Japanese Literature in Contemporary Hungary

Trends in Translation and the Influence of Haruki Murakami

  • Katalin Dalmi Hiroshima University in Japan
Keywords: Haruki Murakami, Hungary, translation, reception, East Asian literature, Japanese literature


This paper sheds light on the main trends in translation of Japanese literature in contemporary Hungary and theorize the role of Haruki Murakami’s works in making Japanese literature widely recognized. Firstly, the paper gives a general overview on translations of Japanese literature in Hungary in the post-1989 era. I argue that after a decline in translation in the 1990’s, the spread of anime and manga combined with the popularity of Haruki Murakami’s novels generated a growing interest in Japanese literature and culture in Hungary resulting in changed translation strategies. While translations were limited to pieces of the so-called junbungaku (pure literature) in the pre-1989 era, numerous pieces of taishūbungaku (popular literature) have been translated since the 2000’s, attracting a wider range of readers than ever. Based on book reviews from critics and readers published in traditional and social media, the second part of this paper will explore the main platforms of Japanese literature and analyze its reception. I argue that the magical realist setting combined with dialogues on fundamental questions of life create a specific literary mode which satisfy the Western readers’ desire for the exotic Other, ensuring the place of Japanese literature in the Western literary world.



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Author Biography

Katalin Dalmi, Hiroshima University in Japan

Katalin Dalmi is an assistant professor of modern Japanese literature at Hiroshima University in Japan. She holds a Master Degree in Japanese Studies from Karoli Gaspar University of the Reformed Church in Hungary and a PhD Degree in Literature from Hiroshima University. Her research interests mainly focus on Haruki Murakami and magical realism.

How to Cite
Dalmi, K. (2021).  Japanese Literature in Contemporary Hungary: Trends in Translation and the Influence of Haruki Murakami. Archiv orientální, 89(2), 311-337. https://doi.org/10.47979/aror.j.89.2.311-337