Higuchi Ichiyo


Higuchi Ichiyo 樋口 一葉
Higuchi Ichiyoo, Ichiyo Higuchi
May 2, 1872 - November 23, 1896

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Ichiyoo ... 一葉 Ichiyo One Leaf


一葉記念館 Ichiyo Memorial Museum
- source : taitocity.net/zaidan/ichiyo -
東京都台東区 Taito Ward, Tokyo


. Ichiyoo Ki 一葉忌 (いちようき) Memorial day of Ichiyo

kigo for early winter

ishikeri no ko ni michi kiku ya Ichiyoo ki

asking the way
from children kicking stones -
Ichiyo memorial day

Kubota Mantaro (Mantaroo) 久保田万太郎 (1889 - 1963)


Ichiyō Higuchi (樋口 一葉 )
is the pen name of Japanese author Natsu Higuchi (樋口 奈津, Higuchi Natsu),
also known as Natsuko Higuchi (樋口 夏子, Higuchi Natsuko).

Higuchi was born in Meiji era Tokyo of samurai lineage.
In the space of her short life, she moved a total of 12 times. Upon reaching the age of 14, she entered the Haginoya, a poetry school; at the age of 15, she suffered the loss of her brother, and her father's business failed. Shortly afterward, he died and at the young age of 17 she became the head of the Higuchi household. Along with her mother and younger sister, they made ends meet by doing needlework, washing, and other jobs. After seeing the success of a classmate who wrote a novel, Higuchi decided to become a writer to support her family.

At age 20, Higuchi wrote her first novel and also adopted the pen name of Ichiyō. Around this time, Higuchi turned down a marriage proposal and moved to a house near the Yoshiwara pleasure quarters.
In 1894 her first major work, Ōtsugomori (大つごもり, "The New Year's Eve") was published, and in the following year, Takekurabe, Nigorie (にごりえ, "Troubled Waters"), and Jūsan'ya (十三夜, "The Thirteenth Night") were published to critical and popular success. Higuchi's literary career was cut short in 1896, when she contracted, and soon died of, tuberculosis.

In spite of her very short career and limited output, Higuchi is remembered for the quality of her works and is considered to be the first professional female writer in modern Japanese literature.
Higuchi's likeness adorns the Japanese 5000 yen banknote as of fall, 2004, becoming the third female to appear on a Japanese banknote, after Empress Jingū in 1881, and Murasaki Shikibu in 2000. Next to Empress Jingū, she is the second woman whose face is featured prominently on a Japanese banknote.

Higuchi's major works include:

Takekurabe たけくらべ
Nigorie にごりえ

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一葉煎餅(いちようせんべい) Senbei in honor of Ichiyo

From a store in Tokyo in the Daito area where she lived close by. They try to improve conditions and liven up the residential area with items named after the famous Ichiyo.

Senbei 煎餅 せんべい Sembei


Japanese Reference

樋口 一葉(ひぐち いちよう)

REFERENCE : Ichiyō Higuchi


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Isabelle said...

Thank you, Gabi san! That is a fascinating life story. I am glad that she is remembered on the bank note and through her memorial day.

Gabi Greve said...

Shrine Senzoku Inari Jinja 千束稲荷神社

東京都台東区竜泉2丁目19番3号 / Taitō, Ryusen, 2 Chome−19−3
Built around 1670. It used to be in the compound of 浅草寺 Asakusa Temple as
上千束稲荷(西宮稲荷)Nichinomiya Inari and
下千束稲荷 - the protector shrine of the district 北千束郷 Kita-Senzoku.
Known as "the shrine of 樋口一葉 Higuchi Ichiyo".

Gabi Greve said...

Kikizakachō 菊坂町 Kikuzakacho, Kikusaka district
where Higuchi lived and used a well . . .