“‘Reimporting’ of Culture and Language: the Case of Japanese Literary Translation” focuses on the cases when “translation” happens twice by the work being “translated back” to the language or culture of origin. This can take various forms which can be analyzed from different perspectives.
The first type (e.g. “Memoirs of a Geisha” by A.Golden, 1997) is when Japan or Japanese culture is described in other languages, and then translated into Japanese. Various translation problems occur only when translated into Japanese, because it would be the reimporting of the culture. The problems and strategies adopted by translators are being studied, with the assumption that the translators are more creative than when translating other types of work.
The second type (e.g. “Shizuko´s daughter” by K.Mori, 1993) is when a Japanese author chooses to write in other languages, and then translated into Japanese. Issues such as identity and the choice of language and the use of “translationese” (both in the original and when translated back into Japanese) could be considered here.
The third type (e.g.“Shishosetsu” by M. Mizumura, 1995) is when the author uses two languages in a work. It is hybrid, rather than translation. However, the needs to express messages in the mixture of two languages, rather than one, could be related to the concept of translatability, as well as the issue of identity and choice of the language.