What is Translated: Japanese Literature and other Books in Spain, 1904-2014

Alba Serra-Vilella*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


The translation from Japanese in Spain has not been amply studied from a historical perspective. This study is a contribution to the field in the sense that it offers data about how translation of Japanese books has been conducted in Spain. A wide corpus of translations, from 1904 to 2014, sheds light on the percentage of translations that have been done on literary and other kinds of books, the topics of these books, and the authors most translated in Spain. The observations show that the topics with a higher number of translations (children’s books, martial arts, religion, business and drawing; in that order), coincide with some of the most widespread manifestations of Japanese culture in Spain. These data confirm the hypothesis that the selection of books that are translated in Spain is related to existing cultural images about Japan. Furthermore, they confirm the correla tion between the Spanish literary system and other national and international systems. The results suggest that more attention should be paid to translation of non-literary books as a part of the processes of cultural image making.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)413-430
Number of pages18
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 2021


  • Japanese books
  • Japanese-Spanish translation
  • literature
  • Translation history
  • translation in Spain


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