Even though physical travel between Tokyo and Stratford-upon-Avon is not as convenient as it might be at present, the Shakespeare Institute's continuing research collaboration with Waseda University in Tokyo, Japan's premier university in Shakespeare studies, has this week passed two milestones.
One is the announcement of the first major scholarly publication to arise from the collaboration, Reimagining Shakespeare in Contemporary Japan: A Selection of Japanese Theatrical Adaptations of Shakespeare, edited by Tetsuhito Motoyama of Waseda, Institute graduate Dr Rosalind Fielding (currently working as a translator for Yukio Ninagawa's old company, Saitama Arts), and Fumiaki Konno (Meiji University). This book makes available three significant recent Japanese reinterpretations of Shakespeare in English for the first time. They are The Three Daughters of Lear, Hamlet x Shibuya, and The New Romeo and Juliet . Accompanied by an extensive critical and contextualising introduction, the book is published by bloomsbury and is now available to pre-order.
The other milestone is the appointment to the Institute, as a Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellow, of Dr Jessica Chiba, formerly of Royal Holloway, who for the next three years will be studying the translatability and untranslatability of Shakespeare's philosophical concepts between English and Japanese. Dr Chiba was a participant at the Institute's most recent joint symposium with Waseda, in early March, and she looks forward to pursuing her research in both Stratford and Tokyo.