Ryūnosuke Akutagawa

(1483 words)
  • Rebecca Suter (University of Sydney)

Akutagawa Ryūnosuke is one of the most renowned figures of prewar Japanese literature; his fiction and nonfiction are emblematic of the intellectual milieu of the Taishō (1912-1926) period, particularly its constant oscillation between cosmopolitanism and the rediscovery of national traditions.

Like many of his contemporaries, Akutagawa formed his identity as a writer across cultures. Born near the foreign settlement of Irifunechō in 1892, the son of Niihara Toshizō, a milk-shop owner, after the death of his mother in 1902 the young Ryūnosuke was adopted by his uncle, Akutagawa Michiaki. The Akutagawa family, though living among foreigners and being in constant contact with the thriving international culture of the area, was …

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Suter, Rebecca. "Ryūnosuke Akutagawa". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 27 December 2010
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=12633, accessed 05 July 2015.]