Read about LM Montgomery's Japanese kimono
in the December 2009 issue of The Shining Scroll.
Looking For Anne film [see
the trailer on our LMM Movie page]
Synopsis: "Looking for Anne" stars Kazuko Yoshiyuki as Anri, a shy
young Japanese woman who has come to P.E.I. on a quest: to find an old soldier who lives at the foot of a lighthouse. Well,
this isn't any old soldier. This man was the lover of her grandmother in the days following the end of WW2, and he was the
one who first gave her a copy of "Anne of Green Gables". With the help of a middle-aged owner of a bed and breakfast, a pair
of Japanese sisters at the B&B, and a retired philosophy professor Anri begins to uncover more about her grandmother's
story, the identity of the old soldier and the true nature of love.
Our friends, Mie &
Eri Muraoka, in Japan have a wonderful web site devoted to their grandmother who translated Anne of Green Gables
into Japanese in 1952.
There were numerous of Anne-related events happening in 2008
in Japan! I was asked to provide a resource on this matter by a journalist from Canwest News Service and I made a brief
list of it:
1) The exhibition entitled "Hanako Muraoka and Akage no An" was held at the International
Institute for Children's Literature in Osaka, Japan between May and July. Because the first translators of Anne of Green Gables is Hanako Muraoka, there is no way to talk about Anne without her. http://www.iiclo.or.jp/03_event/03_exhibition/akagenoan.html
(The cover image of the magazine, "Girl's Book" March 1957).
The nationwide exhibition entitled "Anne of Green Gables: L.M. Montgomery's beloved PEI" was in June 2009.
The display included Magog (from Robert Montgomery), a few pages of manuscript from AoGG, LMM's crazy quilt and
4) Hanako Muraoka's biography "Anne's Cradle" written by her grand-
daughter Eri Muraoka was published in June 2008. The cover image shows Anne & Green Gables: http://item.rakuten.co.jp/book/5683488/
Nowadays, the name of Hanako Muraoka (poet, translator, Children's
writer, radio personality) is popular only because of her translation of the Anne series.
5) A newly revised
edition of Akage no An (translated by Hanako Muraoka, revised by Mie Muraoka who is another grand-daughter
of Hanako's) was published by Shinchosha, Tokyo. In this edition, Mie added the portions that Hanako had omitted to
translate in some unknown reasons.
7) Nippon Hoso Kyokai (NHK) broadcast a special program "Welcome to the
Anne's World" in January 2008. This one show was rebroadcast 2 more times due to popular demand. It includes a letter
by Luella (LM Montgomery's granddaughter)and some photographs of Luella with the letter. You can see the pictures,
and as well as pictures of Luella's. One is of Lover's Lane given to her by LMM and the other is a picture of Luella
as a baby being held by LMM. http://www.flickr.com/photos/complicitytheory/sets/72157603293739689/.
Some of you might find it funny that we actually took these photos in
a sushi bar in Yorkville. Luella's favourite place.
8) NHK also broadcast a three-month long (from April to June) English conversation
program "The journey to Akage no An". I heard that the textbook
of this program has sold more than 130,000 copies so far. That figure is incredible! Anne is not only a gateway to
learn PEI but also to learn English to Japanese audience. The staff visited PEI last summer. Here is an article about
them in the Guardian ("Japanese film crew tapes Anne
program on P.E.I." ): http://www.theguardian.pe.ca/index.cfm?sid=48277&sc=98
There were many other Anne-related things happening in Japan: smaller production size of musicals, another exhibitions
of Anne and many other publications. A scholarly book on Anne to which I contributed will be published soon.
A short biography of L.M. Montgomery for Juvenile readers by Miki Okuda was published in March 2008. And the Nippon Animation
Co., LTD sells a boxed set of DVD entitled, 'Akage no An: the DVD Memorial Box'. http://www.akageno-anne.jp/home.html
The first translator of AOGG into Japanese is Hanako Muraoka (1893-1968).
Muraoka once worked for a publisher Kyobunkan in Tokyo which was originally established by Methodist missionaries
from the USA, in 1885. This is the place Muraoka first met Canadian missionary Miss Loretta L. Shaw. In 1939, before
leaving Japan due to the WWII, Shaw gave a copy of Anne of Green Gables to Muraoka as a keepsake. Kyobunkan
had special events in order to celebrate Hanako's work & Anne's 100th anniversary.
June 21 - July 16. "Akage
no An and the work of Hanako Muraoka" at Nalnia Hall, Kyobunkan, in Tokyo. This exhibition focused on Muraoka's
work and displayed books translated by her, including L.M. Montgomery, Louisa May Alcott, Eleanor Porter and more.
Along with these books, photographs of PEI taken by well known photographer Kazutoshi Yoshimura were displayed.
29. 2-3 p.m. Eri Muraoka Gallery Talk at Narnia Hall, Kyobunkan. Eri is Hanako's grand-daughter who recently published a biography
of Hanako. Her talk is entitled (loosely translated) "The very first Akage no An: a promise to
Miss Shaw, editor of Kyobunkan".