Enchi, Fumiko (fōˈmēˈkō ĕnˈchē) [key], 1905–86, Japanese novelist and literary critic. The daughter of a well-known Japanese literary scholar, she first wrote for the theater, later turning to novels and short stories. Enchi's work covers a wide range of subjects, but is generally centered on the inner lives of women and their roles in society. Onnazaka [the waiting years], awarded the Noma Literary Prize in 1957, traces the struggle of a matriarch to hold her family together through the early years of Japan's modernization. A prolific writer despite repeated bouts of illness, Enchi received numerous awards. Her modern Japanese translation of the renowned classical Japanese novel The Tale of Genji received wide acclaim.