Hi, I’m Yuki. It's so nice of you to drop by.
I'm a translator and writer in my day-to-day life, but on this site I write about books and bookstores I encounter as a book nerd living in Tokyo.
The idea for Book Nerd Tokyo struck when I moved from New York City to Tokyo...oh, nine years ago now. Time and its zippiness. I was spending so much time discovering and marveling over Tokyo's bookstores, I wondered if others might be interested to learn of the city's seemingly infinite literary abundance.
Much of my own life story takes place in Los Angeles, the city I still consider to be home. I was born in Tokyo and moved to LA with my family when I was four, where I grew into an angsty American teenager for whom Japanese novels were a secret escape.
After graduating from a Southern California university and studying and working in Kyoto, Okinawa, and New York City in my 20s and early 30s, Tokyo called, and it was finally time to get to know the city where I was born. Time to get reacquainted with a place that feels both familiar and absolutely revelatory.
Professionally, I taught at the Okinawa Actors School in Okinawa in my 20s and early 30s, eventually writing and directing a popular weekly television drama series. After Okinawa, I moved to New York where I began working in film and television as a freelance writer, translator, interpreter and local coordinator.
In 2020, I was in lockdown in LA with my parents when I learned about the Japanese Literature Publishing Project International Translation Competition, held each year by the Japanese government. Figuring I had very little to lose, I took the dive and entered the contest, not knowing what I was in for. Thankfully, I was awarded a prize that helped to crack open some heavy-seeming doors.
I grew up speaking (and reading) English and Japanese, but only since moving to Tokyo have I felt an inkling of understanding of Japanese culture. Books and bookstores have always been my way into a new city, and I started this site as a place to explore my in-betweenness, self-expression for an introvert, and reading through my fears and insecurities.
I’m so glad you’re here.
I post my book and bookstore findings over on Instagram at @booknerdtokyo - hope to see you there!