On leave 2017-18
Edwin Cranston began graduate study at the University of California at Berkeley, then transferred to Stanford University, where he earned a Ph.D. in Japanese literature in 1966. His Harvard career began in 1965 as a Japanese language instructor. The following year he became an assistant professor as a specialist of Japanese literature, ultimately becoming a full professor in 1972. His main interest has been translating and writing poetry. His revised dissertation was published in the Harvard-Yenching Monograph Series in 1969 under the title, The Izumi Shikibu Diary: A Romance of the Heian Court. In 1993, Stanford University Press published a compendium of his translations as A Waka Anthology, Volume One: The Gem-Glistening Cup, which introduced 1578 poems from ancient texts as the Kojiki, Nihon Shoki, Man'yoshu. In 2006, a second Waka anthology was published, introducing 2724 poems from Kokin Wakashu, Tale of Genji and other sources. His most recent book on Japanese poetry is titled The Secret Island and the Enticing Flame (Cornell, 2009).Professor Cranston received the MLA Lois Roth Award and the 22nd Yamagata Banto Prize in recognition of his accomplishments translating Japanese poetry. In spring 2009, he was decorated by the Japanese government with the distinguished Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon for his contribution to introducing classical Japanese literature to the people of the U.S. and beyond, and for nurturing young Japanologists.