Ryunosuke Akutagawa (Ryunosuke Akutagawa)

Ryunosuke Akutagawa

Author.  He is best known for the short story “Rashomon”, which he published in 1915. During his career he refrained from writing full-length novels, focusing instead on the short story as his main medium of expression. He began writing after entering Tokyo Imperial University in 1913 and was further encouraged by the praise that novelist Natsume Soseki  gave to him for “Rashomon.” He supported himself by teaching English and editing a newspaper. During his short life, he wrote over 150 short stories, the more famous including “The Nose,” “The Spider’s Thread,” “The Hell Screen,” “Autumn,” “The Ball,” “In a Grove,” and “Kappa.” Renowned Japanese motion picture director Akira Kurosawa created the 1950 classic masterpiece “Rashomon” based on Akutagawa’s “In a Grove” story. Toward the end of his life, he began suffering from visual hallucinations and anxiety, which led to his suicide, at which time he was reported to have said “Bonyaritoshita fuan (dim uneasiness).” In 1935, his lifelong friend Kan Kikuchi established Japan’s most prestigious literary award, the “Akutagawa Prize,” in his honor. (bio by: Warrick L. Barrett)

Born

  • March, 01, 1892

Died

  • July, 07, 1927

Cemetery

  • Zoshigaya Cemetery
  • Japan

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