Heaven’s Wind: Translation of Japanese Poetry and Prose

Monday 27 November
The Hostry, Norwich Cathedral
6 - 7.30pm
Free entry - booking essential

Join us at The Hostry at Norwich Cathedral for a fascinating discussion on translating Japanese poetry and prose, featuring award-winning translators Peter MacMillan and Angus Turvill.

One Hundred Poets, One Poem Each (translated by Peter MacMillan) is a prize-winning translation of Hyakunin Isshu, the famous collection of one hundred Japanese classical poems, which has been adapted into a popular card game traditionally played during the Japanese New Year. 

Heaven’s Wind (edited by Angus Turvill) is a superb collection of stories by five of Japan’s leading contemporary writers, presented in parallel-text format. The name ‘Amatsukaze’ (‘Heaven’s Wind’) actually comes from a poem in the Hyakunin Isshu that Peter has translated.

The evening will feature presentations by each author and a panel discussion, followed by a drinks reception at which some of the speakers' previous publications will be available to purchase.

Free entry - booking is essential.

Organised by the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures, the School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing at UEA, the British Centre for Literary Translation and Writers’ Centre Norwich.


About the authors

Peter MacMillan is a prize-winning translator, scholar, poet, and artist. MacMillan teaches at The University of Tokyo. A citizen of both Ireland and Britain, he has lived in Japan for some thirty years and strives to be a bridge between Japan and the world and between Ireland and the U.K. Under the artist name of Seisai, he has exhibited widely, including prints and tea boxes, and created a series of prints called ‘The Thirty-Six New Views of Mount Fuji.’ He recently completed an English translation of Tales of Ise (Ise Monogatari), published by Penguin in 2016. He has also published a collection of poetry, Admiring Fields. MacMillan serves as a Councillor of the National Federation of UNESCO Associations in Japan.

One Hundred Poets, One Poem Each: A Treasury of Classical Japanese Verse

A prize-winning translation of the most widely known and popular collection of Japanese poetry. Hyakunin Isshu is the most famous collection of classical Japanese poetry, and the first work of Japanese literature ever to be translated into English. Compiled in the fourteenth century, the book is a collection of one hundred waka poems (a precursor of haiku), dating back to the seventh century. It's had a huge influence on Japanese culture ever since it was first published, and is considered one of the three most important works of Japanese classical literature along with The Tale of Genji and Tales of Ise.  The new translation will be published by Penguin in May 2018.


Angus Turvill is an award-winning translator of Japanese. His work includes Tales from a Mountain Cave by the great humourist and anti-militarist Hisashi Inoue, The Art of Discarding by Japan’s original decluttering guru Nagisa Tatsumi, the sell-out Girl who is Getting Married by 2017 Norwich writer-in-residence Aoko Matsuda, and Lion Cross Point by 2015 Akutagawa Prize-winner Masatsugu Ono.

Heaven’s Wind is a superb collection of stories by five of Japan’s leading contemporary authors.

The Otter by Kuniko Mukoda – Naoki Prize Winner 1980
Ball by Natsuko Kuroda – Akutagawa Prize Winner 2012
Summer Blanket by Kaori Ekuni – Naoki Prize Winner 2004
The Child over There by Mitsuyo Kakuta – Naoki Prize Winner 2005
Planting by Aoko Matsuda – Nominated for Yukio Mishima Prize 2013


Presented in parallel-text format with award-winning translations and a commentary by Angus Turvill. 

Top image: (c) Peter MacMillan; cannot be reproduced without permission. Emperor Tenchi and Empress Jito, from a collection of 100 poets' portraits by the artist Yasushi Yokoiyama.