Friday, October 22, 2021

Unveiling ceremony of the Urdu translation of the story of Genji, the world’s first novel written in Japanese

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Unveiling ceremony of the Urdu translation of the story of Genji, the world's first novel written in Japanese
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The world’s first novel written in Japanese, Genji Mono Gutari, has been translated into Urdu. The 1128-page book was introduced by Consul General of Japan Toshi Kazuo Isomura at the Karachi Press Club.

Researcher Khurram Sohail and Secretary Press Club Rizwan Bhatti, who translated the late Baqir Naqvi’s book into book form, also accompanied the Consul General at the press conference.

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The Consul General of Japan said that this great novel was created in Japanese in the early years of the eleventh century by a female novelist, Morasaki Shikibu.

Unveiling ceremony of the Urdu translation of the story of Genji, the world's first novel written in Japanese

The novel is based on a fictional story and characters, with a detailed map of the lives of the Japanese emperor, his prince ‘Ganji’ and grandson ‘Kauro’. Toshi Kazuo Isomura said that Ganji’s story has left a deep impression on Japanese culture, local and world literature, on the basis of which it is said that classical novel writing in the world originated in Japan.

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The author of this great novel, Morasaki Shekibu, belonged to the elite of the time. The author became associated with the Japanese court, so she was appointed as the queen’s deputy. Their living conditions are not very available.

The Consul General said that according to conservative estimates, the year of his birth was between 973 AD and 978 AD, while the year of his death was between 1014 and 1031 AD. When Morasaki Shikibu wrote a novel about the Japanese genji, Chinese and Japanese were the official languages ​​at the court of the Emperor of Japan.

Not only this, his knowledge of Chinese language was appreciated for his knowledge, literature and scientific pride. The author of this novel had an amazing command of the Chinese language.

According to the Consul General of Japan, the availability of paper at that time was tantamount to gambling, but since the author was associated with the court, it was made possible to supply him with paper, thus writing the first novel in history. In this great novel, the ups and downs of the affairs and feelings of the emperor, government, people and elites of that time can be clearly seen.

This novel has the honor of being the first novel in the world. This story is a day to look at centuries-old customs, lifestyles and family values. According to researcher Khurram Sohail, who continued the work after the death of Baqir Naqvi, the Urdu translator of the novel, the well-known Japanese filmmaker “Akira Kurosawa” also called the novel his favorite book.

Japan’s first Nobel Prize-winning author, Yasunari Kawabata, also mentioned the novel Ganji Monogatari in his keynote address at the Nobel Prize ceremony. Every Japanese citizen reads it in their school curriculum as a student of their time. Genji Monogatari is a great novel based on more than 200,000 sentences. According to a literary tradition, this story contains more than eight hundred poems and stories based on the genre of Japanese poetry. In 1971, Professor Ehtesham Hussain of India wrote a summary of the first few chapters of the novel, but no formal translation was available. According to Toshi Kazuo Isomura, an Urdu translation of the novel has been published for the first time from Pakistan.

This is the first and authentic translation of this novel in Urdu language, which is a matter of pride for all Pakistanis. The novel is published by Raheel Publications in association with the Pakistan-Japan Literature Forum. Its publication also includes the support of Japanese friends. The ambassadors of both the countries have also provided their messages for this book, while the messages of the teachers involved in teaching Urdu language in Japan are also included.

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