Places, Images, Times & Transformations

Takamura Kōtarō

(1883-1956). Sculptor and poet. Born in Tokyo. Eldest son of the sculptor Takamura Kōun. Married Naganuma Chieko in 1938 and composed love poems to her from 1912 to 1952. These 40-odd poems, compiled in Chiekoshō (1941; tr Chieko's Sky, 1978) are remarkable during a period when marital love was seldom evoked in Japanese poetry. Takamura headed the Poet's Division of the Japanese Literature Patriotic Association, which was dedicated to Japanese war effort. But after defeat, he led a hermitlike existence in a rural cabin in Iwate Prefecture for seven years. A striking work entitled "Reverence" serves indirectly as an apologia for the poet's wartime conduct. (adapted from Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia. Tokyo: Kodansha, 1993)

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