Leonard Cohen (& Ira B. Nadel's) books in Japanese

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Goldin
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Leonard Cohen (& Ira B. Nadel's) books in Japanese

Postby Goldin » Thu Jul 16, 2015 2:56 pm

I was just about to publish the following post with the addition of the fact: hey, Japanese is the only one of 30 languages LC is published in (if we don't count Traditional Chinese as another language to simplified Chinese, and if we don't count English - so, one of 32 languages?), with a strange situation: there is an edition of a LC biography, but not a single book written by the Master himself.
But something happened when I was verifying the translation of this (rather funny, if I get it right) title: レナード・コーエン伝
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Re: Leonard Cohen (& Ira B. Nadel's) books in Japanese

Postby Goldin » Thu Jul 16, 2015 2:58 pm

The Japanese edition of Ira B. Nadel's Various Positions (2005). Now we have the cover + some additional info:

レナード・コーエン伝 (Renādo Kōen den)

Tōkyō : Natsume Shobō, 2005
Translated by 大橋 悦子 (Etsuko Ōhashi)
Pages: 398
Hardcover (according to Amazon UK)
ISBN: 978-4860620332

Source 1: Amazon Japan
Source 2: WorldCat

Info about the translator (from Amazon Japan):
Born in Tokyo. Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music School of Graduate Degree. Music Department. Translator and music writer.
We should wait for Doron, but as for now - Google Translate says the title (Renādo Kōen-den) means "Leonard Cohen Den" :D
Various Positions Japan.jpg
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Re: Leonard Cohen (& Ira B. Nadel's) books in Japanese

Postby Goldin » Thu Jul 16, 2015 3:08 pm

This is a card from the catalogue of Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, well-known among the Cohenites ;-)
http://search.library.utoronto.ca/details?6469390
Daichi no yakumi ire /
Renādo Kōen ; Kawamura Motohiko yaku.
imprint: Tōkyō : JCA, 1978.
description: 74 p. ; 29 x 14 cm.
format: Book

Holdings
Thomas Fisher Rare Book Rare Book canlit .C36 S65J36 1978 f

author: Cohen, Leonard, 1934-
added author: Kawamura, Motohiko, 1953-
title: Daichi no yakumi ire / Renādo Kōen ; Kawamura Motohiko yaku.
uniform title: Spice-box of earth. Japanese. 1978
series title: Renādo Kōen senshishū ; 2
imprint: Tōkyō : JCA, 1978.
general note: Translation of: The spice-box of earth.
local note: Fisher copy 1: In original paper covers.
catalogue key: 6469390
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Re: Leonard Cohen (& Ira B. Nadel's) books in Japanese

Postby Goldin » Thu Jul 16, 2015 3:17 pm

According to the Files, there are not that many published translations of The Spice-Box of Earth:

Finnish, 1974
Spanish, 1999
Italian, 2010

Japanese, 1978

http://www.leonardcohenfiles.com/lcbook2g.html

I need to check my calculations (later), but that makes Japanese chronologically the 10th language LC has been translated to (in the line of about 30 languages)!
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Re: Leonard Cohen (& Ira B. Nadel's) books in Japanese

Postby DBCohen » Thu Jul 16, 2015 4:01 pm

"Den" means biography... Thanks Goldin for all your work.
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Re: Leonard Cohen (& Ira B. Nadel's) books in Japanese

Postby DBCohen » Thu Jul 16, 2015 4:16 pm

By the way, to every LC record issued in Japan (and I believe it means all of them) a booklet is added with the translation of all the songs into Japanese... I wonder if they do that in any other country.
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Re: Leonard Cohen (& Ira B. Nadel's) books in Japanese

Postby DBCohen » Thu Jul 16, 2015 5:13 pm

It seems there are at least two other LC books translated into Japanese:

Let Us Compare Mythologies - 「神話を生きる―レナード・コーエン詩集1 」諏訪優翻訳(1977/11)(JCA); the title in Japanese: shinwa o ikiru, also indicating that it is Leonard Cohen's poems collection 1 (the translation of The Spice Box of Earth is indicated as poems collection 2). The translator was Yu Suwa, a prolific poet and translator. The translator of The Spice Box of Earth was someone else, Motohiko Kawamura.

Then there is what seems to be a translation of Beautiful Losers, but I can't believe the title: 「「歎きの壁」 (1970年) (現代の世界文学) 大沢正佳翻訳(集英社); the transliteration is naki no kabe, which means "[the] wailing wall"... If I get my hands on it, I'll make sure.
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Re: Leonard Cohen (& Ira B. Nadel's) books in Japanese

Postby Goldin » Thu Jul 16, 2015 9:31 pm

Thanks a lot, Doron!

That's funny, because Ive found these Japanese editions right before I strictly had to go :lol:
Will make a webpage to summarize all the findings - tonight or tomorrow.

Yes, it would be so great to find these books in a public library - in Japan, or Canada, or somewhere else (sorry, definitely not in Russia) - just to have covers for the Files.
I'll try to google intensively later, but I'm not sure in success.
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Re: Leonard Cohen (& Ira B. Nadel's) books in Japanese

Postby Goldin » Thu Jul 16, 2015 11:14 pm

Here we go - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Curr ... n/LC_Japan

The absent columns:
Japanese title (it's all Greek to me)
Hardcover/Paperback
Last edited by Goldin on Thu Jul 16, 2015 11:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Leonard Cohen (& Ira B. Nadel's) books in Japanese

Postby Goldin » Thu Jul 16, 2015 11:27 pm

Bingo!

That must be the very first Leonard Cohen book published in a foreign language, together with the Swedish edition of The Favourite Game!
Beautiful Losers Japan 1.jpg
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Re: Leonard Cohen (& Ira B. Nadel's) books in Japanese

Postby Goldin » Fri Jul 17, 2015 2:25 am

http://webcatplus.nii.ac.jp/webcatplus/ ... 04755.html - three editions listed for 1977-1978, instead of two.

Judging from the number of pages, this one is "new" for us (well, they all are old for the section News, and new to us; so this is the newest so far :lol: ):
http://webcatplus.nii.ac.jp/webcatplus/ ... 04015.html
神話を生きる ("Live the myth" ;-) ) - 62 p. - Feb 1978

Finally tonight:
Japan 2-1.jpg
Japan 2-2.jpg
Taken from the Internet auction:
LEONARD COHEN関連の中古本を2冊組にて。
「歎きの壁」レナード・コーエン著、集英社(税抜き\1200)
1996.6.4 第5刷発行

「レナード・コーエン伝」イラ・ブルース・ナデル著、夏目書房(税抜き\4500)
2005.2.15 初版第1刷発行
Beautiful Losers (The Wailing Wall)
Shueisha (the same publisher as in 1970)
1996.6.4 issue fifth Printing

Ira B. Nadel's Various Positions
2005.2.15 first edition first printings issue
Last edited by Goldin on Fri Jul 17, 2015 12:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Leonard Cohen (& Ira B. Nadel's) books in Japanese

Postby DBCohen » Fri Jul 17, 2015 3:02 am

Roman, you are truly amazing… I’m trying to get some of those books from libraries here, but you’ve already found photos (including a second edition of Beautiful Losers!).

As for your Wiki list, the full titles for the second and third items would be:

Shinwa o ikiru - Renādo kōen shishū 1 (translation: “reviving mythology – Leonard Cohen poem collection 1” [there is no plural form in Japanese])

Daichi no yakumi ire - Renādo kōen senshishū 2 (translation: “cruet of earth – Leonard Cohen selected poem collection 2” [there is no article in Japanese either])

If you wish to insert the Japanese titles, they are as follows:

歎きの壁
神話を生きる―レナード・コーエン詩集1
大地の薬味入れ―レナード・コーエン選詩集2

Japanese books are always published in hard cover first (and usually in soft cover later).

Keep up the good work!
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Re: Leonard Cohen (& Ira B. Nadel's) books in Japanese

Postby Goldin » Fri Jul 17, 2015 12:28 pm

Thank you, Doron!

Good luck to you in finding the actual books :)

I've used all my tricks in googling, so now I'm going to check something, and if it appears to be ok, we'll have the right to talk about more than 30 languages.
And after that - back to where I've started this mental journey to the Land of the Rising Sun and Early Translations - back to catalogization of my PDF collection.
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Re: Leonard Cohen (& Ira B. Nadel's) books in Japanese

Postby jarkko » Sat Jul 25, 2015 8:45 pm

Big thank-yous to Roman and Doron!
I have now added those two Japanese editions to our Book Gallery but we're still missing many editions - any help the Forum members could provide would be greatly appreciated.

These two editions are now at http://www.leonardcohenfiles.com/lcbook5gb.html
This page shows the non-English editions of B. Losers between the years 1963 and 1999.
Index to all Book Gallery pages is at at http://www.leonardcohenfiles.com/cg-front.html


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Re: Leonard Cohen (& Ira B. Nadel's) books in Japanese

Postby DBCohen » Sun Jul 26, 2015 6:23 am

Of the three Japanese translations mentioned above, I was able so far to locate only the paperback edition of the translation of Beautiful Losers, published 1980. The book was originally published in hardcover in 1970 by Shueisha in Tokyo, in a series of translations titled “Contemporary World Literature”. Other authors published in that series include Alan Sillitoe (10 volumes!), Philip Roth (9), Günter Grass (6), Iris Murdoch (4), Claude Mauriac (3) and several others. The focus was on British, American and French literature, but there were also some translations from Italian, Spanish and German, and perhaps 4 volumes translated from Russian, including an early translation of Bulgakov’s Master and Margareta. So LC was in very good company.

The translator, Masayoshi Ōsawa (born 1928 and perhaps still alive), was a professor at Chuo University in Tokyo, and an expert on James Joyce. He published several scholarly books and translations from English; in Japan, unlike most other places I’m familiar with, it is common for university professors to publish translations as part of their academic record. As is also common in Japan, Ōsawa appended a long afterword to his translation (written April 1970), which is very informative and interesting on several accounts.

Ōsawa opens his afterword with the title of the film Ladies and Gentlemen… Mr. Leonard Cohen, explaining correctly that it was supposed to include four contemporary Canadian poets, but eventually focused on LC alone. He then goes on to give a basic biography (without mentioning LC’s Jewishness until later), including life on Hydra and Marianne, describing the poetry books and first novel one by one, and quoting the “MARITA” poem in English, including the story of how it was written on a Montreal café wall. He then points out the two important choices he made: the transliteration of the name Cohen in Japanese script, and the choice of the book’s title. As for the former, it turns out that Ōsawa is responsible for the unfortunate transliteration which was followed in Japan ever since, namely “ko-en” [コーエン]; he explains that had he followed English pronunciation he should have transcribed it as “kouan” [コウアン] or “koun”, but considering the author’s Jewish origin he preferred “ko-en” (which is strange; I would have preferred “kohen” [コヘン], which is how I transcribe my name, since the “h” is sounded). As for the title, he gives a Japanese translation of “Beautiful Losers”, which he indeed kept in the title of the third part of the book, but says that as the translator he did not find this title satisfying (again, it seems strange to me, but perhaps it has to do with some particularly Japanese sensibilities). He says that the title Nageki no kabe or “[The] Wailing Wall” was suggested by the editorial department of the publisher, and that he adopted it “daringly” due to the book’s “Jewish coloring and the atmosphere reminiscent of Chagall” (p. 318) [it should be mentioned that in Japan Chagall is held in particularly high esteem]. Again, I find it all very strange; if anything, the book has much more Catholic colorings than Jewish ones. Perhaps this owes something to the spirit of the times, a few years after the Six Days War, following which pictures of Jews praying in front of the Wall became rife in world media. Undoubtedly, LC’s first novel, as well as some of his poetry books, are much more distinctly – although not exclusively – Jewish, in his own special way.

Ōsawa then goes on to supply some historical, political, literary and other background to the book, explaining the situation in Canada of the 1960’s and including some LC quotes. He concludes his afterword by telling his readers that after completing his novel LC turned into a “Modern Folk” singer-songwriter. He says that “several episodes typical of Cohen” are told about this change, but since he does not have the “two records issued by Columbia” he will refrain from commenting on that. Still, he concludes with a translation of the first verse of “Bird on the Wire”, “his own song which he sings accompanying himself on the guitar”.

I don’t know anything about the impact this translation had or did not have in Japan; on the one hand, it was issued several more times in paperback in the following decades, but on the other, LC’s first novel was not translated, and later only his first two books of poetry were rendered in Japanese. However, his records were all issued in Japan, with the translation of the lyrics attached. Notwithstanding some of his questionable choices, Ōsawa no doubt did an impressive and pioneering work in researching and translating LC’s novel back in the late 1960’s, apparently ahead of any other translated edition of the book.

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