Rebecca Otowa was born in 1955 in California, and moved to Australia with her family at age 12. After graduating BA (Hons. Japanese Language and Literature) from Queensland University, she received a scholarship to study in Japan and went to Kyoto in 1978. She graduated with an MA in Japanese Buddhism from Otani University.
While at Otani University, she met Toshiro Otowa, an engineering student who was a member of the Japan Australia Society, and with each other’s culture as a bond, they started dating and were married in 1981.
In 1986 the Otowa family, which now included two sons, moved back to Toshiro’s ancestral home in Shiga Prefecture, ready to become the 19th generation to take up occupancy in a 350-year old samurai farmhouse in the countryside near Kyoto. Rebecca has lived there ever since, raising her two boys, writing books, drawing, gardening, and participating in village life.
To date she has published three books, At Home in Japan (essays, Tuttle 2010), My Awesome Japan Adventure (children’s book, Tuttle 2013) and The Mad Kyoto Shoe Swapper (short stories, Tuttle 2019). All are illustrated by the author. She has also painted over 50 pictures of various genres, and held 2 shows (2015 and 2019).
Rebecca Otowa is a writer and artist who has been living in Japan for 40 years, almost two-thirds of her life. A longtime resident of a small farming community in Shiga Prefecture, Rebecca will read from her acclaimed book of essays, At Home in Japan, and how she learned that the totality of her identity includes both Japanese and Western aspects. In this Zoom event, she will be interviewed by Liane Grunberg Wakabayashi, and answer questions about her remarkable relationship with the home she has occupied as the wife of the nineteenth generation heir. Participants are also invited to ask questions about how Rebecca approaches the writing process that lovingly goes into each book she creates.
To find out more about Rebecca, see: www.rebeccaotowa.com