For three years, Floyd Cheung of Smith College and I have been gathering pieces and building the outline for a new anthology of camp literature commissioned by the publisher of Penguin Classics. On Sunday I presented a preview of our work on translations of Issei writing in camp in Japanese, part of what the late Yuji Ichioka called “our buried past.” This video screen is cued to the start of that discussion:
Preparing for the panel, part of this year’s Tadaima! Virtual Community Pilgrimage. helped me see more deeply into the two translations from the Tule Lake Tessaku magazine that we commissioned from Andrew Leong of UC Berkeley. I also saw how having the acclaimed actor Mako sing a lyric aloud can bring alive the lived experience packed into the few lines of a song, or how visualizing a scene of violence can dramatize the emotion behind the 17 syllables of a haiku written by Violet Kazue de Cristoforo at the Tule Lake Segregation Center.
Thanks to Dakota Russell and Cally Steussy of the Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation for letting us join the party for their own first public preview of translations from their Heart Mountain Bungei project. It was fun to meet two of their translators on the project, Lisa Hofman-Kuroda and Allison Markin Powell. And thanks to Kimiko Marr and her team at Tadaima! for having us all on.