In Memoriam: Howard Hibbett (1920-2019)

With great sadness, the Reischauer Institute notes the passing of Howard Hibbett on March 13, 2019. Prof. Hibbett was a central part of our Japanese Studies community on campus, and a beloved colleague and dear friend to many faculty, students, and staff during his many years at Harvard. He was the Victor S. Thomas Professor of Japanese Literature, Emeritus, having joined the Harvard faculty in 1958. He served as Chair of the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations from 1965-1970 and again in 1972, and he was Director of the Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies from 1985-1988. Originally a Harvard graduate (College ’47, Ph.D. ’50), Prof. Hibbett graced the halls of Harvard for nearly 70 years.

A prolific scholar and translator, Prof. Hibbett published numerous works on Japanese literature and trained generations of scholars. He is especially known for his translations of Junichiro Tanizaki, and in 2018 he was awarded the Lindsley and Masao Miyoshi Translation Prize from the Donald Keene Center of Japanese Culture at Columbia University, “for lifetime achievement as a translator of Edo period and modern Japanese literature.” We deeply appreciate his leadership and commitment to the Reischauer Institute in promoting Japanese Studies on campus, as well as his longstanding interest in our activities. He will be greatly missed.