Corps de l’article

In my previous studies, it is claimed that female characters’ speech tends to be overly feminised in Japanese translations, and the convention has functioned as a mediator of gender ideology in Japanese society. Thus, it is suggested to ‘de-feminise’ their speech as a feminist translation strategy as opposed to the ideologically encouraged convention.

In practice, however, it seems difficult for de-feminising translation to be realised because of the book market, publishers and readers’ expectations. Thus, this paper will explore an actual case which failed in neutralising the female characters’ speech due to the audience or translator’s expectations (or both). To do so, this research takes two steps. First, Effie’s speech in shadow translations and the accepted version of The Yellow Face (Sherlock Holmes 1893/2008, translated by Yu Okubo) will be analysed qualitatively and quantitatively to see how far the shadow translations are neutralised and the accepted version is feminised. The analysis focuses on sentence-final particles which are regarded as the most representative female language use. Second, the translator will be interviewed to explore what happened in the translation process, and how translational norms in the Japanese literary system affected him in practice. Through the investigation, this paper hopes to describe the translational phenomena and norms in Japanese translation from a feminist perspective.