It wasn’t long before he learned to speak, read and write Japanese, and discovered the literature of author and poet Kenji Miyazawa, who died in 1933. Pulvers went to Kenji’s hometown of Hanamaki in Iwate Prefecture and met his brother Seiroku. The Miyazawas were kind to Pulvers, treating him like a member of the family. Pulvers began to translate, research and write about Kenji’s amazing works, becoming entranced by his worldview of compassion toward all people and the embracing of evil in order to negate it. Pulvers saw the taking of Kenji’s messages of hope and light to the outside world as a mission.

In recognition for this work, Pulvers was awarded the 18th Kenji Miyazawa Prize in 2008; and in 2013, the prestigious Noma Award for the Translation of Japanese Literature. In 2015 he also received the 9th Yasushi Inoue Prize.

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