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  • About the Contributor

Jeffrey Angles is a professor of Japanese at Western Michigan University. His translation awards include a Japan–U.S. Friendship Commission Prize and a Harold Morton Landon Award from the Academy of American Poets. He was the first American to win the Yomiuri Prize, for his own book of poems, Watashi no hizukehenkōsen (My International Date Line), written in Japanese.

Ayukawa Nobuo (1920–1986) was drafted into the Japanese army in 1942. During the fighting in Sumatra, he was wounded and returned to Japan. Opposing the military government, he secretly gathered accounts of other Japanese who were against the regime, published as Ayukawa Nobuo senchu shuki (Wartime Notes of Ayukawa Nobuo). Along with Tamura Ryuichi, he was one of the founders of the Arechi (Waste Land) poetry group after the war.

Dazai Osamu (1909–1948) gained national notoriety with work expressing the postwar crisis of despair and nihilism, as shown in the short story "Viyon no tsuma" ("Villion's Wife"). In 1947, he published the novel Shayō (The Setting Sun), and a year later the novel Ningen shikkaku (No Longer Human). All of his works are semi-autobiographical. He committed suicide in 1948.

Charles De Wolf is a professor emeritus–teacher at Keio University in Japan. His published translations include Tales of Days Gone By, stories from the twelfth-century folktale collection Konjaku monogatari-shū; and Mandarins: Stories, a collection by Akutagawa Ryūnosuke. In 2010, he received the Prince Takamado Distinguished Scholar Award from the Asiatic Society.

S. Yumiko Hulvey is professor emeritus at the University of Florida. She is the author of Sacred Rites in Moonlight: Ben no Naishi Nikki. Her translations and articles have appeared widely.

Kobayashi Issa (1763–1828) is considered one of the greatest haiku poets, along with Bashō, Buson, and Masaoka Shiki. Issa's works in English translation include The Spring of My Life and Selected Haiku and Dumpling Field: Haiku of Issa; his poems are also in such collections as The Essential Haiku and The River of Heaven.

Kurahashi Yumiko (1935–2005) was born in Shikoku, Japan, and in the 1960s was a major author of experimental Japanese fiction. Her translated books in English include Adventures of Sumiyakista Q and The Woman with the Flying Head and Other Stories.

Leza Lowitz is a writer, editor, screenwriter, and translator. She has published over seventeen books, and her work has appeared in New York Times, Shambhala Sun, [End Page 148] and Best Buddhist Writing of 2011, among other places. Her awards include a translation fellowship from the NEA, and Columbia University's Japan–U.S. Friendship Commission Prize for the translation of Japanese literature.

Peter MacMillan has been a visiting fellow at Princeton, Columbia, and Oxford universities, and is a visiting professor at Kyorin University. He also teaches at the University of Tokyo. A citizen of Ireland and Britain, he has resided in Japan for twenty-five years and is an accomplished printmaker. His artist name is Seisai, which means "studio in the west," a name he took in homage to Hokusai.

Matsuo Bashō (1644–1694) was born as Matsuo Kinsaku to a low-ranking samurai family in Iga Province. His best-known work in translation is the extended series of poems Oku no hosomichi (Narrow Road to the Interior), inspired by a walking journey of over 1,200 miles.

Emiko Miyashita writes haiku in Japanese and English. She is director of the JAL Foundation and World Children's Haiku Contest, manager of the Association of Haiku Poets, and councilor for the Haiku International Association. She has translated more then ten books about haiku, waka, and Noh theater.

Lady Murasaki Shikibu (973?–1014?) was a lady-in-waiting at the Imperial Court during the Heian Period. Her novel, Genji monogatari (The Tale of Genji), was written between 1000 and 1012. Her identity is unknown, but she may have been Fujiwara no Takako, an imperial lady-in-waiting mentioned in a 1007 court diary.

Natsume Sōseki (1867–1916) is considered one of the greatest Japanese writers of the twentieth century. His works in English translation include Kokoro, Botchan, Kusamakura, and Sanshirō.

Lady Nijō (1258–1307?) was a concubine of Emperor Go...