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The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus
In-depth critical analysis of the forces shaping the Asia-Pacific...and the world.

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Yamamoto Yuzo

Yamamoto Yuzo (1887 - 1974) was a playwright and novelist from Tochigi Prefecture who graduated from Tokyo University. He made his debut as a dramatist with Seimei no kanmuri (1920; tr. The Crown of Life, 1935). An admirer of such playwrights as Henrik Ibsen and Gerhart Hauptmann, Yamamoto also translated August Strindberg’s plays, wrote popular and critically acclaimed novels and children’s literature, and helped found the Japanese Writers’ Association with Kikuchi Kan and Akutagawa Ryunosuke. During World War II he spoke out against the government’s censorship policies, and after the war served in the Diet on Japanese language reform, advocating limited use of complex ideograms (kanji). He was awarded the Order of Cultural Merit in 1965. After his death, his European-style home in Mitaka, Tokyo, was converted into a museum. His drama Infanticide (Eijigoroshi) was published in 1920.

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