Hideo Levy bigraphy, stories - Translators

Hideo Levy : biography

1950 -

He gained attention in Japan for his work Seijōki no Kikoenai Heya published in 1992, which won the Noma Literary Award for New Writers. He is one of the first Americans to write modern literature in Japanese. For his contributions to the introduction of Japanese literature to foreign readers he was honored with a Japan Foundation Special Prize in 2007.

In 1996 his story Tiananmen was nominated for the Akutagawa Prize.

Honours and awards

  • Japan Foundation Award, 2007.,


Levy was born in 1950 to a Polish-American mother and a Jewish father. His father named him after a friend who was imprisoned in an internment camp during World War II. Levy's father was a diplomat, and the family moved around between Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan and the United States. He graduated from Princeton University with a bachelor's degree in East Asian studies, and later received his doctorate from the same school for studying Kakinomoto no Hitomaro.

After working as an assistant professor at Princeton, he moved to Stanford University and taught there. He later left and moved to Tokyo.

While at Princteon, Levy studied the Man'yōshū. His English translation of the text won him the 1982 U.S. National Book Award in category Translation (a split award). . National Book Foundation. Retrieved 2012-03-10. There was a "Translation" award from 1966 to 1983.



  • Seijouki no kikoenai heya(Koudansha 1992 / Koudansha Bungei Bunko 2004)English translation: A Room Where the Star-Spangled Banner Cannot Be Heard, trans. Christopher D. Scott (Columbia University Press, 2011)
  • Ten'an'mon(Koudansha 1996)
  • Kokumin no uta(Koudansha 1998)
  • Henrii Takeshi Rewuittsukii no natsu no kikou(Koudansha 2002)
  • Chidi ni kudakete (Koudansha 2005 / Koudansha Bunko 2008)
  • Kari no mizu(Koudansha 2008)

Literary Criticism and Essays

  • Nihongo no shouri (Koudansha 1992)
  • Shinjuku no man'youshuu(Asahi Shinbun 1996)
  • Aidentitiizu (Koudansha 1997)
  • Saigo no kokkyou he no tabi(Chuou Koron Shinsha 2000)
  • Nihongo wo kaku heya(Iwanami Shoten 2001)
  • Wareteki chuugoku(Iwanami Shoten 2004)
  • Eigo de yomu man'youshuu (Iwanami Shinsho 2004)
  • Ekkyou no koe (Iwanami Shoten 2007)
  • Enan kakumei seichi he no tabi(Koudansha 2008)
  • 『我的日本語 The World in Japanese』 Wareteki Nihongo: The World in Japanese (Chikuma Shobou, 2010)

Man'yōshū Scholarship

  • Hitomaro and the Birth of Japanese Lyricism (Princeton University Press 1984)
  • The Ten Thousand Leaves: A Translation of the Man Yoshu, Japan's Premier Anthology of Classical Poetry (Princeton Library of Asian Translations) (Princeton University Press 1987)
  • Love Songs from the Man'yoshu (Koudansha International 2000)
  • Man'yo Luster ( 2002)


  • Otohiko Kaga Riding the East Wind: A Novel of War and Peace (Koudansha America 2002)
Living octopus

Living octopus

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