"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.

Excerpt:

“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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