ICHIYO HIGUCHI AND THE ENGLISCH LITERARY CIRCLE. LONDON 1896
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Ichiyo Higuchi was born in 1872 and died young of tuberculosis when she was 24. Coming from an ancient samurai family, at 14 she entered the Haginoya poetry school, where she received a careful classical education. When she was 17 her brother died; faced with her father’s ruin shortly afterwards, Higuchi had to take care of her family, including her mother and sister, and was forced to take up various jobs: dressmaking, and laundering. It was not until she was 20 that the literary success of a classmate encouraged her to dedicate herself to professional writing, and in 1894 she published what would possibly be her greatest work – Nigorie (Inlet of turbulent waters). Despite the brevity of her work, Higuchi was considered by the contemporary Anglophone literary critics in London as the most important writer of the Meiji era (1868-1912).
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