Jesse Kirkwood


I am a freelance translator working primarily from Japanese and French into English. My focus is the translation of Japanese literary fiction, but I also translate commercial, academic and art-related texts. I have been translating professionally since 2013.

In 2020 I was awarded the Harvill Secker Young Translators’ Prize for my translation of ‘Nocturne’ by Yūshō Takiguchi, which was published on Granta and can be viewed here. My new translation of Seichō Matsumoto’s Tokyo Express was published as a Penguin Modern Classic in June 2022, and I am currently translating the Akutagawa Prize-winning novel A Perfect Day to Be Alone by Nanae Aoyama, to be published by MacLehose Press in 2023.

I am available for translation projects of all kinds – please get in touch to discuss details, by emailing jessekirkwood [at] gmail [dot] com