17 outubro, 2009
MATSUTANI, Miyoko is a Japanese writer of stories for children.
She was born in 1926, in Kanda, Tokyo.
Her first story Kaininatta Kodomo no Hanashi (A Story of a Child turned into a Shell) appear in the magazine Dowa Kyoshitsu (A Classroom of Children's Stories), in 1948. Later, the story was published by Akane Publishing Co. as collected short stories entitled Kaininatta Kodomo (A Child turned into a Shell, 1951). The work won the first Japan Juvenile Literature Association Award for New Writers.
Like the Grimm brothers, she with her husband energetically collected oral stories and folktales through the interviews with the rural people in the Shinshu region, which inspired her to create a story Tatsunoko Taro (Taro the Dragon Boy, 1960) in her unprecedented literary style. Matsutani describes the story as a "collaboration of ancestors and myself." Interspersed with classical children's rhymes, her narrative style flows with a beautiful rhythm exquisitely resonant with the inherent power of story-telling. The work received the first Kodansha Award for Newcomers, the Sankei Juvenile Literature Publishing Culture Award, and the Hans Christian Andersen Award-Honour List (current IBBY Honour List) in 1962.
Along with her enthusiasm in creating children's fictions based on folktales, the autobiographical narrative in her Chisai Momo-chan (Little Momo-chan, 1964) brought a fresh air to the genre. The lively tone in the depiction of a child's daily life with her working mother captured readers' hearts. The work won the Noma Prize for Juvenile Literature and the NHK Juvenile Literature Encouragement Prize. Subsequently, she worked on the series of Momo-stories following the girl's growth, such as Momo-chan to Pooh (Momo-chan and Poo, 1970).
Particularly, Chisai Akane-chan made a big challenge in dealing with a topic on a parent's divorce, a conventional taboo in the realm of children's literature, by putting the serious subject into focus in a touch of fairytale style.
Matsutani also wrote the so-called protest literature andwar-stories for younger children such as Machinto (A Little more, 1978) and Oide-Oide (Come here, 1984), for example. They were written for those children in the next generation who do not have any experience of real war.
It is really a pity we don't have one single book translated into the Portuguese language...
(The text was adapted from IBBY Japan)
To read more about Myoko Matsutani...