Arthur Waley (1889-1966) taught himself Chinese and Japanese after being appointed Assistant Keeper of Oriental Prints and Manuscripts at the British Museum in order to help catalog the paintings in the museum's collection. He went on to renown as one of the most respected translators of Asian classics into English of his time. His long list of translated works includes The Tale of Genji, Monkey (The Journey to the West), The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon, and The Analects of Confucius.
"It is...the highest tribute to this book that, fascinating as is the introduction, the text is more fascinating still...The natural beauty of the poetry rises like a flower." --New Statesman