Higuchi Ichiyo

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Higuchi Ichiyo


(pen name of Higuchi Natsuko). Born 1872 in Tokyo; died there 1896. Japanese writer.

Higuchi, the daughter of a minor police official, studied classical Japanese poetry in a private school. She published her first works in 1892. An adherent of the romantic school, she became known for her short stories and novellas about the life of the common people of Japan. Her novellas Life in the Backwoods (1892), Rivals (1895), Thirteenth Night (1895), and Murky Stream (1895) depict the hard lot of the Japanese woman.

Higuchi’s works contributed to the development of progressive trends in modern Japanese literature and to the cultivation of national artistic traditions. Several of them have been adapted for the stage and screen.


Nihon gendai bungaku zenshu, vols. 1–10. Tokyo, 1962.


Istoriia sovremennoi iaponskoi literatury. Moscow, 1961.
Shiota Ryohei. Higuchi Ichiyo. Tokyo, 1960.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Because gender disparity is an obvious aspect of his list, one might be tempted to name a female writer of great merit, such as Higuchi Ichiyo [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (1872-96).
(28) Meanwhile, the images of nonstate individuals on the recent notes include the philosopher and educator Fukuzawa Yukichi; the novelists Natsume Soseki, Higuchi Ichiyo, and Murasaki Shikibu; and the bacteriologist Noguchi Hideyo.
Since then, of the twelve images coded, seven reflect postmaterialist values: the westernizing cultural figure and founder of Keio University, Fukuzawa Yukichi (three images); the novelists Natsume Soseki (two images) and Higuchi Ichiyo; and the bacteriologist Noguchi Hideyo.
In the 2004 yen note series, apart from the 2,000 note, a woman now also appears on the 5,000 yen note: the nineteenth-century novelist Higuchi Ichiyo. Indeed, while the Bank of Japan's press release describing the new notes identifies Fukuzawa as an "educator" and Noguchi as a "bacteriologist," it identifies Higuchi as a "female novelist" (emphasis added).
Including a woman in the new series had been Treasury's initial retention, but Printing Bureau officials first dismissed the idea of depicting Murasaki Shikibu on the grounds that there were no photographs of her, then attacked the idea of depicting Higuchi Ichiyo on the grounds that the available photographs of her were not good enough.
Although the last twenty years have seen a growing number of translations of writings by Japanese women and a few studies in English of individual women authors (Higuchi Ichiyo, Uno Chiyo, and Koda Aya), there has been a dearth of critical studies about Japanese women's writing.
Moreover, Japanese novels translated into English, such as Kawabata Yasunari's famous Yukiguni [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (Snow Country, 1952), Nagai Kafu's Udekarabu [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (Geisha Rivalry, 1918), and the Meiji-era short stories of Higuchi Ichiyo (1992), provide still other portraits of how the figure of the geisha was understood in modern Japan.
In 1981 Robert Lyons Danly combined a critical biography with translated stories to introduce a writer previously little known in the West, Higuchi Ichiyo, with the volume In the Shade of Spring Leaves.