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Tokyo resident Machi Tawara was born in Osaka in 1962. In 1981 she entered Waseda University and began to write tanka under her mentor, Yukitsuna Sasaki. Graduating with a BA in Japanese Literature, Ms. Tawara taught high school Japanese until 1989, continuing to write meanwhile. Her poetry received the 32nd Kadokawa Tanka Award (1986). Her first collection of tanka, Sarada Kinenbi (Salad Anniversary) sold 3 million copies in Japan alone, and inspired a tanka revival in the late 1980's.