Setouchi, Jakucho (1922–)

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Setouchi, Jakucho (1922–)

Japanese novelist. Name variations: Setouchi Harumi. Born May 15, 1922, in Tokushima prefecture, Japan; graduate of Tokyo Women's Christian University; married and divorced.

Under her secular name, Setouchi Harumi, published novel The Core of a Flower (1957), which was considered pornographic at the time because of her sexual candor; wrote Tamura Toshiko (1962), which won the 1st Tamura Toshiko Prize, as well as The End of Summer (1962) and Beauty in Disarray (1966); shaved her head, entered the Buddhist priesthood at Chusonji Temple (1973), and took the name Setouchi Jakucho; became chief priestess of Tendaiji temple in Iwate Prefecture (1987); moved to Kyoto; translated Lady Murasaki's Tale of Genji from classical to modern Japanese, and turned it into a huge bestseller (1999), all 10 volumes; retired as chief priestess (2005); also wrote Feminine Virtue (2000) and autobiographical novel, From Which Place. Won Tanizaki Prize for Hana ni Toe (Ask the Flowers, 1992).