April 13, 2009

The Twelve Kingdoms novels

Downloadable versions (Kindle/ePub/HTML/RTF) of my translations can be found here.

I number the chapters in my translations sequentially (for file management purposes). The part + chapter style used in the books is shown on the first line of each chapter (except for the first chapter in a section).

The TokyoPop translations are apparently ordered according to the narrative in the anime, which integrates material from the Gyousou/Taiki and Shouryuu/Enki arcs into the Youko/Keiki arc.

The Youko/Keiki and Gyousou/Taiki arcs intersect in the third book of both series. Unfortunately, I don't know anything about a hoped-for sequel to The Shore in Twilight that will conclude the Taiki arc either.

Additional links to fan translations can be found at C. Tokolsky's Ranka site and Shashinboku, which also provides summaries and a listing of all the stories in chronological order. Also see this Wikipedia entry.

Speaking of Wikipedia, palaces in the Twelve Kingdoms are more or less based on their medieval Chinese counterparts, except laid out vertically.


1. Tsuki no Kage, Kage no Umi. My translation: Shadow of the Moon, a Sea of Shadows. TokyoPop translation: The Twelve Kingdoms: Sea of Shadow.

Keiki chooses Youko as Empress of Kei. (Or as Shashinboku puts it, "Me and my annoying monkey conscience.")

2. Kaze no Banri, Reimei no Sora. My translation: A Thousand Leagues of Wind, the Sky at Dawn. TokyoPop translation: The Twelve Kingdoms: The Skies of Dawn.

Youko, Suzu and Shoukei fight corrupt government leaders in Wa Province.

3. Tasogare no Kishi, Akatsuki no Sora. My translation: The Shore in Twilight, the Sky at Daybreak.

Risai escapes from Tai to Kei to ask Youko for help rescuing Taiki. Taiki and Youko are contemporaries.

Illustrations: chapter  2   8   12   16   18   25   31   35   41   46


1. Masho no Ko ("The Demon Child").

Fuyumi Ono wrote The Demon Child before she started the Twelve Kingdoms series. She covers some of this material in The Shore in Twilight, The Sky at Daybreak.

2. Kaze no Umi, Meikyu no Kishi ("A Sea of Wind, Shores of the Labyrinth"). TokyoPop translation: The Twelve Kingdoms: Sea of Wind.

Taiki chooses Gyousou as Emperor of Tai.

3. Tasogare no Kishi, Akatsuki no Sora. My translation: The Shore in Twilight, the Sky at Daybreak.

Risai escapes from Tai to Kei to ask Youko for help rescuing Taiki. Taiki and Youko are contemporaries.


1. Higashi no Watatsumi, Nishi no Sokai. TokyoPop translation: The Vast Spread of the Seas. My translation: Poseidon of the East, Vast Blue Seas of the West.

Enki chooses Shouryuu as Emperor of En. This occurs at the beginning of Japan's "Warring States" era, several centuries before they meet Youko.


1. Tonan no Tsubasa. My translation: The Wings of Dreams.

Kyouki chooses Shushou as Empress of Kyou. (Shoukei encounters Shushou in A Thousand Leagues of Wind.)

Illustrations: chapter  4   12   18   35   41

Kasho no Yume

Five short stories about the Twelve Kingdoms. My translation: Dreaming of Paradise.

1. (冬栄) "Winter Splendor" (Touei): takes place in Tai and Ren during The Shore in Twilight, the Sky at Daybreak.
2. (乗月) "Jougetsu": takes place in Hou after A Thousand Leagues of Wind, the Sky at Dawn.
3. (書簡) "Pen-Pals" (Shokan): takes place in Kei and En after Shadow of the Moon, a Sea of Shadows.
4. (華胥) "Dreaming of Paradise" (Kasho): takes place in Sai sometime before A Thousand Leagues of Wind, the Sky at Dawn.
5. (帰山) "Kizan": takes place in Ryuu and Sou after A Thousand Leagues of Wind, the Sky at Dawn.

Hisho no Tori

Four short stories about the Twelve Kingdoms. A translation (in progress) by o6asan.

1. (丕緒の鳥) "Hisho's Birds" (Hisho no Tori).
2. (落照の獄) Rakushou no Goku.
3. (青条の蘭) Seijou no Ran.
4. (風信) Fuushin.



# posted by Anonymous Harimau
Hey. I was just wondering whether you were planning on creating a downloadable version of The Shore in Twilight, as well as Dreaming of Paradise, as you've done for the first two novels you translated. It would be much appreciated, as I'd prefer to read it where I don't have an internet connection.
11/25/2009 9:19 PM

# posted by Blogger Eugene
I've posted zipped RTF files for both.
11/27/2009 10:02 AM

# posted by Anonymous Animeaddict
Thank you so much for your translation! Just started reading Shore in Twilight and enjoying every bit of it. Would you be translating "The Demon Child" as well? *hopeful puppy eyes* :) Anyway, thank you again for your hard work. Cheers!
12/08/2009 12:40 AM

# posted by Blogger david
Would you consider translating the whole series of The Twelve Kingdoms novels?
12/26/2009 2:24 AM

# posted by Blogger david
In addition, could you offer browser files of the The Shore in Twilight, as well as Dreaming of Paradise so that I can enjoy them on a PSP browser. Thank you very much. Have a good day.
12/26/2009 2:49 AM

# posted by Blogger Eugene
At this juncture, my workload is such that I don't plan on doing any more Twelve Kingdoms translations. The downloads for The Shore in Twilight and Dreaming of Paradise now include browser files.
12/26/2009 12:30 PM

# posted by Anonymous Harimau
Thanks again for your work on the novels.
Do you think you could do the offline browser versions of The Shore in Twilight and Dreaming of Paradise similar to your Shadow and Wind "PSP" zip (or the online reading on your site)? Because I quite like how you've done that.
Sorry if I sound too demanding.
12/29/2009 11:39 PM

# posted by Blogger wingéd densetsu
I've really got to thank you for your work! You're my saviour! After the anime ended with a big question mark, I discovered that there were the novels, which actually continued on. However, at that point of time, the only translated ones were in Chinese (which does not help me at all). Spotted books 1 & 2 in English last year, and just gotten book 3 last month (the translation has typos! Are the editors sleeping?) I've just recently discovered your site, and immediately downloaded them all. Awesome stuff! Thanks a lot!
3/03/2010 9:14 AM

# posted by Anonymous Anonymous
Thank-you so much for translating the 12 Kingdoms!! It's so hard to get in Australia. I hope that you will translate the rest of the series!! Thanks, again!!!
5/29/2010 12:59 AM

# posted by Blogger Woraug
I thank you so much for what you have translated! But, since you're not doing anymore, would you happen to know where I can obtain the rest of the series?
8/31/2010 2:50 AM

# posted by Blogger Eugene
Unfortunately, I don't know anything more than what the links provide above.
8/31/2010 11:32 AM

# posted by Blogger 4rc
where could we get the rtf version of all 4 books of twelve kingdom. Not the html version. I like to read it on kindle 3
9/24/2010 5:50 AM

# posted by Blogger Eugene
I've replaced the TXT files for Shadow of the Moon and A Thousand Leagues of Wind each with a single RTF file. The formatting is minimal but should be clean.
9/24/2010 4:22 PM

# posted by Blogger Alex
You are amazing!! Thank you very much for your awesome work! =D

I bought the first 3 volumes of TokyoPop through Amazon and when I was about to order the 4th one I noticed the reviews (the editor mistakes)... One of the reviewers mentioned "free online translation", so I googled it and your website appeared on the 1st entry!

OH you can't imagine how glad I was when I found what you did! I was already reading the Sea of Shadow(s) book, but despite that, I downloaded and started to read your translation as well! And I can sincerely say, I regret I haven't found you earlier. I can't read Japanese and I've never seen the original books, but it is clear to me that your translations are far more accurate and superior when compared to the TokyoPop ones (I am really impressed on the detail you've put into them! Your Notes are priceless!).

I've also sadly noticed on your previous comments that you do not intend to translate anymore volumes... But if by any chance you think about doing it again, please think about Tonan no Tsubasa ("The Wings of Dreams"). It would mean a lot to 12Kmers and I guess you would teach those TokyoPop guys another lesson =)

P.S.: This guy http://protik09.blogspot.com/2009/08/twelve-kingdoms-books-download.html
Pdfed 2 of your translations... But I still prefer your html navigation, it just feels like an online game xD
10/09/2010 7:25 AM

# posted by Blogger Eugene
Alex, thank you for your generous comments. The PDFs appear to be the ones created by "immi," who did a lot of copyediting on the original postings. "Teschi" created the downloadable HTML files.

Unfortunately, conventional translations of genre fiction eschew footnotes. Though it may be better for me that way, because I could easily spend as much time on the footnotes as the actual text.
10/09/2010 11:36 AM

# posted by Blogger Sansris Jeevan
Hello Eugene,
Your work was brilliant, i do believe the translation was and is quite a great task. even if Tokyo pop does release the translation, it does not come in accordance to the 12 kingdoms novel. Hence i would like you to make a slight addition as to which sort/chapter falls in which novel. If 7 novels exists for the original 12 kingdoms. IMDB has given us a link to where the animation links to chapters http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0327386/episodes in a similar fashion it would truly help if we know where translation links to chapters. Thanks.
4/29/2011 10:17 PM

# posted by Anonymous Anonymous
Just read your "Shadow of the Moon" translation and it was amazing! Thank you so much for all your hard work, and for making these available!
5/29/2011 10:02 PM

# posted by Blogger potato
Thank you for your hard work!!! I bought 4 volumes of JK from Tokyopop, but I do enjoy your translations more. Also, you translated 2 books that Tokyopop did not. Yay!!!!
8/01/2011 1:56 PM

# posted by Anonymous Happyfan
Thank you very much for your translations I just finish watching the anime and was happy to find your translations. I was wondering do you plan on ever translating books 3 and 5. Thank you so much for the wonderful work you have done.
8/02/2011 7:46 AM

# posted by Blogger Joshua
A Thousand Leagues of Wind was amazingly done. :) think you should do the other stories of the series. noticed you only translated the books with Youko in them.
8/15/2011 2:07 PM

# posted by Blogger pritesh
eugenewoodbury.com site is not working. if anyone of you will please mail me 12 kingdoms eBook, i really will love it, be delighted n be grateful 2 you. my email id is 'meetpritesh@gmail.com'
10/20/2011 12:03 AM

# posted by Anonymous Deah
thank you so much. I have read all of your translations and it's awesome. I hope you'll soon find time to tanslate the other volumes...
11/29/2011 1:26 AM

# posted by Anonymous Mondtanz
Thanks for the great work! I bought the four volumes available from TokyoPop in German and was looking forward to the fifth when I suddenly noticed that the books are not on their list of products anymore...
I kind of stumbled across your page and was thrilled - "Sky at Daybreak" and "Dreams of Paradise" are perfect fodder for my new Sony eBook-Reader :)
Again, thanks a lot!
1/25/2012 5:25 PM

# posted by Anonymous kiriyubel
Thank you for your translations but will you translate "Sea God in the East, Vast Sea in the West"? it's the one I want to read most but I just can't find it anywhere.
1/27/2012 9:05 AM

# posted by Blogger Eugene
I appreciate your kind comments. I've put these translations on hold to work on professional and personal projects. If I find the time in the future, I'll certainly consider picking up where I left off.
1/27/2012 11:37 AM

# posted by Anonymous Anonymous
Thank you very much for all your hard work in translating this!
4/17/2012 10:38 AM

# posted by Anonymous Anonymous
Thanks a lot for providing us with this awesome work. :)
4/28/2012 9:09 AM

# posted by Blogger Joshua
would like to thank you again Eugene for the great translations and i do so hope you find the spare time to continue the venture :)
4/30/2012 4:30 PM

# posted by Blogger Sir Markus
thank you for your hard work translating this, but there is one thing i want to ask.
Why do you use King and Empress? Shouldnt it be either King and Queen or Emperor and Empress?
6/10/2012 10:25 AM

# posted by Blogger Eugene
I discuss the question here, though thinking about it now, my inclination would probably be to favor "emperor."
6/10/2012 11:41 AM

# posted by Anonymous jas
Thanks you so much! It's heartbreakingly difficult to obtain 12 Kingdoms material in my area, I can't tell you how grateful I am for your translations!
7/17/2012 2:31 AM

# posted by Anonymous andie
I just want to ask though. I've been wondering if I can read this book.
What level would you say these books are? (gradeschool, middle school, junior high, senior high, college)

I also saw that they re-released these books! I think with a different publisher Shinchosha :D
New short stories.. hopefully also a whole novel ^^
8/30/2012 1:38 AM

# posted by Anonymous andie
oops.. upon further net searching, I find out that the 2 short stories were published before. 2008 and 2009. :| Oh well.. I hope they continue it ^^
8/30/2012 3:59 AM

# posted by Blogger Eugene
I would categorize the Twelve Kingdoms novels as young adult (and up).
8/30/2012 9:46 AM

# posted by Blogger Streetwalker
Thank you Eugene, it's so nice of you to provide this translated novel to us. I'm really really grateful for your hard work. I've watch the anime but it's not explain about Taiki disappearance, so I'm very curious about it. And thanks God there is a kind enough man to bring out the light when it's dark. Hahahaha.

Any way, thanks a lot. (^^)
10/14/2012 5:07 AM

# posted by Anonymous Anonymous
Thank you for your translations. I hope you can also translate the book about Shouryu/Enki. I've been looking for its translation but I can't find it anywhere:(
1/14/2013 2:41 AM

# posted by Anonymous Jinny
Thanks so much for translating! This story is just amazing and I look forward to reading it again.
2/13/2013 2:39 PM

# posted by Blogger Mana Miles
I just want to say thank you for translating these novels. You've given me much pleasure for years from enabling me to read and reread these novels.
3/12/2013 10:01 AM

# posted by Anonymous Emi
Thank you so much for these wonderful translations. I've been a 12 Kingdoms fan since I saw the anime, and I bought the English translated books right when they came out. I was devastated when I found out that they wouldn't be publishing the rest. I had believed that I would go forever not knowing what happened to Taiki. So thank you so much. I have just one suggestions for your website. One of the things I like about the novels are the illustrations. Do you have the illustrations for the last three books, and if you do, could you post them on your website? It would be awesome, since I love seeing what the different creatures look like.

Once again, thank you for all you do.
4/20/2013 7:57 PM

# posted by Anonymous Lenny
Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful translation!
I've been dying to read these novels since watching the anime series ^0^
4/27/2013 5:09 AM

# posted by Anonymous FunCat
Thank you from the bottom of my heart <3 for your translation and share them with us ..I was looking for a long time and have lost hope that I find

But is final and the absence of any sequel to the novel? ... I hope desperately to find out what happened in the Kingdom of Tai

And I repeat, thank you for your outstanding efforts and wonderful

I wish you the best luck and success =)
5/27/2013 9:02 AM

# posted by Anonymous Ghostwolf47
Thank you so much for translating this for us. I know I appreciate it greatly! Especially since I started the anime and was never able to get ahold of the rest of the dvds. I have volumes 1-3. Thank you again.
7/24/2013 7:01 PM

# posted by Anonymous Anonymous
Thank you so much for all the time and effort you put into translating the series!!! Thank you sooo sooo very much!! I've always been a fan of Ono Fuyumi's works ever since I saw Ghost Hunt and the twelve Kingdoms. When the anime ended without revealing anything more about Taiki, I was really sad, especially because Tokyopop did not continue the english scanlations :(
But when I found this website two days ago, I was literally leaping with joy!! I've finished reading Aili's translation of the Demonic Child and started this series from the beginning. This is such a wonderful series and I am so thankful to you for translating it!! Thank you so much!!
8/24/2013 11:13 PM

# posted by Blogger Universal Teacher
8/29/2013 12:24 AM

# posted by Anonymous Anonymous
Thank you so much for translating this.

are you going to translate another Twelve Kingdom after "Tonan no Tsubasa" finished ?
9/08/2013 10:02 PM

# posted by Blogger Katrina Codilla
I love your work on Tonan no Tsubasa. I had always been anticipating it every week. It was great read and well translated. I wonder if there is some kind of epilogue or story where it shows how Shushou handled her first few years especially since she was a runaway and a kid :). Cheers. Well done :3
10/09/2013 7:41 AM

# posted by Blogger Casey Mitchell
I can't thank you enough for these translations. After Kodansha USA has been sitting on the Twelve Kingdoms' publishing rights for ever 2 years without doing anything, I had despaired of ever being able to read the rest of Fuyumi Ono's epic.

If you could ever translate Hisho no Tori, that would be great. No pressure though, as I'm plenty grateful for what you've already put so much labor into translating already.
10/21/2013 11:49 AM

# posted by Blogger Mharia Ruperth
Hi Eugene, Thank you very much for translating 12 kingdoms, hopefully to read the rest soon. More power to you and god bless. Tiny from Philippines
10/24/2013 11:48 PM

# posted by OpenID 0gattomiao
Hi, thank you very much for your work. I was going to become crazy with just the first four books and the dropped project.
can you please tell me if since de book 8 there are more books about Kei and Youko?
thank you very much for your work, I don't have enoght words to express my gratitude. really: thank you.
12/16/2013 4:50 PM

# posted by Blogger Eugene
Aside from the short story collections, I'm not aware of any.
12/17/2013 1:46 PM

# posted by Anonymous Anonymous
Hi thank you so much for the fine translation... im dying to know what happen to the kingdom of Tai since the story still hanging. What will happen to taiki? Cant he become a kirin again? Does the novel continue to tell the story about them?
1/25/2014 2:34 AM

# posted by Blogger 黒猫
Hi. I'm a great fan of both 12k and your translation, and I was really, really happy when I finally stumbled upon it. Thank you so much for your work, you're incredible. It's great to be able to read it. I wish my non-english speaking brethren could read it, since I know quite a few people who had enjoyed the series. Hence I was wondering, would you allow me to translate your translation?(not a great idea, I know, but then again there isn't all that many people in Poland who can actually speak Japanese and would like to translate it directly ._.) I just really want it to be available to read in Polish.

Still, thanks for everything. Really.
2/27/2014 11:06 AM

# posted by Blogger Eugene
That's fine with me. My translations aren't "authorized," so I can't speak with any legal authority on the subject. But with that in mind, if you want do a Polish translation based on my translations, please go right ahead.
3/01/2014 9:36 AM

# posted by Anonymous 17
Hello, Mr. Eugene.

Thank you for translating Twelve Kingdoms. 'Hope you'll be able to finish translating this wonderful novel. I really appreciate your hard work on translating this. It's hard to find the manga version and the anime left the story hanging. I really want to know what will happen to the other characters and their kingdoms.

Keep up the good work and more power!

Thank you and God bless!
3/27/2014 3:18 AM

# posted by Anonymous KaL EL
Thanks for the hard work, really appreciate it.
It's rare to find such a good translation of Japanese Novels.

Hope you'll be able to translate all 12K novels.

3/28/2014 11:53 AM

# posted by Anonymous Anonymous
i'm reading your tasogare no kishi translation, in it u mentioned egg-fruit raika, isn't it supposed to be ranka?
4/02/2014 10:30 AM

# posted by Blogger Eugene
You are correct. I've updated the htm, rtf, and epub files.
4/02/2014 10:43 AM

# posted by Anonymous Anonymous
Thanks so much for providing such wonderful translations! May I ask when do you plan to finish translating Higashi no Watatsumi? I am so excited to know how it ends!! Please! I live too far from the US and here these novels aren't sold, so my only way to read them is online. I appreciate very much your effort!
4/06/2014 4:59 AM

# posted by Blogger Eugene
There are 28 chapters left so I should be done in 28 weeks or so.
4/06/2014 8:34 AM

# posted by Anonymous Manny H.
thank you for share this books with us! I really wanted to read them so much! x3
4/20/2014 9:23 PM