The Japanese Elements of Finnegans Wake
"Jishin, Kaminari, Kaji, Oyaji"

Eishiro Ito


  Finnegans Wake is a work of fiction which consists of deliberately incorrect misspellings. Unlike Chinese characters or kanji, which express their meanings with symbols, the alphabetical letters express only how to pronounce the words, which enables us to interpret each word of FW infinitely, although we cannot estimate how many meanings Joyce intended for each word.  My aim is to introduce and explore the Japanese elements in Finnegans Wake.

  In fact, there were very few references to Japan or Japanese in Joyce's biographies, but, I presume, there were not a few Japanese things and people around Joyce, especially in his Paris days.  Joyce met at least three Japanese, Yasushi Tanaka, Takaoki Katta and Ken Sato in mid-1920s in Paris, and many of his contemporary writers like W.B. Yeats and Ezra Pound were very interested in Japanese culture.  The three Japanese operas, The Micado, The Geisha, and Madame Butterfly fascinated Joyce, too.

  The first Japanese word in FW is definitely "kaminari" (thunder) which is included in the thunder sound on FW 003.  The most famous Japanese passage is FW 233.29-34.05.  Section II.1 includes many Japanese words, for example, FW 240.01-02, 244.19-45.02.  Section III.3 also contains some Japanese words, as, in FW 484.25-26.  In FW 317.02, St. Patrick becomes a Japanese, "Patriki San Saki," and the Norwegian captain Pukkelsen tosses a curse word in Japanese on a Japanese tailor.  "Patriki San Saki" reappears in the final chapter of the novel, speaking a pidgin Japanese to discuss religious problems with the Archdruid who speaks a pidgin Chinese in a pub in Phoenix Park, Dublin.

  The Japanese language is of course one of the minor languages Joyce used for FW, but in some contexts the Japanese words or elements have greater power than other English-compounded words.

The full version is available in Joycean Japan, No. 15
Copyright 2004 Eishiro Ito

The Japanese Elements of Finnegans Wake

“Jishin, Kaminari, Kaji, Oyaji”

Eishiro Ito



  James Joyce left a list of 40 languages for making his final novel, Finnegans Wake (FW) in The British Library.  It includes Japanese next to Chinese on the list (47488-180: JJA63.343).

  The basic language and sound of FW is definitely English, a language which Joyce hated but never abandoned to the extent that, for example, he abandoned his hometown Dublin.  German and French, Greek and Latin are of course among the group of the dominant languages, as well as Irish and Italian.  What about the minor languages like Japanese?  We, international readers, do have the right to write on FW from various linguistic and cultural perspectives.

   Finnegans Wake is a work of fiction which consists of deliberately incorrect misspellings.  Unlike Chinese characters or “kanji,” which express their meanings with symbols, the alphabetical letters express only how to pronounce the words, which enables us to interpret each word of FW infinitely, although we cannot estimate how many meanings Joyce intended for each word.   This paper aims to introduce and explore the Japanese elements in Finnegans Wake.



 I. Joyce and Japan

During the Edo Period between the early seventeenth and the mid nineteenth century, Japan almost completely shuttered itself from the world.  Since it opened its door to the world in 1853, it was rapidly introduced to the West through the two Paris Exhibitions in the late nineteenth century and some foreign writers and scholars who stayed in Japan.  The Art Nouveau and Arts and Crafts movements both appreciated the East, especially the Japonesque.  Kimonos became popular among Victorian and Edwardian ladies.  The most famous contributor is perhaps Lafcadio Hearn (1850-1904), an Irish Japanese man, known as Yakumo Koizumi among Japanese.  His book Japan: An Interpretation was published by The Macmillan Company, London in 1904 and became a major source for the Britannica, 11th ed. (1911), which Joyce often consulted.  Many of Joyce’s contemporary writers, like W.B.Yeats and Ezra Pound, were very interested in Japanese culture.  It would be no surprise if Joyce was discovered to have had an interest in it.  I presume that Joyce also became interested in Japan through three operas: W.S. Gilbert & Arthur Sullivan's The Mikado (1885), Sydney Jones's The Geisha (1896) and Giacomo Puccini's Madame Butterfly (1904).  It has been pointed out by Don Gifford and Louis O. Mink, etc. that Ulysses and Finnegans Wake contain some allusions and implications to The Mikado and The Geisha.01  FW’'s allusions to Madame Butterfly were found in many parts of the text including the original Italian text and the references to the main casts, Lo zio Bonzo, Cio-Cio-San, Pinkerton and Suzuki as Matthew J.C. Hodgart & Ruth Bauerle point out.02  In addition, the opera’s main setting, “Nagasaki,” appears twice in Finnegans Wake (FW315.22 & FW535.19).  We can see how Joyce was impressed with Madame Butterfly by checking his letters. Joyce liked the opera very much and once called Nora “My dear little Butterfly” in a letter to her in November 1909 (LII, 258).

In fact, there were very few references to Japan or Japanese in Joyce’s biographies, but there were a number of Japanese in Europe, especially in Paris in his time, so it is possible that he met a number of Japanese.  In a letter to Stanislaus in May 1905, Joyce stated that he wrote a summary of English literature for the Japanese: “I am writing (imagine!) a summary of English literature for a Berlitz Book for the Japanese: five or six pages.  The German teacher here is going to Japan” (LII, 89).  The only Japanese figure described as on friendly terms with Joyce by Richard Ellmann in his biography is Yasushi Tanaka (田中 ; 1886-1941), a Japanese painter born in Iwatsuki, Saitama, who was frequently invited with his wife by Joyce to restaurants and bistros in Paris around 1920.  He drew many portraits including Lady Gregory, John Quinn, Robert McAlmon, Sylvia Beach, Ernest & Hadley Hemingway, etc.  He even depicted Nora and Lucia Joyce around 1921.  But Joyce seems to have been far closer to Mrs. Tanaka (Louise Gebhart Cann, American), who wrote an article on Ulysses for the Pacific Review published by the University of Washington.03 

On July 15, 1926, Joyce met Takaoki Katta (勝田 孝興; 1886-1976) born in Matsue, Shimane, a Japanese professor of Yamagata Higher School (now Yamagata University) and delighted him with what Joyce called “the japlatin” (LI, 242).04  Judging from Katta’s notebook and his signature in Joyce’s notebook, he taught Joyce some Japanese words explaining the each meaning of the Kanji or Chinese characters that day: “1.Ame, no, 2.mi 3.naka, 4.nushi, no, 5.mikoto: heaven of middle #### of ____/ “天御中主命,” “1.Ama, 2. terasu 3. oh 4. mi 5. kami/ 1.Heaven, 2.shine, 3.great, 4.honorific, 5.god(dess)/ 天照大御神” (VI.B.12-112-13: JJA31.282).  “Ame no Minaka Nushi no Mikoto” is the Japanese lord of the creation: he is the counterpart of the Indian god “Brahma(n).”  “Amaterasu Oh-mikami” or the Japanese sun-god who is worshipped as the ancestry god of the Japanese royal family, is “the first woman in Japan” as Katta explained Joyce.05  Neither of them, however, appear in the final text.

Three months later, on October 27, 1926, at Joyce’s apartment, Joyce met Ken Sato (佐藤 ; 1886-1960).  Born in Sasaya, Fukushima, Sato was a Japanese playwright, novelist and translator of Saikaku Ihara’s works.  Joyce gave him one signed A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and one signed Ulysses.06  During his long stay in America, Sato published Collection of Plays from America (Beikoku yorino Kyakuhonshu, Tokyo: Nippon-Hyoronsha) in 1920.  He then moved to Europe.  Around the time when he met Joyce, he published only 300 copies of the English translation of Saikaku Ihara’s selected works, Quaint Stories of Samurais by Saikaku Ibara, thanks to Sylvia Beach’s linguistic assistance in 1926, and then, the French translation, Saikakou Ebara: Contes D’Amour Des Samourais in 1927.  The collection includes, as the title shows, Ihara’s homosexual stories of samurai, like “The Love Life of Yonosuke” and “The Glorious Stories of Homosexuality.”  But it is unclear if Sato gave Joyce a copy of either of the two translations.  After Sato came back to Japan in December 1926, he sent the manuscript of his autobiographical novel, The Yellow Jap Dogs to Robert McAlmon in early 1927, but McAlmon did not publish it anywhere after all.07 

Enough research, however, has not yet been done regarding to what degree those three Japanese, Tanaka, Takaoki and Sato played parts of teaching Japanese words or culture to Joyce.  Tanaka and Sato were friends since they stayed in Seattle before they went to Paris separately.   Also, Katta and Sato had a common friend, Takeshi Saito(斎藤勇; 1887-1982), the famous professor of English literature, Tokyo Imperial University, etc. who studied at Fukushima Middle School with Sato and, at Tokyo Imperial University with Katta.  So the three same-aged Japanese, Tanaka, Katta and Sato knew one another, although their friendship in Paris might not have been so close.

At present, there are only a few published essays or notes which deal with the Japanese elements in FW.  In my opinion, the most useful notes for the Japanese elements are surprisingly, in Roland McHugh’s Annotations to Finnegans Wake.”  The contributor of the Japanese elements was the late Yukio Suzuki, the former professor of Waseda University, Tokyo, and translator of Finnegans Wake into Japanese.  Probably McHugh must have consulted with Philip L. Graham’s notes of the Japanese words of FW in A Wake Newslitter, no.9.  Very few studies of the Japanese in FW have been available, at least in English or outside Japan. There is not so much Japanese material that Joyce used for his fiction, but some Japanese references can be found in Ulysses, for example “geisha”(U06.357) and the Russo-Japanese War.08

   The first Japanese word used in FW is “kaminari” (: thunder), which appears on the first page in the thunder sound of the fall (bababadalgharaghtakamminarronnkonnbronntonnerronntuonnthunntrovarrhounawn-
kawntoohoohoordenenthurnuk!) (FW003.15-17).  The word “kaminari” was inserted in Novemver 1926 at the stage of the second draft.  Joyce already knew the Japanese word and used it in a letter to Harriet Shaw Weaver dated 18 August 1926: “We were awake all night nearly on Monday but the worst of the storm was in London.  Jeeshee [Jap. Jishin: earthquake] and kami-nari are very active just now” (LI, 243).  The word “jeeshee” appears in FW475.02.  Japanese readers will enjoy that in his notebook used from September to November 1923 Joyce noted the four terrible things for Japanese people (VI.B.11-13: JJA31.146): “Jishin, Kaminari, Kaji, Oyaji” (earthquake, thunder, fire and father).

  Joyce often consulted The Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition published in 1911 in spite of his visual disability.  The entry “Japan” in it is over 120-pages long.  Doubtlessly that was one of the best references to Japan in Joyce's time and perhaps the most convenient source for him.  It includes the lists of Japanese rivers & cities Joyce referred to in the Anna Livia Chapter.   River Sendai (FW196.19: “Sendai”), River Kiso (FW203.35: “kisokushk”) and River Ishikari (FW207.24: “Ishekarry”) are included in the list of the Japanese rivers (EB15.156). 



 II. Japanese Analysis

The result of my own research also suggests that Joyce probably used an old dictionary or old text for FW, because some Japanese words, for instance, FW339.03: “am anoyato” (amanoiwato: 天岩戸)09 seem to be old ones, which had already become archaic or obsolete even in Joyce’s time. 

This is the most famous Japanese passage of “tsukisaki or soppisuppon” (FW233.29-34.05):


      And he did a get, their anaya[あなや]nce, and slink his hook away,
    aleguere come alaguerre. like a chimista inchamisas, whom the
    harricana hurries and hots foots, zingo, zango, segur. To hoots
    of utskut, urqurd, jamal, qum, yallah, yawash, yak! For he could
    ciappacioppachew upon a skarp snakk of pure undefallen engelsk,
    melanmoon or tartatortoise, tsukisaki[月酒] or soppisuppon[スッポン・ スープ], as raskly
    and as baskly as your cheesechalk cow cudd spanich. Makoto[まこと]!
    Whagta kriow[狂う]day ! Gelagala nausy is. Yet right divining do not
    was. Hovobovo hafogate hoki[ほうき]dimatzi in kami[]cha! He had his
    sperrits all foulen on him; to vet, most griposly, he was bedizzled
    and debuzzled; he had his tristiest cabaleer on; and looked like
    bruddy Hal. A shelling a cockshy and be donkey shot at? Or a
    peso besant to join the armada? (Bolds and Japanese insertions mine.)








あなや: arch. in an instant

Late 1937

47477-163v (JJA51.230)


: moon

Late 1937

47477-163v (JJA51.230)


: sake (Japanese drink made from rice)

Late 1937

47477-163v (JJA51.230)


スープ: soup

Late 1937

47477-163v (JJA51.230)


スッポン: a snapping (mud, softshelled) turtle

Late 1937

47477-163v (JJA51.230)


まこと:“Indeed!” in this context. Cf. Mikado:: Japanese Emperor (the title of Sullivan's opera). Cf. FW233.27:Micaco!; FW353.20: Mirrdo!; FW054.34-35: mutsohito (Emperor Mutsuhito (Meiji) (1867-1912)

Late 1937

47477-163v (JJA51.230)


kuruu:狂う:to go crazy; kuryo:苦慮:anguish

Late 1937

47477-163v (JJA51.230)


1. 蜂起:rising; 2.放棄:giving up; 3.法規:

legislations; 4.芳紀: the age of; 5.: a broom, etc.

Late 1937

47477-163v (JJA51.230)


1.: God; 2.: hair; 3.:paper

Late 1937

47477-163v (JJA51.230)

    *“tsukisaki” could be read like “sukiyaki”[すき焼き], as some Western scholars interpret.
    *suppon soup is considered to be a restorative in Japan.  Hepburn’s Waeigorin Shusei (Hepburn’s Japanese-English  
1st ed.1867) contains the entry of “the difference of tsuki and suppon”: “tsuki to suppon” [
    :“to be as different as cheese and chalk”].


  Joyce fragmentally inserted all of these Japanese words in late 1937 and kindly cited the English translation for some of them.  By that time, none of the three Japanese, Tanaka, Katta and Sato would have taught Joyce Japanese: Tanaka was still in Paris, but seems to be somewhat alienated from the Joyce family by then, and Katta and Sato had already gone back to Japan.  Joyce seems to have had some other Japanese friends in Paris in late 1930s. 

The James Joyce Archive contains 3 drafts for this section.  The earliest manuscript of this page is “Fair copy” (JJA51.27).  According to Danis Rose’s note, this fair copy, probably the first draft from fol.10r (ink) was written in October ? November 1930.10


And he did a get; for he could chew upon a skarp snakk of pure undefallen engelsk as rasky and as baskly as your cow cudd spanich.  He had his sperrits all foulen on him; he was bedizzled and beduzzled; and he looked like bruddy Hal. (JJA51.27; cf. FW 233.29-34.05).


  At this stage, no Japanese-compounded words like “anayance,” “tsukisaki,” “soppisuppon,” or “Makoto!” can be found.  And we cannot find any of the words in “First TS” (JJA51.39) nor  “Retyped pages” (JJA51.63-65). As Rose presumes, both “First typescripts” and “Retyped pages” were written between November 1930-January 1931.  Unfortunately, we cannot trace the continuance any further, though the Japanese words have been inserted, probably at the same time as the change of the word “papers” into “japers”(FW 233.03).

Book II Chapter 1 includes some Japanese sections, like FW240.01-02:“Yasha” [夜叉: a female demon] and “sassage”(捧げ: sacrifice) and FW244.19-45.02: “Haha!”(: mother), “Tcheetchee”(: father) and “Kikikuki”(危 機: crisis + kiku:: chrysanthemum, crest of the Japanese Royal Family; cf.The Mikado + ki:: yellow), but regrettably The James Joyce Archives contains only earlier drafts of the related pages, and all of them are those at pre-Japanese-inserted stages.

Book III Chapter 3 contains a lot of Japanese elements, too, especially on FW484: “Washywatchywataywatashy!  Oirasesheorebukujibun! Watachooshy lot!” (FW484.25-26).  This consists of 10 Japanese words all of which mean “I,” although “watchi” and “sesha” were used typically in the Edo period, more than half a century before Joyce’s time.  There are many more expressions for the Japanese first singular pronouns, some of them listed by Joyce in his two notebooks: VI.B. 12-14 (JJA31:233) used June-August 1926, Paris and VI.B.30-72-75 (JJA36:154-55) used late November-late December 1938 according to Danis Rose’s The Textual Diaries of James Joyce (24-37): “Washy”(),
わっち), “watai”(わたい), “watachi”(わたち), “oira”(おいら), “seshe”(拙者),  “boku”(), “jibun”(自分), “watakushi”().  Another form, “temae”(手前) (“temaye,” JJA31.233) appears in “time thing think” in Chinese, “tsien sing”(lit. humble name) (FW484.27).11  Probably Joyce learned the these Japanese I-words from someone (possibly either of the three Japanese) in 1926 and thought these useful for FW after ten years.  In the Japanese context, the first expression is composed of first person singular pronouns: “washy” is used by men, and “watashi” is a shorter form of “watakushi.”  “Watchi” was particularly used by men in the downtown of Tokyo in the Edo-period, and “watai” was used by some prostitutes until 1950s.  The second expression contains only male singular pronouns.  The third one, “Watakushy,” is neutral.

On the first draft (JJA58.17-20), however, this section was a few lines with no Japanese elements, far shorter than the final version.  The sentence “Watacooshy lot!” was inserted on the earlier stage of Second TS (JJA58.250) by May 1926.  Going through perhaps more than 20 additions & corrections, the other two Japanese sentences were inserted in the latter stage of the Galley proofs, 3rd set (JJA62.356-57), dated by the printer 22 April and 31 May 1937.  Danis Rose notes that Joyce wrote a postcard to Frank Budgen dated 27 Jan.1938, which said, “Have finished and sent to F.F.Pt III of WiP” [Faber & Faber Part III of Work in Progress: FW403-590](LIII.413), so there should be at least a few more extant proofs of typescripts and extra draft notes before the 1939 version.12  In the trial scene, Yawn (Shaun)’s speech, with the outburst denying all relations to his brother Shem, he asserts his identity and his purity, “what I (the person whomin I now an) did not do”(FW484.05-06).  Perhaps the reason why Joyce used many Japanese words expressing “I,” is directly related to Yawn’s wavering mental condition in the trial, sensitive to everyone’s speech.

Carola Giedion-Welcker tells an interesting anecdote about the Japanese “‘I’s in her essay “Meeting with Joyce”:


 When the Japanese edition of Ulysses appeared in 1932, he showed it to me with special interest.  He believed that, because the Japanese mentality was used to an indirect and fragmentary symbol language and also because their form of poetic expression was close to his, they were well prepared for his way of thinking and writing.  A Japanese poem which he recited to me in English translation showed the different “‘I’s,” which changed according to the situation.  It dealt with an abandoned sweetheart whose multifaceted and fluctuating psychic state was expressed through symbolic allusions (mist, clouds, jewels, etc.) thereby also revealing the personality of the lamenting sweetheart.(266)13


This section has one more Japanese word “ware”(): “mouthspeech allno fingerforce”(FW484.02-03).  We can argue that “five and mouth” alludes to a Japanese way of expressing “I,” because the Japanese word “ware” is a compound of two Chinese characters which mean “five”() and “mouth”().  This insertion was done doubtlessly after the Second TS, probably to intensify Yawn’s assertion of his identity. According to Petr Skrabanek, Joyce was first thinking about the characters for “ware” as it is in Buffalo Notebook VI.B.30.73 (JJA36.154).14  However, he must have noticed that a more complex character for speech (),  could be decomposed into [*  : four + : mouth] and (: five +: mouth) and he used both in the word “fingerforce”(=finger four, but also five fingers).15  “Washywatchywataywatashy! Oirasesheorebukujibun! Watachooshy lot!”(FW484. 25-26) culminates the washing ritual, the washing of the original sin by Baptism, washing of the feet and washing dirty linen (“Ir. wash on Friday,” JJA37.178; “S.P. [St. Patrick] waterworship,” JJA37.151).16



 III. Japan/China

As Thornton Wilder points out, St.Patrick appears here as a Japanese, Patriki San Saki (FW317.02), and the Norwegian captain Pukkelsen tosses a curse word “fouyoufoukou” (Fuck you! + Jap. fuyufuku = winter suit) on  “shitateyar,” a Japanese tailor (FW319.23-20.17).17  “Patriki” is a Japanese way of pronouncing “Patrick,” and “San Saki” is Joyce’s unique Japanese translation of “saint”: “san” (さん: Mr., Miss, Mrs., etc.)+ “saki”(: in front of > ahead/above > high/holy).  Patriki San Saki reappears in the final chapter of the novel, to discuss religious problems with the Archdruid (FW611-13).  It seems to me that there is not any explicit reason why St. Patrick must speak what some critics call “Nippon English” in this context.  However it might be a result of some Japanese translations of Joyce’s works as mentioned before.

How well did Joyce know Japanese usage? Doubtlessly he could not speak Japanese very well and his knowledge about Japanese was fragmental.  Probably, he had friends who spoke Japanese fluently like Tanaka, Katta and Sato, and sometimes just listened to their conversation judging from the entries: most of them are basic Japanese words used in daily conversation.  Rather, Joyce, who suffered from a serious eye disease in his later years when he devoted himself to FW, might have learned some Japanese words mostly by his ear.  In addition, he sometimes confused several Japanese words with Chinese ones, or he tended to combine some Japanese words with Chinese on purpose, as Joyce’s language list shows.  The sounds he tried to represent with the alphabet are not often correct, or very frequently sound like Pidgin Japanese.  George C. Sandulescu argues concerning Joyce’s language list in The Language of the Devil that the order of the languages is very significant: “... Next on the list, two languages - Chinese and Japanese - are placed together for reasons of geographical vicinity, similarity of exotic flavor, and like appearance of the script”(sic)(66).  This is the list of Japan/China contrasts in FW:






Nippoluono/ Wei-Ling-Taou

-May 1938

47476a-189v (JJA49.400)


yup/ scoopchina's


47480-26 (JJA55.49)


chine/ jupan


47486b-386 (JJA61.407)


chinchin/ nipponnippers


47486b-456 (JJA61.443)


a chink / a jape

April-May 1937

47487-56 (JJA62.109)


china's/ japets

? 1925

47482a-42 (JJA60.81)


chinchinjoss/ tappany

Mid 1938

47488-169v (JJA63.169)

     *Each date indicates the time when the insertions of both elements were completed.


As Louis O. Mink indicates in “Finnegans Wake Gazetteer, FW regularly pairs Japan with China, but there seems little reason to connect this with other important pairings in FW, despite the fact that by Joyce’s own account, the dialogue between Archdruid Berkeley and St. Patrick (FW611-13) represents them as speaking Pidgin English and “Nippon English” respectively.18 As Jacques Mercanton tells in “The Hours of James Joyce,” he was asked by Joyce, “Isn’t it contradictory to make two men speak Chinese and Japanese in a pub in Phoenix Park, Dublin?”(213).

But the pages in question have only a few Japanese-compounded words like “noh”[: the Noh play, FW611.11], “kirikirikiring”(kirikirimai: きりきり 舞い: going round and round; kiri: 切りor 斬り: to slash at sb, or attack sb with one's sword, FW612.11), “shiroskuro”(白 黒: white & black, FW612.18), “Iro”(: color, FW612.20), and no Chinese words.  Some words seem to be pidgin English possibly used by Chinese words.  McHugh discusses this in The Sigla of Finnegans Wake”:


There is in fact an anomaly present amongst all this.  Both Patrick and the druid are sunworshippers and recognize the septipartite nature of light.  But only Patrick’s sun is exterior.  In a Japanese-tinctured speech contrasting with the druid’s Chinese pidgin, he announces that his wife and himself know a handkerchief of synthetic shamrock(FW612.24-25). (110)


It is quite uncertain that Joyce could really differentiate between Japan and China.  Like Gilbert & Sullivan's The Mikado, the pidgin Japanese/Chinese conversation continued like a quarrel. Thus Joyce added some Japan/China elements later to express the strife between Shem and Shaun, the Archdruid and St.Patrick.




Joyce inserted the Japanese-compounded words into Finnegans Wake little by little, especially in 1926, 1927, 1929, 1937 and 1938.  Although the earliest insertion (FW475.02: “Jeeshee,” etc.) could date back to 1924, the majority were put into the text in later manuscripts: more than half of them were presumably interpolated between 1937-1938.  So it is illusory to think that the Japanese elements play very important roles in the main plot of the novel.

In Joyce's time (and even today) there were still quite a few people in Western countries who had a prejudice and discrimination against non-White people because of the color of their skin.  It is very difficult for us to understand how Joyce really felt about Japan.  At least in a letter to his brother Stanislaus in November 1906 he showed his interest in Japan’s military power at that time: “Japan, the first naval power in the world, I presume, in point of efficiency, spends three million pounds per annum on her fleet.  Italy spends more than twice as much”(LII,188).19  Joyce, however, once described a Japanese as “Nipponease dwarf.”20  So judging from these examples, Joyce may have had a slight racial prejudice against the Japanese at the same time as he thought they were Asian conquerors like the English and the Belgians.

The Japanese language is of course one of the minor languages Joyce used for FW, but in some contexts the Japanese words or elements have greater power than other English-compounded words.  It is also the author’s intention that his misspellings and mis-imitations can fertilize the infinite possibility of reading this fiction.





Special thanks to Prof. Masayoshi Osawa, Prof. Shigeo Shimizu and Prof. Hiroaki Natsume
for their extensive and valuable advice.

01 Gifford, “Ulysses Annotated: The Mikado: U08.602, U15.3354; The Geisha: U06.355-57,
     U09.1129, U12.1274-75,  U14.963, U15.3861.  Mink, “Finnegans Wake Gazetteer: FW233.27.
02 See Hodgart & Bauerle, p.259, etc.
     See Richard Ellmann,James Joyce, p.491,etc.  Cf.also LI, p.150 & LIII, p.31.
04 Cf. Yasuo Kumagai, ‘“Takaoki Katta” (VI.B.12: 113).’
05 Cf. Yasuo Kumagai, ‘“Takaoki Katta” (VI.B.12: 113).’  Joyce did not insert the goddess’s name
    but one allusion to her in FW 339.03: “am anoyato.”  See my note no.9.
06 On September 8, 2002, Mr. Yasuo Kumagai and I went to Ken Sato’s house in Fukushima City
    and met his son, Mr. Yoichi Sato, who kindly showed us Sato’s articles left behind, including the
    two signed books.  He wrote “佐藤 ” (SATO Ken) as his penname.
07 Cf. Rikutaro Fukuda, “Kiroi Nihon no Inu” (“The Yellow Jap Dogs”), Hikaku Bungaku no
    Shoso, pp.184-91.
08 Cf. Gifford: U04.116-117, U12.0140, U14.1560, U15.4435, U16.1001, U16.1240.
09 See Section 4. “Ama no Iwato” (The Door of the Heavenly Rock-Dwelling) of “Amaterasu
    Oh-mikami & Susanoo no Mikoto” in The Kojiki Tales (The Records of Ancient Matters). 
    Ama no Iwato” is the legendary cave Amaterasu, Great Sun Goddess of Japan, withdrew inside
    in protest against her brother Susanoo for damaging her rice field in a drunken rampage.  As a
    result, the world was plunged into darkness, so her brothers and sisters gathered in front of the
    cave, pleading with her to return.  But Amarerasu remained unmoved until the voluptuous
    young Goddess Uzume began a sensual dance and the people clapped their hands and shouted
    with delight.  When Amaterasu peeked out of the cave to see what was going on outside, Uzume
    moved aside and the great mirror was rolled in front of the cave.  Amaterasu, who had never
    seen her own beauty before, was dazzled and delighted.  Thus she returned to her heavenly
    throne, and all the gods and goddesses rejoiced in her divine warmth and light.  Cf. Basil Hall
    Chamberlain’s translation of The Kojiki (Yokohama: The Asiatic Society, 1882) includes this
    story in Part III.
10 JJA51.13.
11 Skrabanek, “St. Patrick’s Nightmare Confession.” A Finnegans Wake Circular, I, 1, p.14.
     Skrabanek expressed a special gratitude to Professor Ken’ichi Matsumura, Chuo University,
    Tokyo for his help in deciphering Patrick’s Nippon English, but It is known that Scrabanek
    also corresponded with Professor Yukio Suzuki for his help.
12 Cf. JJA62.247.
13 Cf. Joyce claimed the copyright for the two Japanese “pirated” editions of Ulysses in a letter
    to T.S. Eliot dated 20 June 1932: “Two Japanese pirated editions of Ulysses have appeared
    this spring and 13,000 copies have been sold to date.  Is Japan a signatory to the Berne
    convention or not…” (LI, 320).
14 Skrabanek, p.10.
15 Cf. Skrabanek, p.10.
16 Cf. Skrabanek, p.14.
17 Cf. Graham, p.6.
18 Mink, p.364.
19John McCourt notes in The Years of Bloom that among the Triestine productions
    released in 1908 was a  documentary film (in ten parts) on the visit of the Japanese navy
    to the city in 1907 (143).
20 See “Ireland, Island of Saints and Sages (1907),” The Critical Writings, p.166.



Selected References  (English)

Ellmann, Richard. James Joyce (new & revised ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1982.
Encyclopaedia Britannica. 11th ed. 29 vols.  Cambridge, Eng: The University Press, 1910-11.
Giedion-Welcker, Carola.  “Meeting with Joyce.”  In Portraits of the Artist in Exile, ed.
  Willard Potts, pp.256-80.   San Diego, etc.: A Harvest/HBJ Book, 1979.

Gifford, Don with Robert J. Seidman.  Ulysses Annotated. revised ed.  Berkeley: University
  of California Press, 1988.

Graham, Philip. “Addenda (No.5): Japanese.” A Wake Newslitter, 9(1963), 6-7.
Hearn, Lafcadio.  Japan: An Interpretation.  London: Macmillan, 1904.
Hodgert, J.C. Matthew and Ruth Bauerle.  Joyce's Grand Operoar: Opera in Finnegans
.”  Urbana and  Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1997.

Joyce, James.  Finnegans Wake.  New York: The Viking Press, 1987.
--------.  “Ireland, Island of Saints and Sages.”  In The Critical Writings, ed. Ellsworth Mason
  and Richard Ellmann, pp.153-74.  Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1989.

--------.  The James Joyce Archive [JJA]. 63 vols.  General ed. Michael Groden. New York
  & London: Garland Publishing Inc., 1978.

--------.  Letters of James Joyce, vol.I [LI].  Ed. Gilbert, Stuart.  New York: The Viking Press,

--------.  Letters of James Joyce, vols. II-III[LII-LIII].  Ed. Richard Ellmann.  New York: The
   Viking Press, 1966.

--------.  Ulysses.  London: The Bodley Head, 1986.
Kumagai, Yasuo.  ‘“Takaoki Katta” (VI.B.12: 113).’  Genetic Joyce Studies, Issue 2 (Spring
  Accessed: November 26, 2003.

McCourt, John.  The Years of Bloom: James Joyce in Trieste 1904-1920.  Dublin: The
  Lilliput Press, 2000.

McHugh, Roland. Annotations to Finnegans Wake.  Baltimore & London: The John’s
  Hopkin’s University Press,  rev.ed.1991.

--------. The Sigla of Finnegans Wake.”  London: Edward Arnold, 1976.
Mercanton, Jacques.  “The Hours of James Joyce.”  In Portraits of the Artist in Exile, ed.
  Willard Potts, 206-52.   San Diego, etc.: A Harvest/HBJ Book, 1979.

Mink, Louis O. “Finnegans Wake Gazetteer.  Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1978.
Rose, Danis.  The Textual Diaries of James Joyce.  Dublin: The Lilliput Press, 1995.
Sandlescu, George C. The Language of the Devil .  Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire: Colin
  Smythe, 1987.

Skrabanek, Petr. “St. Patrick’s Nightmare Confession.” A Finnegans Wake Circular,
  vol.I, no.1, Autumn 1985, 5-20.

Selected References  (Japanese)

Fukuda, Rikutaro. Hikaku-Bungaku no Shoso (Aspects of Comparative Literature).  Tokyo:
  Taishukan-shoten, 1980.

Inoue, Teiji.  Tanaka Yasushi Mangekyo (The Kaleidoscope of Yasushi Tanaka).  Tokyo:
  Gallery Hongo, 2000.

Osawa, Masayoshi. Joyce notameno Nagai-tuuya (A Long Wake for Joyce).  Tokyo:
  Seidosha, 1988.

Suzuki, Yukio ed.  Joyce kara Joyce he (From Joyce to Joyce).  Tokyo: Tokyodo, 1982.
Yanase, Naoki. “Finnegan Shinkoki (“FinnegansWake, Translation in Progress.). 
  Tokyo: Kawade Shobo-shinsha, 1992.

--------. Jisho ha Joycefuru (Let’s En-joyce in Dictionaries).  Tokyo: TBS Britannica,1994.





The Historical Order of Japanese Translations of Finnegans Wake
  The history of translating FW into Japanese can be traced back to the year of 1933.
After six more partial translations, Naoki Yanase finished the first complete Japanese
 translation of Finnegans Wake in 1993.

1.    Nishiwaki, Junzaburo. Anna Livia Plurabelle (FW196.01-19 & FW213.11-
     216.05) in Joyce Shishu (The Poetical Works of James Joyce).  Tokyo: Daiichi-
      shobo, 1933. 

    *Nishiwaki translated it wiith the guide of C. K. Ogden’s “Basic English”

2.    Osawa, Masayoshi, Shigeru Koike, Junnosuke Sawasaki & Motoi Toda.
    “Shem the Penman” (FW169.01-170.24) with
     detailed notes in Kikan Sekai-Bungaku (World Literature Quarterly, No.2,
     Winter 1966), B1-12.  Tokyo: Toyamabo, 1966.

3.    Osawa, Masayoshi & Junnosuke Sawasaki. FW I.8 (FW206.29-207.20),
      III.1 (FW418.10-419.08) & IV  (FW627.34-628.16) with detailed notes in
     Shueisha’s “Gendai Shishuu” (“Collection of Modern Poems”) of Sekai
     Bungaku Zenshuu
35 (The Selected Works of World Literature, vol.35). 
     Tokyo: Shueisha, 1968.

4.    Osawa, Masayoshi, Kyoko Ono, Shigeru Koike & Junnosuke Sawasaki,
      Kenzo Suzuki & Motoi Toda. Anna Livia Plurabelle I ~ VII (FW196.01-
      208.05) with detailed notes serialized in Kikan Padeia (Padeia Quarterly,
      nos.7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13 & 15).  Tokyo: Takeuchi-shoten, 1970-1972.

5.    Suzuki, Yukio, Ryo Nonaka, Koichi Konno, Kayo Fujii, Tazuko Nagasawa
     & Naoki Yanase. FW I.1-3, Finnegan Tetsuyasai sono-1 (Finnegans Wake 1)
     (FW003-074). Tokyo: Tokyodo-shuppan,1971.    *Part of the translation
     serialized in Waseda Bungaku (Waseda Literature) from Feb. 1969

    to  Dec.1974.
6.       Osawa, Masayoshi, Kyoko Ono, Shigeru Koike, Junnosuke Sawasaki,
     Kenzo Suzuki & Motoi Toda.  5 fragmental translations of FW (FW169.01-
     170.24, FW206.29-207.20, FW418.10-419.08, FW593.01-18 & FW627.34-
     628.16) with detailed notes in Sekai no Bungaku (World Literature) vol.1.
     Tokyo: Shueisha, 1978. Recollected in Chikuma Sekai Bungaku-taikei
     (Chikuma Institution of World Literature) 68: Joyce II / O’Brien
     (Tokyo: Chikumashobo, 1998).

7.       --------. Anna Livia Plurabelle (FW196-216) in Bungei-zasshi Umi (Literary
     Magazine Umi
), (Dec.1982), 288-305.  With some of Joyce’s related letters
    (trans. Masayoshi Osawa) and Osawa’s essay (306-328).  Recollected in
    Chikuma Sekai Bungaku-taikei
(Chikuma Institution of World Literature) 68:
    Joyce II /O’Brien
(Tokyo: Chikumashobo, 1998).

8.       Yanase, Naoki. Finnegans Wake I-II.  Tokyo: Kawadeshobo-shinsha, 1991.
    --------. Finnegans Wake III-IV.  Tokyo: Kawadeshobo-shinsha, 1993.
    *The paperback edition (3vols.; I, II &III/ IV) was published in “Kawade-
    bunko” by Kawadeshobo-shinsha in January-March 2004.





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