Thursday, August 26, 2021

Jakucho (Harumi) Setouchi

Jakucho Setouchi (1922), formerly Harumi Setouchi is a Buddhist nun, writer, and activist.

Setouchi is noted for her biographical novels written as first-person narratives. Setouchi's first literary award reception for Kashin was criticized as pornography. She has also received one of Japan's more prestigious literary awards, the Tanizaki Prize for her novel Hana ni Toe in 1992.

In 1973 she took vows and became a Buddhist nun in the Tendai school of Buddhism. In 2007 she was installed as a nun at Chūson-ji, a temple in Hiraizumi, Iwate Prefecture, and received her name Jakuchō. Her name means "silent, lonely listening." At this time Setouchi also became a social activist, built a center for women, and became a spiritual advisor. She is noted for her opposition to the death penalty in Japan.

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