Takeo Arishima

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Arishima, Takeo

 

Born Mar. 4, 1878; died June 9, 1923. Japanese writer.

Takeo Arishima was born into an aristocratic family and began to be published in 1910. In his youth, he was very interested in anarchism and the ideas of P. A. Kropotkin. He joined the “White Birch” literary group, which adhered to Tolstoy’s ideas and expressed democratic ideas in the literature of that time. Later on, Arishima became acquainted with socialist ideas and contributed funds to the workers’ movement. In the novel One Woman’s Story (1913–1919), Arishima defends the right to freedom of feeling. The story “Descendant of Cain” (1917) and the novella The Pain of Being Born (1918) depict the hard life of the peasants and fishermen on Hokkaido. The article “One Confession” (1923) asserts the inevitability of the socialist revolution. At the end of his life Takeo Arishima gave away his lands to the peasants. He committed suicide.

WORKS

Zenshu, vols. 1–10. Tokyo, 1924.
In Russian translation:
Zhenshchina—Potomok Kaina. Moscow, 1967.
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This perspective is enabled by examining Japanese and Russian non-state intellectual relations (which prominently involved such major figures as Saigo Takamori, Lev Tolstoy, Peter Kropotkin, Kotoku Shusui, Arishima Takeo, Futabei Shimei, Vasilii Eroshenko, and Tokutomi Roka), challenging Western modernity as the master narrative for international history involving modern Japan and substituting an "anarchist history" of modern Japan.