Ryunosuke Akutagawa

Recognized as the Father of Japanese short stories, Ryunosuke Akutagawa is also a master of Japanese haiku.  He was born in March of 1892 and became a writer during The Taisho period in Japan.  From an early age, Ryunosuke was interested in Chinese literature as well as haiku poetry, especially of Natsume Soseki.  The friends he made during the early school years all became famous authors later on.

While in high school, Ryunosuke and his circle of literary friends gave new life to the school literary journal, which was called Shinschico.  Also during high school, he published his first short story called Rashomon.  As he continued his literary career, Ryunosuke also became the disciple of Soseki and began writing haiku poems using the pen name “Gaki.”

Aside from writing, Ryunosuke spent his time going to Soseki’s meetings.  When he did put his time to writing, he wrote series of short stories about the value of art and the negative nature of egoism.  Towards the later years of his life, Ryunosuke travelled to China and became very ill.  He was deteriorating both physically and mentally during his final years.  Due to his psychological problems and hallucinations, Ryunosuke became frustrated and committed suicide.  He left to the world many Japanese literary classic including haiku poems, short stories and other publications.

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