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Rieko Nakagawa, born in 1935 in Sapporo, was working as a teacher in a small nursery school near Komazawa Park when she wrote her first children’s book.

It was the late 1950s during the postwar years, and Nakagawa felt there weren’t many good children’s books to read aloud to her wee charges. Her first published work, “No-No Nursery School” (“Iyaiyaen,” 1962), roughly based on her experiences as a teacher and illustrated by her sister, Yuriko Yamawaki, became a runaway success.

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