Valuable New Resources for Wordsmiths!      Buried Treasure at the JTA Signage Project Website

Valuable New Resources for Wordsmiths!    Buried Treasure at the JTA Signage Project Website

Signage, websites, and other information in English about tourist sites around Japan is being prepared by professionals in a project sponsored by the Japan Tourism Agency. While this is welcome news for tourists, the exciting point for wordsmiths is that the style guide and other resources are now available online.

“Promoting Multilingual Support for Sightseeing Destinations around Japan” began in 2018 and is about to enter its third year in FY2020. On April 24, the FY2019 results of the project were quietly posted on the... more

Swet Columns

Word Wise: Number Puzzles

Word Wise: Number Puzzles

By Richard Medhurst

This column often looks at cases where the same concept is expressed differently in Japanese and English. This is a particular issue when it comes to terms related to numbers. For starters, the numerical system in Japan of counting by ten thousands (万, 億, 兆) can trip up the unwary. One pitfall is not noticing a missing column, such as misreading  1兆234億 as 1.234 trillion rather than the correct 1.0234 trillion. Where possible, it is best... more


Travel Media in a Time of No Travel

Travel Media in a Time of No Travel

By Rob Goss

Travel media, like the rest of the travel industry, has been hit hard by COVID-19. Publications large and small have had to cut jobs, furlough staff and scale back on publication. Business Traveller UK, to give one example, has temporarily gone digital only. has put itself into hibernation until COVID-19 ends. Lonely Planet has shut down its Melbourne and London offices.

Yet, at the British Guild of Travel Writers and the North American Travel Journalists Association—two media associations... more

SWET Spotlight

Howard Hibbett: Scholar, Translator, Editor

Howard Hibbett: Scholar, Translator, Editor

By Joel Cohn

Howard Hibbett's name was not familiar to the general public, but among Anglophone scholars and students of Japanese literature it was very much one to be reckoned with. His contributions touched us in a variety of ways; many of them extended our understanding of Japanese culture in new directions, and virtually all of his work—be it as a scholar, a translator, a critic, or an editor—was of the highest standard.

Probably he was... more

A Community for Japan-Related Writing Professionals

Based in Tokyo, Japan, SWET comprises people engaged not only in the three professions of writing, editing, and translating, but also in teaching, research, rewriting, design and production, copywriting, and other areas related to the written word in Japan.