Authors

Ichiyo Higuchi

Ichiyo Higuchi 樋口一葉

Ichiyo Higuchi  (1872–1896)  was born in Tokyo to the family of a low-ranking civil servant shortly after the Meiji Restoration. She withdrew from elementary school in accordance with her mother's wishes that she learn housework instead, after which she received no further formal education save to attend private poetry classes. Forced by her father's death to support herself, her mother, and sister, Ichiyo took needlework and other odd jobs before resolving to become an author. She published her first novella, Yamizakura (Flowers at Dusk), in 1892, but despite following it with seven more stories in a period of less than a year, she found it difficult to gain sufficient income from writing alone. She attempted to make ends meet by opening a children's candy and sundries shop near the Yoshiwara pleasure quarters, but failed in this venture as well. Finally choosing to devote herself to writing, Ichiyo moved to new lodgings in the Hongo area of Tokyo, where she began producing one highly acclaimed work after another, including Otsugomori (On the Last Day of the Year), Nigorie (Troubled Waters), and Takekurabe (Growing Up). She succumbed to tuberculosis less than a year later at only 24 years of age, ending a career that produced a scant total of 21 short stories. Her lyricism and her crisp, spare, graceful style continue to captivate readers to this day.

Books by Ichiyo Higuchi
  • Book

    The Thirteenth Night and Other Stories

    This collection features three major works by Ichiyo Higuchi, who, despite having produced only 21 short stories in her brief career, stands as one of the greatest writers not only of the modern era but in all of Japanese literary history. The title stor …

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  • Book

    “Child’s Play” in Classical Japanese: Manga Edition

    Ichiyō Higuchi (1872–1896), Japan’s first prominent female writer of modern times, made an early debut, with her first work of fiction serialized in a newspaper at the age of 20, and she compiled a legacy of numerous fine short stories before her unt …

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