Takahashi (born December 15, 1937) is one of the most prominent and prolific male poets, essayists, and writers of contemporary Japan, with more than three dozen collections of poetry, several works of prose, dozens books of essays, and several major literary prizes to his name. He is especially well known for his open writing about male homoeroticism. He currently lives in the seaside town of Zushi, several kilometers south of Yokohama, Japan.

Takahashi sent the collection to the novelist Yukio Mishima who contacted him and offered to use his name to help promote Takahashi's work. The two shared a close relationship and friendship that lasted until Mishima's suicide in 1970. Other close friends Takahashi made about this time include Tatsuhiko Shibusawa who translated the Marquis de Sade into Japanese, the surreal poet Chimako Tada who shared Takahashi's interest in classical Greece, the poet Shigeo Washisu who was also interested in the classics and the existential ramifications of homoeroticism. With the latter two writers, Takahashi cooperated to create the literary journal The Symposium named after Plato's famous dialogue.[4] This interest in eroticism and existentialism, in turn, is a reflection of a larger existential trend in the literature and culture of Japan during the 1960s and 1970s.[4]

Homoeroticism remained an important theme in his poetry written in free verse through the 1970s, including the long poem Ode, which the publisher Winston Leyland has called “the great gay poem of the 20th century.” [5] Many of these early works have been translated into English by Hiroaki Sato [6][7][8] and reprinted in the collection Partings at Dawn: An Anthology of Japanese Gay Literature.[9]

About the same time, Takahashi started writing prose. In 1970, he published Twelve Views from the Distance about his early life and the novella The Sacred Promontory about his own erotic awakening. In 1972, he wrote A Legend of a Holy Place, a surrealistic novella inspired by his own experiences during a forty-day trip to New York City in which Donald Richie led him through the gay, underground spots of the city.[10] In 1974, he released Zen’s Pilgrimage of Virtue, a homoerotic and often extremely humorous reworking of a legend of Sudhana found in the Buddhist classic Avatamsaka Sutra.[11]

My published books:

See my published books