With a resolute, erudite Buddhist monk as a father, and an adventurous, quirky mother steeped in Japanese culture, Reiko is a blend of the two. She loves being philosophical as well as playful and lighthearted.

Throughout her childhood and young-adulthood, she developed a deep-seated fascination for language and literature. Carrying that curiosity with her to the United States, she studied linguistics at San Diego State University, later returning to Japan, and settling in Kobe.

As co-founder of Maplopo, she enjoys working with Doc translating classic Japanese literature for a worldwide audience. The distilling of these difficult-to-translate works into English is a passion of hers, and unlocking the perspectives of
classic Japanese authors for a wider audience is always propelling her and her work forward.

This love of the classic doesn’t begin and end with Japanese writers, though, and she’s certainly an admirer of recent authors. Her favorite book is Mark Twain’s “Huckleberry Finn,” and her favorite author is Yoko Ogawa (Her『猫を抱いて象と泳ぐ』is an absolute delight and blows Reiko’s mind.)

Corporate clients wishing to work with Maplopo will find that the experience of team-translating exceeds their expectations, producing work that is superior in both style and sense. Reach out. We’d love to see how we might help.

TL;DR: Reiko – Word geek. Finds humor in, and herself laughing out loud, to legends of the printed word from 100 years ago.




A mother’s love of film and a father’s love of newsprint fostered a lasting appreciation of storytelling in Doc, and for the last thirty years or so, he’s been putting pen to paper writing and editing everything from screenplays, to full-fledged books and web content.

His move to Japan in 2017 meant he’d finally fulfilled a life-long goal of living and working overseas, and he’s beyond happy to have found a home in the lovely port city of Kobe, Japan.

Since co-founding of Maplopo with Reiko,  he’s found himself swimming in the perpetual deep end of words… now, in two languages. He couldn’t be happier, and is so captured with just how many more stories and ideas exist in Japanese that are widely unknown to the English-speaking world.

What else? He’s…

… amazed by both the simplicity and complexity of Japanese words, and how “meaning” is always more than just meaning.

… still surprised how much being a drummer adds to his writing. Practicing rhythm since barely out of knickers provides a suprising feel for the rhythm of language that helps tremendously with writing, and particularly, translating. As such, you’ll often see him reading out loud… singing, even!

… tortured by the idea behind the Twilight Zone episode, “Time Enough at Last,” starring Burgess Merideth. Watch it. If you love reading, it will scare the beejeesus out of you as well.

Doc loves the satisfaction that comes with helping corporate and literary clients translate work from Japanese into English, and looks forward to helping anyone with an appreciation of the written word.

TL;DR: Doc – Rhythm master. Loves pulling apart and putting together any sort of sentence – especially when it helps tell a good story.



Why Team Maplopo? And why Kobe, Japan?

Our advantages when it comes to translating Japanese to English are, actually, rather simple, we think. 

Here’s generally what people tend to like about working with us:

1. We’re nice. 😉
2. We’ve got a solid work ethic. (Thanks, Mom and Dad!)
3. We’re thorough, with a focus on maintaining the original Japanese voice, while also honoring the essential rhythm of English.
4. We spend a lot of time tapping into our own cultures, and as you know… culture feeds language.
5. Being married helps us think and speak deeply about translations in ways that a single translator may have difficulty matching. We find ourselves constantly  writing and editing in unison (and from both sides of the fence) with every story. That, we’re told (and feel ourselves) makes us a pretty unique apple.

If you think we can help, please do reach out. We’ll get back to you right away to let you know when we’ll be available to take on your project.

Oh! And, why Kobe?! Well… if you love the water, the mountains, AND city life, you couldn’t ask for a better place to live than right here. Come see us, why don’t you?


Reiko and Doc
Kobe, Japan

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