“Kampung Boy”, a popular graphic novel by Datuk Lat, recently won an award in the Land of the Rising Sun.
According to BERNAMA, “Kampung Boy” beat 14 other comics from other countries such as the United Kingdom, Spain, China and South Korea, to place second in the overseas comic category of Japan’s Gaiman Award.
It was announced on the website www.gaiman.jp that a U.S. comic by the title of “’Hawkeye: My Life as a Weapon” placed ahead of “Kampung Boy”, while France’s “Jolies Tenebre” took third place.
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia’s Japanese language lecturer, Hieda Natsue, translated the Japanese version of “Kampung Boy”. It was then edited by Associate Professor Soda Naoki, who is a Tokyo University of Foreign Studies (TUFS) lecturer, and jointly published by the Malaysian Institute of Translation and Books and Tokyo’s TUFS Press.
It was launched at the 21st Tokyo International Book Fair in July this year, and has since been used as a teaching aid for students of Southeast Asian studies at the Tokyo University of Foreign Students (TUFS).
The graphic novel – which has been translated and published in 12 foreign languages including English, Arabic, Mandarin, Tamil, French, German, Indonesian and Korean – details the life story of its creator, Datuk Lat or Datuk Mohd Nor Khalid, as a young boy growing up in rural Perak during the 1950s.