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Banana Yoshimoto chose the pen name banana as it was gender neutral

[UPDATED: 2-22-2018]
Banana Yoshimoto, one of the most internationally recognised contemporary female Japanese writers established her career in 1988 with her debut novel Kitchen, which was nominated for various prizes, instantly putting her on Japan’s literary map. She wrote the novel while working as a waitress in a golf club. 

She chose her pen name while at college before graduation choosing banana to replace her given name Mahoko as she liked banana flowers and thought the name was memorable, “cute”, and  “purposefully androgynous.” 

She comes from a very creative family. Her father Taaki Yoshimoto (1924-2012) was a well-known poet and literary critic and her sister is a well-known cartoonist.
Banana Yoshimoto chose the pen name banana as it was gender neutral Posted by Richard Nathan