Lung cancer claims author Yuko Tsushima, daughter of Osamu Dazai, at 68

JIJI

Award-winning Japanese author Yuko Tsushima, the second daughter of renowned novelist Osamu Dazai, died of lung cancer at a Tokyo hospital on Thursday. She was 68.

Born in Mitaka, western Tokyo, in March 1947, she made her debut as a writer in 1969.

Tsushima won a number of prizes, including the 1987 Yomiuri Prize for Literature for “Yoru no Hikari ni Owarete” (“Chased by the Light of the Night”) and the 1998 Junichiro Tanizaki Prize for “Hi no Yama — Yamazaru-ki” (“The Mountain of Fire; The Record of Mountain Monkeys”).

Her books are thought to have been influenced by her father’s suicide in June 1948, when she was 15 months old, as well as by the death of her intellectually disabled brother and a feud with her mother.

She also attracted attention by releasing “Yamaneko Dome” in 2013, after being inspired by the massive earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011, which devastated coastal areas in northeastern Japan, and the disaster-triggered triple meltdown at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 power plant.

  • Jim Fujii

    Was she a smoker?