It has… been a minute since I posted an update here . I ended up getting pretty much immediately swamped by my Tokyo Joshi Pro Wrestling translation workload. I finished FOUR shows!! The January 7 and January 8 VOD shows, and then the first show in the tag team tournament on January 15 (which had to be split into another part because the workload was too much…), and then the second tag tournament show on January 19 (it turns out if you don’t give Maki Itoh and Miyu Yamashita the mic, the amount of stuff to translate becomes a lot shorter…).
They have two more shows this month, so it’ll be back to the grind for me this weekend, haha . My translations are already up to 8,000 words (in English), which is I think by far the most that I’ve done in any month so far.
Something that made me laugh on one of these shows was this comment from Kamiyu wherein she berated her tag partner Mahiro Kiryu for losing to a woman with a hairstyle that looks like the Mother of Ultra. I had to look up the Mother of Ultra after this, and, well…
Here's Juria Nagano and Moka Miyamoto, the rookies who got the shock win:
The Mother of Ultra:
Kamiyu isn’t exactly wrong, haha.
I’ve been keeping busy since finishing the January 19 show translation. I considered using the time to dive into some manga, but I’m trying to get a bunch of stuff translated for these Shakespeare deathmatch shows that Big Japan Pro Wrestling did from 2008-2011, which I just recently managed to find (I had to buy them secondhand on limited edition DVDs because they’re not available anywhere else).
I’m a little bit obsessed with the entire concept of these shows (they bill themselves as the first Shakespeare productions to contain real blood, basically), so I’m trying to translate what I can about them. I actually have a hard time watching deathmatches myself, because I struggle with the sight of blood, but my love for Shakespeare has won out . I’m planning on watching them with some friends (hence why I’m translating all this stuff, plus my strong desire to get more info out about these shows so that Shakespeare enthusiasts and such can know that they exist), so I haven’t seen any of them yet.
So far, it has been a pretty research-intense process. I’ve been transcribing stuff from the back of the DVDs and the program for Romeo vs Juliet, and some of the people in the shows have been hard to find! I have a friend who is fluent in Japanese helping do some research on the people I can’t find names for. It’s an interesting look into some experimental artists and musicians who were performing in Japan at the time.
The matches themselves all have interesting names, often with some sort of pun, which really puts my Japanese ability to the test, haha. I’m a little bit obsessed with the title of act 2 of Romeo vs Juliet: “第2幕 パリステイオーの舞闘会”. As soon as I read 舞闘会, I had to take a moment because I was so filled with awe at how Japanese could make such a thing possible.
For folks who haven’t learned the word yet, 舞闘会 is a creative spelling of 舞踏会, which means dance or ball, and which I learned thanks to WaniKani! 闘 (struggle/fight) has the same reading as 踏 (step).
Japanese is so beautiful. Pro wrestling is so beautiful. Shakespeare is so beautiful.
I had to think for a while about how to even translate that act/match name. The nuance there is entirely lost in English… I ended up going with “Paris Teioh’s Ball/Brawl”, which feels so lacking in comparison, but, well, I don’t know if there’s really a way to do it better, haha.
As of right now, I’ve managed to translate the card/cast list for all of the shows, and have started working on some of the supplemental material, like the one program I have, which talks about some of what led to these shows happening, and describes the ~lore~ leading up to Romeo vs Juliet, haha. A friend found the guidebook for Macbeth for me while she was in Japan, so I’m currently waiting on that to arrive in the mail.
Sadly, the program for King Lear (which was the first of the plays to be performed) remains elusive, so we’re going to have to go into that one relatively cold, but there is this neat review of it. A deathmatch on a bed of roses… now that is a concept.