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I’ve got a physical copy of this Japanese book that puzzles me a bit.

The cover states: 水晶, then in a smaller font 他三篇 and 石さまざま on separate lines. Other two lines say: シュティフター作 and 手塚富雄・藤村宏訳.

It appears to be a translation of a tales collection called “Bunte Steine” by Adalbert Stifter.

I would like to ask for a help parsing those lines. My understanding is: [Quartz] [and other stories] [various stones]. That would somehow correspond to the original “Bunte Steine” – colorful stones. The word 他三篇 is a bit of mystery to me. I am able to break it down to 他 [other], 三 [three, a few], 篇 [book, story]. The word as a whole does not appear in any dictionary however. “Other stories” fits and it is used in other book titles, as well. Example

シュティフター作 is obviously the name of the author. I am not sure, why there is only his surname written though.

The last line contains two personal names 手塚富雄・藤村 宏訳. The former is written without a space, the latter has it. Confusing again. But who are they? Translators? Their names are written the same size as the author’s.

To sum the question up: I am interested in the real meaning of all those lines. Do I understand the word 他三篇 right? Do the first three lines really compose the book’s title? Why is there author’s first name missing? Who are those people on the last line and why are they written with a same font size as the author.

Thanks in advance for any help.

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According to some webpages, 石さまざま is made from 6 short stories based on stones. 水晶 is the representative of them. 他三篇 means "and 3 another stories".

So, in this book, there are 4 short stories from 石さまざま. 水晶, みかげ石(granite), 石灰岩(limestone), and 石乳(stalactite).

シュティフター作 is obviously the name of the author. I am not sure, why there is only his surname written though.

In Japanese, names order is surname + given name. When talking about someone, it is generally focused on surname.

And シュティフター is very characteristic name, when hearing this name, no one will remember without this author.

If there are some famous シュティフター in the world, it will be written with given name.

The last line contains two personal names 手塚富雄・藤村 宏訳. The former is written without a space, the latter has it.

訳 means "translated". 手塚富雄 and 藤村 宏 are the translators. There is a space between 藤村 and 宏 because the name 藤村宏 is made from 3 characters.

Many Japanese names are made from 4 characters, 2 characters of surname and 2 characters of given name. Inserting a space for restoring balance, the length became 4.

  • Thanks @sii for your help! I feel a little ashamed that I didn’t figure it out myself. Mostly because I already knew most of what you stated, but I just failed to apply it. – Glutexo Nov 6 '16 at 13:00

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