William Scott Wilson
William Scott Wilson (b. 1944 in Nashville, Tennessee) is known for translating several works of Japanese literature, mostly those relating to the martial tradition of that country. He is recognized by The American Literary Translator's Association (ALTA) as "today’s foremost translator of classic Samurai texts." Mr. Wilson is also described as the world's foremost expert on the warrior's philosophy of Bushido. He served as a Consular Specialist for the Consulate General of Japan in Seattle (1980)--Heading the trade section and advising the Consul on political and economic matters. Wilson received Japan’s Foreign Minister’s Commendation from the Consulate General of Japan in Miami, Masakazu Toshikage on November 15, 2005.
According to the Consulate Press release: The award is "conferred upon individuals or groups that have rendered especially distinguished service in strengthening the relationship between Japan and other countries. Through his literary works and translations, Mr. Wilson has contributed greatly to increased cultural understanding and friendship between the US and Japan."
"Mr. Wilson is a premier author and translator of samurai literature. He completed his first translation, Hagakure, while living in a farmhouse in Japan....His first original work, The Lone Samurai: The Life of Miyamoto Musashi, was published in 2004. He has done extensive research on Japanese philosophy and Bushido, the way of the samurai."
According to Florida International University Professor Michael Weissberg, "William Scott Wilson is possibly the most important scholar in the area of Japanese Edo period texts in the last century". Wilson's books have brought historical Chinese and Japanese thought, philosophy, and tactics to the West in a collection of works that make him unparalleled. To be able to say that you have in effect coauthored with the likes of Takuan Soho, Yagyu Muninori, Lao Tzu, and Miyamoto Musashi, enables you to heretofore unseen bragging rights, yet this gentle and humble scholar refers to himself as "only a translator".
- Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, Dartmouth College
- Bachelor of Arts, Japanese Language and Literature, Monterey Institute of Foreign Studies, Monterey, California, USA (Now Monterey Institute of International Studies, a graduate school of Middlebury College)
- Aichi Prefectural University, Nagoya, Japan (1975–1977) extensive Study of Edo period (1603–1868)
- Master's Degree in Japanese Language and Literature, University of Washington at Seattle. (1979)
- The Lone Samurai: The Life of Miyamoto Musashi (287 pages) Kodansha International (October, 2004) ISBN 4-7700-2942-X
- Tao Te Ching: An All-New Translation By Professor Lao Tzu, William Scott Wilson (209 pages) Shambhala Publications, 2012 ISBN 159030991X
- The Unencumbered Spirit: Reflections of a Chinese Sage. Kodansha International 224 pages ISBN 4-7700-3097-5
- Yojokun: Life Lessons from a Samurai (The Way of the Warrior Series) by Kaibara Ekiken and William Scott Wilson (Jan 1, 2009) Kodansha International 224 pages ISBN 978-4-7700-3077-1
- The 36 Secret Strategies of the Martial Arts by Hiroshi Moriya with translation and foreword by William Scott Wilson (March, 2008)
- The Demon's Sermon on the Martial Arts by Issai Chozanshi, Translated by William Scott Wilson (224 pages) Kodansha International, (release date: November, 2006) ISBN 4-7700-3018-5
- The Flowering Spirit : Classic Teachings on the Art of No (Hardcover)],by Zeami (160 pages) Kodansha (release date: May 19, 2006) ISBN 4-7700-2499-1
- The Life-Giving Sword: Secret Teachings from the House of the Shogun (The Living Sword) by Yagyu Munenori (February, 2004)
- Go Rin no Sho (The Book of Five Rings) by Miyamoto Musashi (01/18/2002)
- Taiko: An Epic Novel of War and Glory in Feudal Japan by Eiji Yoshikawa (10/27/2000)
- The Unfettered Mind by Takuan Sōhō (12/01/1987)
- Budoshinshu: The Warrior's Primer by Daidōji Yuzan (04/01/1984)
- Hagakure (Hidden in the Leaves, among other common translations) by Yamamoto Tsunetomo (03/01/1983)
- Ideals of the Samurai: Writings of Japanese Warriors (October, 1982)
- Roots of Wisdom (Saikontan)(1984)
Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai (1999), Jim Jarmusch film prominently features excerpts from The Hagakure.
- William Scott Wilson's homepage
- Author Interview Answered questions on Japanese culture
- Honored by the Consulate General of Japan, November, 2005
- Miami Herald Biography, November 20, 2005
- Bushido Interview
- University of Washington
- Asia Times Book Review of "The 36 Secret Strategies of the Martial Arts" March 15, 2008
- Publisher's Weekly Interview Revisits an Ancient Culture (6/12/2004)
- Sean Michael Wilson's homepage - includes manga/graphic novel versions of William Scott Wilson's books.