Burton Watson, award-winning translator of Chinese and Japanese literature and poetry, was born in New Rochelle, New York in 1925. When he was 17 years old, he dropped out of high school and joined the Navy. He experienced Japan through his weekly shore leaves while stationed at Yokosuka Harbor in 1945. Consequently, Watson attended Columbia University and majored in Chinese and Japanese studies. In 1951, he received a Ford Foundation Overseas Fellow and returned to Kyoto. Watson received his Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1956. He has taught English at Doshisha University in Kyoto, and Chinese at Stanford and Columbia. Columbia University's Translation Center awarded Watson the Gold Medal Award in 1979. Watson also won the PEN Translation Prize in 1981 for his translation of Hiroaki Sato of From the Country of Eight Islands: An Anthology of Japanese Poetry. He won this award again in 1995 for Selected Poems of Su Tung-p'o. Watson moved to Japan in 1973, where he currently resides.