Metro, treno, partenza, underground

Underground by Murakami

It’s really unusual to start talking about your favorite author chosing an essay and not one of his most famous novels. But Underground is really important, in my opinion, to understand his novels and his poetics in general.

Underground is a collection of interviews about the sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway: in 1995 some members of the religious sect Aum, founded in 1987 by Asahara Shōkō, released sarin inside the subway trains – sarin, a gas invented during WWII by the Germans, a single drop of it can kill a human being. This attack caused thousand of victims and about 12 deaths. The book collects the interviews of the survivors: they tell where they were, how they reacted and how this attack still influences their lives. Among these interviews we  also find the interviews to the members of the Aum, which is actually another book published in Japanese as “約束された場所で―underground 2″, translated as “the place that was promised, underground 2”, quothing An Old Man Awake in his Own Death by Mark Strand.

Continua a leggere “Underground by Murakami”


#Japanese Kanji and Women

Today I’d like to talk about a couple of kanji which are not that friendly to women (even if I have to admit that I laughed the first time I saw them!)

Little Introduction to Kanji

For those of you who are not familiar with Japanese I’ll do a little introduction, without academic purposes: there are two kinds of alphabets in Japanese (even if it would be more appropriate to speak about syllabary), hiragana and katakana. The first one is used for grammatical purposes (particles, conjunctions, adverbs etc) and the second one is used in order to transcribe words coming from a foreign language (but also for onomatopoeia, emphasis and so on) In addiction to these two syllabaries (which are similar to our alphabet, that is to a character corresponds a vowel or a syllable) there is the kanji system. Every kanji charachter has two readings, one called kun, used when the kanji appears alone and one called on, which is the pronunciation of Chinese origin (my teacher always says “the Chinese people said shan but we heard san so today we keep saying san!”) Just one example: 食べる means to eat. 食 is the kanji for eating and food. Here it is pronunced ta because it is used alone as verb. In the word for meal 食事 (shokuji) it is pronunced sho because it is in combination with another kanji. One really gets crazy.

Kanji and 女の人

Actually kanji are used in a very logical way: (ki) is tree; 木本 (two trees, pron. mokuhon) is wood and (three trees, pron. mori) is forest. So here we come to our first kanji:


if women is 女, three women together give us the adjective 姦しい (kashimashii) which means noisy. Really logical indeed.


But let’s keep following this misogynistic track: the word for my wife is 家内 (kanai). If we analyse the two kanji we have house and inside: who’s inside the house? My wife. Continua a leggere “#Japanese Kanji and Women”

Introduzione al fumetto giapponese: elementi di storia, traduzione, adattamento e organizzazione redazionale

Consiglio sull’argomento la lettura di “Manga: 60 anni di fumetto giapponese” di Paul Gravett!

Scuola di traduzione per il fumetto e l'editoria

Il programma delle giornate della Scuola prosegue con la lezione del 14 marzo, tenuta da Andrea Baricordi (Kappa Edizioni, Star Comics).

In Giappone la lettura è un’attività molto diffusa tra la popolazione e l’editoria, compresa quella a fumetti, rappresenta un punto cardine per l’economia del paese, con tirature altissime, oltre a essere stata – storicamente – una forma di collegamento tra parti diverse del paese e della popolazione.

Prima della Seconda Guerra Mondiale il fumetto in Giappone si componeva di vignette satiriche o umoristiche e di qualche raro caso di propaganda bellica, dove tutto si risolveva al massimo in poche pagine.

La svolta del fumetto giapponese moderno è arrivata nell’immediato dopoguerra con Osamu Tezuka, considerato capostipite del manga e delle animazioni giapponesi, che ha conferito le caratteristiche che ancora oggi contraddistinguono gran parte di queste produzioni.

Con Shin Takarajima, inizialmente pubblicato a puntate su una rivista per…

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Contradiction, Japanese, Origin, Explanation

Japanese#1 The origin of Contradiction (矛盾)

Hello! This is the first article (hopefully of a series) about a language I really love: Japanese. I started learning it years ago (but only for 6 months) during my Erasmus in Cardiff, but then I had to stop for the lack of time (and possibility, Japanese is not taught everywhere in Italy, well maybe not at that time). In April I found a course at the Language Institute of Leipzig University and I decided to start learning it again and here I am, writing about what fascinates me about this language. Continua a leggere “Japanese#1 The origin of Contradiction (矛盾)”