In the 1930s, a translator of Japanese literature from New Zealand was jailed and tortured by the Japanese police. His name was Max Bickerton or, more fully, William Maxwell Bickerton.

I had wondered about this translator for a long time — for an esoteric reason. I translate haiku in one line, and Bickerton is one of the very few people who have done the same, as I found in "The Classical Tradition of Haiku: An Anthology" (Dover, 1996), which Faubion Bowers, Gen. Douglas MacArthur's personal interpreter and "the savior of kabuki," compiled and gave to me. The book lists some well-known and not so well-known haiku in translation by a variety of hands.

In it, Bickerton's source is given as "Issa's Life and Poetry," Asiatic Society of Japan (Dec. 1932). Issa is Kobayashi Issa (1763-1824), who described daily life in haiku in a readily understandable way.