We now enter the pen-ultimate chapter in our grand tour of the translations of the fairy-tale, as we now enter two decades that feature two translators, Taketomo Boufuu and Oohata Suekichi, both experienced and famed handlers of translating literary works into Japanese at this point. Taketomo's is from 1930 (and actually the first of two of his translations, the latter will be covered in the next instalment) and Oohata's is from 1948, thus constituing one representative from each decade, then next instalment will deal with 1960 - 1980s since there appears to be a drought in terms of translations of this specific fairy-tale.
The Emperor (or Demoted Again):
Alas, His Majesty is once more decrowned at the hands of Taketomo, thus becoming mere ousama (王様, "king"), whereas Oohata is more condolatory with the dear monarch and has him as a koutei (皇帝, "emperor").
How, then, do they have him speak?
Taketomo gives His Majesty reacting, internally, upon not seeing the illustrious cloth:
"Kore wa doushita. Watashi ni wa sukoshi mo miemai. Tondemonaikoto ja. Watashi wa oroka na no ka. Watashi wa ou taru dake hito de wa nai ka. Mi ni totte no daiji dearu"
"What is this!? Am I not meant to be able to see not one bit of it? Absolutely not. Am I an idiot? Am I simply a person who is not meant for kingship? This is a most ghastly thing for my office!"
The formal ~mai (will not, is not intended to), is the only thing that is slightly archaic, otherwise he speaks like an old bewildered man, with the first person pronoun watashi elevating his speech with some solemnity, albeit not with the same imposing regality as yo or chin.
Quoth Oohata, with His Majesty considering over ordering the fabled clothes:
"Sou iu orimono wo kiru to, kono kuni no, dono mono ga yakunitatanai ka, tashikaeru koto ga dekiru to iu mono da. Rikoumono to bakamono wo kubetsu suru koto mo dekiru wake da. Sou da, sassoku, sono orimono wo oraseyou."
"I, with clothes like that, would be able to determine who is utterly useless and who isn't. To distinguish between the clever ones from the stupid ones. Yes, I shall right right ask that they produce the textile!"
Like his kingly translational counterpart, Oohata's Emperor speaks like an elder gentleman albeit with less archaisms.
In both wise, they speak with the older Hiroshima dialect, Oohata's Emperor uses the first pronoun washi at a later point, which figures prominently in the dialect.
As mentioned previously his title is rendered as daijin (大臣, "cabinet minister"). His personality, however, how does that fare?
We take here an excerpt from when the Minister is inspecting the textile, and then skip ahead to when he responds to the Swindlers questioning him why he is so silent and not saying what he thinks of the textiles.
Starting with Taketomo:
"Hate, watashi wa sonna ni orokanamono de arou ka. Watashi wa ima made sonna koto to wa omowanakatta. Shikashi, kore wa dare ni mo sirasete wa naranu. Watashi wa yakume ni fusouou nan o de arou ka. Iya iya, watashi ga orimono ga mienu nado to hito ni hanashite wa mi no tame ni naranu."
"Doumo rippa ja. Gara mo yoi, iroai mo yoi, watashi wa manzoku ja. Kono mune wo heika ni moushiageru to shiyou"
"Now then, am I really such a simpleton? I can not have been thinking such thoughts just now. However, none shall know of this. To think that I am unworthy of my position. No, no, no reason that I shall tell to any person that I cannot see the textile."
"It is most marvellous. The patterns and the colour are most pleasing. I am more than satisfied. I shall right away most humbly notify His Majesty of the superb news."
Watashi is present, but it can also be read as washi depending on the context, which may also be reinforced with the presence of ja, the stereotypical sentence ending copula for elderly speakers in fiction, derived itself from dialects. He uses the humble verb moushiageru (申し上げる, "to humbly report"), lit. "humbly lifting one's voice up," to express his desire to notify His Majesty.
"Sore wa, taihen. Washi wa baka na no kashiran. Sonna koto wa, ima made ippen datte omotta koto wa nai. Mata, dare datte shitte wa naran kotta. Washi wa yakunitatan to iu no ka. Ikan, ikan. Orimono wo mienai nazo to, ukkari kuchi ni dashitara, taihen da."
"Oo, migoto ja. Mattaku, emoiiwarenu joutou na mono ja!"
Toshi yori no daijin wa kouitte, megane no naka kara yoku mimashita.
"Kono gara to ii, kono iro to ii! – Sou ja, kono washi ni wa, koto no hoka ki ni haitta mune wo, koutei ni moushiageyou"
"This is most dire! Am I truly a fool? I can't have been such a thought just right now. Still, none must know of this. That I would be useless! Shan't be! Shan't be! If I were to say the reason why I couldn't see the clothes, that would be most disastrous!"
"Ah, most splendid! Indeed, an inexpressibly exquisite item, I say!"
The ageing Cabinet Minister said this and then closely looked through his spectacles.
"The patterns are great, the colours are great! Why, His Majesty shall be most exceedingly pleased when I shall humbly tell him!"
Washi is confirmed and the usage of the humble verb for "to report" or "to say", moushiageru" is also used. Both Taketomo and Oohata present him as an old, flustered, but courteous gentleman.
The Swindlers as is per the tradition of the fairy-tale speak with the utmost decorum, perhaps too much, Taketomo renders their request for His Majesty to undress and dress in the new garbs as:
"Sore de wa osoreirimasuga, omeshimono wo nuki asobamasuyou. Kono ookagami no mae de goshinchou no omeshimono wo okisemoushimasu de gozaimashou."
"If we may be as bold as to ask Your Majesty to deign to derobe Yourself of Your Royal Raiment, then, pray, if Your Majesty would place the Yourself in front of the grand mirror to graciously try out the new robes that we may garb Your Majesty in the new raiments, if Your Majesty would deign to do so."
Of note we have asobasu (遊ばす, "the monarch does", lit. "to play; to frolic") as an auxiliary reverential verb denoting the action of His Majesty undressing Himself. They also add degozaimasu to the final ~masu of the humble verb just to make it superfluously oleaginous.
Oohata gives us:
"Heika ni okaserarete wa, osorenagara, omeshimono wo onukiasobashimasuyou." (...)
"Temae-domo, tsutsuhinde, kono ookagami no mae, atarashii omeshimono wo, okisemoushiageru de gozaimashou."
"If Your Majesty relocate Your Gracious Self, then, pray, if we may be as bold to petition that Your Majesty be divested of Your current raiment." (...)
"We most simple lot, shall most meekly with Your Majesty in front of the grand mirror apply the new royal raiments to Your Majesty, pray if our sire pleases to do so."
Same application of degozaimasu to a polite verb, but we also see temae-domo used as a humble pronoun, in a rather archaic fashion versus that of its modern usage as a derogatory or insulting second person pronoun, lit. "that which is in front of (your) hand," hence the English rendition. The pluraliser domo is added here to add a further sense of humility, cf. its usage in the construction watakushi-domo, "we humble lot," the most humble modern Japanese pronoun.
And when their are ennobled by His Majesty:
Taketomo: Goyoutateya (御用織匠, Royal Weavers)
Oohata: Orimono kizoku (織物貴族, "Textile Noblemen")
Both are approximations of the Danish væverjunker, but are less verbose than some of their predecessors. 織匠 is given the irregular reading of tateya, "weaving professional", whereas it on its own would be shokushou, the word itself is rather rare.
"He is wearing nothing at all!"
And thus we reach the crescendo of the fairy-tale, where His Naked Majesty is marching through the streets with little to no clothing whatsoever, unless you count his crown as an article of clothing.
Taketomo renders the child's perspicuous observation as:
"Demo ousama wa nani mo kite irassharanai yo."
"But the King is not vested in any clothing, I say!"
Where the verb kiru (to wear) is here in its gerund with the reverential verb irassharu performing the negative tense thus "is not wearing anything." The choice for such an honorific suppletive verb sounds almost too eloquent for a child, hence "vested in clothing," rather than "wearing clothing," as the translation choice.
And similarly Oohata gives us:
"Demo, nanni mo kite irassharanai yo"
"But he isn't vested in any clothes!"
With irassharu once more appearing in the negative and the question word nani is here doubled as nanni like a "whaat" or an elongated or enforced sense of surprise.
Thus we have taken care of these two decades and are now moving on to the last step in our analysis of the translations of the fairy-tale, wherewith we will also encounter Oohata's final translation.