Group name: Japonica Extravaganza Translation Group

« Translating Japanese literary curiosities and eccentricities in French »

Project display

From 1991 to 1998, the French publisher Picquier released a three-volumes Anthology of Japanese Short Stories. Picquier’s efforts has led to a greater knowledge and better understanding of contemporary Japanese Literature by French-speaking readers. Picquier’s anthology stemmed from the work carried out by a translation group founded in the 1980s and named Kirin after a Tanizaki’s short story. Kirin members, among which many were researchers at Paris Diderot University, held regular work sessions during which they would closely read and try to improve each other’s translations. Through such work sessions they trained themselves as professional translators.

Inspired by the Kirin group, Japonica Extravaganza project members will carry out monthly translation workshop bringing together various scholars and translators. Cécile Sakai and Anne Bayard-Sakai, former members of Kirin, have agreed to take part in the project, thus allowing all members to benefit from their extensive experience in literary translation. The project is adapted to the contemporary context of a greater visibility of Japanese literature in France. Rather than publishing yet another general anthology, the Japonica Extravaganza group chose to work on a specific theme that can renew and extend the vision of Japanese literature in France. The choice fell on the question of eccentricities and extravaganza in modern and contemporary Japanese literature. Among the selected short stories, some were written by well-known writers such as Abe Kôbô, Dazai Osamu, Kawabata Yasunari or Mishima Yukio. Others are the works of authors less-known by the non-specialists, such as Fukazawa Shichirô, Kim Sok-pom/Kin Sekihan, Ôhiro Tatsuhiro, Sakaguchi Ango, Tani Jôji or Yumeno Kyûsaku. All of them embody, formally and/or thematically, a type of literary eccentricity. The Japonica Extravaganza group wishes to publish two anthologies, one on the 1930-1970 period and a second one on the 1970-2010 period.

Scientific action and main goals

Translation workshop

Publication of two anthologies with an introduction, footnotes and critical commentaries

Organization of one or two one-day conference(s) during which members will debate about translations issues connected to their texts and authors

First volume due to be published in Autumn 2024



modern and contemporary Japanese literature translation



Thomas Garcin (Université Paris Cité)
Gérald Peloux (CY Cergy Paris Université)

CRCAO members

Full members
Thomas Garcin (Université Paris Cité)
Cécile Sakai (Université Paris Cité)
Marianne Simon-Oikawa (Université Paris Cité)

Associated members
Gérald Peloux (CY Cergy Paris Université)
Anne Bayard-Sakai (Inalco)

Agathe Tran (Université Paris Cité)
Fumiko Sugie (Independent)

Outside Participants

Antonin Bechler (University of Strasbourg)
Jean-Baptiste Flamin (Professional translator)
Benjamin Giroux (Inalco)
Claude Michel-Lesne (Professional translator)
Guillaume Muller (Bordeaux Montaigne Universitu)
Mayumi Shimosakai (Université d’Orléans)
Miyako Slocombe (Professional translator)
Aki Yoshida (Inalco)