BORN: March 13, 1883, Tokyo, Japan
DIED: April 2, 1956, Tokyo, Japan
IDENTIFICATION: Japanese poet best known for free-verse poetry, particularly his poetic chronicle of his life with his wife, Chieko.
SIGNIFICANCE: Influenced by Western poetics, Kōtarō Takamura was one of the first Japanese poets to employ free verse in his poetry, and his first book, Dōtei (Journey), is a landmark in Japanese poetry, so much so that his influence can be seen in the works of numerous subsequent poets. Even so, he has had an even more extensive influence through his books Chieko shō (The Chieko selection) and Chieko shōsono go (After the Chieko selection), which have been widely admired, both by academics and by the general public, for their expression of his intense love for his wife and his tender compassion for her illness and subsequent death.