A bit of a trail blazer, Nobuko Yoshiya was one of the most prolific writers of Japan’s Showa era, introducing the genre of ‘Shojo fiction’ (stories about same-sex attraction between young girls). Although her writing was considered flamboyant for the time, the few English translations that exist show a strong sense of rhythm to the writing and a keen ability to ‘paint’ a scene for the reader. This coupled with the fact that her protagonists were female, won her a huge following among women of the day.
Yoshiya herself was a feminist- a strong believer that women were as capable as men. Her ‘bob’ hairstyle and fashionable dress cut quite a figure in literary circles both in Tokyo and abroad. She traveled extensively, often with her life-partner Chiyo Monma.
The couple settled in a house in Kamakura, not far from what is now the Kamakura Literary Museum and used their home as a gathering place for other female authors and artists. Today the home is a museum to Yoshiya, complete with manuscripts and published works on display. The home itself is a beautiful example of a Japanese minimalism and surrounded by greenery. Although currently only open a few months a year, it is a worthwhile stop for those interested in learning more about this fascinating author, who was a pivotal pioneer for today’s popular ‘yuri’ and ‘shojoai’ manga and animation.
Yoshiya’s grave can be found behind Kotoku-In, home of the Great Buddha.
Official Website (in Japanese)
Open every Saturday in April, May, June, October, and November
Open every Sunday in May and June
Open from the 1st till the 3rd of May, June, October and November
Also Open daily during Golden Week
Times: 10am – 4pm
No Entrance Fee
Address: Hase 1-3-6 Map