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James E. Lipson
Founder; Executive Producer

Jamie Lipson is the founder of Metaphoria® Productions of Claremont, California (Los Angeles County).

Educated at Winchester College and Yale University, Jamie has qualified as a Japanese-to-English translator with AT&T Language Line (Monterey, California), Berlitz (L.A. & Tokyo) and SIMUL International (Translation Division, Tokyo). He is a past member of the Japan Association of Translators.

In addition to his work as translator and producer of various translation and/or dubbing projects (etc.), Jamie narrates audiobooks and advertising/PR materials. He is registered with SAG-AFTRA as a voice actor, using the stage name (also his occasional pen name) of Jamie West.

Jamie divides his time between Tokyo and Claremont, California. He is happy to respond directly to email inquiries:


Suzanna Beaucage-Kawamura
Editor; Product Development

Fluent in English (she's Canadian!), and Japanese (she's lived in Tokyo for many years), Suzanna also has abilities in German and French. It was her Japanese and English that made her useful to NHK as an interpreter for Princess Diana when the Prince and Princess of Wales visited Japan.

When she's not hobnobbing with royalty, Suzanna devotes herself to projects involving the teaching of ESL (English as a Second Language). With a TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) degree in progress, she already has many years of practical experience in the field, culminating in her present positions at Waseda University (teaching academic reading and writing) and at the Ryugaku Journal, the chief publication of Japan's largest study abroad agency.

Suzanna has also created and/or edited materials for NHK textbooks, for Kodansha International's Encyclopedia of Japan, and for educational publisher ALC.


Rumiko Varnes
Writer; Bilingual Narrator

Brought up in Los Angeles, Rumiko studied linguistics at UCLA and then linguistic psychology at International Christian University in Tokyo. A long-time resident of Tokyo, she has become something of a phenomenon in the fields of bilingual narration and English language edutainment.

As a narrator and voice actor, Rumiko has participated in over 7,000 recordings: English educational readings and dialogs, children's TV programs, animations & video games, documentary narrations, corporate and government PR products, TV commercials.... She sings professionally, too!

As a writer, Rumiko has proved she knows how to appeal to Japanese students of English on the printed page as well. Her Sanjūnichi de mastā suru ei-kaiwa bunpō (Master English Conversational Grammar in 30 Days; Natsume, 1997) sold over 100,000 copies in Japan. Her latest offering is Koibito-tachi no ei-kaiwa (English for Lovers; Kōgakusha, 2007).


Fusako Shiotani
Asst. Producer/Director; Translator (E-J)

Fusako Shiotani was born in Hakodate, Japan, and raised in Nagoya, Japan.

Fusako's early career in Nagoya demonstrated her remarkable arsenal of performing talents as radio personality, TV reporter, voiceover announcer, and actress.

After moving to the United States in 1991, Fusako continued to work off and on in Japan, where her satisfied clients include NHK, TBS, and Fuji TV. Meanwhile, she has also worked as a TV announcer at KSCI (Ch. 18) in Los Angeles, and as a voiceover actress, both in commercials and in Japanese versions of live-action films and animations. She has also appeared as an actress in film and on stage. All this while earning a degree in Communication (TV/Film) from CalState/Fullerton.

Now, after a stint as production assistant to Ridley Scott & Associates, Inc., Fusako has broadened the scope of her professional activities to include not only acting but production coordination, script translation and editing, and related services for Metaphoria® Productions.


Hiroshi Kubota
Producer/Director; Translator (E-J)

Hiroshi Kubota was born and raised in Tokyo, Japan, and has been residing in Los Angeles for over 20 years.

Hiroshi has directed and/or photographed and/or edited commercial spots for national cable networks in the US, and directed numerous documentaries for Japanese networks, including NHK Hi-Vision broadcasts and "Zoom-In Asa" for NTV.

Hiroshi's translation credits include English-to-Japanese subtitling of feature movies for DVD release (Laserlight Masterpiece Theatre; early Hitchcock films) and airline inflight entertainment via Jaguar Entertainment, etc. (various titles from Universal Studios, New Line Cinema, etc.), as well as Japanese-to-English versions, dubbed or subtitled, of animations and features.

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