Aya Kōda: The Brush of Tranquility in Japanese Art

OV Digital Desk

 Image Courtesy: Google Doodle

Aya Kōda (1 September 1904 – 31 October 1990) was a Japanese writer of novels, short stories, and essays.

Life and Career

Aya Kōda was born on 1 September 1904 in the Japanese capital of Tokyo. Her father, Rohan Kōda, was one of Japan’s most esteemed authors, and Kōda began her writing career at age 43 with an essay about him for a literary journal. In the 1940s and ‘50s, Kōda honed her captivating style through a series of similarly autobiographical essays that chronicled her life with the eccentric Rohan. Despite her unexpected literary success, she stopped writing for several months to work as a maid at a geisha house. Kōda’s experience among the kimono-clad women there inspired her 1955 debut novel “Nagareru” (“Flowing”), which is cited as a critical turning point in her career.

She died on 31 October 1990 at the age of 86 in Tokyo, Japan.

Award and Legacy

Aya Kōda received numerous awards and accolades for her literary contributions. She was awarded Yomiuri Prize for The Black Kimono, Shinchō Literary Prize for Nagareru, Japan Art Academy Prize for Nagareru, and Joryū Bungaku Shū Literary Prize for Tō in 1973. On 1 September 2020, Google celebrated Aya Kōda’s 116th Birthday with a doodle.