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Centenary Events in Japan

The following information is provided to us by Yuka Kajihara, who invites interested persons to contact her directly.

Whether you are aware or not, there are numerous of Anne-related events happening in Japan! Recently 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:

  • The exhibition entitled “Hanako Muraoka and Akage no An” is held at 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.
  • The nationwide exhibition entitled “Anne of Green Gables: L.M. Montgomery’s beloved PEI” starts in June until next June 2009. The display includes Magog (from Robert Montgomery), a few pages of manuscript from AoGG, LMM’s crazy quilt and more.
  • Embassy of Canada in Tokyo supports some of the events on “Anne,” such as Gekidan Shiki’s musical Anne of Green Gables:
  • Hanako Muraoka’s biography Anne’s Cradle written by her grand-daughter Eri Muraoka is published in June 2008. Nowadays, the name of Hanako Muraoka (poet, translator, Children’s writer, radio personality) is popular only because of her translation of the Anne series.
  • In celebrating 100th anniversary of Anne, newly revised edition of Akage no An (translated by Hanako Muraoka, revised by Mie Muraoka who is another grand-daughter of Hanako’s) is published by Shinchosha, Tokyo. In this edition, Mie added the portions that Hanako had omitted to translate in some unknown reasons.
  • Budge Wilson’s Before Green Gables is translated/published by Shinchosha in June. The Japanese title is Hello Anne.
  • Nippon Hoso Kyokai (NHK) broadcast a special program “Welcome to the Anne’s World” in January. This one show was rebroadcast 2 more times due to popular demand. It includes a letter by Luella and some photographs of Luella with the letter that Jason took. 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. See Some of you might find it funny that we actually took these photos in a sushi bar in Yorkville. Luella’s favourite place.
  • NHK also broadcast a tree-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.
  • There are 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. And the Nippon Animation Co., LTD sells a boxed set of DVD entitled, “Akage no An: the DVD Memorial Box.”
  • As you probably already know, 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 is now having special events in order to celebrate Hanako’s work & Anne’s 100th anniversary.
  • June 21–July 16. “Akage no An This exhibition is focusing on Muraoka’s work and displays 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 are displayed. and the work of Hanako Muraoka” at Nalnia Hall, Kyobunkan, in Tokyo.
  • June 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.”