akiko yosano • sweet is the taste of tears • adelle stripe • limited edition • sick fly publications
23 numbered copies
£15 inc shipping
16 pages. Format approx. 6"/150mm wide x 300mm/12" tall. Handsewn at the Sick Tangerine workshop. Recycled Cairn almond stiff card covers; front cover artwork embossed in black. Heritage book white text paper; Katazome-Shi endpapers, with a base colour of fuchsia with symmetrical patternation in various colours: all hand printed in Japan (one side only).
Selected with an afterword by Adelle Stripe.
Sequences taken from the landmark debut collection Tangled Hair. Akiko Yosano (1878-1942) remains one of the most famous and controversial poets in Japanese literature.
No copies were sent out for review
Akiko Yosano (1878-1942) is one of the most famous, and most controversial, post-classical woman poets of Japan and is best remembered for her innovative and controversial use of the tanka verse form. From an early age she demonstrated an avid interest in literature, which she pursued after her formal schooling ended. As a young woman Akiko attended meetings of the literary societies in Sakai. Her first published works were traditional poems that imitated classic Japanese literature. The growing influence in Japan of European Romanticism led to the development of "new poetry," which condoned the expression of personal feelings and expanded the vocabulary of poetic diction. It was in this literary milieu that Akiko wrote the passionate poetry for which she became best known. Her poetry openly expresses personal experience, especially romantic love, in language that was perceived as highly emotional and sexually explicit to readers in early twentieth-century Japan. In 1901 Akiko moved to Tokyo to be with Yosano Hiroshi, a writer and editor whom she married later that year, shortly after the publication of her first book of poems Midaregami (Tangled Hair). Hiroshi was a central figure in the Japanese Romantic movement and founder of the Shinshi Sha, ("New Poetry Society") which published the "new poetry" journal Myōjō ("Bright Star"). After Myōjō ceased publication in 1908, Akiko wrote prolifically to help support her family. She gave birth to 13 children, 11 of whom survived to adulthood. She wrote over 20 volumes of poetry and social commentary; essays ranged from feminist tracts to criticism of Japan's foreign aggression, and her poetry reflects some of these concerns as well; also broke social taboos with poems about experiencing labour pains and the birth of her stillborn baby. A prominent pacifist and feminist, Yosano Akiko spoke out against the Sino-Japanese war and the growing nationalistic fervour of the times. She later founded a woman's college, the Bunka Gakuin, in 1921 and made constructive statements on problems of women and education. Akiko died on 29 May 1942.
Adelle Stripe lives and writes in Mytholmroyd, England. Her debut novel Black Teeth and a Brilliant Smile (Wrecking Ball Press) is available now.
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