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Setsuko Tsumura

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Setsuko Tsumura
Native name
津村 節子
Born(1928-06-05)June 5, 1928
OccupationWriter
NationalityJapanese
Notable works"Gangu" (Toys)
Notable awardsAkutagawa Prize
SpouseAkira Yoshimura

Setsuko Tsumura (津村節子, Tsumura Setsuko, born June 5, 1928) is a Japanese novelist. She is a 1965 recipient of the Akutagawa Prize.

Early life

Tsumura was born in the capital city of Fukui, Japan. Her mother died when she was nine years old. Two years later, she moved to Tokyo. Her father, a silk weaver, died when she was sixteen. Between 1947 and 1948, at the age of nineteen, Tsumura ran her own dressmaking shop, employing three other seamstresses. Despite the success of her business, she closed the shop to attend Gakushuuin Women's Junior College, where she studied literature and edited the student literary magazine.[1] She met her husband, Akira Yoshimura (1927 - 2006),[2] while contributing to the literary magazine at his college. Tsumura graduated in 1953 and married soon after.[1]

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Fukui Prefecture

Fukui Prefecture

Fukui Prefecture is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūbu region of Honshū. Fukui Prefecture has a population of 778,943 and has a geographic area of 4,190 km2. Fukui Prefecture borders Ishikawa Prefecture to the north, Gifu Prefecture to the east, Shiga Prefecture to the south, and Kyoto Prefecture to the southwest.

Japan

Japan

Japan is an island country in East Asia. It is situated in the northwest Pacific Ocean and is bordered on the west by the Sea of Japan, extending from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north toward the East China Sea, Philippine Sea, and Taiwan in the south. Japan is a part of the Ring of Fire, and spans an archipelago of 6852 islands covering 377,975 square kilometers (145,937 sq mi); the five main islands are Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku, Kyushu, and Okinawa. Tokyo is the nation's capital and largest city, followed by Yokohama, Osaka, Nagoya, Sapporo, Fukuoka, Kobe, and Kyoto.

Tokyo

Tokyo

Tokyo, officially the Tokyo Metropolis, is the capital and most populous city of Japan. Formerly known as Edo, its metropolitan area is the most populous in the world, with an estimated 37.468 million residents as of 2018; the city proper has a population of 13.99 million people. Located at the head of Tokyo Bay, the prefecture forms part of the Kantō region on the central coast of Honshu, Japan's largest island. Tokyo serves as Japan's economic center and is the seat of both the Japanese government and the Emperor of Japan.

Gakushuin Women's College

Gakushuin Women's College

Gakushuin Women's College is a private women's college in Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan; part of the Gakushūin School Corporation (学習院). The predecessor of the school was founded in 1847 by Emperor Kōmei. It was chartered as a junior college in 1949 and became a four-year college in 1998.

Akira Yoshimura

Akira Yoshimura

Akira Yoshimura was an award-winning Japanese writer. Internationally he is best known for his novels Shipwrecks and On Parole.

Career

Tsumura was nominated for the Naoki Prize in 1959 for her short story, "Kagi" (Key), which she wrote for the Bungakukai magazine. She was awarded the Akutagawa Prize in 1965 for her short story "Gangu" (Playthings), a story about an expectant mother who is disappointed by her husband's indifference in their pregnancy. In 1972, Tsumura's short story, "Saihate" (The Farthest Limit) won the Shincho Prize. It was based on Tsumura's personal experience after the collapse of her husband's business.

Tsumura's 1983 biographical novel, "Shirayuri no kishi" (Precipice of a White Lily) is about a poetess from Tsumura's native Fukui; Tomiko Yamakawa (1879 - 1909).

Tsumura's novel, "Ryuuseiu" (A Meteoric Shower) won the Women's Literature Prize in 1990. It depicted the Boshin War from the perspective of a 15-year-old girl.[1]

She is a member of the Japan Art Academy and was recognized as a person of cultural merit in 2016.[3]

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Naoki Prize

Naoki Prize

The Naoki Prize, officially Naoki Sanjugo Prize , is a Japanese literary award presented biannually. It was created in 1935 by Kikuchi Kan, then editor of the Bungeishunjū magazine, and named in memory of novelist Naoki Sanjugo. Sponsored by the Society for the Promotion of Japanese Literature, the award recognizes "the best work of popular literature in any format by a new, rising, or established author." The winner receives a watch and one million yen.

Bungakukai

Bungakukai

Bungakukai is a Japanese monthly literary magazine published by Bungeishunjū as a junbungaku oriented publication.

Akutagawa Prize

Akutagawa Prize

The Akutagawa Prize is a Japanese literary award presented biannually. Because of its prestige and the considerable attention the winner receives from the media, it is, along with the Naoki Prize, one of Japan's most sought after literary prizes.

Boshin War

Boshin War

The Boshin War , sometimes known as the Japanese Revolution or Japanese Civil War, was a civil war in Japan fought from 1868 to 1869 between forces of the ruling Tokugawa shogunate and a clique seeking to seize political power in the name of the Imperial Court.

Japan Art Academy

Japan Art Academy

Japan Art Academy is the highest-ranking official artistic organization in Japan. It is established as an extraordinary organ of the Japanese Agency for Cultural Affairs in the thirty-first article of the law establishing the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. The Academy discusses art-related issues, advises the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology on art-related issues, and promotes arts in three categories: 1) fine art, 2) literary arts, 3) music, drama, and dance. It is closely associated with the annual Japan Art Academy Exhibition (Nitten), the premier art exhibition in Japan; the Japan Art Academy originally ran the Nitten but since 1958 the exhibition is run by a separate private institution. The Japan Art Academy headquarters is in Ueno Park, Tokyo.

Person of Cultural Merit

Person of Cultural Merit

Person of Cultural Merit is an official Japanese recognition and honor which is awarded annually to select people who have made outstanding cultural contributions. This distinction is intended to play a role as a part of a system of support measures for the promotion of creative activities in Japan. By 1999, 576 people had been selected as Persons of Cultural Merit.

Source: "Setsuko Tsumura", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2023, January 25th), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Setsuko_Tsumura.

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Bibliography

Type of literary work denoted in parentheses.

Japanese Title Reading English Title Publish Date Publisher
海鳴 (novel) Umi nari Rumbling of the Sea 1965 Kodansha
風の吹く町 (short story collection) Kaze no fuku machi The Windy Town 1970 Gekkan-pensha
白い焔 (short story collection) Shiroi honoo White Flames 1971 Yomiuri-shimbunsha
さい果て (short story collection) Saihate The Farthest Limit 1972 Chikumashobo
?? (short story collection) Tomurai me Woman Undertaker 1973 Chikumashobo
炎の舞い (novel) Honoo no mae Blazing Dance of the Kiln 1975 Shinchosha
星がゆれる時 (novel) Hoshi ga yureru toki When the Star Trembles 1976 Kobunsha
遅咲きの梅 (novel) Osozaki no ume Late-Blooming Plums 1978 Chuokoronsha
?? (novel) Haru no yokan Spring Anticipation 1979 Bungeishunjusha
重い歳月 (novel) Omoi saigetsu Heavy Months 1980 Shinchosha
冬の虹 (novel) Fuyu no niji Winter Rainbow 1981 Shinchosha
母の部屋 (short story collection) Haha no heya My Mother's Room 1982 Shueisha
白百合の崖(biography) Shirayuri no kishi Precipice of a White Lily 1983 Shinchosha
海の星座 (novel) Umi no seiza The Sea Constellation 1984 Mainichi-shimbunsha
千輪の華 (novel) Senrin no hana Thousand Flowers 1985 Shinchosha
土と炎の里(essays) Tsuchi to honoo no sato The Village of Clay and Blaze 1986 Chuokoronsha
惑い (short story collection) Madoi Delusion 1987 Yomiuri-shimbunsha
幸福村 (short story collection) Koofuku na mura: Ten ro The Village of Happiness: A Sculling Oar of Heaven 1989 Shinchosha
霧棲む里 (novel) Kiri sumu sato A Foggy Village 1989 Kodansha
流星雨 (novel) Ryuuseiu A Meteoric Shower 1990 Iwanamishoten
紅梅 (novel) Koobai Red Blossomed Plum Tree[4] 2011 Bungeishunjusha

Translated works

Tsumura's 1969 short story "Yakoodokei" (夜光時計) was translated under the title "Luminous Watch." It is included in the anthology This Kind of Woman: Ten Stories by Japanese Women Writers by Elizabeth Hanson and Yukiko Tanaka.[5][1]

"Gangu," the short story that won Tsumura the Akutagawa Prize, was translated by Kyoko Evanhoe and Robert N. Lawson for the Japan Quarterly in 1980 under the name "Playthings."[1]

References
  1. ^ a b c d e Schierbeck, Sachiko Shibata; Edelstein, Marlene R. (1994). Japanese Women Novelists in the 20th Century: 104 Biographies, 1900-1993. Museum Tusculanum Press. ISBN 9788772892689.
  2. ^ "Mitaka City| Mitaka City honorary citizen (3)". www.city.mitaka.tokyo.jp.e.nf.hp.transer.com. Retrieved 2019-10-21.
  3. ^ "平成28年度 文化功労者:文部科学省". www.mext.go.jp. Retrieved 2019-10-23.
  4. ^ Inc, Encyclopaedia Britannica (2012-03-01). Britannica Book of the Year 2012. Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc. ISBN 9781615356188. {{cite book}}: |last= has generic name (help)
  5. ^ Mulhern, Chieko Irie (1994). Japanese Women Writers: A Bio-critical Sourcebook. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 9780313254864.

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