Takako Takahashi

Last updated

Takako Takahashi(高橋 たか子,Takahashi Takako, March 2, 1932 July 12, 2013) was a Japanese author. Her maiden name was Takako Okamoto(岡本和子,Okamoto Takako).

Japanese people ethnic group native to Japan

Japanese people are a nation and an ethnic group that is native to Japan and makes up 98.5% of the total population of the country. Worldwide, approximately 129 million people are of Japanese descent; of these, approximately 125 million are residents of Japan. People of Japanese ancestry who live outside Japan are referred to as nikkeijin(日系人), the Japanese diaspora. The term ethnic Japanese is often used to refer to Japanese people, as well as to more specific ethnic groups in some contexts, such as Yamato people and Ryukyuan people. Japanese are one of the largest ethnic groups in the world.



Takahashi was born in Kyoto, as the only child of well-to-do parents, with the maiden name of Okamoto. In 1954 she received her undergraduate degree from Kyoto University in French literature, with a senior thesis on Charles Baudelaire. Six months later she married fellow student Kazumi Takahashi, subsequently a well-known writer and ideological leader of the student protest movement. She supported him in the first two years of their marriage by a series of odd jobs, then returned to Kyoto University in 1956 to receive a master's degree in French literature in 1958 for a thesis on François Mauriac.

Kyoto Designated city in Kansai, Japan

Kyoto, officially Kyoto City, is the capital city of Kyoto Prefecture, located in the Kansai region of Japan. It is best known in Japanese history for being the former Imperial capital of Japan for more than one thousand years, as well as a major part of the Kyoto-Osaka-Kobe metropolitan area.

Kyoto University national university located in Kyoto, Japan

Kyoto University, or Kyodai is a national university in Kyoto, Japan. It is the second oldest Japanese university, one of Asia's highest ranked universities and one of Japan's National Seven Universities. One of Asia’s leading research-oriented institutions, Kyoto University is famed for producing world-class researchers, including 18 Nobel Prize laureates, 2 Fields medalists and one Gauss Prize winner. It has the most Nobel laureates of all universities in Asia.

French literature is, generally speaking, literature written in the French language, particularly by citizens of France; it may also refer to literature written by people living in France who speak traditional languages of France other than French. Literature written in French language, by citizens of other nations such as Belgium, Switzerland, Canada, Senegal, Algeria, Morocco, etc. is referred to as Francophone literature. As of 2006, French writers have been awarded more Nobel Prizes in Literature than novelists, poets and essayists of any other country. France itself ranks first in the list of Nobel Prizes in literature by country.

From 1958-1965, Takahashi and her husband lived in Osaka, where she began a first novel in 1961 (“A Ruined Landscape”). Her husband won a major literary award in 1962, making his name and providing sufficient funds so that Takahashi could quit her job, work on her novel, and publish a translation of Mauriac's Thérèse Desqueyroux. In 1965 they moved to Kamakura, Kanagawa, when her husband obtained a teaching position at Meiji University; in 1967, when he became a professor at Kyoto University, she remained in Kamakura. When her husband fell ill with colon cancer in 1969, he returned to Kamakura where she took care of him.

Osaka Designated city in Kansai, Japan

Osaka is a designated city in the Kansai region of Japan. It is the capital city of Osaka Prefecture and the largest component of the Keihanshin Metropolitan Area, the second largest metropolitan area in Japan and among the largest in the world with over 19 million inhabitants. Osaka will host Expo 2025. The current mayor of Osaka is Hirohumi Yoshimura.

Meiji University private university in Tokyo, Japan

Meiji University is a private university with campuses in Tokyo and Kawasaki, founded in 1881 by three Meiji-era lawyers, Kishimoto Tatsuo, Miyagi Kōzō, and Yashiro Misao. It is one of the largest and most prestigious Japanese universities in Tokyo according to major college-preparatory schools in Japan.

After her husband's early death in 1971, Takahashi began writing short stories and novels, as well as a memoir of her husband, and translations of French literature. In the 1970s she was both prolific and successful as an author, publishing four novels and eight collections of short stories. In 1972, she received the Tamura Toshiko Literary Award for Sora no hate made (“To the end of the Sky”). She subsequently won the Women’s Literature Award in 1977 for a set of linked short stories titled Ronri Uman (“Lonely Woman”) and the Yomiuri Prize for Ikari no ko (“Child of Rage”) in 1985, and the Mainichi Art Award for Kirei na hito (“Pretty person”) in 2003.

The Yomiuri Prize for Literature is a literary award in Japan. The prize was founded in 1949 by the Yomiuri Shinbun Company to help form a "strong cultural nation". The winner is awarded two million Japanese yen and an inkstone.

In 1975 Takahashi converted to Roman Catholicism and, in 1980, moved to France, where in 1985 she became a nun. After returning to Japan, she entered a Carmelite convent but left after one year, returning to Kyoto to take care of her mother. She continued to publish prolifically.

France Republic with mainland in Europe and numerous oversea territories

France, officially the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, and from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean. It is bordered by Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany to the northeast, Switzerland and Italy to the east, and Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans. The country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres (248,573 sq mi) and a total population of 67.3 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Lille and Nice.

Carmelites Catholic mendicant religious order

The Order of the Brothers of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel or Carmelites is a Roman Catholic mendicant religious order founded, probably in the 12th century, on Mount Carmel in the Crusader States, hence the name Carmelites. However, historical records about its origin remain very uncertain. Berthold of Calabria has traditionally been associated with the founding of the order, but few clear records of early Carmelite history have survived.

English translations

International Standard Book Number Unique numeric book identifier

The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a numeric commercial book identifier which is intended to be unique. Publishers purchase ISBNs from an affiliate of the International ISBN Agency.

Related Research Articles

Murasaki Shikibu Japanese novelist and poet

Murasaki Shikibu was a Japanese novelist, poet and lady-in-waiting at the Imperial court during the Heian period. She is best known as the author of The Tale of Genji, written in Japanese between about 1000 and 1012. Murasaki Shikibu is a descriptive name; her personal name is unknown, but she may have been Fujiwara no Kaoruko, who was mentioned in a 1007 court diary as an imperial lady-in-waiting.

Japanese literature literature of Japan

Early works of Japanese literature were heavily influenced by cultural contact with China and Chinese literature, often written in Classical Chinese. Indian literature also had an influence through the separation of Buddhism in Japan. Eventually, Japanese literature developed into a separate style, although the influence of Chinese literature and Classical Chinese remained until the end of the Edo period. Since Japan reopened its ports to Western trading and diplomacy in the 19th century, Western and Eastern literature have strongly affected each other and continue to do so.

Kanoko Okamoto Novelista, poetisa y ensayista

Kanoko Okamoto was the pen-name of a Japanese author, tanka poet, and Buddhist scholar active during the Taishō and early Shōwa periods of Japan.

Qiu Jin Chinese poet, revolutionary

Qiu Jin was a Chinese revolutionary, feminist, and writer. Her courtesy names are Xuanqing and Jingxiong. Her sobriquet name is Jianhu Nüxia which, when translated literally into English, means "Woman Knight of Mirror Lake". Qiu was executed after a failed uprising against the Qing dynasty, and she is considered a national heroine in China; a martyr of republicanism and feminism.

<i>The Diary of Lady Murasaki</i> diary written by Murasaki Shikibu, author of The Tale of Genji.

The Diary of Lady Murasaki is the title of a collection of diary fragments written by the 11th-century Japanese Heian era lady-in-waiting and writer Murasaki Shikibu. It is written in kana, then a newly developed writing system for vernacular Japanese, more common among women, who were generally unschooled in Chinese. Unlike modern diaries or journals, 10th-century Heian diaries tend to emphasize important events more than ordinary day-to-day life and do not follow a strict chronological order. The work includes vignettes, waka poems, and an epistolary section written in the form of a long letter.

Toyotomi Hidetsugu Japanese Daimyo

Toyotomi Hidetsugu was a daimyō during the Sengoku period of Japan. He was the nephew and retainer of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, the unifier and ruler of Japan from 1590 to 1598. Despite being Hideyoshi's closest adult, male relative, Hidetsugu was accused of atrocities and attempting to stage a coup after the birth of Hideyoshi's son, and he was ordered to commit suicide. Hidetsugu's entire family, including children, were also executed on Hideyoshi's orders. His death and that of his family contributed to the quick dissolution of Toyotomi authority after Hideyoshi's death three years later.

Rachel "Matt" Thorn is a cultural anthropologist and an associate professor in the Department of Manga Production at Kyoto Seika University's Faculty of Manga in Japan.

Juliet Winters Carpenter American translator

Juliet Winters Carpenter is an American translator of modern Japanese literature. Born in the American Midwest, she studied Japanese literature at the University of Michigan and the Inter-University Center for Japanese Language Studies in Tokyo. After completing her graduate studies in 1973, she returned to Japan in 1975, where she became involved in translation efforts and teaching.


Onna-bugeisha was a type of female warrior belonging to the Japanese nobility. These women engaged in battle, commonly alongside samurai men. They were members of the bushi (samurai) class in feudal Japan and were trained in the use of weapons to protect their household, family, and honour in times of war. Significant icons such as Tomoe Gozen, Nakano Takeko, and Hōjō Masako are famous examples of onna-bugeisha.

Taeko Kono Japanese writer

Taeko Kōno is one of the most important Japanese women writers of the second half of the twentieth century, someone whose influence on contemporary Japanese women writers is acknowledged to be immeasurable. Kōno is one of a generation of remarkable women writers who made an appearance in Japan in the 1960s and 1970s and who include Kurahashi Yumiko, Mori Mari, Setouchi Harumi, and Takahashi Takako. She also established a reputation for herself as an acerbic essayist, a playwright and a literary critic. By the end of her life she was a leading presence in Japan's literary establishment, one of the first women writers to serve on the Akutagawa Literary Prize committee. Oe Kenzaburo, Japan's Nobel Laureate, described her as the most "lucidly intelligent" woman writers writing in Japan, and the US critic and academic Masao Miyoshi identified her as among the most "critically alert and historically intelligent." US critic and academic Davinder Bhowmik assesses her as “…one of the truly original voices of the twentieth century, beyond questions of gender or even nationality.” A writer who deals with some quite dark themes, Kōno is known to readers in English through the collection of short stories Toddler-Hunting and Other Stories, which draws together her best writing from the 1960s.

Midori Suzuki was a Japanese media educator, feminist and media researcher. She was professor of Media Studies at the Faculty of Social Sciences of Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto from 1994 until her death.

Shizuka Gozen Japanese noble

Shizuka Gozen (静御前) (1165–1211), or Lady Shizuka, one of the most famous women in Japanese history and literature, was a shirabyōshi of the 12th century, and a mistress of Minamoto no Yoshitsune. Since she, like many others, are featured largely in the Heike Monogatari, Gikeiki, and a number of plays of various traditions, her story is quite well known, but it is difficult to separate fact from fiction within it.

Tatsuko Hoshino Japanese writer

Tatsuko Hoshino was a Japanese haiku poet active in Shōwa period Japan.

Toshiko Tamura Japanese writer

Toshiko Tamura was the pen-name of an early modern feminist novelist in Shōwa period Japan. Her real name was Toshi Satō.

Kazumi Takahashi Japanese writer

Kazumi Takahashi was a Japanese novelist and scholar of Chinese literature in Shōwa period Japan. His wife was fellow writer Takako Takahashi.

Jeffrey Angles American scholar:modern Japanese literature/award-winning literary translator:modern and contemporary Japanese poetry/fiction.

Jeffrey Angles (ジェフリー・アングルス) is an award-winning poet who writes free verse in his second language, Japanese. He is also an American scholar of modern Japanese literature and an award-winning literary translator of modern and contemporary Japanese poetry and fiction into English. He is a professor of Japanese language and Japanese literature at Western Michigan University.

Mugai Nyodai Japanese Buddhist nun

Mugai Nyodai, of Japan, was one of the first Zen abbesses and one of the first female Zen masters in the world.

The Great Mirror of Male Love, with the subtitle The Custom of Boy Love in Our Land is a collection of homosexuality stories by Ihara Saikaku, published in 1687. The collection belongs to Ihara’s floating world genre of Japanese literature, and contains eight sections; each section contains five chapters, making 40 chapters in total.

Evelyne Accad is a Lebanese-born educator and writer living in the United States, France and Lebanon.

Ikuta Chōkō Japanese critic, playwright and novelist

Ikuta Chōkō was the pen-name of a noted translator, author and literary critic in Taishō and Shōwa period Japan. His real name was ’Ikuta Kōji’.