Ooka Makoto (February 16, 1931 - April 05, 2017)
Born: 16th February, 1931
Died: 5th April, 2017
Region: Mishima, Japan

Ooka Makoto Facts

Biography

Ooka Makoto, (born February 16, 1931, Mishima, Shizuoka prefecture, Japan--died April 5, 2017, Mishima), prolific Japanese poet and literary critic who was largely responsible for bringing contemporary Japanese poetry to the attention of the Western world.

The son of a tanka poet, Ooka graduated from the University of Tokyo in 1953 with a degree in literature and subsequently worked as a newspaper reporter and college professor. A book of verse, Kioku to genzai (1956; "Memory and the Present"), established his reputation as a poet. He was especially noted for his criticism, however, including the essays collected in the volume Nihon shiika kiko (1978; "Travels Through Japanese Poetry").

In the 1970s Ooka began experimenting with linked verse (renga), in which several poets contribute verses to a single poem. He extended his renga experiments to poets in the West as well, and during the 1980s collaborations by German, French, and American poets were published in a number of anthologies. Translations of Ooka's poetry were collected and published in English in the volumes A String Around Autumn (1982) and Elegy and Benediction (1991). The Colors of Poetry: Essays in Classic Japanese Verse (1991) contains eight essays by Ooka on Japanese poetry. The English translation A Poet's Anthology was published in 1993.

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