Re: Open Letter in Support of Historians in Japan

Janet Goodwin Discussion

Crosspost from H-Asia


From:  Alex Dudden


Many have written in support of the "Open Letter" yet have expressed frustration in not having been included. No exclusivity was intended. Rather, the organizers were working word of mouth in an attempt to prevent hacking, etc.

Now that the letter has been sent and received, we would welcome the names of other Japan specialists wishing to join on.

Please send your name and affiliation to Professor Jun Yoo:

Thank you.

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English and Japanese versions of the Open Letter

What position is the open letter taking to Abe's speech to Congress?

I assume that the English text was written first, and then a translation was produced. At the end of paragraph 11, the English text says "We applaud these sentiments..." The Japanese text renders "sentiments" as "kimochi (気持ち)". I understood the English text as meaning support for the values that Abe mentioned, but the Japanese translation seems to me to support Abe's "feelings", his understanding of what he was saying, rather than the values themselves.

Am I talking nonsense here? If so, please ignore me. Otherwise, I think that clarification is needed, especially since if Abe has actually read this, it is likely that he has only read the Japanese version.

Helen Ballhatchet,
Faculty of Economics, Keio University