Juliet Winters Carpenter

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Nara Walks

Juliet Winters Carpenter (born 1948) is an American translator of modern Japanese literature. Born in the American Midwest, she studied Japanese literature at the University of Michigan and the Inter-University Center for Japanese Language Studies in Tokyo. After completing her graduate studies in 1973, she returned to Japan in 1975, where she became involved in translation efforts and teaching.

Carpenter is a devotee of traditional Japanese music and is a licensed instructor of the koto and shamisen. She is a professor at Doshisha Women's College of Liberal Arts in Kyoto and has been involved in the Japanese Literature Publishing Project(JLPP), a government-supported project translating and publishing Japanese books overseas.

Carpenter currently lives in Kyoto with her husband Bruce, professor emeritus of Tezukayama University. They have three children: Matthew Edwin Carpenter, in New York; Graham, in Tokyo; and Mark, in Kyoto.

Carpenter's translation of Abe Kobo's novel Secret Rendezvous (Mikkai in Japanese) won the 1980 Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission Prize for the Translation of Japanese Literature. Her translation of Minae Mizumura's novel Honkaku Shosetsu, "A True Novel," won that same award for 2014-2015 and earned numerous other awards including the 2014 Lewis Galantiere Award of the American Translators Association. Once Upon a Time in Japan, a book of folk tales which she co-translated with Roger Pulvers, received the 2015 Gelett Burgess Children's Book Award for Best Multicultural Book.

Selected works[edit]


Title Author Type
The Ark Sakura Abe Kōbō Novel
Beyond the Curve Abe Kōbō Short stories
Secret Rendezvous Abe Kōbō Novel
Japanese Women: Short Stories Yamamoto Shūgorō
The Hunter Nonami Asa Novel
Uncommon Clay Sidney B. Cardozo and Masaaki Hirano Essay
Masks Enchi Fumiko Novel
The Quickening Field Hachikai Mimi Poetry
Biruma Hiwa Satoko Poetry
Waiting on the Weather: Making Movies with Akira Kurosawa NogamiTeruyo Memoir
Shadow Family Miyabe Miyuki Novel
Memories of Wind and Waves: A Self-Portrait of Lakeside Japan Saga Jun'ichi Oral history
The Last Shogun: The Life of Tokugawa Yoshinobu Shiba Ryōtarō Biography
You Were Born for a Reason Takamori Kentetsu, Akehashi Daiji, and Itō Kentarō Buddhist philosophy
Salad Anniversary Tawara Machi Tanka
After Wagō Ryōichi Poetry
A Lost Paradise Watanabe Jun'ichi Novel
The Sail of My Soul Yamaguchi Seishi Haiku
Eat Sleep Sit: My Year at Japan's Most Rigorous Zen Temple Nonomura Kaoru
A Cappella Koike Mariko Novel
Jasmine Tsujihara Noboru Novel
Clouds above the Hill Shiba Ryōtarō Historical fiction
A True Novel Minae Mizumura Novel
Once Upon a Time in Japan NHK Folk tales

Other works[edit]

Carpenter is also the author of the book Seeing Kyoto.