Edwin A. Cranston, 1932-2021

With great sadness, the Reischauer Institute notes the passing of Edwin Cranston on December 8. Professor Cranston was the Professor of Japanese Literature at Harvard University. He received his doctorate at Stanford University and joined the Harvard faculty in 1965, retiring in 2020. Throughout his long career, he trained a generation of scholars to read classical Japanese, conveyed the beauty of Japanese in his courses on Nara and Heian court literature, and introduced many undergraduates to the wonders of Japanese poetry in his popular Freshman Seminar. Professor Cranston served as EALC Department chair from 1981-87 and was one of the founding members of the Reischauer Institute. He was a distinguished scholar, gifted poet and translator, and a valued mentor and friend. He will be greatly missed.


Mary C. Brinton
Reischauer Institute Professor of Sociology, Harvard University
Director, Edwin O. Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies