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Hiromi Itō

Hiromi Ito

Hiromi Ito
Image Credit: Yoichi Yoshiwara

Dorothea Schlegel Artist in Residence

Research Area 2: "Travelling Matters"

June - August 2022

Looking for Mori Ogai

Mori Ogai (1862-1922) is a renowned author who is considered to be the father of modern Japanese literature. He studied in Berlin, Leipzig and Munich as the surgeon of the Imperial Japanese Army. This happened during a time when Japan was eager to absorb foreign cultures, following its re-opening in 1868. During his stay in Germany, Ogai conducted medical research and absorbed, observed and analysed Western culture. These activities, as well as other experiences including translating various works of Western literature and his romantic life, were applied to his later works. Hiromi Ito's book Seppuku-kou, which was published in 2017, is a novel that overlapped his works with the author's own life experiences. During the fellowship, Hiromi Ito hopes to study Ogai’s achievement as a translator and research the way he developed himself via the translation of Erling by the German author, Hans Land.

Hiromi Ito was born in 1955 in Tokyo, Japan. She made her debut in the 80s with works focused on sex and body and also pioneered the genre of “birth/childrearing” essays in this decade. She specialises in modern poetry and, in addition to original poetry/narrative works, is also involved in women's studies, modern translations of Buddhist narratives and sutras, as well as research on Ogai MORI, Rin ISHIGAKI, Michiko ISHIMURE, Jakucho SETOUCHI and Environmental Literature. In the 90s, she Moved to California, USA, before returning to Japan in 2018, where she taught at Waseda University from 2018 to 2021, before moving to Hosei University in 2022. She currently resides in Kumamoto, Japan.

She has received numerous awards including the Takami Award, Murasaki Shikibu Literary Award, Hagiwara Award, Cikada Prize, Noma Literary New Face Award, Tsubouchi Award.