Universitat Rovira i Virgili

Kayoko Takeda

Kayoko Takeda teaches translation and interpreting studies in the Graduate School of Intercultural Communication and College of Intercultural Communication at Rikkyo University in Tokyo. She holds an MA in translation and interpretation from Monterey Institute of International Studies and successfully defended her thesis in 2007.

Sociopolitical Aspects of Interpreting at the International Military Tribunal for the Far East (1946-1948)

Codirectors: Franz Pöchhacker, Miriam Shlesinger
Tutor: Chris Scott-Tennent

Research Summary

This study is based on the premise that interpreting is a social activity, which therefore needs to be described and analyzed with reference to the social, political and cultural context of the setting in which the interpreter operates. Sociopolitical aspects of interpreting at the International Military Tribunal for the Far East (IMTFE) are studied by focusing on the three-tier structure of the linguists (language specialists) who were involved in the interpreting process. Based on the concepts of trust, power and control, the historical and political context of the IMTFE and the sociopolitical background of each linguist group are examined to explore why the tribunal devised the organization of interpreter, monitor and language arbiter. The concept of "negotiated norms" is applied to examine the tribunal's attitude toward the interpreting procedures and the interpreters' performance. Interjections by the linguists during testimonies of Japanese witnesses are analyzed to test the hypothesis that interpreters' awareness of their standing in the social, political and cultural context of the setting affects their behavior, choices and strategies in interpreting.


Takeda, Kayoko. 2014. "The Visibility of Collaborators: Snapshots of wartime and post-war interpreters". In Framing the Interpreter: Towards a visual perspective, A. Fernández-Ocampo and  M. Wolf (eds.). London: Routledge.

Kayoko Takeda and Yasuhiro Seikine. 2014. "Translation of Japanese laws and regulations" The Ashgate Handbook of Legal Translation. Ed. Le Cheng, King Kui Sin, & Anne Wagner. Surrey: Ashgage.

Kayoko Takeda. 2012. "The emergence of translation studies as a discipline in Japan" Translation and Translation Studies in the Japanese Context. Ed. N. Sato-Rossberg, and J. Wakabayashi. London: Continuum. 11-32.

Kayoko Takeda. 2010. Interpreting the Tokyo War Crimes Trial: A Sociopolitical Analysis. Ottawa: University of Ottawa Press.

Kayoko Takeda. 2008. 東京裁判における通訳 (Interpreting at the Tokyo Trial). Tokyo: みすず書房 (Misuzu Shobo).

Takeda, Kayoko. 2007. Nisei linguists during WW!! and the occupation of Japan. The ATA Chronicle 36(1).

Takeda, Kayoko. 2007. The making of an interpreter user. Forum 5/1. 245-264.

Takeda, Kayoko. 2008. "The Interpreter, the Monitor and the Language Arbiter". Meta.

Updated CV available here

Viva: October 20, 2007

Examining committee :
Dr. Daniel Gile (University Paris III - Sorbonne Nouvelle)
Dr. Ingrid Kurz (University of Viena)
Dr. Minako O'Hagan (Dublin City University)
Dr. Anthony Pym (URV)
Dr. Jordi Mas López (Universitat Autònoma Barcelona)

Doctoral Thesis