Celebrating the New Japanese Editions of “Harry Potter”

The Harry Potter series boasts translations into 60 languages, from Spanish to Armenian to Japanese. This week, Say-zan-sha Publications, the Japanese publisher of the series, celebrated the 20-year anniversary of the translation of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone into Japanese with a cruise ship costume party. Fans attended in full robes and raised their wands to toast the beloved series.

This December, new illustrated editions of all seven books will be published. Painter Miho Satake will create the artwork for the new versions, which have been updated since the last publication.

The first Japanese edition was translated by the publisher’s president, Yuko Matsuoka, and released in December 1999. In total, over 29 million books related to the series have been published in Japanese.

Although 20 years have passed, we can still be fascinated by the story. I hope people will read them over [and over] again. We revised the translation to make it more fluent. As they have become easier to read, people can get much more absorbed in the story.

We can’t wait to see Miho Satake’s take on the imagery from all seven books! Keep an eye out for sneak peeks of the covers as the publication date approaches.

Gayané Kaligian

Gayane has been writing about Harry Potter since the fourth grade, when she wrote her first five-paragraph essay on why Percy Weasley’s buffoonery could have led to Voldemort winning. These days, she’s still talking about the Weasley brothers, but it’s mostly about how overlooked Charlie is. In her free time, you can find her researching stunt choreography and geeking out over theater.