At first, The Word Works was Ruth, whose skill as a translator had attracted clients who wanted to deal with a company instead of a freelancer. It was, as we recall, 1988 when a fellow translator who was going home to Australia called Ruth and said, “I’ve got this wonderful woman working for me. How would you like to take her on when I leave?” That was when Oya Kyoko joined us. Then, in the early 1990s, the traffic manager in the department at Hakuhodo where I was working called Ruth and said, “You need someone to keep your books and get your billing straight….As it turns out, my sister-in-law who has been working as the executive assistant to the president of a small company, wants a more flexible job that will let her spend more time on her hobby, playing flute.” That was Aono Yoshiko. John joined The Word Works in 1996, after leaving Hakuhodo.
John McCreery is an anthropologist who has lived and worked in Japan since 1980. For thirteen of those years, he was a copywriter and creative director for Hakuhodo Incorporated, Japan's second largest advertising agency. In 1984, he and his wife and business partner Ruth McCreery founded The Word Works, a supplier of fine translation, copywriting, research and consulting services to firms doing business in Japan. From 1994-2005, he was also a lecturer in the Graduate Program in Comparative Culture at Sophia University in Tokyo, teaching seminars on "The Making and Meaning of Advertising" and "Marketing in Japan." Extended Bio >>
Upon coming to Japan to complete a doctorate in Japanese language and literature in 1980, Ruth discovered translation as a challenging way to deepen her knowledge of the language, the culture, and subject areas ranging from photography to accounting. She founded The Word Works, Ltd., in 1984 to provide a full range of sophisticated language services, including copywriting, editing, translation, and desktop publishing. While building the company, she has consistently emphasized delivering publishable Japanese-to-English and English-to-Japanese translations or original copy for clients who require deep understanding, a graceful, appropriate style, and a willingness to do research. Extended Bio >>
Akiko Nakamura is our in-house English-to-Japanese translator. She is also responsible for new business development and coordinating museum catalogue and book-length projects. Extended Bio >>
Aono Yoshiko, The Word Worksf bookkeeper, brings to us her extensive experience in the Japanese corporate world and her grit as well as her accounting skills. Extended Bio >>