Mitsuo Nakamura

Mitsuo Nakamura

Nakamura Mitsuo
Born 5 February 1911(1911-02-05)
Tokyo, Japan
Died 12 July 1988(1988-07-12) (aged 77)
Kamakura, Kanagawa, Japan
Occupation Writer and literary critic
Genres Biography, stage plays

Mitsuo Nakamura (中村 光夫 Nakamura Mitsuo?, 5 February 1911 – 12 July 1988) was the pen-name of a writer of biographies and stage-plays, and a literary critic active in Shōwa period Japan. His real name was Koba Ichiro.


Early life

Nakamura Mitsuo was born in Tokyo, in the plebian district of Shitaya, (present-day Akihabara).

Literary career

Nakamura exhibited a talent for literature at an early age, and while still a student at Tokyo Imperial University was submitting literary criticism essays to the journal Bungakukai ("The Literary World"). His critical study of the novelist Futabatei Shimei, published as Futabatei Shimei ron in 1936, received high acclaim, which encouraged him to devote his energies into similar critiques of contemporary Japanese and Western writers, focusing on cultural comparisons.

In 1938 he went to study in France on the invitation of the French Government, but was forced to return to Japan at the outbreak of the World War II.

After the war, in 1950, he published Fuzoku Shosetsu Ron, in which he analyzed modern Japanese realism and made a scathing attack against the I Novel which he criticized as being little more than thinly disguised autobiographies, lacking in any meaningful social commentary and removed from modern urban life and realities.

He continued to write critical studies of various contemporary Japanese authors, including Jun'ichirō Tanizaki, Shiga Naoya and on contemporary Japanese fiction in general.

However, Nakamura also wrote a number of stage plays, including Pari Hanjoki ("Prospering in Paris") and Kiteki Issei ("Starting Whistle"), and novels, including Waga Sei no Hakusho ("Confessions of My Sexuality") Nise no Guzo ("False Idols"), and Aru Ai ("A Certain Love").

Nakamura began living in Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture from the spring of 1933 until his death in 1988 at the age of 77. His grave is at the Arai Cemetery in Sugamo, Tokyo.

See also

External links


  • Morris,Ivan. Modern Japanese Stories: An Anthology. Tuttle Publishing (2005). ISBN 0804833362
  • Washburn Dennis. Studies in Modern Japanese Literature: Essays and Translations in Honor of Edwin McClellan. The Journal of Asian Studies, Vol. 58, No. 1 (Feb., 1999), pp. 217–220

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