Man arrested for attempted murder of Fukuoka Pref assemblyman


Police in Nakama City, Fukuoka Prefecture, have arrested a 75-year-old man on suspicion of attempted murder after he attacked an assemblyman with a gun-like object on Monday.

According to police, the incident occurred at around 10:30 a.m. on Monday. Fuji TV reported that Nakama City assemblyman Kazuhiko Yonemitsu, 74, was attacked in the underground parking lot of Nakama City Hall and struck in the face and head with a gun-like object. Police said he sustained light injuries.

Police arrested Masao Okamoto at the scene of the crime, and said he is currently refusing to offer any explanation or motive for his action.

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gun-like object???

5 ( +6 / -1 )

gun-like object???

Neither hommono (genuine gun) nor hamono (an edged tool, knife)... (!)

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

"gun-like object" will be translation of 拳銃のようなもの

This phrase is usually used when reporting eye-witness accounts where a 'gun' was seen, but the police cannot verify if it actually was a gun since the perpetrator as fled or disposed of the weapon before capture.

In this case, he was arrested on the scene, which would suggested the object could be confirmed. My guess is that the TV station's police beat reporter got the story from a police source who was not there and has not confirmed with his colleagues what object was found on the suspect.

The reporter, having only this to go on and rushing to file his copy, has gone with this phrase hoping he can get away with it given viewer's familiarity with it's use (while simultaneously hoping no-one will notice it's been used outside its usual context in a way that is quite strange).

So here the translator has to use his brain. I would translate this as 'he was struck in the face with an object. Sources say the object may have been a gun, but this could not be immediately confirmed'.

And here we have the problem with providing natural Japanese to English translations. Try getting the above past a Japanese editor with limited English who for some reason is over-seeing English output. He (it's always a guy) will ask why the English is so 'different' from the Japanese and demand you go with 'gun-like object' since it satisfies his idea of what the translation of 拳銃の用なもの should look like.

There's a book to be written someone on the proper translation of Japanese into English.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

And how is the attempted murder when "Police said he sustained light injuries".

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

jpn_guy, spot on. This translation problem can be diplomatically really frustrating; often you have to back down out of 'respect' even though you may actually be right at least 5 times out of ten.

In the above situation, no-one wants to commit on what the object was although it probably looked like a gun. It could have been a model gun, a modified model gun, a real gun or a home-made gun, all very very differently treated under sometimes harsh Japanese law.

Something resembling a gun? A possible gun? A suspected gun?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Maybe it was the old man's cellphone in one of those cases that resembles a gun? who knows, I am curious to know the motive behind the attack though, if it was random or politically charged. I'd imagine it would have to be something pretty big to get a 75 year old man worked up like that. Or the attacker is a not in his right mind.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

"'gun-like object' will be translation of 拳銃のようなもの"

ような is translated as "seems like" and this puts the emphasis on what the witness thought they saw. The object is what it is and doesn't change. But this phrase means that the witness is saying "he had what I thought was a gun"

And probably it was a gun... hence the attempted murder charge!!

PS - You can't translate between languages. You need to do a re-write in the other language so that it seems like a native wrote it... ;-)

1 ( +1 / -0 )

'But this phrase means that the witness is saying "he had what I thought was a gun" ' Indeed. But the strangeness here is that the perpetrator was arrested on the spot so the victim's thoughts on what he was hit with at the time should not be the newest nor most reliable source of information.

'You need to do a re-write in the other language so that it seems like a native wrote it.'

Well yes and no.

'The red wire should be connected to the socket at the back of the circuit board' is very translatable. The key is to identify which is which, stick as close as possible to the original, and wheel out one of many other available strategies when an attempt at straight translation produces nonsense. This is not the same as saying translation as a concept does not exist.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"You can't translate between languages"

Japanese people in England are fond of saying "backside" instead of "reverse side" when referring to something. When I try to tell them that "backside" means someone's buttocks and it never means "reverse side" they still don't get it...

So I just try not to make the same mistake when speaking Japanese!!... :-)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Makes no sense. If there wasn't a gun, why charge the guy with attempted murder?

If there was a gun, the normal thing to do when attempting murder is to shoot the gun, not club your target about the head with it.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Maybe he bought the gun but couldn't afford any bullets.. ;-)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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