An original translation of Underground Railroad: a musical play in four acts, play by Masuko Tsutomu : an honors thesis (HONRS 499)

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Layman, Andrew J.
Zheng, Guohe
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Thesis (B.?.)
Honors College
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Translation is a large component of foreign language education. Until this point, I had only translated small segments or short essays but felt that a more extensive translation would be a worthwhile test of my ability in Japanese after eight years of language study. Dr. Zheng suggested that the play Underground Railroad: A Musical Play in Four Acts would be an appropriately challenging translation to undertake. The playwright, Masuko Tsutomu, had requested a translation of the play to English, but Dr. Zheng had several projects underway and gave me this opportunity. Underground Railroad is Japanese-language play based on the heroic actions of Harriet Tubman, John Fairfield, and Margaret Garner as part of the Underground Railroad. The play chronicles the escape of two slaves from a Kentucky plantation to freedom in Pennsylvania. Throughout the escape, they are led through the Underground Railroad by Harriet Tubman and John Fairfield and chased by slave hunters attempting to bring them back to their masters for a bounty. The third act gives an insightful look into the famous, or infamous, story of Margaret Garner, an escaping slave who murdered her daughter to save her from returning to slavery. Overall, the play is an uplifting, original look at the bravery made necessary by a dark part of United States history, seen through the unclouded eyes of another culture.