Toyoko Yamasaki

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Toyoko Yamasaki
Born Toyoko Sugimoto
(1924-11-03)3 November 1924
Osaka, Japan
Died 29 September 2013(2013-09-29) (aged 88)
Occupation journalist, novelist
Language Japanese
Education Japanese literature
Alma mater Kyoto Women's University
Period 1957-2013
Genre novel
Subject Osaka merchants, social issues
Notable works Hana Noren, Shiroi Kyotō, Shizumanu Taiyō
Notable awards Naoki Prize (1958)
Osaka Prefecture's Art Prize (1959)
Fujin Koron Readers' Prize (1962 and 1968)
Kikuchi Kan Prize (1991)
Bungei Shunju Readers' Prize (1991)
Mainichi Culture Prize (2009)

Toyoko Yamasaki (山崎 豊子, Yamasaki Toyoko, real name Sugimoto Toyoko; 3 November 1924 – 29 September 2013) was a Japanese novelist.

A native of Osaka, Yamasaki worked as a journalist for the Mainichi Shimbun from 1945 to 1959 after graduating from Kyoto Women's University in Japanese literature. She published her first story, Noren (1957), a story of a kelp trader, based on the experiences of her family's business. The following year, she won the Naoki Prize for her second novel Hana Noren, the story about the founder of an entertainment group. A major influence on her writings of that period was Yasushi Inoue, who was deputy head of the Mainichi Shimbun's cultural news desk.[1]

Yamasaki wrote some stories based on actual events. For example, Futatsu no Sokoku is derived from the biography of a Japanese American David Akira Itami,[2] and Shizumanu Taiyō is based on the Japan Airlines Flight 123 accident.[3] Several works of hers were featured in films and television dramas.

Main works[edit]

  • Noren (暖簾, 1957)
  • Hana Noren (花のれん, 1958), made into a film in 1959 and a television drama in 1995. Awarded the 39th Naoki Prize.
  • Bonchi (ぼんち?, translated by Harue and Travis Summersgill as Bonchi, 1959), made into a film in 1960 and a television drama in 1962, 1966, and 1972.
  • Nyokei Kazoku (女系家族, 1963), made into a television drama eight times.
  • Shiroi Kyotō (白い巨塔, 1965), made into a film in 1966 and featured in a television drama in 1979 and 2003.
  • Karei naru Ichizoku (華麗なる一族, 1973), made into a film and a television drama in 1973. A remake of the television drama was broadcast in 2007.
  • Fumō Chitai (不毛地帯?, translated by James T. Araki as The Barren Zone, 1976), made into a film and a television drama.
  • Futatsu no Sokoku (二つの祖国?, translated by V. Dixon Morris as Two Homelands, 1983), made into a Taiga drama as Sanga Moyu (山河燃ゆ) in 1984.
  • Daichi no Ko (大地の子, 1991), made into a television drama in 1995.
  • Shizumanu Taiyō (沈まぬ太陽, 1999), made into a film in 2009.
  • Unmei no hito (運命の人, 2009), made into a television drama.


  • Schierbeck, Sachiko; Edelstein, Marlene (1994). Japanese Women Novelists in the 20th Century. Copenhagen: Museum Tusculanum Press. pp. 153–156. 
  • NHK obituary
  1. ^ "Yamasaki, noted writer on social issues, dies at 88". Retrieved October 1, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Daito Bunka University and Interpretation". Daito Bunka University. Retrieved 25 July 2009. 
  3. ^ "Shizumanu taiyô". IMDB. Retrieved 25 July 2009. 

External links[edit]