A picture book translated by ICU students to be released

Update: August 22, 2020

Are You Ready? The Journey to the Veiled World (text written by Rika Sueyoshi and illustrated by Gaku Nakagawa) is a picture book that children can learn from about ethical thinking.* It was translated through a group project by ICU student volunteers and will be released from Yamakawa Shuppansha on Monday, August 24.
*Ethical thinking: A way of thinking and also acting based on consideration for others, the earth's environment, society and local community(translated from the official website of Ethical Association).

This translation project was led by three ICU students who studied in Sweden, Finland, and UK respectively, on exchange programs from fall 2018 to summer 2019: Ms. Momona Otsuka (major: Public Policy, minor: Environmental Studies), Ms. Hana Matsuo (major: Peace Studies) and Ms. Riho Matsumaru (major: Sociology). All three of them have now graduated ICU College of Liberal Arts and Ms. Matsuo is currently enrolled in ICU's master's course.

Left photo: Lecture held at ICU by Ms. Sueyoshi
Right photo: Ms. Matsuo, Ms. Matsumaru, Ms. Sueyoshi, ICU Professor Tatsuo Nunoshiba, Ms. Otsuka (from left)

In fall 2019, the three of them initiated a project named "Connecting Dots, Collecting Distances" to share what they learned regarding connection between people, between people and things, and with the environment during their studies abroad and held various events on environmental problems, lifestyles and consumption behavior. They came to be acquainted with Ms. Rika Sueyoshi, the representative of Ethical Association and author of the picture book, when they invited her to give a lecture in one of the events they held. The translation project started through collaboration with Ms. Sueyoshi and the publisher who wanted people around the world to read the book. The three called for students to take part in the project and translated the book together with a group of student volunteers.

Ms. Otsuka, Ms. Matsuo, and Ms. Matsumaru posted a notice on the ICU intranet to call for members who would like to participate in the project. As a result, a team of 24 students ranging from freshmen to seniors was formed. They asked ICU Professor by Special Appointment Beverley F.M. Curran who teaches translation courses for cooperation. Professor Curran gave a special seminar on points to keep in mind when translating. The team also held seminars by NPO members to learn about the production of bananas and cacao depicted in the picture book. Altogether, they spent 8 months to translate the book.

Left photo: A workshop on ethical thinking held by inviting Ms. Sueyoshi and ICU graduates
Right photo: Special translation seminar by Professor Curran

Comments from Ms. Otsuka, Ms. Matsuo, and Ms. Matsumaru

As we learned more about the various approaches and movements taking place in the world towards solving environmental and labor problems from our experiences through studying abroad, we came to realize how untransparent and unfair the entire flow of production, consumption and disposal is. When we were wondering what we could do about it, we encountered this picture book.

We came to believe that "ethical thinking" would be the key to visualizing the links between individual problems, and through some lucky coincidence, we had the honor to translate this book.

It was a great experience to learn and work on the translation project together with students of different grade years and majors but sharing a common interest in ethical thinking. We feel that we were able to make this project happen because it was in ICU, where diverse people learn together.

We hope that all the children and their families who read this book will give some thought to the various products they consume in their everyday life and take action to change the world for the better. Go Ethical and Beyond!

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