Timothy Iles was born in Ottawa, Canada, in 1961, but was raised predominantly in Vancouver. He attended the University of British Columbia for his undergraduate degree in the Japanese language, as well as for his Master's in Modern Japanese Literature. He completed his Doctorate at the University of Toronto, also in Japanese Literature. He has taught the Classical Japanese Language at the University of Toronto, as well as Japanese Literature, Theatre, and Film courses both there and in the United States, at the University of Iowa. He currently lives and works in Vancouver, Canada, where he is researching the first English-language study of the Japanese film-maker, Ichikawa Kon.