Katherine Whatley - Writer in Tokyo

Katherine Whatley

I'm a writer in Tokyo, Japan

Available for contracts

I speak English and Japanese

Find me at

About me

I am a Tokyo based writer, translator, artist and musician.

I spent much of my childhood in Japan and then went to Columbia University in New York City. My work is deeply informed by Japanese culture-everything from kimono to music to photography to film to architecture.

I work as a freelance writer and translator in Tokyo, Japan. In addition, I am training as a koto musician (13 string Japanese traditional transverse harp).

I am always looking for new opportunities. Please contact me with any and all translation, editing and interpretation projects.


My Creations

  1. For full article see: https://www.japantimes.co.jp/culture/2018/03/29/music/kiyoshi-koyama-life-lived-jazz/#.WvJPoC-PDqQ

    “I have lived a life alongside jazz,” says Kiyoshi Koyama, jazz critic, journalist and radio host. This is apparent on a recent visit to his home in Chiba Prefecture, where he and his wife live surrounded by walls of neatly organized records, CDs, books and... continue reading (0, 1 image)

  2. For full article see: https://www.japantimes.co.jp/culture/2018/01/04/arts/cloven-landscape-cloven-tree-cloven-self/#.WvJPkC-PDqQ

    On a recent trip to Tohoku, photographer Naoya Hatakeyama took a picture of a tree. It wasn’t a particularly remarkable tree, but it caught his attention all the same.

    In Hatakeyama’s photo the tree stands in the middle distance, right in the center of the... continue reading (0, 1 image)

  3. For full article see: https://www.japantimes.co.jp/culture/2018/03/01/stage/living-breathing-history-noh/#.WvJPmi-PDqQ

    Noh performer Hisa Uzawa has spent her life devoted to an art form that — with its slow and steady movements, sparse staging and ancient chanting — may at first seem staid. In her hands, however, the 650-year-old tradition becomes relentlessly contemporary.

    ​Uzawa was born... continue reading (0, 1 image)

  4. For full article see: https://www.japantimes.co.jp/culture/2018/02/01/arts/artist-asako-iwama-explores-relationship-food-language/#.WvJPli-PDqQ

    Food and the desire to eat has always been mysterious to Asako Iwama. When the artist and cook was a young child, she could not understand why she had to eat. Her earliest memories of food are of her grandmother’s cooking in a strange yet... continue reading (0, 1 image)

  5. http://www.pointofdeparture.org/PoD57/PoD57Coltrane.html

    This article, published in Point of Departure, commemorates the fiftieth anniversary of John Coltrane's historic tour to Japan. Through archival research in Japan and the United States, parsing through published and unpublished materials and through oral histories, I create a rich picture of the tour.

  6. https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0003569

    Musician and journalist Katherine Whatley explores the rich and surprising history of jazz in Japan. Surprising because the chaotic individualism of this American art form appears at first to go against the very grain of Japan’s communitarian sprit. More surprising still that, having been banned as ‘enemy music’ during... continue reading (1, 1 image)