Jay Rubin

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Jay Rubin
Born1941 (age 78–79)
Alma materUniversity of Chicago
OccupationAcademic, translator

Jay Rubin (born 1941) is an American academic and translator. He is most notable for being one of the main translators into English of the works of the Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami. He has also written a guide to Japanese, Making Sense of Japanese (original title Gone Fishin'[2]), and a biographical literary analysis of Murakami.

Rubin has a PhD in Japanese literature from the University of Chicago. He taught at the University of Washington for eighteen years, and then moved on to Harvard University, which he left in 2008. In his early research career he focused on the Meiji state censorship system. More recently Rubin has concentrated his efforts on Murakami, and Noh drama. His most recent publications are Modern Japanese Writers (Scribners, 2001), and Haruki Murakami and the Music of Words (Harvill, 2002; Vintage, 2005). His translation of 18 stories by Ryūnosuke Akutagawa appeared as a Penguin Classics in 2006. His debut novel, The Sun Gods, was released in May 2015 (Chin Music Press) and explores the relationship between a Japanese mother, Mitsuko, and her adopted, American son, Billy, as they face American internment during World War II.

Rubin also translated the "Thousand Years of Dreams" passages for use in the Japanese-produced Xbox 360 game Lost Odyssey.[3]


  • Sanshirō, Natsume Sōseki
  • The Miner, Natsume Sōseki
  • The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Haruki Murakami
  • Norwegian Wood, Haruki Murakami
  • After the quake, Haruki Murakami
  • Rashōmon and Seventeen Other Stories, Ryūnosuke Akutagawa, Penguin Classics (2006). ISBN 0-14-303984-9
  • 1Q84, Book One: "April–June" and Book Two: "July–September", Haruki Murakami
  • After Dark, Haruki Murakami
  • "On Seeing the 100% Perfect Girl One Beautiful April Morning" (in The Elephant Vanishes), Haruki Murakami
  • The Penguin Book Of Japanese Short Stories, 2019

Published works[edit]

  • Tansman, Alan and Dennis Washburn. (1997). Studies in Modern Japanese Literature: Essays and Translations in Honor of Edwin McClellan. Ann Arbor: Center for Japanese Studies, University of Michigan. ISBN 0-939512-84-X (cloth)
  • Making Sense of Japanese: What the Textbooks Don't Tell You (Power Japanese Series, Kodansha's Children's Classics), Kodansha International (March 1, 2002), paperback, 144 pp., ISBN 978-4-7700-2802-0 – first published as Gone Fishin' (1992)[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ http://napost.com/interview-jay-rubin-forthcoming-anthology-intro-haruki-murakami/
  2. ^ a b The title, "gone fishin'", is a subjectless sentence, which is a common construction in Japanese. The title was changed because purchasers were disappointed at the lack of coverage of fishing, finding this a misleading title for a book on Japanese grammar – see preface to retitled Making Sense of Japanese for discussion.
  3. ^ Gamasutra - Developing An Epic: Nakazato On Lost Odyssey And The Future

External links[edit]