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Japan Station: A Podcast About Japan by

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Aug 20, 2021

On this episode of the Japan Station podcast, translator Allison Markin Powell talks about translating Japanese fiction.

About Allison Markin Powell

Allison Markin Powell is a literary translator, editor, and publishing consultant. The most recently published book she translated is Black Box: The Memoir That Sparked Japan’s #MeToo Movement (The Feminist Press at CUNY) by Shiori Ito.

Topics Discussed

  • How Allison Markin Powell became a translator of Japanese literature
  • Getting started as a manga translator
  • Translating the book Sensei no Kaban (The Briefcase/Strange Weather in Tokyo) by Kawakami Hiromi
  • What is challenging about being a translator
  • About fighting to be credited as a translator
  • Allison Markin Powell's style of translation
  • A tricky aspect of translating The Nakano Thrift Shop
  • About translating Lady Joker by Takamura Kaoru
  • And much more!

Support on Patreon

If you enjoy Japan Station and want to ensure that we're able to produce more episodes, then please consider becoming a patron on For a minimum pledge of $1 a month you'll get early access to all JapanKyo podcasts, bonus content, and more. And for $3 a month, you'll get access to Japanese Plus Alpha, a podcast produced by me (Tony Vega) that focuses on the Japanese language and all of its fascinating quirks. Also, all pledges get a shout-out on the show and my undying gratitude. Thank you in advance!

Links, Videos, Etc.

To purchase a copy of Black Box: The Memoir That Sparked Japan’s #MeToo Movement, consider using the Amazon affiliate link below. It won't cost you anything extra and it will support the show.

Here are links to other books Allison Markin Powell has translated. These are Amazon affiliate links as well.

To listen to the first part of the conversation with Allison Markin Powell, use the link below.

Don't forget to check out the latest episode of the Ichimon Japan podcast.

If you would like to support the show by picking up some merchandise, make sure to visit

Special Thanks

Opening/Closing song: Oedo Controller (大江戸コントローラー) by Yunomi featuring Toriena (Used with permission from Yunomi) To listen to more of Yunomi's music, check out his Soundcloud page or YouTube channel.

Japan Station cover art: Provided by Erik R.

Featured image: Courtesy of Allison Markin Powell

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Full Show Notes