On November 15, Vice Prime Minister Viacheslav Kyrylenko awarded the Maxym Rylsky Prize for 2017 of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine to the litterateur Nina Balykova. She made the first Ukrainian translation of the world classical masterpiece - a collection of essays written by the Japanese monk of the XIV century Yoshida Kenkō "Essays in Idleness".
The solemn ceremony was held at the Kyiv Maxym Rylsky Literary and Memorial Museum.
Vice Prime Minister Viacheslav Kyrylenko, on behalf of the Government, congratulated the translator and thanked for the persistent and complicated work, wished further success in the creative and translation work.
"I know that you have worked hard, studied Japanese and medieval Japanese. This translation has become a landmark event in the literary and translation domains of Ukraine. Such work is hard to overestimate, Japanese literature and poetry is rather popular in our country", Viacheslav Kyrylenko emphasized.
He added that he would officially submit a proposal for consideration by the Cabinet of Ministers to expand the prize to two nominations: translation from foreign languages into Ukrainian and translation from Ukrainian into foreign.
"I think the Government will support us, and perhaps from next year we will bestow the Prize in two nominations. This will be a more systematic approach", emphasized Viacheslav Kyrylenko.
The Prize has been awarded for the translation of a gem of medieval Japanese literature and one of the three representative works of the zuihitsu genre – a collection of essays written by the Japanese monk Yoshida Kenkō "Essays in Idleness". It has been translated into many languages. Nina Balykova made the first translation in Ukrainian and added comments and explanations. The book was prepared and published by the State Specialized Publishing House Lybid in 2017. The translator studied Japanese language and literature at the Kyiv National Taras Shevchenko University, has a Master's Degree in Media and International Communications at Waseda University of Tokyo. She writes articles in Japanese language and literature for scientific collections and translates ancient Japanese classical prose.
The Maxym Rylsky Prize is awarded annually on a competitive basis. The title of the prize winner is bestowed exclusively to one nominee. This year there were five contending translators.