Siegfried Schaarschmidt

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Siegfried Schaarschmidt (born 1925 in Pleiße (Saxony); died 17 August 1998) was a translator, poet and essayist specialising in Japanese literature.

Life and work

Schaarschmidt was a poet, translator and critic of Japanese literature. He wrote numerous publications on Japanese literature and was the editor of various anthologies. He met many of the writers whose works he translated into German in person and was able to learn a great deal about their conception of literature, their way of thinking and their world view in intensive conversations. He was also the author of portraits of authors for radio and other media.

Schaarschmidt received the Order of the Rising Sun on Ribbon – Golden Rays on November 3, 1992 for his contributions to the introduction of Japanese literature and his services to Japanese-German cultural exchange. – Together with Jürgen Berndt, he was awarded the Noma Translator’s Prize (野間文芸翻訳賞, Noma bungei hon’yaku-shō) in 1993

Among the translated writers are Abe Kōbō, Betsuyaku Minoru, Ihara Saikaku, Inoue Yasushi, Katase Kazuo, Kawabata Yasunari, Mishima Yukio, Mori Ōgai, Nakagami Kenji, Nishiwaki Junzaburō, Oda Makoto, Ōe Kenzaburō, Takebe Sōchō (1761-1814), Tanikawa Shuntarō, Tsuji Yukio (1939-2000).

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