Saneatsu Mushanokōji BIOGRAPHY :Japanese POET


Saneatsu Mushanokōji

Born   : 12 May 1885

Tokyo, Japan

 Died   : 9 April 1976 (aged 90)

Tokyo, Japan

 Occupation  :  Writer

Genres   :   novelist



Early life

Born in Tokyo as the 8th son of Viscount Mushanokōji Sanezane, Saneatsu’s father died when he was age 2, and he was raised largely by his mother. Saneatsu was very frail and sickly as a youth, and unable to compete in physical activities in the Peers’ School. To compensate, he developed his debating skills, and began to develop an interest in literature. While at the Peers’ School, he became friends with Shiga Naoya. His uncle introduced him to the Bible and the works of Tolstoy. He enrolled in the philosophy department of Tokyo Imperial University, but left without graduating in 1907 to form a literary group with Kinoshita Rigen, Shiga Naoya, Arishima Takeo and Ogimachi Kinzaku called JΕ«kokakai (The Fortnight Club). This group evolved into the Shirakaba (White Birch) literary coterie, which first published the Shirakaba literary magazine in 1910.



through the 1930s and 1940s, he faded from the literary world. Encouraged by his older brother Kintomo Mushanokōji, who was the Japanese ambassador to Nazi Germany, he traveled throughout Europe in 1936. In 1946, he was appointed to a seat in the House of Peers of the Diet of Japan. However, four months later he was purged from public office by the American Occupation authorities, due to his Dai Tōa Senso Shikan (ε€§ζ±δΊœζˆ¦δΊ‰η§θ¦³, Personal Thoughts on the Great East Asia War ) (1942), supporting the actions of the Japanese government in World War II.

Mushanokōji made a literary comeback with his novel Shinri sensei (ηœŸη†ε…ˆη”Ÿ, Teacher of Truth) (1949–1950). He was awarded the Order of Culture in 1951, and became a member of the Japan Art Academy in 1952.

Mushanokōji lived to the age of 90. He died at the Jikei University School of Medicine Hospital in Komae, Tokyo of uremia. His grave is at the Chūō Reien in the city of Hachiōji, close to Tokyo. His home in Chōfu, Tokyo, where he lived from 1955 to 1976 has been turned into a memorial museum.


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