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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter 2018

The First Japanese Translation of Daphnis & Chloe

Saiichiro Nakatani


This paper examines the virtually unknown first Japanese translation of Longus’ Daphnis and Chloe by Gen’ichi Yanome (1925), and reveals the historical, social, cultural, and economic contexts in which Longus was read in Japan before World War II. Yanome translates Charles Zévort’s French version, but sometimes borrows Paul-Louis Courier’s expression to polish his Japanese version. The most distinctive feature of this translation is fuseji or symbols used to replace censored words. Strongly affected by the morality of the time, the passages regarded as obscene are mutilated by the publisher’s self-censorship. Yanome himself, however, does not see Daphnis and Chloe as pornographic, but as amorous and witty.

© 2017 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Munich/Boston