Jun 27, 2012

Chapter14: Old Mombi indulges in Witchcraft

Ms. Takako Sato's translations are really great. She even translated Woggle-Bug's word play well. In this chapter, Woggle-Bug said to the Saw Horse, who had broken his leg, "Horses are useless if they aren't broken with'breaking bones." (In Japanese, "break bones" means "with great effort.") The original line reads, "For a horse is never much use until he has been broken." 
 However, I can't understand why everyone reacted like that to the Woggle-Bug's next joke, the "horse-and-buggy" thing. Was he being annoying? Or lame? Why? 

 In the next scene, they speak "adult English," don't they? They are very indirect. The Scarecrow doesn't usually talk like this, does he? The Tin Woodman hardly ever threatens anyone with his ax. How out of line was Woggle-Bug? (I'm sad that I can't understand just how badly was acting.) 

 Was the sliver whistle the Tin Woodman uses to call the Queen of the Mice the same one that the Wicked Witch of the West used to call the wolves and ravens? Since the author wrote "a silver whistle," not "the sliver whistle," we can't be sure ...but...personally, I think this is the whistle! The Tin Woodman must have found it in the witch's castle! Don't you think so? 

 Since the Queen talks to the mice in the mouse language, none of the Scarecrow's party can understand what she says. I was surprised that mice had their own language, because I thought there was only one language in Oz. People in Oz can talk with any kind of animals and creatures... except mice? 

 Mombi tried her hardest to stop them from returning to the Emerald City. The part where the 40 roads spin around reminded me of the first scene of the fifth Oz book, "The Road to Oz", which Dorothy was lost between the five roads created by Ozma's witchcraft. Maybe she learn the spell by watching Mombi? 

 Mombi's fire spell scared everyone except the Tin Woodman. In this scene, again, they forget the rule of "Nobody dies in Oz." I wonder when the rule will start. 

 Woggle-Bug was totally surprised by the magic. Didn't Professor Nowitall taught anything about magic? Did he only teach the rules of nature? That's strange for someone who lives in Oz. Perhaps, he's from the outer world (our world). :D 

 Here is a quote from the Scarecrow. "All magic is unnatural, and for that reason is to be feared and avoided." It's true. I've never thought why magic scares us. I guess that makes sense. 

 The Queen of the Mice leads them to the Emerald City safely.

Jun 25, 2012

New translation is being released.

There had been only one complete translation of Baum's 14 books into Japanese. It was published by Hayakawa Publishing. Sadly, that version has been out of print for a long time.

At the site Fukkan.com, many people have asked that the whole series be reprinted.

But Hayakawa didn't react at all (at least, as far as I can see). They didn't even do anything in 2000, which was the 100th anniversary of "The Wizard of Oz". I had almost given up hope that they would re-print the Oz books someday.

However, a miracle happened! Fukkan.com decided to reprint the Oz books. No, actually, they are not reprinting. Instead, they are making new translations of the books with new illustrations.

Honestly, I didn't want to buy them because they are much more expensive than the old version. The old ones were small paperbacks, but the new ones are high quality hardcovers. Since I have been used to the old translations and illustrations, which were great, I didn't think I would need the new versions.

Another miracle happened! I accidentally found the twitter account of one of the translators of the new version. I followed her and she followed me back. It aroused my interest in the new version.

I ordered "the Emerald City of Oz", the 6th book, through Amazon.co.jp. Now I have that one.

Since it is very difficult to get the Hayakawa version, though I still love it very much, I hope this new translation becomes our new standard.

Also, in the new version, "Little Wizard Stories of Oz" are being translated for the first time in Japanese. This is great news too!

Jun 23, 2012

Chapter13: A Highly Magnified History

No matter how many times I re-read this chapter, I can't help feeling duped somehow.... 

A magnifying-glass is used for making an object look enlarged, isn't it? At first I imagined something like a loupe, but the object is projected on the screen, so it should be something like a projector. And the projected object was able to run off the screen and stay alive. Let me see. What happened to the original object? Do you have the same question as me?

No, perhaps, it is because I'm judging things by our world's criteria, like a loupe or a projector. Professor Nowitall said "my famous magnifying-glass." It should be something very special. It's in Oz, a fairyland. Maybe it would be something like Doraemon's Gulliver Tunnel;)

Anyway, Woggle-Bug was magnified successfully. We learned here that those bizarre clothes were a gift from the tailor who had his ninth life saved by Woggle-Bug. I see. Hummm...the tailor must have made those clothes from his remnant. It must have been a good chance to clear up his stock, I guess. As you see, that tasteless style....;P

In the previous chapter, though I wrote that the person who should ride on the Saw Horse was the Scarecrow, not Jack, but Jack couldn't walk a long distance because his joints were feeble. I see. His joints has to hold such a big and heavy pumpkin with just tree's barks and branches. Also, his neck doesn't hold his head firmly.

By the way, the Saw Horse has a very bad mouth, doesn't he?

Jun 1, 2012

Chapter12: Mr. H.M. Woggle-Bug, T.E.

General Jinjur knew where the Scarecrow went. She predicted that he visited the Tin Woodman and the Tin Woodman joined them. To compete them, she already called Mombi to help her.

Mombi, who accepted the request easily, came to the Emerald City and immediately started to cast her magic on the Scarecrow and his party. The magic worked well and they were led by the nose.

I've found a new thing here! The Tin Woodman has tin eyelids! How meticulous Ku-Klip's work is! Mr. Ku-Klip, you are such a wonderful artisan.

Unfortunately (or could it be because of Mombi's magic?), the Saw Horse broke his leg by stepping into a rabbit hole.

While the party was sitting around and thinking what to do, a weird creature came up to them. Here is our Mr. Woggle Bug! He is very shrewd to already have his name cards, isn't he?

His clothes are also absolutely unique. I didn't know about what a vest of white duck is"Duck" here means thin canvas fabric. .

The result of searching images of "vest duck" on google. 

And knickerbockers of fawn-colored plush. "Plush"? What is plush? Then, I googled it on the Internet. How convenient the Internet is!


It's soft and fluffy , a kind of velvet, and often used for stuffed animal toys.

So...he wears a casual duck vest underneath a formal swallowtail coat with a silk lining. And knickerbockers of plush. His style is really bizarre, isn't it? He even wears a tall silk hat.

Then, the Scarecrow and his party were enthusiastic to listen Woggle-Bug's life story.

Hey, guys! Are you OK with that? You are on the way back to the Emerald city hastily, aren't you? Do you remember you said "Time is precious just now" in the previous chapter and set off in a hurry?

Well, maybe...that's the Oz spirit.

Woggle-Bug's long story was ready to start.