When I began to translate “落照の獄”, I had to decide its English title. No one gave this new story an English title at the moment. I translated “落照” into “the declining Light”. “落照” means “落日(the setting sun)”. Why didn’t I translate into “the setting sun”?
The first time, I thought the story was not exciting but interesting when I read it. I think Ono sensei began to write this series as ライトノベル, but “落照の獄” is not light in any sense. In Japanese, “落日” has a negative image. When we see the sunset normally, we never use the word “落日”. If we use it, there is some negative background at that time. “落日” sometimes means, for example, “the collapse of the great country”, “the death of the great mind”, etc. “落照” has the same mood. Besides, we don’t use “落照” in everyday life even if written word, though “落日” we sometimes use as written word. “落照” is a very uncommon word for us, I mean the Japanese today. So I needed the translation word that was uncommon.
“Rakushō no Goku” is a story of the country Ryu(柳). Ryu(柳) goes near to ruin, the power of the country is declining. Therefore, Ono sensei probably used the word “落照”. I felt the word “declining” has a negative mood and chose this. The sunset relates to light. So I translated “落照” into “the declining Light”.
I also debated whether “A jail” or “The jail”. I consider this “獄” means not only the building where Shudatsu(狩獺) is locked up but also the country Ryu(柳). If I used “The jail”, it might confine the meaning of “獄” to the building where Shudatsu(狩獺) is locked up, I felt.
Finally, I made the English title for “落照の獄” “A jail of the declining Light”. Still now, I don’t know if it was good or not.