Although diplomatic relations between Japan and Ukraine are not 30 years yet, the history of the Japanese literature translations into Ukrainian goes back more than a century. First Ukrainian translations of Japanese poetry and fairy-tales, published in literary or artistic journals, were done from intermediary languages, primary English, German and French. Direct translations from Japanese and Esperanto appeared in the Soviet Union period, and this circumstance greatly influenced the subject matter of the translated texts: it was exceptionally Japanese proletarian writers’ novels and short stories. In the early 1930s, almost all orientalists, including few specialists on Japan, were repressed and perished in camps. Until the 1960s, there were no Japanese studies in the Soviet Ukrainian Republic. The ideological situation has improved in the 1970s, and translations have changed significantly in its quantity and quality. The latter resulted as well in a shift from proletarian writers to the pre-modern and modern classical authors. The new epoch of literary translations has started at the beginning of the first decade of the 21st century when Japanese studies’ departments were founded in the majority of big universities and research institutes of the country.