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Ichiyo Higuchi (1872-1896)The face of the 5,000 yen bill, Natsuko Higuchi (pen name: Ichiyo Higuchi) was a prominent writer during the Meiji period. Although she died at the young age of 24, Higuchi’s works brought her recognition as the first woman writer of the modern era. Her stories focused on the plights of women and the poor, told in a style influenced both by classical poetry and the rapidly modernizing society in which she lived.