Daniel Morales '04/'05

 Daniel Morales '04/'05

Harvard College ’04/'05 (Mather House)
A.B., East Asian Studies

Daniel began studying Japanese in order to read Haruki Murakami’s novels in their native language. After enrolling in Japanese at Harvard Summer School, he participated in the Okayama internship program, writing for the first (and only) edition of Let’s Go Japan, and spent a year studying abroad at Waseda University on the Mitsubishi Trust Yamamuro Memorial Scholarship. Upon graduating, Daniel taught for JET, or the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program, for three years in Fukushima Prefecture and then moved to Tokyo to work as a translation project manager at a small translation company. He has since moved back to the U.S. to pursue an MFA in creative writing, which was completed in 2013. 

Daniel considers concentrating in EAS a defining moment in his life, since it was so critical to his later career path. The opportunities both inside and outside of the classroom (and particularly in Japan) were invaluable; for example, he was able to study with Murakami’s translator Jay Rubin and meet Murakami himself when he came to run the Boston Marathon in 2003. Thanks to the Japanese Language Program, he was also allowed to devote an extra year to improving his language skills in order to use Japanese texts in his thesis, which he later rewrote and published online. He is especially grateful for the work his language instructors dedicated to the Japanese program, and appreciated the ways they encouraged students to develop their speaking, listening, and writing skills.

Currently employed at the Consulate General of Japan in Chicago as an assistant in the Political Affairs section, Daniel also works as a freelance writer and translator. While in Japan, he started a blog about Japanese study and translation called “How to Japanese”. Building his website connected Daniel with other writers and editors in Japan, and he now regularly contributes to the Japan Times Bilingual page as a columnist. He also plans to publish a book version of How to Japanese. The time Daniel spent exploring different career paths, whether teaching, writing, or translating, were all made possible by EAS. The concentration’s language instruction and interdisciplinary curriculum enabled Daniel to pursue multiple career trajectories, work abroad, and ultimately discover his interest in writing, both in English and in Japanese.