Japanese Translator: Miyoko Kato
When I first came across A Course in Miracles in 1987, I was particularly intrigued that this book came in the form of a “curriculum” — complete with Text, Workbook, and Manual. To me, such a format seemed “too worldly” for the book’s content which appeared to be rather abstruse and esoteric. Yet this curious incongruity was what grabbed my attention at first and attracted me to it. I clearly remember that fairly early on in my first reading of the Course, I thought to myself, “It would be interesting to translate this into Japanese.” But at that time, I had no idea how difficult it would really be to undertake such a task.
More than ten years later, I did end up taking part in the translation project of the Course, but ironically, this happened after I decided that I was no longer interested in it. I even declined it twice, fully aware that it would take a tremendous commitment and it would not be the kind of task that one could do in one’s spare time. But then, I was invited to meet with Dr. Kenneth Wapnick at the Foundation for A Course in Miracles in Roscoe, New York, and after talking with him, he said that I should translate it. At that point, I could not refuse it. I later wondered why this job came to me when I was no longer actively interested in it on the conscious level. But regardless of whatever the deeper reason may be, it does seem that the earlier part of my life was indeed preparing me for this task.
I was born and grew up in Tokyo, Japan, and therefore, I naturally absorbed the Japanese culture and ways of life while growing up. But at the same time, since childhood I have always been fascinated by European cultures and languages. And I felt uncanny feelings of “familiarity” toward them as if they were some kind of distant memories. I also felt the same “familiarity” with Christianity, when I was led to it through a spiritual experience I had while reading the Bible by myself in my late teens. After being a devout Christian for several years (which also included a transition from being a Baptist to a Catholic), I discovered esoteric and metaphysical writings in English in my twenties, which led me out of traditional Christianity. It was as if the floodgates opened suddenly and new knowledge and understanding flooded into my consciousness. As I devoured one book after another in this newly discovered field, I again felt like I “knew” this before — somehow, somewhere. And several years into this “metaphysical phase” of my life, I found A Course in Miracles. (Thus, Jesus showed up again in my life!) So, despite my Japanese background, my frame of reference at that time was probably close to that of typical English-speaking, ex-Christian, spiritual seekers for whom the Course was originally intended. And later, this helped a great deal in translating the Course. For instance, being able to recognize most of the Biblical references throughout the Course was definitely an advantage. And it also made me less prone to interpreting the Course my own way.
As for my education and work experiences, I was sixteen when I first came to the U.S.; and I spent my junior and senior years in high school in California. After that, I went back and forth between Japan and the United States, but completed my college and graduate school education in the U.S. (with B.A. in English literature, and M.A. in Japanese linguistics and literature); and now I live in the States. Because of these bilingual and bicultural experiences, it has always been natural for me to use both Japanese and English in work situations. At first, I taught Japanese to American students for three years at the university where I was doing my graduate work. But soon I left teaching altogether to focus on translating full-time, which gave me many opportunities for interesting international projects. I also translated some books and course materials of other spiritual paths besides A Course in Miracles. So, by the time I came to the Course translation, I had plenty of professional translation experience, without which I could never have been able to complete this most challenging translation I have ever had to do in my life.
But besides difficulty and challenges, this project also came with blessings. Most of all, it gave me the opportunity to study the Course deeper, in order to translate it. And what I appreciated most in this project was that I was able to study under the guidance of Dr. Ken Wapnick for many years. At the time I started working with him, I was only familiar with a few of his books and tapes. But because at that time it had been already more than ten years since I had first found the Course, I naively thought I already knew the Course well enough. But soon such blissful ignorance was shattered. Learning from Ken, I began to discover deeper layers of this Course and gradually came to understand its real depth that I had not known. For this, I am forever grateful to Ken. Unfortunately, Ken is no longer with us in body, but I feel he is always with us in spirit, and I am deeply thankful for the invaluable works he left behind, from which we can continue to learn.
Another blessing of this project was the teamwork with another member of this translation team, Yoshiko Sawai. Although her role was that of an assistant in translation, her dedication to all aspects of this project (not only just translation) was truly remarkable. Through this teamwork, I came to appreciate the meaning of the words, “Salvation is a collaborative venture.” Perhaps just as Helen Schucman could not have completed the scribing of the Course without Bill Thetford, I can say that I too could not have completed this translation without Yoshiko.
All in all, it has been an incredible journey to translate A Course in Miracles into Japanese. It is my sincere hope that those who read this translation will find in it, as I did, a pathway to true inner peace that is not of this world.
This Japanese translation of the Combined Volume, Third Edition of A Course in Miracles, consists of the Preface, Text, Workbook for Students, Manual for Teachers, Clarification of Terms and the two Supplements: “Psychotherapy: Purpose, Process and Practice,” and “The Song of Prayer: Prayer, Forgiveness, Healing,” extensions of A Course in Miracles principles.
Japanese Hardcover Edition
Where available, there are now links for purchasing translated editions in your country. To purchase a translated edition for shipping within the USA, or if you have any other questions, contact us.
NOTE: To purchase this Japanese edition in Japan,
order it directly here.