Takuboku Ishikawa

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Ishikawa, Takuboku

 

(nom de plume, Takuboku). Born Feb. 20, 1885; died Oct. 28, 1912. Japanese writer and critic.

Ishikawa was a member of the New Poetry Society (Shinshi-sha) headed by Yosano Hiroshi. His first collection of poems, Strivings, appeared in 1905, but it was the collections A Handful of Sand (1910), Whistle: Sound and Instrument (1911), and A Sad Toy (1912) that made his reputation. Ishikawa wrote in the traditional form of the tanka and in free blank verse; he gave the tanka a genuinely democratic content and enriched it with new imagery and rhythms. His poetry ranges from lyrics of love and nature to political verses and from pessimism to faith in a better future. At one time a devotee of anarchism, Ishikawa later came to understand the role of the working class in a socialist revolution. He also wrote novels, including Destiny of a Talent (1906) and Our Group and He (1912). Destitute all his life, Ishikawa died of tuberculosis.

WORKS

In Russian translation: In the collection Iaponskaia poeziia. Moscow, 1956.
Stikhi. Translation, afterword, and annotations by V. Markova. Moscow, 1957.
Izbrannaia lirika. Translation and foreword by V. Markova. Moscow, 1971.

REFERENCE

Eremin, V. N. “Isikava Takuboku—poet iaponskogo naroda.” Kratkie soobshcheniia In-ta Vostokovedeniia AN SSSR, 1955, no. 13.

N. G. IVANENKO

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The selection of poets includes such towering figures in the creation of modern Japanese tanka as Masaoka Shiki (1867-1902), Yosano Akiko (1878-1942), Saito Mokichi (1882-1953), and Ishikawa Takuboku (1886-1912).