1. Nichi-Doku Joint Lecture: “How did the Japanese Language receive the Western Literature in the Meiji Period? Looking at “Max und Moritz” and its Latin transliterated Japanese Version “Wampaku monogatari” (12/20 – Kyoto)

On December 20, 2016, the first Nichi-Doku Joint Lecture about “how the Japanese language received Western literature” was held at the Yoshida International Exchange Hall, Kyoto University. Over 20 people, including German exchange students and students from Kyoto University intending to go to Germany, were participating in this event.

This lecture is the first of a series of Nichi-Doku Joint Lectures, which is organized by Kyoto University European Center and Heidelberg University Office Kyoto in order to develop and deepen the academic exchange. It was held by Judit Árokay (Center for East Asian Studies, Institute for Japanese Studies, Heidelberg University) supplemented by a commentary by Irina Holca (Institute for Research in Humanities, Kyoto University).

Following the welcome address by Prof. Inami Ryōichi (Head of the Kyoto University Research Centre for the Cultural Sciences), Prof. Árokay lectured on the process of the transition of Western literature in Japan at the beginning of the Meiji period. As an example, she presented “Max & Moritz”, a picture book well known amongst children and young people, authored by Wilhelm Bush in 1865 and translated in 1887/8. Focusing on the peculiar Latin transliteration (romaji) of the Japanese version, she explained different translations and adaptions, which appeared in this period. Prof. Irina Holca presented her research on translated literature in Meiji period, which is her area of expertise, and elucidated the topic from the viewpoint of intercultural exchange in Japan.  After the closing address by Prof. Hirata Shoji (Graduate School of Letters) Heidelberg University Office Kyoto provided a reception.

The Kyoto University European Center and Heidelberg University Office Kyoto intent to further support the mutual exchange of German-Japanese researchers in the future.

The program and profiles of the lecturers can be found here (Japanese only).


Prof. Árokay lecturing on “Wampaku monogatari” Prof. Irina Holca presenting her research