Originally published in English in 2010, the book gives readers access to the private man behind the public figure. Mandela, one of the most inspiring and iconic figures of our age, has opened his personal archives, from letters written in the darkest hours of his 27 years of imprisonment to the draft of an unfinished sequel to Long Walk to Freedom, which offer an unprecedented insight into his remarkable life.
It took Masako a full year to complete the project.
“It was such a pleasure and an honour, but at the same time a big responsibility and an enormous challenge to translate Madiba’s inner thoughts and deep emotions into a completely different language for the people who are not familiar with South Africa,” she said.
“I added a lot of my own footnotes for the Japanese audience. The senior researcher at the Nelson Mandela Foundation was incredibly patient with me bombarding her with questions. In the end, we produced a beautiful book to read and look at.”