We of Zipangu is a selection of the work of Takahashi Mutsuo, one of Japan’s leading poets. Like most contemporary Japanese poets, Takahashi writes in free verse style as well as the classic forms of the haiku and the tanka, often dedicating his poems to western writers he admires, among them Jorge Luis Borges, Paul Bowles, Ezra Pound, Michael Longley and Ciaran Carson. With subject matter that is deeply personal and frequently homo-erotic with undertones of the grotesque and perverse, Takahashi’s is a uniquely passionate and mystical voice, the full force of which resonates through the pages of these outstanding translations. The translator, James Kirkup, is a distinguished poet in his own right and has been translating Takahashi’s ‘seemingly untranslatable’ (Kirkup’s words) for over forty years, to outstanding effect Arc Visible Poets series – The translators working on this series aim to reveal the original language in all its manifestations and make it ‘visible’. By this process, they invite the reader to develop a deeper understanding and enjoyment of both the original and the translated poem.