James Kirkup was a professional translator of several European languages. He taught for many years at various universities in Japan and has taken a special interest in tanka and haiku. His translation of tanka by Fumi Saito, In Thickets of Memory, appeared in a bilingual edition in 2002 from Miwa Shoten in Tokyo. His co-translator in that work was the haiku poet Tamaki Makoto, who was also his co-translator for We Of Zipangu.
Arc was sad to learn of the death of James Kirkup on 10th May 2009.
See an obituary from the Guardian.