Howard Hibbett

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Howard Hibbett (born July 27, 1920[1]) is a translator and professor emeritus of Japanese literature at Harvard University. He held the Victor S. Thomas Professorship in Japanese Literature.

Hibbett began his studies of Japanese as a sophomore at Harvard College 1942 before working as a language specialist for the US Army in 1942-46. After graduating from Harvard College in 1947, he went on to receive his Ph.D., also from Harvard, in 1950. He taught at UCLA before returning to Harvard as a professor in 1958. He was Director of the Edwin O. Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies from 1985 through 1988.[2]

Seven Japanese Tales, published in 1963, helped introduce the English-speaking world to Jun'ichirō Tanizaki and Japanese literature.

His publications include studies and translations of Edo and modern literature. He is particularly known for his translations of Tanizaki and works on Japanese language teaching. On March 16, 2018, he was awarded the Lindsley and Masao Miyoshi Translation Prize "for lifetime achievement as a translator of Edo period and modern Japanese literature" by the Donald Keene Center of Japanese Culture at Columbia University, New York.[3]

Selected works[edit]

In a statistical overview derived from writings by and about Howard Hibbett, OCLC/WorldCat encompasses roughly 90+ works in 200+ publications in 5 languages and 4,000+ library holdings.[4]

  • Floating World in Japanese Fiction, Oxford University Press, New York 1959
  • Modern Japanese; a Basic Reader, Harvard University Press, Cambridge (Mass.) 1965
  • Contemporary Japanese Literature: an Anthology of Fiction, Film, and Other Writing since 1945, Alfred A. Knopf, New York 1977
  • The Chrystanthemum and the Fish: Japanese Humor Since the Age of the Shoguns, Kodansha International, Tōkyō New York 2002



  1. ^ The Society of Fellows. Crane Brinton. 1959. p. 160. 
  2. ^ Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies (RIJS), Director, 1985-1988
  3. ^ Press Release by the Donald Keene Center, January 8, 2018
  4. ^ WorldCat Identities Archived 2010-12-30 at the Wayback Machine.: Hibbett, Howard