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Japanese author 2: Fujisawa Shuhei

March 7, 2017

Fujisawa Syuhei is famous for his period novels. He usually wrote not a hero but nameless ordinary people. He was born in Yamagata prefecture in 1927. His family home was a farmer. After graduating a college, he became a teacher in his local area. However, he tubercularized and had to quit his job. After medical treatment for several years, he became a journalist in Tokyo. Then he got married and had a daughter, but his wife died a few years later. After struggling with his daily life with his young daughter and old mother for several years, he began to write novels to express his depression. 

 

As you can see, there were many difficulties in his life. Because of this, his early works were extremely gloomy. Samurai frequently died at the end in his early novels. Later, his novels had become brighter and more humorous. It might reflect the improvement of his real life including his remarriage.

 

Although he adopted old periods such as Edo period, it may be an effective way to described people’s feelings. Many readers could feel empathy for the character’s feelings such as joys and sorrows. It might be sort of metaphors of modern times and they can understand more clearly through extracting common points with modern times.  For example, the description of Edo, the metropolitan city in those days was quite understandable for me.  Edo sometimes represented freedom and unstable, like Tokyo in nowadays. From the view of locals, the meaning of this capital hasn't changed since Edo period.

 

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