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Night on the Galactic Railroad's Kenji Miyazawa Poem Illustrated, Translated

posted on by Andre Pappas
Oscar nominee Koji Yamamura and American poet Arthur Binard adapt children's poem

Animator Koji Yamamura (Franz Kafka's A Country Doctor, Mt. Head, Babel's Book) and poet Arthur Binard collaborated to illustrate and translate an English version of the children's poem Rain Won't (Ame ni mo Mukezu) by Kenji Miyazawa. The book shipped in Japan last November from Imajinsha.

The translation project took Binard two years to carefully chose his words so the original meaning of the poem would not be lost, but he guided Yamamura's illustrations to portray a world outside the mood of the original poem. Yamamura's drawings, which use aqueous ink and colored pencils, include creatures such as owls and dragonflies that are not mentioned in the source material.

Other adaptations of Miyazawa's works of children's literature include Studio Ghibli's From Up On Poppy Hill, Isao Takahata's Pom Poko, and Night on the Galactic Railroad. Shoji Kawamori (Macross, Escaflowne) adapted Miyazawa's own life into the anime television special Spring and Chaos (Vision of Ihatov: Kenji's Spring).

Yamamura received an Academy Award nod in 2003 for his short "Mt. Head," although he did not win. He remains the only Japanese animator besides Hayao Miyazaki, this year's honoree Shuhei Morita, and Kunio Katō to be nominated for an Oscar.

Source: Japan Daily Press

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