Doc and Reiko from Maplopo

Want to see two of our client websites? Check out Dr. Mie Nonoka’s Dental Clinic website and our work for the Kobe City Government.

Bringing the very best writing from Japan to you is what we live for. We hope you enjoy the stories we bring to you. To get there, we spend a lot of time tapping into our own cultures, and as you know… culture feeds language.

Being married helps us think and speak deeply about translations in ways that a single translator may have difficulty matching, and we think that makes a difference. 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.

Why Kobe? Why not the big city in Kanto? 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






Reiko from Maplopo


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 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 (Ogawa’s『猫を抱いて象と泳ぐ』is an absolute delight and blows Reiko’s mind.)

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






Doc from Maplopo


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 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 surprising 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.

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

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. 





  • 日本語がもつ単純性と複雑性について日々学び中。日本語の言葉の「意味」がいかにその言葉以上のものを示すかということに深い興味を抱く。

  • 自身がドラマーであることが、どれほど書くことに役立っているかを再認識している。幼少時代からドラムを練習してきたことで文章に対する特別なリズム感を身につけてきた。それは書くこと、特に翻訳することに非常に役立っている。そのため書いた文章を声に出して読んでいるところや、更には歌っているところをたびたび目撃される。

  • バージェス・メレディスが主役を務めたテレビドラマ『トワイライト・ゾーン』のエピソード「Time Enough at Last」をご存知?これは自分を含めた本好きの人にとって最も恐怖の、考えるだけでもゾッとしてしまうエピソード。ぜひ御覧あれ。




An intimidating beast I am not. 

Because beneath this seemingly intimidating presence, I’m your perennial Teddy Bear, your loveable Snoopy, your chubby, blue Doraemon. Wait. Isn’t he a cat? Anyway… my folks call me Chiro, and I’m the mascot around here at Maplopo—the spirit, if you will, behind this place of many gorgeous words… for without me (should I be so bold!) the words are just that.

My spirit, they need.

Words are poetry, I’m told. And, despite my inability to vocalize my agreement, I emphatically do.

Sometimes I smile. Sometimes, I cuddle. At all times I love. I am Chiro. And I am the spirit of Maplopo. 

Thank you for visiting and, thank you for reading.