Etsu Inagaki Sugimoto

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The Japanese autobiographer and novelist Etsu Inagaki Sugimoto(杉本鉞子) was born 1874[1] 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.

Later she lived in New York City, where she turned to literature and taught Japanese language, culture and history at Columbia University. She also wrote for newspapers and magazines. She died in 1950.


  • A Daughter of the Samurai (1925)
  • With Taro and Hana in Japan (in cooperation with Nancy Virginia Austen 1926-09-23)
  • A Daughter of the Narikin (1932)
  • In memoriam: Florence Mills Wilson (1933)
  • A Daughter of the Nohfu (1935)
  • Grandmother O Kyo (1940)
  • But the Ships Are Sailing (1959, by her daughter Chiyono Sugimoto Kiyooka, but adds biographical details of the last years of Madam Sugimoto's life)


  1. ^ Huang, Guiyou (2001). Asian American Autobiographers: A Bio-Bibliographical Critical Sourcebook. Greenwood. p. 329. ISBN 9780313314087.