Translation question?

Hi, this is my first post on the wanikani community page!

I studied Japanese for a year at university and have been a self-learner since then. I’m currently a master’s student and my research subject is the japanese avant-garde group Gutai. I’ve relied on translations of their texts, but am trying to dive into some of the source texts themselves. I came across this phrase which has continuously puzzled me. For context, it’s by an artist writing about the relationship between children’s art and Gutai art.


The first clause seems to indicate that he hopes the group’s art will be more like children’s art, but I can’t follow the phrasing in the following clause, and i get the sense that at the end he says “there is no other way”.

Any help is much appreciated. Thanks!



I’ll take a stab, tried smoothing out a lot of the literal translation. If this is for something important, don’t trust it :slightly_smiling_face:, this could be way off.

This is what we want our art to be perceived by our audience otherwise it doesn’t inspire the fresh (child-like) perspective we want to invoke.

子供の美術を感じとり指導する I think is a full phrase here and could be translated even more liberally, as if they want to enlighten the audience as a blank slate or whatever the feeling a child sees something new for the first time. Is this literally about children’s art? I took as more of any analogy. I know nothing of Gutai but just other than glancing at their wiki. Please correct if I’m wrong.

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Hi, thanks so much for your response! Yes, it’s literally about children’s art - the artists were teachers and were very inspired by children and children’s attitudes towards playing and making “art”. Does knowing this change your understanding at all? I think the way you translated it sounds appropriate.

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We don’t know exactly what このことは is without full context, I don’t like how I had ’ the way’ because it may be too specific so I updated to ‘what’ in the beginning. These are even tricky in native language since it’s an artistic concept that is personalized and trying to interpret it.

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Yeah, you’re 100% right - I was really stuck trying to understand his thought, and was convinced that perhaps I was just totally useless at translating Japanese. Today I moved on to the writings of another artist and was surprised to find that it wasn’t all that difficult to understand. This artist is particularly ~conceptual~ and thus quite difficult to understand, probably even if you’re a native speaker!

thanks again for your help! I am glad I have finally waded into the waters of the wanikani community!

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I think the author is trying to give the impression that there is no other way to guide the connectivity with children’s art from the viewpoint of that being the same as with what we imagine. This is kind of a vague expression in that the reader is to presume the idea of what the author is trying to convey.

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