Sam Bett holds a B.A. in Japanese and English with highest honors from Commonwealth College at the University of Massachusetts – Amherst. His skill with Japanese has been recognized with a First Prize at the 2008 Amagasaki Japanese Speech Contest and a Level 1 Certification from the Japanese Language Proficiency Test.
His experience with Japan is colorful and extensive. As an undergraduate, he spent two summers studying traditional Japanese puppetry at the Imada Puppet Theatre in Nagano, a full year enrolled alongside Japanese students at Kwansei Gakuin University on a Bridging Scholarship, and a month in Osaka conducting fieldwork for an honors thesis on the changing face of entrepreneurship in the city's historic Karahori Arcades. Following graduation, he translated a variety of technical material at Vertex Environmental Services and launched his career as a freelance translator. In 2011, mere weeks after Japan’s nuclear disaster, he returned to Kwansei Gakuin University near Kobe to serve for a period as Exchange Program Coordinator at the school's Center for International Education and Cooperation. In March 2016, he was awarded Grand Prize by the Japanese Government in the 2nd JLPP International Translation Competition for his translations of two contemporary Japanese fiction writers, Yoko Ogawa and Toshiyuki Horie.
Sam’s clients include artists, authors, filmmakers, publishers, museums, and fashion brands. In his spare time he enjoys cooking, writing, swimming, meditation, and playing old-time banjo. He is fond of cabins and enjoys fermented foods.