Rie Yoshiyuki

Rie Yoshiyuki (吉行理恵, Yoshiyuki Rie, 8 July 1939 – 4 May 2006) was a Japanese writer of short stories, novels and poetry.[1] She was awarded the Noma Children's Literature Newcomer Award, the Akutagawa Prize, and the Women's Literature Prize.[2][3]

Rie Yoshiyuki
Native name
BornRieko Yoshiyuki
(1939-07-08)8 July 1939
Tokyo, Japan
Died4 May 2006(2006-05-04) (aged 66)
Tokyo, Japan
Alma materWaseda University
Notable works
  • Yume no naka de
  • Mahōtsukai no Kushan Neko
  • Chiisana Kifujin
  • Kiiroi Neko
Notable awards


Yoshiyuki was born in Tokyo as the third child of writer Eisuke Yoshiyuki and his wife Aguri, a prominent beautician. She graduated from the department of Japanese literature at Waseda University in 1961.[1]

Her first poetry collection titled Aoi Heya (青い部屋, lit. "Blue room") was published in 1963. Her 1967 poetry collection Yume no naka de (夢の中で, lit. "In a dream") won her the Tamura Toshiko Prize.[1][4] In 1973, she published her short story Kioku no naka ni (記憶のなかに, lit. "In my recollections") about her father, who had died when she was only one year old.[1] A collection of short stories titled Otoko girai (男嫌い, lit. "Hate of men") followed in 1975.[1]

Her children's story Mahōtsukai no kushan neko (まほうつかいのくしゃんねこ, lit. "Sneezing cat, a magician", 1971) won her the Noma Children's Literature Newcomer Award.[5][6] Other prize-winning works include Chiisana Kifujin (小さな貴婦人, The Little Lady, 1981)[7] and Kiiroi neko (黄色い猫, lit. "Yellow cat", 1988).[8] Many of her stories have cats as characters or describe relationships between cats and humans, or draw upon childhood memories. Another recurring theme is the way people's cruel behaviour affects the lives of others.[1]

Yoshiyuki died in Tokyo on 4 May 2006 of thyroid cancer.[9]

Her older brother Junnosuke was also a novelist, and her older sister Kazuko is an actress.

Selected worksEdit

  • 1963: Aoi Heya (poetry collection)
  • 1967: Yume no naka de (poetry collection)
  • 1971: Mahōtsukai no kushan neko
  • 1972: Kumo no iru sora
  • 1973: Kioku no naka ni
  • 1973: Senaka no neko
  • 1975: Otoko girai (short story collection)
  • 1981: The Little Lady (short story collection)
  • 1981: Ido no hoshi (short story collection)
  • 1982: Meiro no futago
  • 1983: Tooka no tsubomi
  • 1983: Haioku no hime-gimi
  • 1987: Hana kagami
  • 1988: Kiiroi neko (short story collection)


Only few of Yoshiyuki's writings have been translated into English, these include her poems Carrying[10] and Sacrificial Victim,[11] and the short story The Little Lady.[12] Her short story Ido no hoshi (井戸の星, lit. "Stars in the well") was translated into German as Im Brunnen die Sterne.[13]


  • 1967: Tamura Toshiko Prize for Yume no naka de
  • 1970: 9th Noma Children's Literature Newcomer Award for Mahōtsukai no kushan neko
  • 1981: 85th Akutagawa Prize for The Little Lady
  • 1989: 28th Women's Literature Prize for Kiiroi neko


  1. ^ a b c d e f Sachiko Shibata Schierbeck; Marlene R. Edelstein (1994). Japanese Women Novelists in the 20th Century: 104 Biographies, 1900-1993. Museum Tusculanum Press. pp. 247–249. ISBN 978-87-7289-268-9.
  2. ^ "吉行理恵 (Yoshiyuki Rie)". Kotobank (in Japanese). Retrieved 28 July 2022.
  3. ^ "芥川賞受賞者一覧 (List of Akutagawa Prize winners)". 日本文学振興会 (Bungei Shunju) (in Japanese). Retrieved 28 July 2022.
  4. ^ "夢の中で (In a dream)". Kotobank (in Japanese). Retrieved 28 July 2022.
  5. ^ "まほうつかいのくしゃんねこ (Sneezing cat, a magician)". Kotobank (in Japanese). Retrieved 28 July 2022.
  6. ^ "野間文芸新人賞・野間児童文芸賞 (Noma Children's Literature Newcomer Award)" (in Japanese). Kodansha. Archived from the original on 4 July 2009. Retrieved 28 July 2022.
  7. ^ "小さな貴婦人 (Little lady)". Kotobank (in Japanese). Retrieved 28 July 2022.
  8. ^ "黄色い猫 (Yellow cat)". Kotobank (in Japanese). Retrieved 28 July 2022.
  9. ^ "吉行理恵さん死去/芥川賞作家、詩人 (Rie Yoshiyuki, Akutagawa Prize laureate, writer, poet, dies)". Shikoku News (in Japanese). 8 May 2006. Retrieved 28 July 2022.
  10. ^ Yoshiyuki, Rie; Kirkup, James (transl.) (1977). "Carrying". Prism International. Vancouver. 16 (2).
  11. ^ Yoshiyuki, Rie (1977). "Sacrificial Victim". The Burning heart : Women Poets of Japan. Translated by Rexroth, Kenneth; Atsumi, Ikuko. New York: Seabury Press.
  12. ^ Yoshiyuki, Rie; Harcourt, Geraldine (transl.) (1982). "The Little Lady". Japanese Literature Today. Tokyo: Japan P.E.N. Club (7).
  13. ^ Yoshiyuki, Rie (1989). "Im Brunnen die Sterne". Erkundungen. 19 japanische Erzähler. Translated by Stalph, Jürgen. Berlin: Volk und Welt.