Frederik L. Schodt | フレデリック・L・ショット

Translations — Books

The Four Immigrants Manga: A Japanese Experience in San Francisco, 1904-1924


A "documentary comic book" published in San Francisco in 1931, depicting the true adventures of four young Japanese men in America between 1904 and 1924. Written and illustrated by Henry Yoshitaka Kiyama (木山義喬), translated with copious notes and a foreword by Frederik L. Schodt.

These poignant tales of four immigrants in turn-of-the-century San Francisco try for irony in depicting the protagonists' attempts to understand the convoluted whims of their American employers. But the humor hovers near slapstick, and the pie is always in the face of the Caucasians. The illustrations are direct and effective; we see how hard it is for Japanese immigrants to reach the top shelf of an American cupboard. The story is bookended by the dates 1904 and 1924, as in 1924 the immigration laws stiffened and some of the protagonists elected to return to Japan. After 18 years of preparation, this book includes extensive notes historically pinpointing several of the cartoons and an introduction providing an overview of the author/illustrator. Though not quite the first "graphic novel" ever, as it is being touted, this book does have historical significance and belongs in libraries specializing in comics, cartoons, and graphic novels, as well as those focusing on California history, immigrant studies, and the Japanese American experience.—From The Library Journal.

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Mobile Suit Gundam


"In the world of the near future, an epic war rages between the Earth Federation and the rebel space colonies that call themselves the Principality of Zeon. The most fearsome weapons of the new era are the robotic vehicles known as mobile suits, armored giants with the firepower of battleships. The Federation has pinned its hopes for victory on its advanced mobile suit prototypes, but when a young cadet named Amuro Ray becomes the pilot of the Gundam mobile suit, he discovers that machines alone will not be the decisive factor in the conflict. For a new stage of human evolution is dawning, and the future—if humanity has a future—may well belong to the Newtypes." —From the back jacket.

By Yoshiyuki Tomino. Translated by Frederik L. Schodt, with a foreward by Mark Simmons.

"There is enough new stuff here to keep even a hardened fan engaged. ...Even for a casual read, the novel remains true to the spirit of the series, while remaining fresh enough to be exciting."—AnimeFringe "

Through all the human drama, the action and the exclamation points are relentless, with one climax following another...a great read. For anyone unfamiliar with the Gundam cultural phenomenon, this could be the perfect introduction."— Andrew J. Weber, The Asian Reporter"

Gundam viewers can enjoy a rendition that departs significantly from its animated counterpart...yet retains the visionary science fiction themes of exploration, change, and the struggle to adapt and survive in a technology-driven era scarred with conflict." —Midwest Book Review

2013-09-20: Review on Experiments in Manga

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Starting Point: 1979-1996

『出発点 1979-1996』ー宮崎駿(著)

A hefty compilation of essays (both pictorial and prose), notes, concept sketches and interviews by (and with) Hayao Miyazaki. Arguably the most respected animation director in the world, Miyazaki is the genius behind "Howl's Moving Castle," Princess Mononoke" and the Academy Award-winning film, "Spirited Away." Translated by Beth Cary and Frederik L. Schodt.

Turning Point 1997-2008

『折り返し点: 1997-2008』ー宮崎駿(著)

Another hefty compilation of essays (both pictorial and prose), notes, concept sketches and interviews by (and with) Hayao Miyazaki. This is the sequel to Miyazaki's Starting Point, and it's filled with all sorts of idiosyncratic and and fascinating and sometimes cantankerous opinions from Japan's revered and prolific animation master. Like Starting Point, it consists of over 450 pages. All fans, please note that Miyazaki hates the word "anime." Translated by Beth Cary and Frederik L. Schodt.


  • 2014-05-07: Rebecca Silverman review on Anime News Network
  • 2014-05-10: Alexis Agliano Sanborn review on JQ Magazine
  • 2014-06-09: Kent Conrad review on Cinema Sentries
  • 2014-07-07: Jonathan Clements review on Manga UK
  • 2014-07-27: Mark Mayerson review on his Mayers on Animation blog.
  • 2014-08-10: Rachel T. Moore review on FanGirl Magazine.
  • 2014-08-18: Michael Toscano review in Michael Toscano, with a review in The Curator of Hayao Miyazaki 's Turning Point, his films, and a bleak world view.

Gaku Stories & My Boy


This translation of author Makoto Shiina's lovely Gaku Monogatari novel (1989) was published in two different editions, one for the Japanese market, under the title of Gaku Stories, and one for the United States market, renamed the awful, My Boy: A father's memories. The first version has explanatory notes for Japanese readers, while the second does not. Makoto Shiina is a highly beloved and prolific writer in Japan, and the original Japanese novel was a huge best-seller in the early 1990s; it struck a chord among Japanese readers who lamented the over-regimentation and over-urbanization of modern children. The idiosyncratic relationship between the father (Makoto Shiina, a writer & outdoor adventurer) and his son, Gaku, also resonated deeply among readers. Both editions are now alas out of print.

Japanese edition:

Publisher: Kodansha English Library, Kodansha
Kodansha International, Tokyo, Japan
Copyright 1991
ISBN 4-06-1860777
List Price: 540 yen
288 pages, paperback.

United States edition:

Publisher: Kodansha America Inc.
Copyright February 1993
ISBN-10 477001693X
ISBN-13 978-4770016935
List Price: 540 yen
169 pages, hardback.

Jack and Betty Forever


Yoshinori Shimizu's Jack and Betty Stories is a collection of humorous short stories, or what the author calls "pastiches," that was first published in Japan in 1988. In 1993, I was asked to translate the collection for publication in English by Kodansha International, as part of the Kodansha English Library. It was quite a challenge, since humor is arguably one of the most difficult genres of literature to translate, but I had enormous fun doing it, partly because I love the stories. The book is unfortunately out of print at present, but in 2005 Veronika Schapers created a lovely "art book" that included my translation of the collection's title story, Jack and Better Forever.

Title: Jack and Betty Forever
Author: Yoshinori Shimizu
Translator: Frederik L. Schodt
Publisher: Kodansha English Library
Kodansha/ Kodansha International, Tokyo
Copyright 1993
ISBN 4-06-186093
List Price: 540 yen
200 pages, paperback.