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Handwritten manuscript of famous Japan literary figure to appear for Jan. auction

The first page of the full-length manuscript of famous Japanese novelist Higuchi Ichiyo's masterpiece "Takekurabe" is seen in Tokyo's Koto Ward on Dec. 4, 2018. (Mainichi/Naotsune Umemura)
Higuchi Ichiyo

TOKYO -- A full-length handwritten manuscript of a novel written by famous modern Japanese novelist Higuchi Ichiyo (1872-1896), titled "Takekurabe," will come up for auction here on Jan. 19, 2019.

The auction will be held at Mainichi Auction Inc. in the capital's Koto Ward. The estimated price for the masterpiece ranges from 10 million yen (about 90,000 U.S. dollars) to 15 million yen (about 135,000 U.S. dollars).

The 75-page novel was published in the literary magazine "Bungei kurabu" in April 1896, after it was serialized in another magazine "Bungakukai" beginning in 1895. Mori Ogai (1862-1922), also a prominent Japanese literary figure, read the novel and spoke very highly of Higuchi's work.

After Higuchi died at 24, an art dealer got a hold of the manuscript, and it was then kept in good condition by another person.

The auction will be open to the public, and anyone may participate in the bidding. For more inquiries, call the firm at 03-3527-7330 (in Japanese and English).

(Japanese original by Kazuki Ohara, Cultural News Department)

The first page of the full-length manuscript of famous Japanese novelist Higuchi Ichiyo's masterpiece "Takekurabe" is seen in Tokyo's Koto Ward on Dec. 4, 2018. (Mainichi/Naotsune Umemura)

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