"Avant-garde shamaness takes a poetic journey to the Californian suburbs"

by on Feb.21, 2012

David Hoenigman has written an article about Hitomi Ito for Japan Times.


“Born in 1955 in Tokyo, Ito first came to prominence as a poet in her early 20s while teaching Japanese at a junior high school. Her poetry collection “The Plants and the Sky (Kusaki no Sora)” won the Gendai-shi Techo Award in 1978. She went on to spearhead the 1980s boom of women’s poetry in Japan, a movement that also included Toshiko Hirata, Yoko Isaka and Koko Shiraishi. Ito’s groundbreaking collections “On Territory 1 (Teritori ron 1)” in 1985 and “On Territory 2 (Teritori ron 2)” in 1988 were landmarks of female expression that dealt with themes hitherto ignored in Japanese poetry: intimate insight into women’s sexual desires, the workings of the female body, and the physicality and emotional turmoil of pregnancy and childbirth. Ito would almost instantly be labeled a feminist, but in many ways the term was an oversimplification.”

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