Japanese translation of George Mackay Brown’s “Vinland” published

Published on Jan 09, 2024

Osamu Yamada, Professor Emeritus at Dokkyo University and a notable authority on the life and work of George Mackay Brown, has just published a new Japanese translation of GMB’s 1992 novel, Vinland.   Professor Yamada did this as a celebration for his 88th birthday; in Japan people traditionally celebrate a long life specially at the 88th birthday known as “Beiju“. 

Osamu studied in Scotland in the late 1980s and actually met George and his friends Archie and Elizabeth Bevan in Stromness when he visited Orkney.  Archie and Elizabeth helped him when he worked on translating Greenvoe (1972).

At the outset of his new project, Osamu initially couldn’t get in touch with the representatives of copyright management for GMB but thankfully Graham Bevan, Orkney Islands Council’s Convener who knew GMB well as a family friend introduced the person who manages copyright. Yvonne Gray, one the of directors of the George MacKay Brown Fellowship also explained some context of the story for his translation. 

So with the support of many people in Orkney, Osamu finished his work and published his Japanese translation version of Vinland in Japan.  Thanks to Osamu, people in Japan can now feel the atmosphere of Orkney in the Viking age through GMB’s point of view and his great imagination.

Osamu’s book is on sale only inside Japan but if you have Japanese friends, it would be a good opportunity to introduce GMB’s story to them https://www.choeisha.com/pub/books/20629.html.