The torii to 黃金神社 (Ōgonjinja), a Shinto shrine built on Taiwan in 1898.

Professor Brightwell was awarded the prize for an unpublished translator for her translation of “The Torrent” (奔流, Hon’ryū, 1943) by the Taiwanese writer Wang Changxiong  (王昶雄, also known by his Japanese name, Ō Chōyū), who lived from 1916 to 2000. As stated in Cornell University’s official announcement, “Brightwell’s translation is a welcome contribution to recent scholarship on Japanese-language literature produced in the era of Japan’s multi-ethnic empire. The translation vividly renders into English the numerous subtly charged dialogues in this story, with their attendant psychic repercussions.”

About the translation, Professor Brightwell says, “I first encountered this story as a graduate student, and as someone who had spent several months in Taiwan and years in Japan, I was immediately drawn to it. I now teach it in ASIAN 244 (Seeds of Conflict: Intercultural Encounters in Japan from 745-1945) to challenge the simplistic collapse of language, nationality, and ethnicity into a single category. In part, it was my students' strong reactions to and engagement with an earlier draft of the translation last year that inspired me to refine it and submit it for this competition, so I'd like to use this space to publicly thank them!”