Yuko Taniguchi is the author of a collection of poetry, Foreign Wife Elegy (Coffee House Press, 2004) and a novel, The Ocean in the Closet (Coffee House Press, 2007). Some of her awards include finalist for The Dayton Literary Peace Prize, the Kiriyama Prize Notable Book, the Gustavus Myers Center Outstanding Book Award Advancing Human Rights, and the McKnight Artist Fellowship for Writers.

Taniguchi’s most current project involves documenting the lives of the residents in Tohoku, the Northeastern part of Japan that was affected by the earthquake and tsunami in March, 2011. This project documents not only the change in the landscape and the ocean, but also the heartwarming efforts dedicated to recovery.

The Ocean in the Closet

A girl reaches across an ocean to heal three generations from the aftermath of war.

Nine-year-old Helen Johnson can’t understand why her mother locks Helen and her brother in the closet of their 1975 California home or why her father, recently returned from Vietnam, seems so distant. On the other side of the ocean, Helen’s great-uncle Hideo still struggles with the death of his sister during the occupation of Japan after World War II.

When Helen travels to Japan to meet Hideo they start to unravel the circumstances of her mother’s adoption from Japan and the role that both World War II… READ MORE


Foreign Wife Elegy


Yuko Taniguchi © 2013