Born in Otsuka, an area of Tokyo, Ryuichi Tamura was a prolific Japanese poet, essayist, and translator who published 23 books during his lifetime. He graduated from the Third Tokyo Commercial School before being drafted into the Japanese Navy in 1943. Following the war, he worked as an editor, helped revive the literary magazine The Waste Land, and gradually became an important figure in postwar Japanese poetry.

Tamura’s poetry was known for its revelatory images and tonal control. Writing in the Independent in 1998, James Kirkup states that Tamura’s poetry consistently contained “a note of slight hysteria” and was “always on the edge of crisis, but touched with redeeming satirical humour.”

 After a long life in the arts, Tamura died in 1998, shortly after being awarded the Japan Academy of Arts Award for Poetry. 

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