaigi Jimukyoku, 03-272-8011. Each issue costs ¥800 and has about 140 pages.

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JETRO is now compiling the 1984–85 edition of its JAPAN TRADE DIRECTORY, which has been published annually since 1982. The 84–85 edition is scheduled to come out in March, 1984.

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Kodansha is now in the midst of production work on its 9-volume Kodansha Encyclopedia of Japan which will go on sale on November 24. (See No. 3, p. 4–5.) The set will be sold for ¥130,000 in Japan. More than ¥3 billion (some $12,346,000 at a recent exchange rate) is said to have been spent on this encyclopedia. Here is an article about the encyclopedia which I found in the Nihon keizai shimbun of September 11:

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In the last issue I reviewed a Japanese book which claimed that America is currently launching a "patent war" against Japan. Now someone has written a book which claims that Japan is planning to complete by the year 2041 its hundred-year plan for world domination which it began with Pearl Harbor in 1941. The book is called The Other Hundred Years War: Japan's Bid for Supremacy 1941–2041 (Collins, 246 pages, £10.95). Like the character played by David Bowie in the recent movie, the author, an Englishman called Russell Braddon, was taken prisoner in World War II, and believes that the Japanese of today are no different from the Japanese he encountered in his prisoner-of-war camp in Malaya. (If you're curious, the book is reviewed on pp. 97–98 of The Economist, September 17, 1983.)

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The Nikkei sangyō shimbun has announced that it will publish on October 5 a dictionary called Nikkei haiteku jiten. The new dictionary, which will have 448 pages and will cost ¥1,800, will define 2,400 new words from "high tech" fields such as electronics, new materials, and biotechnology.

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The information society as post-industrial society by Yoneji Masuda (see No. 4, p. 9) is now available in its second U.S. printing (March 1983). This is an extensively rewritten English translation of the author's book "Information Economics" originally published in Japanese by Sangyo Noritsu University Press. The U.S. edition ($12.50) is published by World Future Society, 4916 St. Elino Avenue, Bethesda, MD 20814.

Yoneji Masuda is founder and president of the Institute for the Information Society, professor at Aomori University, Executive Director of the Japan Creativity Society, and former Executive Director of the Japan Computer Usage Development Institute and Chief Researcher of the Japan Productivity Center. Mr. Masuda developed "The Plan for an Information Society: Japan's National Goal toward the Year 2000" for the Japanese government.

The "glossary" section at the end of Mr. Masuda's book contains a number of new concepts introduced by Mr. Masuda himself. For instance, "feed-forward" is defined as "control in moving toward a goal, and viewed from the standpoint of the subject of action, it means a controlled development of the current situation to change it to a more desirable situation." (p. 159) "Futurization" is defined as "future actualization; this implies actualizing the future, bringing it into reality. Expressed metaphorically, it means to paint a design on the invisible canvas of the future, and then to actualize the design." (p. 160) "Theological synergism" is "the assertive, dynamic idea that man can live and work together with nature, not by a spirit of resignation that says man can only live within the framework of natural systems; but, not living in hostility to nature, man and nature will work together as one. Put another way, man approaches the universal supra-life, with man and god acting as one." (p. 162)

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An autobiographical article in English entitled "Unknown Japan" by D.L. Philippi appeared in the October, 1983 issue of the magazine Honyaku no sekai (pp. 78-80). The article will not be reprinted in this newsletter but anyone wishing to have a copy can send me a SASE, and I will send you a free xerox copy of it.

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The Hakuhōdō Seikatsu Sōgō Kenkyūjo, a research center operated by Hakuhodo, Inc., the Japanese advertising company, has decided to publish books in English containing the results of the research center's surveys of Japanese attitudes about daily life. One book a year will be published. The first one was recently published and is called Hitonami: Keeping up with the Satos. It has 160 pages and will sell for $150 overseas or for ¥35,000 in Japan. This volume sums up the results of a survey of the attitudes of 2,000 Japanese men and women between ages 20 and 59. The survey was made in September, 1982. Their attitudes about improvement of their living standards were surveyed in connection with 13 items such as clothing, food, housing, work, and play. The report has already been published in Japanese. Hakuhodo believes the English translation will be a useful marketing material for overseas businesses planning to enter the Japanese market.

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Alexander Shkolnik kindly gave me a Soviet-made J-R and R-J dictionary on robots and control systems containing 13,000 terms. The dictionary (271 pages) was published in 1979 by the Moscow publisher Russky Yazyk. The titles in both languages are:

[Scanned Image No. 2]

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Inter Press Co., Ltd., Yamabuki-cho 81-banchi, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 162 sent me a list of their publications, which include a E-J & J-E dictionary of 20,000 military terms (5,200) and a series of 14 technical dictionaries on various subjects. The 14-volume series is available in a boxed set for ¥40,500, or the individual volumes can be purchased separately. The military dictionary is:

[Scanned Image No. 3]

The 14-volume series:

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At a two-day exhibit (October 1–2) of English-language teaching materials at the Tokyo Kōgakuin Gaigo Senmon Gakkō (Takadanobaba), the following special lectures were scheduled to be given:

Tadanobu Tsunoda: "The Uniqueness of the Japanese Brain and Foreign Language" (Oct. 1)

Kiyoshi Hasegawa: "Cultural Translation vs. Literal Translation" (Oct. 2)

(Honyaku no sekai Oct. 1983, p. 94)

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A Japanese government educational white paper says that in 1982 the number of persons obtaining bachelor's degrees in Japanese language studies in American universities was 108 (75 of them women), the number obtaining master's degrees was 14 (8 of them women), and the number obtaining doctor's degrees was 4 (3 of them women). Two foreign Japanologists have recently published books written in Japanese. Here is an article, on this subject which I saw in the September 22 issue of the Nihon keizai shimbun

[Scanned Image No. 6]

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M.I. Murayama of the Documentation Planning Group of The Toin Corporation of Tokyo (see No. 5, pp. 4–5), writes (September 21) to say that "preparation is under way for establishing a small representative office in the Bay area towards the end of this year. Since the project still remains in the test market stage, any input from your own grapevine in the meantime would be highly appreciated." The address is:

The Toin Corporation
2-14-6 Shiba, Minato-ku,
Tokyo 105

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The October, 1983 issue of Kōgyō Eigo (published by Inter Press Co., Ltd.) contained a number of ads by translation agencies seeking to hire translators. The companies placing the ads were. Inter Press (Tokyo), Nippon Gijutsu Boeki Co., Ltd. (Tokyo), Toi Corporation (Tokyo), Intertec Corporation (Tokyo), INC (Osaka), Kokusai Honyaku Insatsu Center (Nagoya), ASI (Nagoya), and JES (Yokohama). I am reproducing the ads in the pages below. I thought they might give you some idea about the current job market for translators in these four Japanese cities — in case you happen to be thinking of going to work in Japan.

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Let me know if any of you turn up information which might be of interest to professionals working in the field, and I will incorporate it in another issue. Keep those tidbits coming in.

September 30, 1983

Donald L. Philippi
715 Tenth Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94118
(415) 752-7735