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".

Read more about William Scott Wilson:  Curriculum Vitae, Books, Translated Works, Films

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