Kazumi Miyoshi visits a temporary shelter for Yamakoshi Village, an
epicenter of Niigata Chuetsu Earthquake
(November 25, 2004)
Niigata was where she was born, grew up and her family still lived, so her concern was understandable. After finding out her family was safe she then began to think about how she could help those less fortunate. As the translator for the series of "Molly Moon" novels, Kazumi decided she would visit a local high school gymnasium in Nagaoka. The gymnasium was set up as a temporary shelter for residents of Yamakoshi village. Kazumi decided she would bring her Molly Moon books and read to the children in the shelter. Many of her friends offered support and encouragement to the cause and sent books with messages to the victims.
There were two gymnasiums. The big one served as residence for the victims. In the second smaller one, high school students played volleyball and basketball in order to keep their time occupied. There were also relief materials in this room, which was also used as a working area for volunteers and public officials. One corner was set aside for children. Outside the gyms, toys and games were lying at random just like a flea market, and children swarmed around it. With some volunteers to play with them, the children looked fairly happy.
It was in this corner that Kazumi found her spot to read to the elementary school children. To her surprise a five year old girl even read one of the books to Kazumi surprisingly in spite of complaining "I can't read Kanji". She was so cute and cheerful!
Kazumi also showed the books to some mothers passing by. The truth is that it is young mothers that need psychological care the most. They have no time to catch their breath. They seem to be enduring the present circumstances, feeling that it is not proper to complain when everyone is suffering.
Thanks to volunteers, there are enough helping hands and heartfelt presents are pouring in, but how can hearts of those mothers be consoled? The visit reminded Kazumi of the letter from Georgia Byng, the author of Molly Moon books, and she never wished so much that she could use hypnotism.
Stop the World and Challenge the Impossible?!
Kazumi Miyoshi, the translator and her team have now visited up to 6 children’s homes and offered the book. Each time, the memorable moments were shared with the children who were always eager to learn what is happening on the other side of the planet. Ms. Miyoshi made a brief presentation of the new book as well as, using a globe and some foreign coins, the short lessons on geography, history and science in a relaxed atmosphere. It didn’t take too long for the youngster to master some expressions in English such as introducing themselves, telling the day and the month of the year.
The question has been asked : What would you do if you could hold the world still? Again, we were surprised by the rich imagination of children. Here are some examples of the answers.
-make the town clean
“Making an error is the first step of learning something” “Don’t be afraid of making a mistake in front of others, as it’ll allow everybody to learn together” and “there are some sweets on top of the stairs, you can’t get them unless you try” were the messages we wanted to convey during our visits.It seems that the children got them quite well. Even those who had been timid and shy at the beginning, started talking in front of the audience. Remarking such changes in their attitude gave us a courage to pursue our project.
While the youngster respond positively to such messages, the elders are often hard to convince. We, then, try to guide them to see the fact that, in the technical innovation and business world, people with a mission often succeed in their projects. Heinrich Schliemann who discovered the ruins of Troy is a good exemple. “Having a clear goal, proper knowledge & solutions, courage, good partners & team, strong passion and ambition are the keys to make your dream come true. If you are in doubt, just start trying with something very simple” was the message we sent to them.
“Molly Moon Stops the World”
One can manipulate the others by hypnotism. Imagine if it's done by an evil... Primo Cell IS the evil. He deceives Hollywood people using his hypnotizing skills and plans to become the host of the White House.
The author, who once dreamed of becoming an actress, takes us to the backstage of the movie industry and reveals the daily life of fashionable Beverley Hills where the plastic surgery and the top brand fashions are common matters and even the pets have their own beauty salons. The book is rich with those pleasant scenes and yet keeps steady regard upon how the poor young girl grow up and become conscious of the benefit of “time” and “”free thinking.” Furthermore, we are not through with the surprises until the very last page. No doubt, the 424 pages are not too long.
While the increasing number of stories stages the full imaginary world, choosing today's real place as famous as Hollywood is worth attention. Writing a fantasy story calls for the strict rules. The rules are found here with intelligence. The necessities of diamond to hold the world still or the fact that a physical contact with the hypnotist will save one from freezing are some examples of such rules. The book is an authentic fantasy. However, what makes this book so exciting is the question rose by the author; “What shall I do if I could hold the world still?” Remind you, a fantasy always start from an innocent dream?
This was her second visit to the orphanage as she had made her first visit a year ago when she came with the first volume of Molly Moon books. “I wanted the children to look out to the world by reading this book.” she said.
She made a presentation of the freshly published book in which the heroin discovers the incredible ability of holding the world still and struggle against the powerful enemy in the decor of Hollywood, an enormous movie industry.
Handling a globe, she showed the children the different languages in which the Molly Moon's adventure has been translated. She finished by encouraging the children to follow the example of Molly Moon and to try a challenge.
Thirteen young girls gathered round and enjoyed meeting with Ms. Miyoshi. “If I could hold the world still” one of them joked, “I would eat all the cakes in the town.”
As soon as I saw the cover of "Molly Moon's Incredible Book of Hypnotism" with an illustration of pug on its rainbow colored swirling background, I accepted to translate this book. Although the antiquary in the story says "never judge a book by its cover", my intuition was right since, in this book, I found many of my favorite things; animals, antique, jewellery, Italian food, mystery, entertainment ......a real jewel box for me!
The story is rich of clues and keywords, you can't stop reading until the last page. Once you finished reading, you realize the real charm of this book. I enjoyed "Molly Moon" just like Molly did with a Dr. Logan's "Old Hypnotism Book" captured by the changing emotions of sadness, happiness, fear and anxious.
The 4 majors themes of the book are:
We all dream to be a charming person. This book may give you the clue. Why not you! The every mystery of the world will be resolved.
It wasn't easy to translate the different accents in English (Chicago, Brookline, Spanish and German) as well as the lyrics into Japanese language. It was really tough work!! But I enjoyed it very much. I hope this book will be read by many Japanese people.