Mutsuo Takahashi

Author: Mutsuo Takahashi

Profile: Mutsuo Takahashi is one of the most prolific and prominent male poets, writers and essayists, of contemporary Japan. He is born in Fukuoka Prefecture, the rural southern island of Kyushu in Japan.

He has to his credit numerous major literary prizes, dozens books of essays and several works of prose to his credit. He is popularly well known especially for his openness while penning down about male homoeroticism.

Presently he resides in the seaside town of Zushi, many kilometers to the south of Yokohama in Japan.

He spent the early years of his life in Japan’s countryside. His father died when he was just around 4 months after which his mother left him with his grandparents and left to live with her lover in Tientsin in mainland China.  Much of his life went in poverty due to which he spent a lot of time with neighbors and the extended family. A masculine role model in Takahashis’ life was his uncle, however the uncle too died of illness when he was sent to the Burma campaign.

On his mother’s return from China, Takahashi and she started living at the Moji port at the time when the Allied powers intensified their air raids. It was only when the war ended that Takahashi felt relieved as he hated war. He realized he was sexually attracted towards men when he spent time with his schoolmates in his younger days, which became a common subject in his first book of poetry he published in the year 1959. He completed his graduation from the Fukuoka University of Education and moved to Tokyo in 1962. He wrote enough poetry though he worked for an advertising company.

Writing style: Mutsuo Takahashi’s genre is poetry and novels.

Published Texts:

Rose Tree, Fake Lovers

The Symposium (literary journal)

Ode (poem)

Twelve Views from the Distance (Prose)

The Sacred Promontory (novella)

A Legend of a Holy Place (surrealistic novella)

Tanka and haiku poetry

No and Kyogen plays

Reworkings of ancient Greek Dramas

Libretto for an opera

Awards and Acknowledgements:

Rekitei Prize

Yomiuri Literary Prize

Takami Jun Prize

Modern Poetry Hanatsubaki Prize

Shika Bungakukan Prize

Kunsho Award (for his contributions to modern Japanese literature)

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