Nakahara, Chuya 1907-1937

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NAKAHARA, Chuya 1907-1937

PERSONAL: Born April 29, 1907, in Yudaonsen Yamaguchi, Japan; died from an illness October 22, 1937, in Kamakura, Japan.

CAREER: Writer.


Yagi no uta; Arishi hi no uta, (title means: "Poems of the Goat; Songs of Past Days"), Sogensha Showa (Tokyo, Japan), 1951, Yagi no uta translated by Ry Beville as Poems of the Goat, American Book (Richmond, VA), 2002.

Depilautumn: The Poetry of Nakahara Chuya, translated with an introduction by Kenneth L. Richard and John L. Riley, University of Toronto-York University Joint Centre on Modern East Asia (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1981.

Nakahara Chuya (poetry selections), edited by Nakazawa Kei, Shogakkan (Tokyo, Japan), 1991.

Shohan (selections), Kawade Shobo Shinsha (Tokyo, Japan), 1991.

The Poems of Nakahara Chuya, translated by Paul Mackintosh and Maki Sugiyama, Gracewing (Leominster, Herfordshire, England), 1993, University of Oklahoma Press (Norman, OK), 1995.

Nakahara Chuya (selections), Nihon Tosho Senta (Tokyo, Japan), 1997.

Also author of Nakahara Chuya shishu (with sound disk), 1968, and Nakahara Chuya shishu (selected works), 1978.

SIDELIGHTS: Japanese poet Nakahara Chuya was praised by a Yamaguchi City Web site contributor as a writer "who contributed great achievements to the history of Japanese literature." Nakahara was born in Yudaonsen, and Kimio Takahashi, writing in Comparative Literature Studies, observed that the author's "native town and surrounding nature were firmly rooted in his mind." Takahashi also noted, however, that Nakahara may have been affected by his community's "distinct attitude of stressing too much success in life among highly motivated persons," explaining that "a lot of promising young men were driven by such careerism to central cities." Nakahara, who published his first collection of poetry in 1934, failed to find fame, however. His second poetry collection appeared in 1938, a year after the author's death.

Collections of Nakahara's poems have been published in English translation, including Depilautumn: The Poetry of Nakahara Chuya and The Poems of Nakahara Chuya. Writing in the Journal of Asian Studies, James R. Morita called Depilautumn one of several "significant additions to the corpus of modern Japanese poetry in English translation." In a review of The Poems of Nakahara Chuya, Amy V. Heinrich noted in World Literature Today that Nakahara's poetry "was not widely read or critically acclaimed until well after his death" and added that he is "a poet worth some time and attention." Writing in Contemporary Review, Raymond Lamont-Brown commented of The Poems of Nakahara Chuya, "Throughout his poetry Nakahara Chuya interplays, in his own unconventional way, two underlying Japanese emotional characteristics; the need to understand moods of awaremi (pity)—an essential part of the Japanese kokoro (heart)—and humour." The reviewer, however, felt that the "translated verses lose the syllable nuances of his poetry which showed him to be a master of his native language and its sound." Nevertheless, Lamont-Brown added, "the selection does show his subtle imagery."



Haruhiko Kondo, Nakahara Chuya: toi mono omotomete (criticism and interpretation), Chusekisha, Showa 58 (Tokyo, Japan), 1983.

Sasaki, Mikiro, Nakahara Chuya (criticism and interpretation), Chikuma Shobo (Tokyo, Japan), 1988.

Sato, Yasumasa, Nakahara Chuya: waga seishun no hyohaku (criticism and interpretation), Tairyusha (Tokyo, Japan), 1988.

Sato, Yasumasa, and Ooka Shohei, Nakahara Chuya no shi no sekai (biography), Kyobunkan (Tokyo, Japan), 1985.


Bungaku, Volume 45, 1977, Yves Marie Alloux, "Nakahara Chuya," pp. 1429-1442.

Comparative Literature Studies, Volume 28, number 3, Kimio Takahashi, "Sonnets in Japan," pp. 296-309.

Contemporary Review, January, 1995, Raymond Lamont-Brown review of The Poems of Nakahara Chuya, p. 51.

Journal of Asian Studies, August, 1983, James R. Morita, review of Depilautumn: The Poetry of Nakahara Chuya, p. 968.

Language and Culture, Volume 12, 1987, Masami Kikuchi, "Rimbaud et Nakahara Chuya: autor de 'Enfance,'" pp. 118-130.

World Literature Today, autumn, 1995, Amy V. Heinrich, review of The Poems of Nakahara Chuya, p. 876.

ONLINE, (July 28, 2005), Emil Hoelter, "But Are They Really Japanese?"

Yamaguchi City Web site, (August 16, 2005), "Nakahara Chuya."