Akiko Yosano (与謝野 晶子 , Yosano Akiko; 7 dicembre 1878 – 29 maggio 1942) è stata una poetessa giapponese.
Il suo vero nome era Shiyo Yosano.
Nacque nella città di Sakai, prefettura di Osaka, e fin dai tempi della scuola superiore scrisse per la rivista di poesia Myōjō. L'editore della rivista, Tekkan Yosano, la iniziò all'arte della poesia tanka, e divenne in seguito suo marito.
La sua opera più importante fu la raccolta Midaregami, pubblicata nel 1901 e contenente 400 poesie.
Morì a causa di un infarto nel 1942
Akiko Yosano (与謝野 晶子 Yosano Akiko?, Seiji: 與謝野 晶子, 7 December 1878 – 29 May 1942) was the pen-name of a Japanese author, poet, pioneering feminist, pacifist, and social reformer, active in the late Meiji period as well as the Taishō and early Shōwa periods of Japan. Her name at birth was Shō Hō (鳳 志よう Hō Shō?). She is one of the most famous, and most controversial, post-classical woman poets of Japan.
Yosano was born into a prosperous merchant family in Sakai, near Osaka. From the age of 11, she was the family member most responsible for running the family business, which produced and sold yokan, or bean candy. From early childhood, she was fond of reading literary works, and read widely in her father's extensive library. When she was a high school student, she began to subscribe to the poetry magazine Myōjō ("Bright Star"), and she became one of its most important contributors. Myōjō’s editor, Tekkan Yosano, taught her tanka poetry. They met when he came to Osaka and Sakai to deliver lectures and teach workshops.
Although Tekkan had a common-law wife, Tekkan and Akiko fell in love. Tekkan eventually separated from his common-law wife, and the two poets started a new life together in the suburb of Tokyo. Tekkan and Akiko married in 1901. The couple would have two sons, Hikaru and Shigeru. Despite separation from his first wife, Tekkan remained actively involved with her.
In 1901, Yosano brought out her first volume of tanka, Midaregami ("Tangled Hair"), which contained 400 poems and was mostly denounced by literary critics. Despite the critical reaction, it was widely read and became a sort of lighthouse for free-thinkers of her time. Her first book, by far her best known, brought a passionate individualism to traditional tanka poetry, unlike any other work of the late Meiji period. She followed this with twenty more tanka anthologies over the course of her career, including Koigoromo ("Robe of Love") and Maihime ("Dancer"). Her husband Tekkan was also a poet, but his reputation was eclipsed by hers. He continued to publish his wife's work and to encourage her in her literary career.
Akiko and her husband, Tekkan Yosano
Engraved on the back of the monument, part of the name of the sponsor. The name of Yosano Akiko Mori Ogai and can be confirmed. (Taken April 8, 2011)
Yosano's poem Kimi Shinitamou koto nakare (君死にたもうこと勿れ, Thou Shalt Not Die), addressed to her younger brother, was published in Myōjō during the height of the Russo-Japanese War and was extremely controversial. Made into a song, it was used as a mild form of anti-war protest, as the number of Japanese casualties from the bloody Siege of Port Arthur became public.
Yosano Akiko was an extraordinarily prolific writer. She could produce as many as 50 poems in one sitting. During the course of her lifetime, Yosano Akiko wrote tens of thousands of poems. The number is usually put at 20,000 to 50,000 poems. She also wrote 11 books of prose. She gave birth to 13 children, 11 of whom survived to adulthood.
During the Taishō period, Yosano turned her attention to social commentary, with Hito oyobi Onna to shite (As a Human and as a Woman), Gekido no Naka o Iku｡ (Going through Turbulent Times) and her autobiography Akarumi e (To the Light). Her commentaries tended to criticize Japan's growing militarism, and also promoted her feminist viewpoints.
Yosano helped to found what was originally a girl's school, the Bunka Gakuin (Institute of Culture), together with Nishimura Isaku, Kawasaki Natsu and others, and became its first dean and chief lecturer. She assisted many aspiring writers to gain a foothold into the literary world. She was a strong advocate of women's education all of her life. She also translated the Japanese classics into the modern Japanese language, including the Shinyaku Genji Monogatari ("Newly Translated Tale of Genji") and Shinyaku Eiga Monogatari ("Newly Translated Tale of Flowering Fortunes").
Her final work, Shin Man'yōshū ("New Man'yōshū", 1937–1939) was a compilation of 26,783 poems by 6,675 contributors over a 60-year period.
Yosano died of a stroke in 1942, at the age of 63. As her death occurred in the middle of the Pacific War, it went largely unnoticed in the press, and after the end of the war, her works were largely forgotten by critics and the general public. However, in recent years, her romantic, sensual style has come back into popularity and she has an ever increasing following. Her grave is at the Tama Cemeteryin Fuchu, Tokyo.
The Japanese politician Kaoru Yosano (Yosano Kaoru) is one of her grandsons.