Working for a Tokyo-based translation company, Daisuke Yanase is making the most of his colorful career. He studied plant physiology at university and thereafter spent the first 20 years of his working career at a chemical company, being engaged in agrochemical research and development and pharmaceutical quality control. In 2003, he decided to try his English writing skills in a pharmaceutical company, for which he worked for 10 years, translating technical and regulatory documents between Japanese and English. His personal challenge is to acquire as much proficiency as possible in writing in English without living outside Japan.
Unlike literary work imbued with culture and history, medical and other technical documents theoretically have to be translatable into all the languages of the world. However, this is easier said than done, largely because technologies never stop growing in both extent and...