1886 – 1965
He loved literature and the occidental fashion and living on his own time. Grow up in the nipponic tradition but had a scandalous youth. It was that blend of emotions that renew his writing with a singularity that marked his works.
He studied Chinese and Japanese literature. Started writing as a journalist but his passion for the literature bring him closer to short tales and poetry.
The art of describing, as a journalist, is what I love in his short tales!
That traditionalism and the exotics on his writing was what made him popular on the occident. Some consider him one of the founders of the contemporary novel in Japan.
His short histories are also very refined and delicate. The way he describes a women cleaning her foot is full of erotism and sensuality. And the detail describing places, ambiance or moods is incredible. You can feel as you read what he has wrote.
And that’s why my favorite book of him is In Praise of Shadows (1933).
It’s a simple and very easy reading on his tentative to create a Japanese house combining new and old traditions. Although the book was written in 1933 you could place it nowadays with the desire to keep tradition and modern together.
And for him is so simple to fall on the decantation of the light and the shadows from the traditional old petroleum and candle lightening from Japan to the lamps of the electric power brought by the occident.
The 95 year old lady in me love this homage to the shadows. And how he describes why old Japan was more mysterious and beautiful when the shadows were more respected.
Also is a letter of love to all that little details lost in the renovation of japan and how we should respect all kind of shadows in our life’s.
You can find his books at Project Gutenberg