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I wonder if anyone is planning to translate this into English? Maybe it has already been translated?


Via the Guardian:


A 79-year-old tale of rebellion among a fishing boat crew has become an unlikely summer hit among young Japanese people facing economic decline and rising poverty. Sales of Kani Kosen (The Crab Ship) have soared, keeping it at or near the top of bestseller lists since May, an unheard of achievement for such an earnest work.

Written by Takiji Kobayashi in 1929, the novel quickly became Japan's answer to The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, Robert Tressell's critique of capitalism. But Kobayashi paid for his radicalism in 1933 when he was tortured to death by the secret police at the age of 29 (more...)

Readers Comments

  1. Michael Richards Thursday 28 August 2008

    It looks like there was a version available in English from the University of Tokyo Press in the 1970s, but under a slightly different title (The Factory Ship). There are a couple of overpriced copies available via Amazon. There are also a few copies of something called The Cannery Ship available secondhand via AbeBooks. I imagine these are the same story. Hopefully some literary fiction publisher will snap up the rights from the UTP.

  2. I found one book called "Modern Japanese Literature: From 1868 to the Present Day" by Donald Keene [ISBN-10: 0802150950].
    You can see inside at http://www.amazon.com/gp/sitbv3/reader?asin=0802150950&pageID=S09C&checkSum=+fbge2Ue2C42vPFF+G7LavIPpxTxHmhJ9LXibUNNThQ=

  3. The copy I just located of this in a library has the following reference details:

    ' "The Factory Ship" and "The Absentee Landlord" '
    by Takiji Kobayashi, translated by Frank Motofuji, University of Washington Press, Seattle and London, 1973.

  4. Rudolph.A.Furtado Tuesday 03 February 2009

    Have visited Japaneese ports several times between 1987 and 1995 during my shipboard employment as a "Marine engineer" and was impressed by the "Japaneese way of living"..
    Having visited their major ports like Nagoya,Yokohama and Tokyo exposed me to the neatness and discipline of Japaneese way of life as well as the high cost of living in their majot city's.
    Being a "Blogger" and a hobby writer i am astonished to note the success of "The crab Factory", written by Takiji Kobayashi way back in 1929 ,totally out of contrast of the "Economic Giant" of the 1980's and 90's.
    "Economic Apocalypse-08/09" as well as the constant stagnant japaneese economy since 1989 seems to have created a new readership class typical the World over during a recession or economic boom.

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