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Kazumi Miyoshi visits a temporary shelter for Yamakoshi Village, an epicenter of Niigata Chuetsu Earthquake (November 25, 2004)

While walking in downtown Tokyo, the earthquake hit Niigata Prefecture. There was an immediate reaction of horror and disbelief from Kazumi Miyoshi!

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.

See the letter from Georgia.

Stop the World and Challenge the Impossible?!
(September 4, 2004)

Following the publication of the second volume of Molly Moon’s adventure; “Molly Moon Stops the World”, the book donation project was resumed in mid-February 2004.

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
-lay enough cushions for someone who is about to jump from the window
-fasten a cord around a drowning man
-find his/her family and give them some money
-buy a medication for a sick dog
-help people who is going to do good things to help other people
-eat everything in all sweet shops in town
-add seasoning to food to modify the tastes
-free the people in hostage
-save a person in a car accident
-read many books and get smarter

“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”
A fabulous fantasy based on the real world (March 6, 2004)

In “Molly Moon's Incredible Book of Hypnotism”, we discovered a young orphan girl named Molly Moon, just as poor as Oliver Twist, made herself a Broadway star. In this second book, Molly's hypnotism ability is more powerful as ever and she even masters a thrilling new technique of ... stopping the world !!! But, ahead of Molly, the dreadful Primo Cell with colossal fortune is trying to rule 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?
(By Ritsuko Sanpe / Sankei Press, March 6, 2004 )


“Expand Your Own World!!”
– Donation of Children's Book from the translator to an
 Orphanage (February 29, 2004))

Kazumi Miyoshi, the translator of “Molly Moon Stops the World” visited the local orphanage on February 28. She brought with her two copies of the book, which is actually the second volume of the famous orphan girl's adventure story and published this January through Hayakawa.

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.”
( Niigata Nippo Press, February 29, 2004 )


Molly Moon's Japanese translator offered X'mas presents to children's homes. (December 31, 2002)

"I wanted to bring courage and a challenging spirit to the kids in a similar situation as Molly Moon": this original idea guided Kazumi Miyoshi, the Japanese translator of "Molly Moon's Incredible Book of Hypnotism" (Hayakawa Shobo edition) to offer the book she translated to some of the children's homes. Between December 22 & 25, she visited six orphanages in Sapporo, Hokkaido with her local friends and gave the Christmas presents in her way. "I was extremely happy and felt rewarding when I saw the kid's happy faces discovering the book cover. Also, I recognized I've been so ignorant of the children's welfare problems. I feel my duty is to make propel sensible about it.", she concluded. She plans to pursue this book donation project next year.

About the children's homes (orphanages)

There are 550 children's homes in Japan, five in Sapporo. Each of them hosts 53 to 102 children with the range of 2 year old to the high school age. Not as in the past, few of them are parentless. Most of the children arriving in such homes were the victims of bad treatment (abuse) from their parents for various reasons. Some of them suffer from a psychological trouble. Only 30% of maltreated children arrive to such homes. 70% remain with their parents.

These homes are sponsored by the government (the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare) according to the number of children they host. However, such aide barely pays the working staffs and the homes are permanently in financial and labour difficulty. They cannot afford to buy new books. There are some donations, but most of them are used books.


Gift of books to her hometown school (December 2, 2002)

A nephew of Kazumi Miyoshi, the Japanese translator of "Molly Moon's Incredible Book of Hypnotism" (Hayakawa Shobo edition) made a gift of the book to his own school with his impression on "Molly Moon". The book had an immediate success and the list of the children who wished to read was long. This news came to the ear of Ms. Miyoshi who decided to offer her hometown schools more books. She was received by the Superintendent of Schools and Head of Education Ministry of her home town, Tsubame City and handed him her books. The action was reported by the local papers as well as on Kenoh.com
http://www.kenoh.com/newstank/200212/20021202/molly_moon/index.html


"It was a hard work but fun too!"

Comment of Kazumi Miyoshi, the Japanese translator of Molly Moon's Incredible Book of Hypnotism (Hayakawa Shobo edition) on www.amazon.co.jp
http://www.amazon.co.jp/exec/obidos/tg/feature/-/400988/ref%3Ded%5Fcp%5F2%5F4%5Fb/249-0623220-1425910

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:
- friends and family are much more precious than richness or celebrity,
- you have the power to learn anything, as long as you try,
- laugh,
- and real charm of human being

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.

 


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