Yuko Matsuoka Harris, age 64, is the translator of the "Harry Potter" books in Japan and the president of the series' Japanese publisher, Say-zan-sha. Similar to the series' Hermione, Matsuoka has always been exceptional: As one of the best simultaneous interpreters in Japan, during her 30-year career she has specialized in intellectual property and patent law and regularly worked for the United Nations. The perfect match for the genius of J. K. Rowling, whose books have sold 400 million copies worldwide, Matsuoka creates masterpieces equal to their originals. Her flawless texts were penned during a 10-year sentence that she spent under virtual house arrest in Harry's world -- but she still managed to stay sane in the process, a feat only one with magical powers could have achieved. Beloved by fans, who have already purchased 24 million copies of her translations, she has also been the driving force behind the Japan Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease) Association, established by her late husband in 1986.

Trust your instincts. My friends recommended that I get the rights to the "Harry Potter" books. I read the first in one sitting and was hooked. I knew this was the project I was preparing for my whole life. It didn't bother me that at that point I had never translated a book nor published much. I knew that I could do it.

Enthusiasm is what matters. This is what J. K. Rowling said when asked why they gave me the copyright. She's the greatest! Enthusiasm is all I had: I loved the book and wanted every Japanese to read it.