Mori Mari (森 茉莉, 7 January 1903 – 6 June 1987) was a Japanese author and daughter of famed novelist Mori Ōgai. Born in Hongō, Tokyo, she won the Japan Essayist Club Award in 1957 for a collection of essays called My Father's Hat. Mori Mari began a movement of writing about male homosexual passion (tanbi shousetsu, literally "aesthetic novels") in 1961 with A Lovers' Forest, 恋人たちの森 (koibito tachi no mori), (which won the Tamura Toshiko Prize) and later I Don't Go on Sundays (1961) and The Bed of Dead Leaves (1962). Mori Mari was greatly influenced by her father and in A Lover's Forest, the older man can be seen as imbued with the same virtues and honor as she saw in her father. New York University (NYU) Professor Keith Vincent has called her a "Japanese Electra," referring to the Electra complex counterpart put forth by Carl Jung to Sigmund Freud's Oedipal complex.
An older man and younger boy are trademarks of Mori Mari's work. The older man is extremely rich, powerful, wise, and spoils the younger boy. In The Lover's Forest, for example, the older man, Guido, is 38 or so, and Paulo is 17 or 18. (However, he is not yet 19, the age that Mori was when her father died.) Paulo is extraordinarily beautiful, prone to lounge lazily, and has a lack of willpower in all but the field of his pleasure. (Guido dies when Paolo is 19, and Paulo subsequently falls in love with a man who's been waiting in the wings, another one just like Guido.)
Her first husband was Tamaki Yamada, whom she married in 1919 and divorced in 1927. Her second husband was Akira Sato 佐藤彰.
In 1975 The Room Filled with Sweet Honey (甘い蜜の部屋 Amai Mitsu no Heya) won the 3rd Izumi Kyōka Prize for Literature.
Mori Mari died of heart failure on 6 June 1987.
- NYU Lecture Page with a summary of Prof. Vincent's lecture (see 10 Feb)
- An interview with a Japanese writer who mentions Mori
- Includes a brief summary of a paper about Mori Ōgai's daughters
- Vincent, Keith (2007) "A Japanese Electra and Her Queer Progeny" Mechademia 2
- The Room of Sweet Honey: The Adult Shoujo Fiction of Japanese Novelist Mori Mari (1903–1987)