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Purloined LettersCultural Borrowing and Japanese Crime Literature, 1868-1937$
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Mark Silver

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780824831882

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824831882.001.0001

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Borrowing the Detective Novel

Borrowing the Detective Novel

Kuroiwa Ruikō and the Uses of Translation

(p.58) 3 Borrowing the Detective Novel
Purloined Letters

Mark Silver

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter examines early Japanese translations of foreign detective novels, with particular emphasis on the works of Kuroiwa Ruikō. Pirating most of his material, Ruikō published dozens of serialized translations and adaptations of American, French, and English detective novels in his newspaper Yorozu chōhō (Morning Report for the Masses). This chapter first provides an overview of Ruikō's career, along with his translation methods and aims, before discussing three of his works: Émile Gaboriau's L'affaire Lerouge (Man or Devil?, 1888), Hito no un (People's Luck, 1894), and Les suites d'un duel (Consequences of a Duel). It also considers Ruikō's coverage of the scandal known as the Sōma Affair. Finally, it highlights the complexity of Ruikō's acts of cultural borrowing.

Keywords:   translation, detective novel, Kuroiwa Ruikō, adaptation, Yorozu chōhō, Man or Devil, People's Luck, Sōma Affair, cultural borrowing

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