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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

In Memoriam: Edward Seidensticker

Edward Seidensticker (1921-2007)

Translator and author Edward Seidensticker died in Tokyo on Monday after a long illness. He was 86. He was best known for his translation of Lady Shikibu's classic tale of court intrigue, The Tale of Genji. He also translated works by Nobel Laureate Yasunari Kawabata.

In addition, he also authored works of his own, including Tokyo Central: A Memoir.

Seidensticker studied Japanese while in the United States Navy, and he arrived in Japan in 1948 as a foreign service officer. Along with Donald Keene, he ranks as having done the most to introduce Japanese literature to the English-speaking world.

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  1. Over the years, Donald Richie reviewed many translations of Japanese literature in the pages of Japan Times, but he will be remembered for his work on film, not for his knowledge of Japanese literature--there are many scholars and translators who have had a better first-hand knowledge of the classical and modern literature.

    Credit should be given here to others in Seidensticker's generation of post-war translators. Perhaps you mean Donald Keene?

  2. Correct you are, Michael. The blog will be amended. Thanks again.


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