Michel Vieillard-Baron, winner of the Herbert Giles medal from the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres

23 November 2023
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The Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres (AIBL) has awarded its Herbert Giles Medal to Michel Vieillard-Baron for his annotated edition of "Kokin waka shû, Recueil de poèmes japonais d'hier et d'aujourd'hui" (Les Belles Lettres, 2022), the first imperial anthology of Japanese poetry, compiled around 905.
M. Vieillard-Baron
M. Vieillard-Baron - médaille Herbert Giles (AIBL) © Inalco‎
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The Herbert Giles Medal is awarded every two years by the AIBL to a French person for work relating to China, Japan or the Far East in general.

Discover: Kokin waka shû, Recueil de poèmes japonais d'hier et d'aujourd'hui (Les Belles Lettres, collection Japon, 2022)

"The Collection brings together one thousand one hundred and eleven poems, by over one hundred authors, including women, representing a century and a half of poetic creation. It is an original work, with a perfectly concerted purpose and structure.
This carefully annotated complete translation is the first in French." (Les Belles Lettres)

Michel Vieillard-Baron is University Professor at Inalco, Department of Japanese Studies, and attached to the French Institute for Research on East Asia - IFRAE (Inalco-Université Paris Cité-CNRS). He is a specialist in classical Japanese literature, and in particular in the poetic genre known as waka, vernacular fixed-form poetry. His research focuses on the aesthetics of waka, its uses and the relationship between imperial power and poetry. He is also involved in the long-term scientific research program on the translation of the Genji monogatari [Roman du Genji] (IFRAE: Axe I - Les langues, les sources et leurs enjeux).

His translations of Japanese poetic works include, among others:

- the translation of a poetic manuscript preserved in the Musée Guimet: Recueil des joyaux d'or et autres poèmes (Les Belles lettres, 2015) awarded the Prix Stanislas Julien by the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres.

- the annotated translation with the original text alongside of the oldest treatise on the art of Japanese gardens (11th century): De la création des jardins, translation of the Sakutei-ki, Monographie de la Maison Franco-Japonaise, series Pensée japonaise, Tôkyô, Maison Franco-Japonaise 1997 (revised reprint 2003), a work awarded the 2004 Shibusawa Claudel Special Prize.