enpaku 早稲田大学演劇博物館

Act 1

Kazuko Matsuoka and Her Translation of Shakespeare’s Plays

Act 1 Before the completion of Matsuoka’s translations

   Act 1 introduces Ms. Matsuoka’s translation process through translation notes, translation manuscripts, galleys, performance scripts, the Chikuma Bunko edition. Ms. Matsuoka sometimes stayed in her study from morning to night, working on translating Shakespeare’s plays. It takes about half a year to finish translating one Shakespeare play in line with its performance. She reads the original text and notes for each of Shakespeare’s texts that can be obtained. She translates a few lines a day, step by step, using the Shakespeare Concordance, Reverse Lookup Kojien (Japanese dictionary), and English Pronunciation Dictionary of Proper Nouns as references. When she was translating novels, critiques, and contemporary plays, she used to write by hand, but now, she uses a computer. Texts that are difficult are first handwritten on a scrap of paper, initially as is. If there are inversions, they are placed in order, over and over again. Ms. Matsuoka says, ‘Shakespeare also wrote by hand with a quill pen dipped in ink. Thoughts flow from the brain to the hand, so I was thinking maybe I could trace Shakespeare’s thoughts by handwriting.’ In the process of translating Shakespeare’s plays, it seems that handwriting cannot be omitted. The manuscript is handed over to the editor in charge, and when the galley is printed, the editor and proof-reader reread it and make corrections. The order of the publication of Chikuma Bunko, the publication of Chikuma Bunko’s translation, and the completion of the performance script of the Sai no Kuni Shakespeare series seems to vary from time to time. Please enjoy the sense of being confronted with Shakespeare’s words in the study together with Ms. Matsuoka.