Maemuki and the art of translation

Words in other languages may have translations, but often their impact can be entirely different. For example, the word 前向き, maemuki or future oriented, I feel has more of an impact in Japanese than it does in English.

This word in Japanese implies that the person is always thinking in a positive way, and they are a bit carefree without dwelling on the negative and always pushing forward. In English, I feel the term is more about being fastidious and industrious, and is something you might put on your CV.

But every once and a while, both of those meanings combine. Just yesterday I was watching this short film on Maco Shibuya, a local YouTuber who became paralyzed a few years back. Her story is a harrowing one, but as expected she is future-oriented and you wouldn’t know of all the anguish she has been going through just by talking to her.

She is also industrious. She has started to share her story on her blog and YouTube, and needless to say it is really resonating. Her story is inspirational to say the least, and I think it really is worth keeping in mind when things do eventually get really tough. It’s already helped me to try and be more upbeat!

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