Monday, December 12, 2011
ainu yukar to be published in tomo anthology
TOMO, an anthology of short stories with particular relevance to teens, will be released this coming March from Stone Bridge Press. Its aim is to bring Japanese stories to readers worldwide, and in doing so, to help support young people affected or displaced by the March 11, 2011 Japan earthquake and tsunami. Proceeds from the sales of this book will go directly toward long-term relief efforts for teens in northeast Japan, the area most affected by the disasters.
My translation of the Ainu folktale, "Where the Silver Droplets Fall," accompanied by two simple etegami-style drawings, is included in this book. As one of the contributors to the anthology, I was interviewed on the TOMO blog. In the interview, I share a bit of my personal background and what led to my becoming a translator of Ainu folklore. But more importantly, it gives a glimpse into the life of Chiri Yukie, an Ainu teenager who struggled to value herself and her cultural heritage, at a time when both were despised by mainstream society. By the time she died of heart failure at the tender age of nineteen, she had become a forerunner of a movement to save her people's oral tradition from oblivion. Click here to read the interview.