Translation and celebrity: The translation strategies of Haruki Murakami and their implications for the visibility paradigm

James Hadley, Motoko Akashi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Questions of visibility are of keen interest to translators and students of translation alike. The tendency in many contemporary contexts for translators' roles and efforts to be overshadowed by source authors' are what gave rise to Venuti's hugely famous and popular notion of foreignization, describing a strategy for translators to highlight their own presence through their work. However, even within contemporary cultures, this same tendency to overlook translators is not universal. Japan boasts a number of what might be called “celebrity translators”, who command a substantial presence, and have a palpable effect over a range of the country's text production trends and norms. This article examines the work of Haruki Murakami, who could be called the quintessential celebrity translator. It argues that Murakami's highly idiosyncratic style has come about as a result of his high degree of visibility, rather than the obverse, as the foreignization paradigm would suggest.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)458-474
Number of pages17
JournalPerspectives: Studies in Translatology
Issue number3
Early online date29 Apr 2015
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Haruki Murakami
  • celebrity translators
  • visibility
  • foreignization
  • Japanese
  • fame

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