Takahashi Mutsuo is one of the most prolific authors in contemporary Japan, best known as a formally inventive poet and a master of the traditional poetic forms of tanka and haiku, although he has also written plays, novels and essays.
Takahashi was born on 13th December 1937 in the city now known as Kita-Kyushu. He had a very emotionally disturbed childhood, especially during the war years when he caught tuberculosis and spent two years in a sanatorium. In 1962, he graduated from Fukuoka University of Education and moved to Tokyo where he started working at the Design Centre. He published his first book, Rose Tree: Imitation Lovers, in 1964 which brought him into touch with the novelist Yukio Mishima who gave him encouragement, although after Mishima's sensational suicide in 1970, Takahashi rejected his work.
Takahashi has, to date, published about thirty books of poetry, including tanka and haiku and three collected volumes, and has also made a number of recordings of his works, most notably in the volume entitled Voice Garden (1994).