The Life and Translation of a Bilingual Meiji Man: My Great Grandfather Paul M. Kanamori (1857-1945)

Born in Kumamoto in Kyushu in the late Edo Period, Paul Kanamori was one of the first Japanese to receive a liberal arts education in English. Educated at Kumamoto Yogakko (the Kumamoto Western School), he converted to Christianity. Expelled from Kumamoto, he, with other Yogakko students, went to Kyoto in 1876, to become a student at Doshisha English School (now Doshisha University). His life there and his relationship with the founder of the school Joseph Neeshima and Neeshima’s wife Yae, was the subject of last year's NHK Sunday drama series “Yae no Sakura (Yae’s Cherry Blossoms)."

Paul Kanamori was the speaker's mother's mother's father. In this talk, the speaker will first discuss his autobiography. She will then go on to examine his translation, both in the context of the Meiji Era and from the perspective of a professional translator working now, a century later, with focus on the dramatic changes in language and writing style between these two periods.