[KineJapan] Toda Natsuko's story

Roger Macy macyroger at yahoo.co.uk
Sun Jul 5 04:08:09 EDT 2020

Can I just clear up a point ?

Although Jonathan mentions “talk in Osaka last month”, the date,at the bottom of the piece is 1999.  Thatseems worth saying in relation to Markus’ point about not mentioning hercollaborations “in recent decades”.

But thanks, Jonathan – it is an interesting, lively and informative read.And it’s in english, in case anyone (like me initially) thought they hadn’t gotthe time to follow the link.

kind regards,


    On Saturday, 4 July 2020, 23:53:33 BST, Markus Nornes via KineJapan <kinejapan at mailman.yale.edu> wrote:  
 The gender thread in her story is really interesting and impressive. I suspect that a majority of subtitles in Japan are now women. Toda paved the way. 
Interesting that she calls it a solitary job. I’ve heard from many people that in recent decades, she has an uncredited staff that help keep volume up. Wish she talked more about that. 
Toda always talks And writes about Tom Cruise and Harrison Ford. I always cynically felt she was milking their cultural capital, but here she does seem quite star struck. 
I’ve seen her interpret for Hollywood types, and she was both accurate and appropriately festive in affect for the occasion and the shiny stars. She made it fun. 
But her subtitles are something else again. It’s interesting she mentions the “philosophical “ Thin Red Line, as I’ve written an analysis of her translation of that film. It’s precisely the philosophical side that she excises, transforming a contemplation on war into a dumb Hollywood blockbuster. It was quite disheartening, as I adore Malick’s film. 
The link at the bottom is also interesting. 
On Sat, Jul 4, 2020 at 4:07 PM Jonathan M. Hall via KineJapan <kinejapan at mailman.yale.edu> wrote:

Hello All, 
I enjoyed reading this /rough/ transcription of a talk in Osaka last month by famous Japanese subtitler Toda Natsuko about her career in the world of subtitling. It's a quick read but the glimpse of the early history of subtitling in Japan is interesting, and, through the modesty of her self-history, you can hear Toda's powerful determination to break into a male clique.


By the way, the Society of Writers, Editors, and Translators is a great association. And their very helpful Japan Style Book can be downloaded for free. Follow this link:

Best regards to all,Jonathan

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Markus NornesProfessor of Asian CinemaDepartment of Film, Television and Media, Department of Asian Languages and Cultures, Penny Stamps School of Art & Design
Department of Film, Television and Media6348 North Quad105 S. State StreetAnn Arbor, MI 48109-1285
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