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Japan's grandmother poet Toyo Shibata dies at 101

Published on Jan 20, 2013 5:37 PM

TOKYO (AFP) - Japanese poet Toyo Shibata, who started writing at the age of 92 and whose first anthology sold almost 1.6 million copies, died Sunday aged 101, her son said.

Shibata died at a nursing home near her residence in Utsunomiya north of Tokyo, said her eldest son Kenichi Shibata. She had been in the home periodically since her health worsened last month.

"Her death came really peacefully and without pain," the 67-year-old son told AFP. "She kept writing poems until she was about 100. She needed help when she walked in the past half-year, although she was full of vigour." After the death of her husband, a chef, Shibata was encouraged by her son to write poems.

Her first anthology "Kujikenaide" (Don't Lose Heart) was originally self-published in 2009 and won praise for its sense of humour and forward-looking attitude.

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