The Japanese autobiographer and novelistEtsu Inagaki Sugimoto(杉本鉞子) was born 1874 in the province Echigo in Japan daughter of a karō from Nagaoka. The breakdown of the feudal system shortly before her birth had a deep impact on the economic situation of her family. Originally destined to be a priestess, she was then engaged, by an arranged marriage, to a Japanese merchant living in Cincinnati, Ohio. Etsu attended a Methodist school in Tokyo as a preparation for her life in the USA. She became a Christian. In 1898 she journeyed to the USA, where she married her fiancé and became mother of two daughters. After her husband's death she returned to Japan, but then went back to the USA to complete the education of her daughters there.