Mar 16, 2023
The special prize of the 39th Masayoshi Ohira Memorial Prize was awarded to the translation Arthur Reid's A History of Southeast Asia: Critical Crossroads (Volume 2, Nagoya University Press, 2021), which was translated with the help of Associate Professor Takashi Hasuda of the College of Asia Pacific Studies. This award was given by the Masayoshi Ohira Memorial Foundation, a public interest incorporated foundation, for outstanding publications in politics, economics, culture, science and technology that contribute to the promotion and dissemination of ideas for the Pacific Rim Solidarity Initiative, which forms an important part of Japanese diplomacy. The translation was selected for the special award this time, and the achievement of the translation was highly evaluated. The award ceremony will be held in Tokyo on June 12th.
Associate Professor Hasuda’s comment:
The original work by this great researcher of Southeast Asian history is a splendid one that describes Southeast Asia from ancient times to the present with a consistent perspective, and that pays sufficient attention to the diversity of Southeast Asia. Unusually, the translation itself was awarded the Ohira Masayoshi Memorial Prize and I am very happy because translations are often not evaluated as academic achievements.
Southeast Asia is an important presence for Japan, but there are many instances when the region is understood separately based on present-day countries, such as Thailand and Vietnam. However, that understanding is not enough to respond to exchanges between regions or globalization. It is necessary to correctly recognize both historical continuity and discontinuity from before the division into modern borders as basic knowledge. People who are actually in the field of business and diplomacy may use English and the local language in their specialized fields, but they often do not have enough background knowledge. One of the roles of translation is to provide in Japanese high-quality information backed by specialized knowledge to such people.
The original work has also been published in Chinese translations in mainland China and Taiwan. It would be interesting to compare the four versions along with our translations. How did they translate the various predicates and sentence expressions that we struggled with?
Information on Associate Professor Takashi Hasuda's research can also be found on the faculty database.