Shimazaki Toson

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Shimazaki Toson

(shē`mä`zä`kē tō`sōn), 1872–1943, Japanese poet and novelist. A pioneer in the establishment of a new Japanese verse form, Toson later turned his talents to prose fiction. Hakai [the broken commandment], a story of an outcast schoolteacher, is considered the first Japanese naturalist novel. Subsequent works were somewhat autobiographical in nature; his masterpiece, Yoake no mae [before the dawn], a historical novel, traces the growth of modern Japan through a fictionalized account of his father's life.

Bibliography

See J. A. Walker, The Japanese Novel of the Meiji Period and the Ideal of Individualism (1979).


Toson, Shimazaki:

see Shimazaki TosonShimazaki Toson
, 1872–1943, Japanese poet and novelist. A pioneer in the establishment of a new Japanese verse form, Toson later turned his talents to prose fiction.
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Shimazaki Toson

 

(real name, Haruki). Born Feb. 17, 1872, in Yamaguchi, Nagano Prefecture; died Aug. 22, 1943, in Oiso, Kanagawa Prefecture. Japanese writer.

A romantic poet, Shimazaki advocated self-assertion and glorified free love in the collections Young Shoots (1897) and The Little Boat (1898). At the same time, his poetry exhibited pessimistic overtones. His novel The Broken Commandment (1906; Russian translation, 1955), depicting the situation of the outcast Eta class, is the greatest achievement of critical realism in Japanese literature. Shimazaki later abandoned social issues and limited the subject matter of his works; typical examples include the novel The Spring (1908), dealing with the life of young people, the novel The Family (1910; Russian translation, 1966), dealing with the collapse of family traditions, and The New Life (1918), a novel based on Shimazaki’s life.

In the 1930’s, Shimazaki returned to social themes in the historical novel Before the Dawn (1929–35), a panorama of society during the Meiji Restoration, and the unfinished historical novel Gate to the East (1943). Shimazaki’s works furthered the development of critical realism in Japanese literature.

REFERENCES

Iaponskaiapoeziia. Moscow, 1956.
Istoriia sovremennoi iaponskoi literatury. Moscow, 1961.
Grigor’eva, T., and V. Logunova. laponskaia literatura. Moscow, 1964.
Grivnin, V. Simadzaki-Toson: Biobibliograficheskii ukazatel’. Moscow. 1957.

N. G. IVANENKO