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Chiyo Uno was born in Iwakani in 1897. Her mother died when she was still very young and her father died in 1913. Even as a child, she was rebellious, and more so once she became a teacher. After a forbidden romance with another teacher, she left for Korea but came back when the teacher wanted nothing more to do so, threatening him with a knife. She went to Tokyo and worked, first as a waitress and then, after she and her husband moved to Sapporo, very successfully, by sewing. She entered a short story competition and won. She hurried off to Tokyo, abandoning her husband (and the washing-up!) to start a literary career and acquire a new husband, after divorcing her first husband. She was influenced by Western styles and fashions and became part of the Bohemian world. She had an affair with the artist Seiji Tōgō and her novel 色ざんげ (Confessions of Love) was based on the affair. It was very successful, not least because it was written from the man’s point of view. Soon after she started a magazine called Sutairo (Style), which was the first Japanese magazine to focus on foreign fashions. She also became well-known for kimono designs. She continued to write and had considerable success, though only one other of her books has been translated into English. She married several times and remained something of a free spirit. She died in 1996.
Books about Chiyo Uno
Rebecca L Copeland: The Sound of the Wind: The Life and Works of Uno Chiyo
(Only works translated into English)
1933 色ざんげ (Confessions of Love)
1972 或る一人の女の話 (Story of a Single Woman)