Lat’s ‘Kampung Boy’ comic book wins Japanese award

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KUALA LUMPUR: The Japanese version of the Kampung Boy comic book has won the second place in Japan’s Gaiman Award for the overseas comic category.

According to a statement, the comic by Datuk Mohd Nor Khalid, popularly known as Lat, beat 14 other comic books from several countries, including the United Kingdom, Spain, China and South Korea.

According to the results announced on Saturday through the website www.gaiman.jp, the comic book from the United States Hawkeye: My Life as a Weapon was accorded first, while the third place went to Jolies Tenebres from France.

“Generally, overseas readers love reading Kampung Boy and choose the book because it portrays the culture, harmony and unity of Malaysian society through the eyes of a local village boy.

“The illustrations of real characters in a village setting draw readers close to the characters and make the comic book an easy read,” the statement said.

The Japanese version of Kampung Boy was translated by Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Japanese language lecturer Hieda Natsue, edited by Tokyo University of Foreign Studies (TUFS) lecturer Associate Prof Soda Naoki, and jointly published by the Malaysian Institute of Translation and Books and Tokyo’s TUFS Press.

kampung_boyLaunched at the Tokyo International Book Fair in July, it is also used as a teaching aid for Southeast Asian Studies at TUFS because of its uniqueness.

Lat’s works have been translated and published in 12 foreign languages including Arabic, Chinese, Tamil, French, German, Indonesian and Korean. — Bernama

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on December 19, 2014.