I have a BA in Japanese (University of Leeds, 2014), JLPT N1 and have been working in all-Japanese environments since 2015. I also love writing in English and am very proud of my achievements in Japanese to English translation so far, which have provided a great crossover for my interests and skills. Topics in which I have particular experience are children’s books, art, culture, tourism, history and international relations. I have translated pamphlets, websites, books, poetry, manga, subtitles and documents for Tokyo Metropolitan Government, the Council of Local Authorities for International Relations (CLAIR), JNTO, 50 Watts, Bloodaxe Books and others. To commission me for Japanese to English translation or proofreading, please get in touch at

The King of Circles by Shutaro Tanikawa, illustrated Kiyoshi Awazu, 50 Watts Books

First published in 1971, The King of Circles is a free-spirited and imaginative collaboration between poet Shuntaro Tanikawa and graphic designer Kiyoshi Awazu. They take the reader into a colorful world where round objects compete for the title of ‘King of Circles’. This book was a joy to work on in partnership with translator Yosuke Kitazawa for publisher of the fascinating and bizarre, 50 Watts Books. I am credited as Ottilia Tanaka.

Cat’s Meow by Chiaki Sakamoto

In partnership with the author, I translated this charming picture book into English on behalf of the Philadelphia based publisher 50 Watts Books. The translation is printed on a little folded piece of paper along with a description of the technique used to make the artwork, which I also translated. The story is told in the voice of a cat who craves the attention of its sleeping owner. I am credited as translator under my current name, Ottilia Tanaka.

The Hagi World Heritage Sites: The Original Landscape of Japanese Industrialization

I translated this historical guide as part of my work as Coordinator for International Relations under the JET Programme while living in Hagi City, Yamaguchi Prefecture, Japan. Working in partnership with the curator of Hagi Museum, Mr Shingo Dosako, we created the first ever English-language guide to the five World Heritage sites in Hagi City. The guide was written to be accessible and understandable, even to those who are unfamiliar with Japan’s industrial history. The guide is currently available from Hagi Museum Shop. I am credited under my maiden name, Ottilia Stephens.

HWAET! 20 Years of Lebury Poetry festival edited by Mark Fisher and published by Bloodaxe Books

I worked as translator on two poems and a comment by Japanese tanka poet Tawara Machi reflecting on her participation in Ledbury Poetry Festival in 2014. Her poems and my translation can be found from page 247. I volunteered at Ledbury Poetry Festival several times and in 2013 I had the honour of interpreting for Tawara Machi during her visit to Ledbury and her poetry performance. The experience was incredibly formative for me, as I went on to write my university dissertation on the theme of her tanka poetry. This collection, edited by former UK Culture Secretary Mark Fisher, comprises poems spanning 20 years of the wonderful Ledbury Poetry Festival, held in the medieval market town of Ledbury in Herefordshire, UK. I am credited under my maiden name, Ottilia Stephens.