Japanese Writer Jakucho Setouchi Dies at 99

Society Culture

Tokyo, Nov. 11 (Jiji Press)--Japanese writer and Buddhist nun Jakucho Setouchi, whose wide-ranging works included autobiographical novels, biographies and historical fiction, died of heart failure at a hospital in the western Japan city of Kyoto on Tuesday. She was 99.

Setouchi, who was awarded the Order of Culture in 2006, was also known as an antiwar and antinuclear activist.

Born in Tokushima, another western city, in 1922, Setouchi got married when she was a student at Tokyo Woman's Christian University and lived in Beijing. After returning to Japan in 1946, she fell in love with a student of her husband and divorced.

Around that time, Setouchi started writing a novel. After winning a literature prize in 1957, she stirred a controversy by releasing "Kashin" (Center of a Flower), a short story about a wife's infidelity, earning herself the nickname "womb novelist."

Due to the controversy, literary publishers refrained from asking her to write books for several years. But Setouchi emerged as a popular writer thanks to her novels published in magazines.

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