Edward G. Seidensticker (1921–2007): Wordsmith Extraordinaire

As a tribute to eminent translator and professor of Japanese literature Edward G. Seidensticker, who passed away August 26, 2007, in Tokyo, Janine Beichman, Juliet Carpenter, Michael Cooper, Rebecca Copeland, Aileen Gatten, Donald Keene, Robert Morrell, Donald Richie, and Burton Watson wrote their remembrances. A selected bibliography of Seidensticker’s writings about translation is included.

Known for his translation of The Tale of Genji and of numerous works by Kawabata Yasunari, Tanizaki Jun’ichirō, Abe Kōbō, and Nagai Kafū, Edward G. Seidensticker, who passed away on August 26, 2007, at the age of 86, was also a teacher who guided and inspired many scholars now leaders in the field of Japanese literature in the United States and elsewhere. Cultured, widely read, and highly opinionated, he maintained wide and diverse friendships of all sorts in Japan and the United States. For this tribute to the pioneer Japanese-to-English translator, scholar, and writer about Japan, some of his friends, former students, and colleagues contributed their remembrances.

Ed and I used to meet for lunch and then walk around Ueno and Yushima together, especially in the spring. In his quiet moods, he sometimes said things that I felt I just had to write down, that I did not want to forget. Once we stopped to watch a heron standing on one leg in Shinobazu Pond. Ed mentioned that it would stand there for hours at a time. Then he slowly added, with a little smile, “You wonder what he has in mind.”

I have the exact quote because when I went home I wrote it down and dated it. March 31, 1977. In truth I did not wonder what the bird had in mind until the question was raised, and I loved that Ed raised it. But if I met Ed now I would not be able to resist asking why he assumed the bird was a “he” and not a “she.” The question would probably evoke some prickly comments about feminism. Or it might not; it might head in a completely other direction. That was the fun thing about Ed, you never knew where the conversation would wind up. At the same time, if you wanted to talk about a feeling or emotion, he always seemed to understand. His heart was in the right place about almost everything, and he knew the real from the fake. Which is probably why, on a quiet spring afternoon in Ueno 30 years ago, he found time to wonder what a heron might be thinking.

Janine Beichman
Professor, Department of Japanese Literature, Daitō Bunka University


Ed Seidensticker said that literary translation was impossible. That may be true, but he certainly came closer to perfect translations than most of us ever will—and made it seem easy. He described himself as an “amateur” translator, in the literal sense of one motivated by love. Yet he was adamant that translators should receive proper recognition and monetary reward. Certainly no one did more to raise the profile of the translator, especially when he accompanied Kawabata Yasunari to the 1968 Nobel award ceremony in Stockholm, at Kawabata’s insistence.

His crowning achievement was the Genji translation, the one he loved so much that it ended his translating career; he said couldn’t bring himself to translate anything again since no other work could compare with it. He told me earlier this year that he still dipped into it often. Yet nearly 30 years ago at a talk in Nara he made the startling assertion that Murasaki Shikibu was an akubunka, a bad writer. Genji contains no passages of soaring prose or poetry that generations of readers commit to memory, he pointed out; its greatness lies not in its literary style but in its psychological realism. That was his style—at once outrageous and insightful.

He saw things clearly, with wry humor. Once at a “brown-bagger” lunch at the University of Michigan, when he was just back from Japan, he described being a judge at a beauty contest in Sapporo. Each contestant had minced up to the microphone and spoken in a breathless tone of voice, so when it was his turn, he said he minced up, too, and spoke in the same breathless way. I can only imagine the bemused reaction he must have gotten. This was at a time of inflation in Japan, and he ended the talk by saying, “Why aren’t the Japanese rioting in the streets? I really don’t know.”

He made quirky stubbornness charming. We often lunched at his favorite restaurant, an unagiya—but he didn’t like unagi and never ordered it. We worked together on a translation about Pure Land Buddhism over the last few years, yet when we went to hear the author speak, he muttered under his breath, “You won’t convert me!” He was a man of uncompromising honesty and integrity, an inspiring teacher, and a wonderful friend. He changed my life. May he rest in peace.

Juliet Winters Carpenter
Professor, Doshisha Women’s College, Kyoto
Student at the University of Michigan


It is pretty well impossible to write anything meaningful about Ed Seidensticker in only a few paragraphs, for he was such a multi-talented and widely admired character that he merits a full-length biography, and we may hope that one will be produced before long.

I suppose the first time I met Ed was way back in 1958 when we were both teaching at Sophia University, I as a student teacher trying in vain to explain the mysteries of English to students, and he as a professor of English and American literature (for he was as knowledgeable about these subjects as he was about Japanese literature). Soon after, I returned to the U.K. for further studies and so lost contact with him, but on my return to Japan in 1969 we again met in Tokyo, and from then on I was fortunate to meet him fairly often. After his retirement he would spend half the year in Tokyo and half in Honolulu, and so when I retired to Hawai‘i some eight years ago, we used to regularly meet for lunch.

Experts better able than I have commented on his felicitous literary style used to such advantage in his translations and prose. Some of his favorite authors were Anthony Trollope, Jane Austen, and Charlotte Brontë, and he seems to have assimilated some of their elegant style. Yet on more than one occasion when asked about his favorite poet and poem, he enjoyed surprising (and perhaps shocking) people by solemnly declaring that it was Edward Lear’s nonsense poem, “The owl and the pussy cat went to sea, In a beautiful pea-green boat,” which he would then recite with obvious enjoyment. But with Ed you never quite knew whether he was joking or being serious.

The extent of Ed’s knowledge and appreciation of Japanese literature, both ancient and modern, was awesome, for it took much talent to translate works as disparate as Genji Monogatari and Kawabata’s novels. His delicate rendering of Kawabata’s works introduced that author to the non-Japanese world, and had these English versions not been available, Kawabata might perhaps not have received the Nobel Prize. Ed acted as his interpreter in Stockholm for the ceremony, and later delighted in recounting his anguish as Kawabata kept changing his acceptance speech to the very last minute with Ed trying to adequately translate the author’s abstract style for the distinguished audience (“I nearly pushed him out of the hotel window,” he told me).

But all apart from these prestigious events, I will remember Ed for small incidents and quirks—his dislike of the Yomiuri Giants, for example (a prejudice I shared one hundred percent), his prickly reactions (“I’ve always done it this way and will always continue to do so,” he snapped when I asked him why he scheduled his annual Tokyo stay for the hottest and stickiest time of the year). Ed certainly showed his strength of character when, about to accept the University of Hawai‘i’s offer of appointment as distinguished professor in 1991, he turned down the job on learning that he, as a state employee, would have to sign an oath of loyalty under a local law passed in 1941 (before Hawai‘i was made a state). The university made amends in 2001 by awarding him an honorary doctorate.

Ed continued to have a close relationship with Sophia, and was pleased when one of his former Michigan students, Dr. William Currie, was appointed president of the university. But Ed was a particular long-time friend of Fr. Joseph Roggendorf, the grand old man of Japanese studies at Sophia (Ed always called him “Dai-Sensei”), and as Roggendorf ’s office was on the same 13th floor as mine, I often saw him during his frequent visits. He had a soft spot in his heart for Roggendorf’s devoted and devout long-time secretary, the late Miss Tama Matsumoto (commonly called “Tama Sama” by the rest of the staff), and once published an admiring article about the elderly lady in the Yomiuri Shimbun. She expressed much embarrassment, but I know very well how pleased she was with Seiden Sensei’s complimentary remarks.

Doubtless specialists in Japanese literature will write at length about Ed’s contribution to the English-speaking world, but I am not a specialist and so have limited myself to personal memories. He was a hard-working, talented scholar, with a quirky sense of humor, sometimes prickly, always knowledgeable. He loved the Tokyo shitamachi and wrote about it with affection, and I was pleased to read that he had arranged to be buried in a shitamachi cemetery. I can think of nowhere more appropriate, and I pray that he may rest there in peace.

Michael Cooper
Former editor of Monumenta Nipponica, Sophia University
Friend in Tokyo and Honolulu

I can still remember vividly my first one-on-one meeting with Professor Seidensticker. It was in the early 1980s and I had to go to his office to ask him if he would be my dissertation advisor. I don’t know if it was the ride up to the ninth floor of the International and Public Affairs Building on the super-speedy elevator, or if it was just nerves, but I felt sick to my stomach as I knocked on the door to his office. I had an appointment. But I was still apprehensive. When I entered, he greeted me with what I could only interpret as an annoyed stare. “Yes?” He wasn’t one to mince words. I stuttered out my request. He seemed to brighten a bit, but it could have just been the light. “And what do you intend to do for your dissertation?” I knew this was the beginning of the end. I was planning to work on the writer Uno Chiyo. A woman. And we all knew Seidensticker did not care much for “the fairer sex.”

     “Uno Chiyo? Yes, she’s a good writer. I like her works very much. I’ll be happy to work with you.”

He smiled at me! This was the cruel monster we’d been warned about? The curmudgeonly man from Genji Days? I must have stood there in stupefied silence for an inordinately long time.

     “Well? Is there anything else? If not, let’s get started.”

From that time forward I never cringed in terror at the thought of meeting Ed Seidensticker. I was shortly to head to Tokyo for summer research, and he and I would meet at a yatai under the Yamanote line tracks in Ueno eating yakitori as we discussed Uno Chiyo. I still have the outline I devised for one of those meetings. It is stained with tare!

Ed was so kind to me during the entire dissertation process. And once the dissertation was done and defended, he continued to take an interest in my life—sympathizing with me over my first divorce, celebrating with me when I published my first book, encouraging me during the tenure process—and always helping me keep academia in perspective. As brilliant as he was—he was always so grounded, so practical, so realistic. And he always encouraged my work on women writers. Sure, sometimes he got a little cross—“Why must you persist in working only on women?!” he would gripe. But he never refused to discuss my projects with me or congratulate me for work completed.

Ed has been a very important force in my life and a wonderful model. I will miss him dearly, but will treasure my memory of those balmy evenings under the Yamanote line tracks.

Rebecca Copeland
Professor of Japanese, Washington University in St. Louis
Ph.D. dissertation student at Columbia University, 1983–86


Thinking back on my 38-year friendship with Ed Seidensticker, I realize that most of it was of necessity epistolary. We met every few years, in Ann Arbor, Tokyo, or somewhere in-between, but where we really talked, so to speak, was in our letters.

My first letters from Ed, written on a manual typewriter and sent from Honolulu and Tokyo, date from my dissertation-writing period and are predictably filled with scholarly comments. In 1977, when Ed moved to Columbia, we resumed our correspondence, which continued into the twenty-first century. Ed’s manual typewriter was reluctantly replaced in the 1990s by a laptop that vexed him with its unpredictability and snakelike cables. He could never see the point of email: how, he asked, could it improve on the telephone and fax? And so it is that I have a fine collection of his letters, kept in a purple folder.

It goes without saying that Ed’s letters are beautifully written. Always a page or two long, each is full of news, gossip, and humorous opinion. My favorite parts, though, are his descriptions of the natural world and its creatures. Ed was a careful observer of the changing seasons, his favorite blossoms, and his beloved cats. Here is one example out of many, from February 1994, in which Ed comments on the photograph of a cat on a birthday card:

Cats are certainly the most wonderfully eloquent of creatures. You know that this one has not merely turned its back, it has turned its back for a purpose. You know from the slightly ruffled fur, but more from the cast of the ears. I have so often wished I could use my ears as a cat does. When they are all the way forward they indicate eagerness and happiness. When they are all the way back they indicate fear or anger. In between they can indicate all manner of things.

I miss writing to Ed. Even more I miss finding in the mailbox an envelope with my name and address written in his unmistakable hand, and looking forward to reading another splendid letter from him.

Aileen Gatten
Center for Japanese Studies, University of Michigan
First woman Ph.D. student


Ed Seidensticker was probably the most enigmatic, self-contradictory person I have ever had the pleasure to know. His prose was elegant, but his personal behavior could be blunt. His work habits were precisely organized and coordinated; his personal behavior hardly ever was. In old tourist pamphlets, the cliché about Japan was that it was a land of contradictions. Historians and social scientists have proven to us that such blurbs were wrong. I knew that all along. It was Ed Seidensticker, the greatest translator of Japanese literature in English, who was the real bundle of contradictions.

I first had the immense pleasure of encountering Ed in Michigan in 1968 at a summer school at Ann Arbor where I took Japanese literature from Ben Befu, Harumi Befu’s older brother. We read Kawabata’s Sound of the Mountain and were all left breathless by the exhilarating economy of the Seidensticker translation. We compared the translation to the original sentence by sentence only to find out that that is not how Ed had worked. He grasped the essence of what Kawabata wanted to convey and then reconstructed the thoughts in clear and concise English. Some time later I visited Ann Arbor and sat in on one of Ed’s lecture classes and became aware of the first contradiction. Ed paced back and forth in front of the class, spoke brilliantly about Heian literature, but never once looked at the forty or so students who sat in silence, hanging on his every utterance.

In his work, he was a paragon of discipline. He once chided me for failing to deliver work on deadline. Ed regularly turned in copy before it was due. In his social life, however, Ed was so totally undisciplined that—by his own admission—he was kicked out of the house of a U.S. diplomat in the middle of a dinner for having spoken too directly. Perhaps my most vivid memory of Ed is his recollection of events about my family’s days as refugees in Europe and later Canada. He would recount episodes about my father with such emotion that he would occasionally break down in tears. It occurs to me that it was this ability to so completely empathize with others that allowed him to enter a work in one language and leave it in another.

Andrew Horvat

I first met Edward Seidensticker at the Navy Japanese Language School in 1942. I entered the school while it was still in Berkeley. Ed entered later that year, after a much-lamented move of the school to Boulder, Colorado, by command of the Army which insisted that the Navy remove the Japanese and Japanese-American teachers from the West Coast where they were a menace to national security. Those of us who had studied before the school moved tended to look down on newcomers, and that is probably why I have no interesting memories of Ed from that time.

We first became friends in the summer of 1947 at Yale. By this time Ed had entered the State Department, and he, along with David Osborn and Owen Zurhellen, both of whom later became ambassadors, had been sent to Yale for study. There, I was studying conversational Chinese, in preparation, as I supposed, for going to China. This time we four graduates of the Navy Japanese Language School met regularly, though our studies were quite different. I was impressed by Ed’s intelligence, his wit and by his taste in classical music, similar to my own.

That autumn, having given up, because of unsettled conditions in China, my plan to go there, I decided to go to Harvard instead. To my surprise and pleasure, the State Department had sent the three junior diplomats to study there. Ed and I attended Serge Elisseeff’s celebrated course on Japanese literature and shared the same disappointment. Ed was then sent to Tokyo, while I went to England. We corresponded, and when I managed to get to Japan in 1953 I often stayed at his house in a section of Sugamo that had not been bombed.

When I embarked on the compilation of an anthology of Japanese literature I consulted frequently with Ed about the works I had chosen. He knew far more about modern literature than I, and made several translations especially for the anthology, including Takekurabe (“Growing Up”), a particularly difficult work to translate. I admired especially his translation of Kagerō Nikki, a work of which I previously had not even heard.

At this period Ed was engaged in a heroic battle with the Japanese left wing. I shared many of his opinions, but lacked the courage of my convictions to take on in a taidan the kind of pillar of the left whom Ed so easily demolished.

After I moved my Japanese residence from Kyoto to Tokyo I paradoxically saw Ed less often because I naturally no longer stayed at his house, but we met from time to time at Ponta for the best tonkatsu in Tokyo, followed by a stop at Fugetsudo where I drank coffee but Ed consumed a tower of shaved ice colored pink and green.

He was probably the person I found easiest to talk with in the entire world. We shared so many experiences and even prejudices that there was never any need for explanations.

Donald Keene
Professor Emeritus, Columbia University
Friend and colleague

I liked Ed very much. Courses I took from him go way back to Stanford days, ca. 1959–64, and he was my first dissertation adviser there at a time when Byron Marshall and I were the only members of a second-year koten class. Ed chose for our text the Kagerō nikki, which he was in the process of revising. I can’t speak for Byron, but I was positively terrified. The procedure was for each participant to read a portion of the text and then we all carefully analyzed every jot and tittle for possible/probable meanings. Ed never lost his famous temper, as we all knew he could, and in the end I remember the course as a most useful experience. To be precise, I learned about ambiguity—that it was not always possible to assign a single meaning to a string of words. After seeing the Master himself question every turn of phrase and then arrive at a kind of consensus about its meaning, it was a great relief to see that it was meant to be this way.

I don’t think that Ed was all that excited about the Shasekishū as my dissertation topic—and neither was Brower, for that matter. I don’t think either one of them had much of a liking for Buddhism, but they were always conscientious in trying to help me. After reading Tokyo Central last summer, Professor Haruo Shirane’s comment that Ed “had a gravestone erected in a Buddhist temple in Tokyo where part of his ashes will be buried” seems to me to mean that he “had a gravestone erected in his beloved shitamachi (which happened to be on temple grounds).” That’s as it should be.

Robert Morrell
Professor Emeritus, Washington University in St. Louis
Former student

Friends for nearly 50 years, we often talked about the same things each time we met. A lot of it was about literature. We favored a certain kind of author, one who possessed both an immaculate style and an anomalous view of the past—authors such as Thomas Love Peacock, Edward Lear, Lewis Carroll, Roland Firbank, Ivy Compton-Burnett.

And Jane Austen. We were besotted with her, read all six novels annually. Such tastes might be thought narrow but they had admirable results. Whenever I reread Seidensticker’s Genji, I see that the tone, the mood, the feeling of this translation, its lightness, its rightness, owes to his admiration for Jane Austen. She is standing there, just behind Murasaki Shikibu.

The single Japanese author we equally admired was Nagai Kafū, another stylist with a decidedly anomalous view of the past. Ed had a particular reason for admiring him. Just as Kafū disliked Meiji Japan until Taishō Japan turned out even worse, giving him then something to like about vanished Meiji, so Seidensticker disliked much of modern Japan until newer manifestations indicated that something worse was on its way, at which point he would become nostalgic about what he had formerly spurned.

His opinions and his way of arriving at them were so close to those of Kafū that it is not surprising that his Kafū the Scribbler is not only extraordinarily perceptive literature but also a completely personal identification.

So we often spoke of the same things, quoted Edward Lear to each other, wondered about Fanny’s naval brother in Mansfield Park, and told each other of new facets discovered. I remember one such conversation. “I am delighted to see you,” he said. “For I have something to tell you. My afternoon was spent with Abe Kōbō and we spoke of his style, and he said that critics always said that the influence was Franz Kafka, but they were absolutely wrong. The real influence was Alice in Wonderland. Isn’t that nice? Lewis Carroll.”

Donald Richie
Film critic, reviewer, writer, journalist; friend

Ed the Outspoken

I first got to know Ed Seidensticker in the fall of 1946, when I was a freshman at Columbia College. Serving in the navy, I had ended up in Japan and decided I wanted to go into Asian studies, which is why I was at Columbia. Ed and I were in the same first-year Chinese class, though he was considerably older and a graduate student.

Most of our class time was spent learning to read and write Chinese characters. Ed, however, having studied Japanese, already knew all the characters, though he pronounced them in a way quite different from that indicated in our Chinese textbook. In fact, he seemed rather disdainful of the Chinese pronunciations, but given his field of interest, I could hardly blame him. The following year he transferred to Harvard and that was the last I saw of him for some time.

In the 1950s, when I was a graduate student in the Chinese department at Kyoto University, I often went to Tokyo to visit Columbia friends who were studying there. I stayed with one such friend, Charles Terry, and we sometimes had lunch with Ed, too, who was then located in Tokyo. Charles and Ed chatted about baseball or Tokyo politics, but since I had nothing to say on these topics, I just sat and listened. The lunches tended to be mainly liquid in nature and I often had only a hazy recollection of how they ended, but I always enjoyed hearing Ed’s comments on life in the capital, critical though many of them were.

I got to know Ed rather well in 1964–65, when I taught for a year at Stanford, where he was then teaching. At that time I became aware of one of Ed’s distinguishing features—the way in which he would initiate a conversation with an outspoken declaration of opinion, often delivered in a somewhat hostile fashion. At gatherings of the Asian studies faculty, for example, he would declare that, having just returned from Korea, he had found that Korea possessed all the attractive features that had earlier endeared him to Japanese life but which had since become entirely lost in Japan. I remember Helen McCullough, who was often the hostess at such affairs, taking me aside, along with Mr. Kubota, a teacher of Japanese who, like me, had transferred that year from Columbia to Stanford, and cautioning us not to pay too much attention to these blasts of Ed’s. “He’s not nearly as fierce as he sounds,” she assured us.

When Ed went to Columbia to teach, I had already left and was living in Osaka and working as a translator. The only blast from Ed I recall from that period was when I ran into him at an academic meeting in Tokyo. “How long are you going to go on calling yourself an adjunct professor of Columbia?” he demanded to know. The adjunct professor business was Columbia’s idea and not mine, and so I replied that I guessed I would go on doing so until Columbia told me to stop. That seemed to satisfy him.

After I moved to Tokyo in 1998, I sometimes would meet Ed for dinner in Ueno. I never knew just where he lived—at his request, we always met on the corner by Matsuzakaya Department Store. The last such date we had to meet was in February 2007. I was watching for him to appear, hoping he could get across the wide crossing before the light changed, as he walked rather slowly. I waited for about 45 minutes but he never appeared. I had forgotten to bring his phone number with me, but I phoned him the next day to see if he was all right. He said he was; he had just forgotten our date, and apologized profusely. He asked when we could make another date to meet. Recalling the chill winds the night before, I said, “Let’s wait until it gets a little warmer.” As it turned out, that was unfortunately not the best answer I could have given.

Burton Watson
Former professor of Chinese, Columbia University
Friend, former classmate and colleague


Seidensticker on Translation

Edward G. Seidensticker’s legacy in world literature and in scholarship and writing about Japan will be much written about and discussed elsewhere. For SWET and for translators, he was a friend of great eminence and empathy. He was a Japan-based wordsmith, long before any of us. Former student Aileen Gatten’s biographical essay in New Leaves: Studies and Translations of Japanese Literature in Honor of Edward Seidensticker (University of Michigan, Center for Japanese Studies,1993) notes: “Living and working in Tokyo [1950–1962] as a freelance writer, journalist, and translator, he wrote approximately fifty articles for American, British, Japanese, and Japanese English language magazines and newspapers, translated some three dozen short stories from the Japanese, co-edited two anthologies of Japanese short stories in English translation, and introduced Japan to the American reading public in the 1961 Time-Life book Japan.” He continued to translate, edit others’ translations, write, and speak until the tragic fall that ended his life.

In the Japanese-to-English corner of the recently booming field of translation studies, Seidensticker made early and enduring contributions. His essays on Japanese-to-English translation are still among the most practical treatises on the subject in print. Few have written, over and over, and spoken—wherever he might be asked—with such passion about translation as he did. Perhaps his first article about translating from Japanese to English was published in 1958, only three or four years after his first translations began to be published. He continued to explain and record his translation-related thoughts and experiences throughout his long life. A selection of published articles is given below.

In September 2003, Seidensticker gave a lecture on translating to SWET (printed in SWET Newsletter No. 104). In 2005, he joined us in celebrating SWET’s 25th anniversary in October. On that occasion, he closed his remarks by saying: “If there is anything I would like to request of this very valuable and useful organization, it is that you do something for translators, especially for literary translators . . . where are we to go if not to SWET to do something? Do something please.”

Whatever SWET can do is up to us from now on, but it is certain that we will build upon the inspiration and example of the great translator we were fortunate to know.



“On Trying to Translate Japanese,” Encounter 11:2 (August 1958), pp. 12–20.

“On Retranslation,” Japan Quarterly 7:4 (October–December 1960), pp. 487–90.

日本語らしい表現から英語らしい表現へ。E. G. サイデンステッカー、那須 聖 (Nasu Kiyoshi). 培風館, 1962.

“When Mugwort Last in the Dooryard Bloomed,” Japan Quarterly 9:1 (January–March 1962), pp. 89–92.

“The Reader, General and Otherwise,” The Journal-Newsletter of the Association of Teachers of Japanese, Vol. 2, No. 1/2 (May, 1964), pp. 21–27.

Genji Days. Tokyo and New York: Kodansha International Ltd., 1977.

“On Translating an Exotic Language.” In This Country, Japan. Tokyo and New York: Kodansha International, Ltd., 1979, pp. 71–82.

“Chiefly on Translating the Genji,” Journal of Japanese Studies (Winter, 1980), pp. 15–47.

日本文の翻訳E.G.サイデンステッカー・安西徹雄著。スタンダード英語講座 [2] 責任編集 渡部昇一. 大修館 1983.

“On Trying to Translate Japanese,” revised and reprinted in The Craft of Translation. Edited by John Biguenet and Rainer Schulte. University of Chicago Press, 1989.

「翻訳家」という名の製造人. Ryukoku 21 (1989), pp. 44–48.

“On Nagai Kafu and Kawabata Yasunari.” In Words, Ideas, and Ambiguities, edited by Donald Richie. Chicago: Pacific Basin Institute/Imprint Publications, 2000.

“My Sort of Translating.” SWET Newsletter No. 104 (March 2004). Edited transcript of his talk in September 2003.

An exhaustive bibliography of writings by Seidensticker to 1993 may be found in New Leaves: Studies and Translations of Japanese Literature in Honor of Edward Seidensticker. Edited by Aileen Gatten and Anthony Hood Chambers. University of Michigan, Center for Japanese Studies, 1993.


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