Sokendai Review of Cultural and Social Studies


Chinese Translations of Tsurezuregusa
made in both China and Japan


(SOKENDAI (The Graduate University for Advanced Studies),
School of Cultural and Social Studies,
Department of Japanese Literature)

Key words:

Tsurezuregusa, translation, Chinese, Zhou Zuoren, Yu Dafu

According to existing studies, the influence of Chinese classics on Tsurezuregusa is seen not only in expression, but also in its contents and philosophy. In the Edo period, when Tsurezuregusa began to be popular, it was first noted to contain ideas about Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism. The claim was that this book had been strongly influenced by Chinese classical works. This might be one reason why Tsurezuregusa was translated into classical Chinese by Japanese intellectuals during the Edo period. On the other hand, famous Chinese writers, Zhou Zuoren and Yu Dafu, translated some chapters of Tsurezuregusa into Chinese in the 1920’s and 1930’s. After the 1980’s, when there was a boom in making Chinese translations of Japanese classics, five complete translations of Tsurezuregusa were published.

This paper is concerned with the characteristics of and differences between the various translations into Chinese of Tsurezuregusa made by both Japanese and Chinese intellectuals. Through a comparative study of these translations, we can identify differences in understanding Tsurezuregusa between Japan and China, and reappraise elements of influence that Chinese classical works must have had on Tsurezuregusa.