Lucille Nixon

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Lucille M. Nixon (December 24, 1908 – December 22, 1963)[1] was a poet and school supervisor from Palo Alto, California. In 1957 she became the first foreigner selected to participate in Utakai Hajime, the Imperial New Year’s Poetry Reading of Japan.[2] Nixon performed a 31 syllable waka about the Hōryū-ji, a Buddhist temple she had visited on a trip two years earlier. After her reading, she won the praises of Emperor Hirohito, who encouraged her to continue writing Japanese poetry so she could become a "bridge" between Japan and the United States.[3]

Nixon died in 1963. She authored a number of books. Among them are:

  • The Choice is Always Ours: The Classic Anthology on the Spiritual Way, Dorothy B. Phillips (Editor), Lucille M. Nixon (Editor), Elizabeth B. Howes (Editor)
  • Sounds from the unknown; a collection of Japanese-American tanka, Lucille M. Nixon (Editor), Tomoe Tana
  • Young ranchers at Oak Valley
  • Living in Japan

An elementary school in Palo Alto currently bears her name.[4]


  1. ^ Front matter of Diaries of Court Ladies of Old Japan. Google Books. Retrieved 18 August 2007
  2. ^ An Imperial Poetic Tradition Archived 2011-07-26 at the Wayback Machine., Japan Echo, Diplomatic Agenda, Vol. 26, Nr. 2
  3. ^ Foster Hailey. "American poem wins Tokyo prize." The New York Times. 12 January 1957. pg. 1.
  4. ^ About Lucille M. Nixon Elementary School. Retrieved 18 August 2007.