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Two of Japan’s most famous authors Ryunosuke Akutagawa and Yukio Mishima translated ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’ into Japanese

[UPDATED: 11-25-2020]

Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, published in English in 1865, has been translated into Japanese more times than any other language, and two of Japan’s most famous authors; Ryunosuke Akutagawa (1892-1927), after whom one of Japan’s most prestigious literary prizes is named; and Japan’s most notorious author Yukio Mishima (1925-1970), have translated the story into Japanese.

Akutagawa’s translation of Lewis’s story was published in 1927. It was a collaborative effort with others and had the Japanese title Arisu Monogatari; and Mishima’s translation was published in 1952, with illustrations by Goro Kumada  (1911-2009), with the title Fushiginokuni Arisu

Rendering and adapting Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland into brilliant and readable Japanese, that reflects the nuances of the original story, is a rabbit hole of a challenge that many have tried and continue to try, since at least 1895, not just these two famous and highly regarded authors.

Two of Japan’s most famous authors Ryunosuke Akutagawa and Yukio Mishima translated ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’ into Japanese Posted by Richard Nathan