Ueda Akinari

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Ueda Akinari


Born 1734 in Osaka; died June 27, 1809, in Kyoto. Japanese writer.

Ueda studied Chinese literature, philosophy, and medicine. He made his debut as a writer with the didactic tale The Mores of Worldly Concubines (1767) and later won fame as the author of romantic adventure tales written in the serious prose genre of yomihon (“reading books”). He often employed plots from Japanese and Chinese literature and folklore.

The basic themes of Ueda’s works were the glorification of virtue and the condemnation of vice and social evil. His writings upheld the doctrine of shingaku (“science of the heart”), which preached the equality of all social classes, while prescribing that each class live in accordance with its social position. The fantastic occupied an important place in Ueda’s work. Often his heroes were spirits or ghosts, as in the short-story collections Tales of a Rainy Moon (1768; Russian translation, 1961) and Tales of Spring Rain (1809). Ueda was also a talented poet, the author of tankas and haikus.


Ueda Akinari-shu. Tokyo, 1968.


Grigor’eva, T., and V. Logunova. Iaponskaia literatura. Moscow, 1964.
Nakamura Yuhiko. Kinsei sakka kenkyu. Tokyo, 1961.


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